Egyptian Arabic Grammar


Adverbs

A verb explains what is being done: adverbs can be used to specify how, when, where and in what manner it is being done. There can be more than one adverb- they are placed after the verb. Here are some examples.

EnglishEgyptian
directionAhmed is going up (stairs)'ahmad TaalaA foo'aacHmad TaalaA fwq
أحمـَد طا َلـَع فوق
positionAhmed is coming here'ahmad gayi hinaaacHmad gayy hinaa
أحمـَد جـَيي هـِنا َ
timeAhmed will come tomorrow evening'ahmad hayigi bukra biilleelaacHmad Hayigy bukrao bi-iil-lyl
أحمـَد حـَيـِجي بـُكر َة بـِا ِلّيل
frequencyAhmed always walks'ahmad biyimshi daymanaacHmad biyimshy daymaaN
أحمـَد بـِيـِمشي د َيماً
qualityAhmed walks quickly'ahmad biyimshi bisuraAaaacHmad biyimshy bi-suraAao
أحمـَد بـِيـِمشي بـِسـُر َعـَة
extentAhmed walks extremely quickly'ahmad biyimshi bisuraAa giddanaacHmad biyimshy bi-suraAao giddaaN
أحمـَد بـِيـِمشي بـِسـُر َعـَة جـِدّاً
Ahmed always walks slowly upstairs in the evening'ahmad biyiTaalaA ilsalaalim dayman bishweesh fi illeelaacHmad biyiTaalaA iil-salaalim daymaaN bishwysh fy iil-lyl
أحمـَد بـِيـِطا َلـَع ا ِلسـَلا َلـِم د َيماً بـِشويش في ا ِلّيل

direction

Direction adverbs can be used with verbs like go

EnglishEgyptianEnglish exampleEgyptian example
upfoo'fwq
فوق
I am going upstairs'ana TaalaA foo'aacnaa TaalaA fwq
أنا َ طا َلـَع فوق
downtahttaHt
تـَحت
he dived downGiTis tahtGiTis taHt
غـِطـِس تـَحت
leftshamaalshamaal
شـَما َل
turn left!Kushsh shamaalKushsh shamaal!
خـُشّ شـَما َل
rightyimeenyimyn
يـِمين
look right!buSS yimeenbuSS yimyn!
بـُصّ يـِمين
straight aheadAala ToolAalY Twl
عـَلى طول
go(walk) straight ahead'imshi Aala Tooliicmshy AalY Twl
إمشي عـَلى طول

location

Location adverbs can be used with verbs like go

EnglishEgyptianEnglish exampleEgyptian example
herehinahinaa
هـِناَ
come here!taAala hinataAaalY hinaa!
تـَعا َلى هـِنا َ
therehinaakhinaak
هـِنا َك
I have to go there tomorrowlaazim 'aruwh hinaak bukrahlaazim aacruwH hinaak bukrah
لا َز ِم أر ُوح هـِنا َك بـُكر َه

time

Time adverbs are used to specify when you do something: they can be used with almost any verb. Here are some examples:

