Egyptian Arabic Grammar


Numbers

Arabic digits are not the same as European digits, but unlike the letters they go in the same order- the least significant digit goes last, so the digits in a three digit number would be hundreds, tens and units. The digits are:

DigitEnglishEgyptian
00
٠
zero SifrSifr
صـِفر
11
١
one waahidwaaHid
وا َحـِد
22
٢
two 'itneeniictnyn
إتنين
33
٣
three talaatatalaatao
تـَلا َتـَة
44
٤
four 'arbaAaaacrbaAao
أربـَعـَة
55
٥
five KamsaKamsao
خـَمسـَة
66
٦
six sittasittao
سـِتّـَة
77
٧
seven sabAasabAao
سـَبعـَة
88
٨
eight tamanyatamaanyao
تـَما َنيـَة
99
٩
nine tisAatisAao
تـِسعـَة
1010
١٠
ten AasharaAasharao
عـَشـَر َة

Cardinals and Ordinals

In both English and egyptian, there are two forms of number- cardinals and ordinals. Cardinals are used to count things (one, two, three), Ordinals are used to describe sequence (first, second, etc).

ExampleFunction
Cardinalfiveused to count things
Ordinalfifthused to describe the order, or position in sequence, of something

Cardinals

Cardinals are used for counting and specifying how many of something. Usage of the first few numbers is complicated, but it gets easier after that :-). There are special rules for:

  • People of a particular nationality (eg one englishman)
  • Quantities- weight, money, and when you are ordering something (eg teas)
  • People in general (men, women etc)
  • Things - everything else

The following table gives an overview of the situation:

Number Form Nationals
Egyptians
Quantities
weight
money
tea
People
men
women
Things
books
chairs
minutes
zero SifrSifr
صـِفر
mafeeshmafysh
مـَفيش

+plural
noun
maSriyyinmaSriyyin
مـَصر ِييـِن
waznwazn
و َزن

filoosfilws
فـِلوس

shaaishaay
شا َي
rigaalarigaalaa
ر ِجا َلاَ

sittaatsittaat
سـِتّا َت
kutoobkutwb
كـُتوب

karaasikaraasy
كـَرا َسي

da'aayi'daqaayiq
د َقا َيـِق
one waahidwaaHid
وا َحـِد

+sing
noun
maSrimaSry
مـَصري
keelwkylw
كيلو

gineehginyh
جـِنيه

shaaishaay
شا َي
wahdawaaHdao
وا َحد َة

+sing
noun
maSriyamaSriyao
مـَصر ِيـَة
ns
on its own
raagilraagil
را َجـِل

sittsitt
سـِتّ
kitaabkitaab
كـِتا َب

kursikursy
كـُرسي

di'ee'adiqyqao
د ِقيقـَة
two 'itneeniictnyn
إتنين

+plural
noun
maSriyyinmaSriyyin
مـَصر ِييـِن
rigaalarigaalaa
ر ِجا َلاَ

sittaatsittaat
سـِتّا َت
'itneeniictnyn
إتنين

+sing
noun
keelwkylw
كيلو

geeneehgynyh
جينيه

shaaishaay
شا َي
noun-yn kitabeenkitaabyn
كـِتا َبين

kursiyyinkursiyyin
كـُرسـِييـِن

di'i'teendiqiqtyn
د ِقـِقتين
three talaatatalaatao
تـَلا َتـَة

+sing
noun
maSrimaSry
مـَصري

maSryamaSryao
مـَصريـَة
keelwkylw
كيلو

geeneehgynyh
جينيه

shaaishaay
شا َي
talattalat
تـَلـَت

+plural
noun
rigaalarigaalaa
ر ِجا َلاَ

sittaatsittaat
سـِتّا َت
kutoobkutwb
كـُتوب

karaasikaraasy
كـَرا َسي

da'aayi'daqaayiq
د َقا َيـِق
four thru nine, same as 3

Zero

For zero, there is no equivalent of no as in no books. Instead, the verb or preposition is negated with mishmish مـِش. For example, fify في means there is..., and so mafeeshmafysh مـَفيش means there is no.... As in english, the noun is a plural. Alternatively, you can use or without- min Geermin Gyr مـِن غير.

EnglishEgyptian
zeroSifrSifr
صـِفر
no egyptians (m/f)mafeesh maSriyyinmafysh maSriyyin
مـَفيش مـَصر ِييـِن
no weightmafeesh waznmafysh wazn
مـَفيش و َزن
no moneymafeesh filoosmafysh filws
مـَفيش فـِلوس
no teamafeesh shaaimafysh shaay
مـَفيش شا َي
no menmafeesh ragaalamafysh raagaalaa
مـَفيش را َجا َلاَ
no womenmafeesh sittaatmafysh sittaat
مـَفيش سـِتّا َت
no booksmafeesh kutoobmafysh kutwb
مـَفيش كـُتوب
no chairsmafeesh karaasimafysh karaasy
مـَفيش كـَرا َسي
no secondsmafeesh da'aayi'mafysh daqaayiq
مـَفيش د َقا َيـِق

One

The number one has a masculine and feminine form. Both forms are used for people of a particular nationality eg an englishman.

For weights, money and when ordering things, the masculine form only is used.

In English, we would usually say a book rather than one book: the same is true in Egyptian, but there is no word for a - the noun is simply used on its own.

English Egyptian
one waahidwaaHid
وا َحـِد
one egyptian (m) waahid maSriwaaHid maSry
وا َحـِد مـَصري
one egyptian (f) waHdao maSriyao
a kilo waaHid kylw
a guinea waaHid ginyh
one tea waaHid shaay
a man raagil
a woman sitt
a book kitaab
a chair kursy
a minute diqyqao

Two

For people of a particular nationality, eg two englishmen or two egyptians, use the number 'itneeniictnyn إتنين followed by a plural noun.

For weights, money and orders, use the number 'itneeniictnyn إتنين followed by a singular noun.

For things, you should use the suffix yn_yn ـين for masculine nouns and teen_tyn ـتين for feminine nouns. Nouns ending in i_y ـي take the ending iyyin_iyyin ــِييـِن. This is equivalent to a couple which can mean exactly two, or approximately two.

English Egyptian
two 'itneeniictnyn
إتنين
two egyptians (m/f) 'itneen maSryyiniictnyn maSryyin
إتنين مـَصرييـِن
two kilos iictnyn kylw
two guineas iictnyn ginyh
two teas iictnyn shaay
two men iictnyn ragaalaa
two women iictnyn sittaat
two books kitaabyn
two chair kursiyyin
two minutes diqiqtyn

Three to Ten

For People of nationalities, use the number followed by a plural noun.

For weights, money and when ordering things, use the number followed by a singular noun.

For people and things, use the short form listed below followed by a plural noun:

DigitEnglishEgyptianEnglishEgyptian
33
٣
three talaatatalaatao
تـَلا َتـَة
three bookstalat kutubtalat kutub
تـَلـَت كـُتـُب
44
٤
four 'arbaAaaacrbaAao
أربـَعـَة
four books'arbaAa kutubaacrbaAa kutub
أربـَع َ كـُتـُب
55
٥
five KamsaKamsao
خـَمسـَة
five booksKamas kutubKamas kutub
خـَمـَس كـُتـُب
66
٦
six sittasittao
سـِتّـَة
six bookssitt kutubsitt kutub
سـِتّ كـُتـُب
77
٧
seven sabAasabAao
سـَبعـَة
seven bookssabaA kutubsabaA kutub
سـَبـَع كـُتـُب
88
٨
eight tamanyatamaanyao
تـَما َنيـَة
eight bookstaman kutubtaman kutub
تـَمـَن كـُتـُب
99
٩
nine tisAatisAao
تـِسعـَة
nine bookstisAa kutubtisAa kutub
تـِسع َ كـُتـُب
1010
١٠
ten AasharaAasharao
عـَشـَر َة
ten booksAashara kutubAasharao kutub
عـَشـَر َة كـُتـُب

A very small number of nouns have a different plural when you are talking about between 3 and 10 of them. These are:

EnglishSingular Plural
dayyoomywm
يوم
tiyaemtiyaem
تـِيا َم
montshahrshahr
شـَهر
tushhoortushhwr
تـُشهور
personnafarnafar
نـَفـَر
tinfaartinfaar
تـِنفا َر
plateTaba'Tabaq
طـَبـَق
tiTbaa'tiTbaaq
تـِطبا َق
thousand'alfaaclf
ألف
talaaftalaaf
تـَلا َف

Eleven to Ninety Nine

From 11 onwards, if the number is followed by a noun, the noun must be singular:

English EgyptianEnglish Egyptian
eleven hidaasharHidaashar
حـِدا َشـَر
eleven bookshidaashar kitaabHidaashar kitaab
حـِدا َشـَر كـِتا َب
twelve 'itnaashariictnaashar
إتنا َشـَر
twelve books'itnaashar kitaabiictnaashar kitaab
إتنا َشـَر كـِتا َب
thirteen talatshartalaatshar
تـَلا َتشـَر
thirteen bookstalatshar kitaabtalaatshar kitaab
تـَلا َتشـَر كـِتا َب
fourteen 'arbaAtasharaacrbaAtashar
أربـَعتـَشـَر
fourteen books'arbatAshar kitaabaacrbatAshar kitaab
أربـَتعشـَر كـِتا َب
fifteen KamastasharKamastashar
خـَمـَستـَشـَر
fifteen booksKamastashar kitaabKamastashar kitaab
خـَمـَستـَشـَر كـِتا َب
sixteen sittasharsittashar
سـِتّـَشـَر
sixteen bookssittashar kitaabsittashar kitaab
سـِتّـَشـَر كـِتا َب
seventeen sabaAtasharsabaAtashar
سـَبـَعتـَشـَر
seventeen bookssabaAtashar kitaabsabaAtashar kitaab
سـَبـَعتـَشـَر كـِتا َب
eighteen tamantashartamantashar
تـَمـَنتـَشـَر
eighteen bookstamantashar kitaabtamantashar kitaab
تـَمـَنتـَشـَر كـِتا َب
nineteen tisAatashartisAatashar
تـِسعـَتـَشـَر
nineteen bookstisAatashar kitaabtisAatashar kitaab
تـِسعـَتـَشـَر كـِتا َب

The digits in Egyptian numbers are written in the same order as in European numbers. When expressed as words, however, the two digits are stated as units and tens, as in german not english, with wawa وَ in between:

35
٣٥
thirty five
Kamsao wa talatyn

Here are the numbers from 20 to 90:

English Egyptian
twenty AashareenAasharyn
عـَشـَرين
thirty talateentalatyn
تـَلـَتين
forty 'arbaAeenaacrbaAyn
أربـَعين
fifty KamseenKamsyn
خـَمسين
sixty sitteensittyn
سـِتّين
seventy sabaAeensabaAyn
سـَبـَعين
eighty tamaneentamanyn
تـَمـَنين
ninety tisAeentisAyn
تـِسعين

Hundreds

Here are the numbers from one to nine hundred. Note that the short form meetmyt ميت is used when hundreds are followed by a noun (which must be singular):

English Egyptianshort form
+ singular noun
one hundred miyamiyao
مـِيـَة
meet kitaabmyt kitaab
ميت كـِتا َب
two hundred miteenmityn
مـِتين
miteen kitaabmityn kitaab
مـِتين كـِتا َب
three hundred tultumiyatultumiyao
تـُلتـُمـِيـَة
tultumeet kitaabtultumyt kitaab
تـُلتـُميت كـِتا َب
four hundred rubAumiyarubAumiyao
ر ُبعـُمـِيـَة
rubAumeet kitaabrubAumyt kitaab
ر ُبعـُميت كـِتا َب
five hundred KamsumiyaKamsumiyao
خـَمسـُمـِيـَة
Kamsameet kitaabKamsamyt kitaab
خـَمسـَميت كـِتا َب
six hundred suttumiyasuttumiyao
سـُتّـُمـِيـَة
suttumeet kitaabsuttumyt kitaab
سـُتّـُميت كـِتا َب
seven hundred subuAmiyasubuAmiyao
سـُبـُعمـِيـَة
subuAameet kitaabsubuAamyt kitaab
سـُبـُعـَميت كـِتا َب
eight hundred tumunumiyatumunumiyao
تـُمـُنـُمـِيـَة
tumunumeet kitaabtumunumyt kitaab
تـُمـُنـُميت كـِتا َب
nine hundred tusAumiyatusAumiyao
تـُسعـُمـِيـَة
tusAumeet kitaabtusAumyt kitaab
تـُسعـُميت كـِتا َب

Thousands

Here are the numbers from one to nine thousand. Five thousand should really be Kamsaat 'alfKamsaat aaclf خـَمسا َت ألف, but it is pronounced as below.