EnglishEgyptianEnglish exampleEgyptian example
immediatelyhaalanHaalaaN
حا َلاً
I will open it immediatelyhaftahuh haalanhaftaH-uh HaalaaN
هـَفتـَحـُه حا َلاً
nowdilwa'tidilwaqty
د ِلو َقتي
we are ready now'ihna gaahizeen dilwa'tiiicHnaa gaahizyn dilwaqty
إحنا َ جا َهـِزين د ِلو َقتي
alreadyno equivalenthe (is) already herehuwwa mawgwd
todayilnahaardaiil-nahaar-dao
ا ِلنـَها َرد َة
the party is this eveningilhafla ilnahaarda biilleeliil-Haflao iil-nahaar-dao bi-iil-lyl
ا ِلحـَفلـَة ا ِلنـَها َرد َة بـِا ِلّيل
tomorrowbukrahbukrah
بـُكر َه
I will go to Alexandria tomorrowharuwh il'iskandiraaya bukrahharuwH iil-iicskandiraayao bukrah
هـَر ُوح ا ِلإسكـَند ِرا َيـَة بـُكر َه
the day after tomorrowbaAd bukrahbaAd bukrah
بـَعد بـُكر َه
I will come back the day after tomorrow'ana hargaA baAd bukrahaacnaa hargaA baAd bukrah
أنا َ هـَرجـَع بـَعد بـُكر َه
yesterday'imbaarihiicmbaariH
إمبا َر ِح
she arrived yesterdaywaSalt 'imbaarihwaSalt iicmbaariH
و َصـَلت إمبا َر ِح
day before yesterday'awil 'imbaarihaacwil iicmbaariH
أو ِل إمبا َر ِح
I bought it the day before yesterday'ashtareetuh 'awil 'imbaarihaacshtaryt-uh aacwil iicmbaariH
أشتـَريتـُه أو ِل إمبا َر ِح
next weekil'usbwaA illigaaiiil-uucsbwaA iil-li-gaay
ا ِلأ ُسبو َع ا ِلّـِجا َي
we will go home next weekhanrawwah il'usbwaA illigaaihanrawwaH iil-uucsbwaA iil-li-gaay
هـَنر َوّ َح ا ِلأ ُسبو َع ا ِلّـِجا َي
this weekil'usbwaA dihiil-uucsbwaA dih
ا ِلأ ُسبو َع د ِه
we are on holiday this weekihna fi 'agaaza il'usbwaA dihiiHnaa fy aacgaazao iil-uucsbwaA dih
ا ِحنا َ في أجا َز َة ا ِلأ ُسبو َع د ِه
last weekil'usbwaA 'illi faatiil-uucsbwaA iiclly faat
ا ِلأ ُسبو َع إلّي فا َت
I saw her last weekshuftaha il'usbwaA 'illi faatshuft-ahaa iil-uucsbwaA iiclly faat
شـُفتـَها َ ا ِلأ ُسبو َع إلّي فا َت
earlybadribadry
بـَدري
we must get up early tomorrowlaazim ni'oom badri bukrahlaazim niqwm badry bukrah
لا َز ِم نـِقوم بـَدري بـُكر َه
eveningbiilleelbi-iil-lyl
بـِا ِلّيل
there is a party this eveningfi hafla biilleelfy Haflao bi-iil-lyl
في حـَفلـَة بـِا ِلّيل
later baAdeenbaAdyn
بـَعدين
see you laterhashoofak baAdeenHashwf-ak baAdyn
حـَشوفـَك بـَعدين
again kamaan marrahkamaan marrah
كـَما َن مـَرّ َه
play that song againGanni il'aGniya dih kamaan marrahGanny iil-aacGniyao dih kamaan marrah
غـَنّي ا ِلأغنـِيـَة د ِه كـَما َن مـَرّ َه
afterwardsbaAd kidabaAd kidao
بـَعد كـِد َة
we will eat and afterwards we will sit in the gardenhanaakul wa baAd kida hani'Aad fyilgineenahanaakul wa baAd kidao haniqAad fy-iil-ginynao
هـَنا َكـُل و َ بـَعد كـِد َة هـَنـِقعـَد فيا ِلجـِنينـَة
ago minmin
مـِن
I have lived here for a long time (lit. since a long time agosikint hina min zamaansikint hinaa min zamaan
سـِكـِنت هـِنا َ مـِن ز َما َن

frequency

This group of adverbs specifies how frequently you do something. Here are some examples:

EnglishEgyptianEnglish exampleEgyptian example
usuallyAaadatanAaadataaN
عا َد َتاً
I usually take a nap after lunchbaaKud Aadatan taAseella baAd ilGada'baaKud AadataaN taAsyllao baAd iil-GadaaC
با َخـُد عـَد َتاً تـَعسيلّـَة بـَعد ا ِلغـَدا َء
alwaysdaymandaymaaN
د َيماً
his office is always neatmaktabuh mitsattif daymanmaktab-uh mitsattif daymaaN
مـَكتـَبـُه مـِتسـَتّـِف د َيماً
rarelynaadirannaadiraaN
نا َد ِراً
I rarely see Ahmed'ana bashoof ahmad naadiranaacnaa baashwf aaHmad naadiraaN
أنا َ با َشوف ا َحمـَد نا َد ِراً
regularlybi'intiZaambi-iicntiZaam
بـِإنتـِظا َم
I go to the gym regularlybarooh ilgeem bi'intiZaambarwH iil-gym bi-iicntiZaam
بـَروح ا ِلجيم بـِإنتـِظا َم
recentlymin 'urayibmin qurayib
مـِن قـُر َيـِب
somebody asked me about that recentlyhadd s'aalni Aanuh dih min 'urayibHadd saacal-ny Aan-uh dih min qurayib
حـَدّ سأ َلني عـَنـُه د ِه مـِن قـُر َيـِب
at all'abadanaacbadaaN
أبـَداً
I don't know him at allmish Aaarifuh 'abadanmish Aaarif-uh aacbadaaN
مـِش عا َر ِفـُه أبـَداً
againthaanithaany
ثا َني
I would like to go there againAaayiz 'arooh hinaak thaaniAaayiz aacrwH hinaak thaany
عا َيـِز أروح هـِنا َك ثا َني
oftenGalibanGalibaaN
غـَلـِباً
she is often tiredhiya taAbaana Galibanhiya taAbaanao GalibaaN
هـِي َ تـَعبا َنـَة غـَلـِباً
foreverlil'abadlil-aacbad
لـِلأبـَد
nobody lives for evermahaddish biyiAish lil'abadmaHaddish biyiAish lil-aacbad
مـَحـَدّ ِش بـِيـِعـِش لـِلأبـَد
all dayTool ilyoomTwl iil-ywm
طول ا ِليوم
it rained all daymaTTar Tool ilyoommaTTar Twl iil-ywm
مـَطّـَر طول ا ِليوم
all (my/his/her) lifeTool ilAumrTwl iil-Aumr
طول ا ِلعـُمر
he smoked cigarettes all his lifekaan biyishrib sagaayar Tool Aumruhkaan biyishrib sagaayar Twl Aumr-uh
كا َن بـِيـِشر ِب سـَجا َيـَر طول عـُمر ُه
firstly'awilanaacwilaaN
أو ِلاً
finally'aKeeranaacKyraaN
أخيراً
he finally visited londonzaar lundun 'aKeeranzaar lundun aacKyraaN
زا َر لـُند ُن أخيراً
occasionallymin wa't lilthaanimin waqt lil-thaany
مـِن و َقت لـِلثا َني
I go to the park occasionallybarooh ilgineena min wa't lilthaanibarwH iil-ginynao min waqt lil-thaany
بـَروح ا ِلجـِنينـَة مـِن و َقت لـِلثا َني
hourlybiilsaaAabi-iil-saaAao
بـِا ِلسا َعـَة
you must check hourlylaazim titammim biilsaaAalaazim titammim bi-iil-saaAao
لا َز ِم تـِتـَمّـِم بـِا ِلسا َعـَة
sometimes'ahyaananaacHyaanaaN
أحيا َناً
we sometimes see sharks herebinishoof samak 'irsh 'ahyaanan hinabinishwf samak qirsh aacHyaanaaN hinaa
بـِنـِشوف سـَمـَك قـِرش أحيا َناً هـِناَ
sometimes'aoo'aataacwqaat
أوقا َت
it sometimes rains in Egypt'aoo'aat bitmaTTar fi maSraacwqaat bitmaTTar fy maSr
أوقا َت بـِتمـَطّـَر في مـَصر

Note: always goes at beginning of sentence

Extent

The following adverbs can be placed after an adjective or another adverb to indicate the extent:

English Egyptian
slightly shwayashwayao
شو َيـَة
reasonably maA'oolamaAqwlao
مـَعقولـَة
very 'awiqawy
قـَوي
extremely KaaliSKaaliS
خا َلـِص
giddangiddaaN
جـِدّاً
Aail'aKirAa-iil-aacKir
عـَا ِلأخـِر
too 'awiqawy
قـَوي