EnglishEgyptian
one thousand alfaalf
ا َلف
two thousand alfeenaalfyn
ا َلفين
three thousand talat talaaftalat t-alaaf
تـَلـَت تـَلا َف
four thousand 'arbaA talaafaacrbaA t-alaaf
أربـَع تـَلا َف
five thousand Kamas talaafKamas t-alaaf
خـَمـَس تـَلا َف
six thousand sit talaafsit t-alaaf
سـِت تـَلا َف
seven thousand sabaA talaafsabaA t-alaaf
سـَبـَع تـَلا َف
eight thousand taman talaaftaman t-alaaf
تـَمـَن تـَلا َف
nine thousand tisaA talaaftisaA t-alaaf
تـِسـَع تـَلا َف
ten thousand Aashar talaafAashar t-alaaf
عـَشـَر تـَلا َف

Ordinals

To explain the sequence of things (first, second, third), you use the ordinal. It can be either as an adjective or as a noun in the genitive form: As an adjective, the ordinal be preceded by iliil- ا ِل and, for 1 to 9, must agree with the gender of the noun. From 11 onwards, the cardinal numbers are the same as ordinals, and are used as adjectives only.

EnglishEgyptian
the third dayilyoom iltaalitiil-ywm iil-taalit
ا ِليوم ا ِلتا َلـِت
third daytaalit yoomtaalit ywm
تا َلـِت يوم
the third timeilmarra iltaltaiil-marrao iil-taaltao
ا ِلمـَرّ َة ا ِلتا َلتـَة
third timetaalit marrataalit marrao
تا َلـِت مـَرّ َة
the tenth dayilyoom ilAaashiriil-ywm iil-Aaashir
ا ِليوم ا ِلعا َشـِر
tenth dayAaashir yoomAaashir ywm
عا َشـِر يوم
the tenth timeilmarra ilAaashiraiil-marrao iil-Aaashirao
ا ِلمـَرّ َة ا ِلعا َشـِر َة
tenth timeAaashir marraAaashir marrao
عا َشـِر مـَرّ َة
the eleventh dayilyoom ilhidaashariil-ywm iil-Hidaashar
ا ِليوم ا ِلحـِدا َشـَر
eleventh timeilmarra ilhidaashariil-marrao iil-Hidaashar
ا ِلمـَرّ َة ا ِلحـِدا َشـَر
the twentieth dayilyoom ilAashareeniil-ywm iil-Aasharyn
ا ِليوم ا ِلعـَشـَرين
twentieh timeilmarra ilAashareeniil-marrao iil-Aasharyn
ا ِلمـَرّ َة ا ِلعـَشـَرين

Here are the first ten ordinals:

EnglishEgyptianEnglishEgyptian
first awwilaawwil
ا َوّ ِل
the first book ilkitaab il'awwiliil-kitaab iil-aacwwil
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلأوّ ِل
'uoolauucwlaa
أ ُولاَ
the first cat il'uTTa il'uoolaiil-quTTao iil-uucwlaa
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلأ ُولاَ
second taanitaany
تا َني
the second book ilkitaab iltaaniiil-kitaab iil-taany
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتا َني
tanyataanyao
تا َنيـَة
the second cat il'uTTa iltanyaiil-quTTao iil-taanyao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلتا َنيـَة
third taalittaalit
تا َلـِت
the third book ilkitaab iltaalitiil-kitaab iil-taalit
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتا َلـِت
taltataaltao
تا َلتـَة
the third cat il'uTTa iltaltaiil-quTTao iil-taaltao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلتا َلتـَة
fourth rabAaraabAa
را َبعَ
the fourth book ilkitaab ilrabAaiil-kitaab iil-raabAa
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلرا َبعَ
rabAarabAao
ر َبعـَة
the fourth cat il'uTTa ilrabAaiil-quTTao iil-rabAao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلر َبعـَة
fifth KamsKaams
خا َمس
the fifth book ilkitaab ilKaamisiil-kitaab iil-Kaamis
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلخا َمـِس
KamsaKamsao
خـَمسـَة
the fifth cat il'uTTa ilKamsaiil-quTTao iil-Kamsao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلخـَمسـَة
sixth saadissaadis
سا َد ِس
the sixth book ilkitaab ilsaadisiil-kitaab iil-saadis
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلسا َد ِس
saatitsaatio
سا َتـِة
the sixth cat il'uTTa ilsaatitiil-quTTao iil-saatio
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلسا َتـِة
seventh saabiAsaabiA
سا َبـِع
the seventh book ilkitaab ilsaabiAiil-kitaab iil-saabiA
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلسا َبـِع
seventh saabiAasaabiAao
سا َبـِعـَة
the seventh cat il'uTTa ilsaabiAaiil-quTTao iil-saabiAao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلسا َبـِعـَة
eighth taamintaamin
تا َمـِن
the eighth book ilkitaab iltaaminiil-kitaab iil-taamin
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتا َمـِن
eighth tamnatamnao
تـَمنـَة
the eighth cat il'uTTa iltamnaiil-quTTao iil-tamnao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلتـَمنـَة
ninth taasiAtaasiA
تا َسـِع
the ninth book ilkitaab iltaasiAiil-kitaab iil-taasiA
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتا َسـِع
ninth tasAataasAao
تا َسعـَة
the ninth cat il'uTTa iltaasiAaiil-quTTao iil-taasiAao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلتا َسـِعـَة
tenth AaashirAaashir
عا َشـِر
the tenth book ilkitaab ilAaashiriil-kitaab iil-Aaashir
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلعا َشـِر
tenth AaashiraAaashirao
عا َشـِر َة
the tenth cat il'uTTa ilAaashiraiil-quTTao iil-Aaashirao
ا ِلقـُطّـَة ا ِلعا َشـِر َة

From the eleventh onwards, the cardinal and ordinal are the same. Here are some examples:

NumberOrdinalEnglish Egyptian
eleven hidaasharHidaashar
حـِدا َشـَر
the eleventh bookilkitaab ilhidaashariil-kitaab iil-Hidaashar
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلحـِدا َشـَر
twelve 'itnaashariictnaashar
إتنا َشـَر
the twelfth bookilkitaab il'itnashariil-kitaab iil-iictnashar
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلإتنـَشـَر
thirteen talaatashartalaatashar
تـَلا َتـَشـَر
the thirteenth bookilkitaab iltalaatashariil-kitaab iil-talaatashar
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتـَلا َتـَشـَر
twenty AashareenAasharyn
عـَشـَرين
the twentieth bookilkitaab ilAashareeniil-kitaab iil-Aasharyn
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلعـَشـَرين
thirty thalateenthalatyn
ثـَلـَتين
the thirtieth bookilkitaab iltalateeniil-kitaab iil-talatyn
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتـَلـَتين
forty 'arbaAeenaacrbaAyn
أربـَعين
the fortieth bookilkitaab il'arbaAeeniil-kitaab iil-aacrbaAyn
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلأربـَعين
one hundred miyamiyao
مـِيـَة
the hundredth bookilkitaab ilmiyaiil-kitaab iil-miyao
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلمـِيـَة
two hundred miteenmityn
مـِتين
the two hundredth bookilkitaab ilmiteeniil-kitaab iil-mityn
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلمـِتين
three hundred tultumiyatultumiyao
تـُلتـُمـِيـَة
the three hundredth bookilkitaab iltultumiyaiil-kitaab iil-tultumiyao
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلتـُلتـُمـِيـَة
one thousand 'alfaaclf
ألف
the thousandth bookilkitaab il'alfiil-kitaab iil-aaclf
ا ِلكـِتا َب ا ِلألف

Fractions

The following fractions are widely used:

EnglishEgyptian
halfnooSnwS
نوص
a thirdtilttilt
تـِلت
a quarterrubaArubaA
ر ُبـَع
three quarterstalaat 'arbaAatalaat aacrbaAa
تـَلا َت أربـَعَ

Questions

To ask how many people or things, you should use kamkam كـَم before the noun. To ask for a sequence or reference number (what or which, you put the kamkam كـَم after the noun. In all of these cases, the noun is singular.

TypeEnglishEgyptian
countHow many children do you have?Aandak kam walad?Aandak kam walad?
عـَند َك كـَم و َلـَد؟
countHow many days will you stay?kam yoom hatinizil?kam ywm hatinizil?
كـَم يوم هـَتـِنـِز ِل؟
countHow many guests tomorrow?kam ziboon bukrah?kam zibwn bukrah?
كـَم ز ِبون بـُكر َه؟
whatWhat is your telephone number?nimritak kaam?nimritak kaam?
نـِمر ِتـَك كا َم؟
whatWhat time is it?ilsaaAa kaam?iil-saaAao kaam?
ا ِلسا َعـَة كا َم؟
whatWhat time is the meeting?il'igtimaaA ilsaaAa kaam?iil-iicgtimaaA iil-saaAao kaam?
ا ِلإجتـِما َع ا ِلسا َعـَة كا َم؟
whatWhat is your apartment number?sha''eetak raQam kaam?shaqqyt-ak raQam kaam?
شـَقّيتـَك ر َقـَم كا َم؟
whichWhich floor do you want?Aaayiz door kaam?Aaayiz dwr kaam?
عا َيـِز دور كا َم؟

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