Derived adverbs

Most adjectives in english can be converted to an adverb by adding the letters -ly, for example nice becomes nicely. In Egyptian, the adjective can be converted to an adverb by adding the ending an_aaN ـاً

Englishadjectiveadverb
officiallyrasmirasmy
ر َسمي
rasmyanrasmyaaN
ر َسمياً
theoreticallynaZarinaZary
نـَظـَري
naZariyannaZariyaaN
نـَظـَر ِياً
naturallyTabeeAiTabyAy
طـَبيعي
TabeeAyanTabyAyaaN
طـَبيعياً
literallyharfiHarfy
حـَرفي
harfyanHarfyaaN
حـَرفياً
generallyAumoomiAumwmy
عـُمومي
AumoomanAumwmaaN
عـُموماً
normallyAaadiAaady
عا َدي
AadatanAadataaN
عـَد َتاً
slightly'ulayilqulayil
قـُلـَيـِل
'alayalanqalayalaaN
قـَلـَيـَلاً

Similarly, a noun can be converted to an adverbal phrase by adding the word with, for example with care. In Egyptian, the same can be achieved by adding bibi_ بـِ at the start of the word.

EnglishEgyptianEnglishEgyptian
with carebihazarbi-Hadhar
بـِحـَذ َر
he opened the box carefullyfatah ilAalba bihazarfataH iil-Aalbao bi-Hadhar
فـَتـَح ا ِلعـَلبـَة بـِحـَذ َر
with speedbisurAabi-surAao
بـِسـُرعـَة
Ahmed drives very fast'ahmad biyisoo' bisurAa 'awiaacHmad biyiswq bi-surAao qawy
أحمـَد بـِيـِسوق بـِسـُرعـَة قـَوي
with calmbiilraahabi-iil-raaHao
بـِا ِلرا َحـَة
play (pl) quietly!'ilaAbu biilraahaiiclaAboo bi-iil-raaHao
إلـَعبو ا بـِا ِلرا َحـَة
with precisionbiilZabTbi-iil-ZabT
بـِا ِلظـَبط
the meeting took exactly one houril'igtimaaA 'aKad saaAa biilZabTiil-iicgtimaaA aacKad saaAao bi-iil-ZabT
ا ِلإجتـِما َع أخـَد سا َعـَة بـِا ِلظـَبط
with moderationbi'iAatidaalbi-iicAatidaal
بـِإعـَتـِدا َل
eat moderately'akul bi'iAatidaalaackul bi-iicAatidaal
أكـُل بـِإعـَتـِدا َل
in the eveningbiilleelbi-iil-lyl
بـِا ِلّيل
there is a party this eveningfi hafla biilleelfy Haflao bi-iil-lyl
في حـَفلـَة بـِا ِلّيل

Miscellaneous

EnglishEgyptianEnglish exampleEgyptian example
together
(people)
sawasawaa
سـَواَ
we will travel together'ihna misaafireen sawaiicHnaa misaafiryn sawaa
إحنا َ مـِسا َفـِرين سـَوا َ
together
(people and things)
maAa baADmaAa baAD
مـَع َ بـَعض
we will travel together'ihna misaafireen maAa baADiicHnaa misaafiryn maAa baAD
إحنا َ مـِسا َفـِرين مـَع َ بـَعض
separatelykul wahid liwahduhkul waHid li-waHduh
كـُل و َحـِد لـِو َحد ُه
we will travel separately'ihna misaafireen kul wahid liwahduhiicHnaa misaafiryn kul waHid li-waHduh
إحنا َ مـِسا َفـِرين كـُل و َحـِد لـِو َحد ُه
wellkuwayiskuwayis
كـُو َيـِس
he sings very wellhuwwa biyiGanni kuwayis 'awihuwwa biyiGanny kuwayis qawy
هـُوّ َ بـِيـِغـَنّي كـُو َيـِس قـَوي

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