Egyptian Arabic Grammar


Ownership

There are several different ways to indicate ownership and belonging. These are:

EgyptianMeaningEgyptian English
possessive
pronoun
my/your/his'ismuhiicsm-uh
إسم ُه
his name
simple
genitive
ofism ilwaladiism iil-walad
ا ِسم ا ِلو َلـَد
the name of the boy
bitaaAbitaaA
بـِتا َع
belongingilbasboor bitaaAiiil-basbwr bitaaA-y
ا ِلبـَسبور بـِتا َعي
my passport
AandAand
عـَند
ownershipAandi biytAand-y biyt
عـَندي بـِيت
I have a house
maAamaAa
مـَعَ
have with youmaAaak kabreet?maAaak kabryt?
مـَعا َك كـَبريت؟
Do you have matches (on you)?
lily
لي
having for a purpose
intended for
attached
fi boosTa lykfy bwsTao ly-k
في بوسطـَة ليك
there is some post for you
milkmilk
مـِلك
(my/your/his) propertyilbiyt dah milkuhiil-biyt dah milk-uh
ا ِلبـِيت د َه مـِلكـُه
that house is his property

possessive pronoun

In both english and arabic, the most common way of expressing ownership is with a posessive pronoun (my, your... etc). In egyptian, this is a suffix attached to the noun. Here are some examples:

EnglishArabic
my name 'ismiiicsm-y
إسمي
your(m) name 'ismakiicsm-ak
إسم َك
your(f) name 'ismikiicsm-ik
إسم ِك
my house biytibiyt-y
بـِيتي
his house biytuhbiyt-uh
بـِيت ُه
my father 'abwyaaacbwyaa
أبويا َ
your(f) father 'aboohaaacbwhaa
أبوها َ
his father 'aboohaacbwh
أبوه
our god rabbinarabb-inaa
ر َبّ ِنا َ

The posessive pronouns themselves are pretty easy to learn, but when the pronouns are attached to nouns, the vowels do a little dance to make sure that you don't get three consonants in a row. See pronouns for more information.

simple genitive

In english, the simple genitive can take two forms: both are expressed in the same way in arabic.

EnglishEgyptian
the man's name 'ism ilraagiliicsm iil-raagil
إسم ا ِلرا َجـِل
the name of the man 'ism ilraagiliicsm iil-raagil
إسم ا ِلرا َجـِل

iliil_ ا ِلـ can be attached to the second noun if required, but must never be attached to the first noun. If the first noun is feminine, the a_ao ــَة ending changes to it_it ــِت. Nothing must be placed between the two nouns. Adjectives go after the second noun, but must agree in gender and number with the first noun. If a possessive suffix is required, it must go on the second word (or use bitaaAbitaaA بـِتا َع). Here are some examples:

EnglishEgyptian
the boy's name is strange'ism ilwalad Gareebiicsm iil-walad Garyb
إسم ا ِلو َلـَد غـَريب
I have her telephone number Aandi nimrit tileefoonhaAandy nimrio tilyfwn-haa
عـَندي نـِمر ِة تـِليفونها َ
Where is the railway station? mahaTit il'aTr feen?maHaTio iil-qaTr fyn?
مـَحـَطـِة ا ِلقـَطر فين؟
Do you know my cousin? (uncle's son) 'inta Aaarif 'ibn Aammy?iicnta Aaarif iicbn Aamm-y?
إنت َ عا َر ِف إبن عـَمّي؟
Do you know my cousin? (uncle's son) tiAarif 'ibn Aammy?tiAarif iicbn Aamm-y?
تـِعـَر ِف إبن عـَمّي؟
Have you seen the boss's new car? 'inta shooft Aarabiyit ilmudeer ilgideeda?iicnta shwft Aarabiyio iil-mudyr iil-gidydao?
إنت َ شوفت عـَر َبـِي ِة ا ِلمـُدير ا ِلجـِديد َة؟
Have you seen the new boss's car? 'inta shooft ilAarabiya 'illi maAa ilmudeer ilgideed?iicnta shwft iil-Aarabiyao iiclly maAa iil-mudyr iil-gidyd?
إنت َ شوفت ا ِلعـَر َبـِيـَة إلّي مـَعـَ ا ِلمـُدير ا ِلجـِديد؟
I want a bottle of water Aaayiz 'izzaazit mayaahAaayiz iiczzaazio mayaah
عا َيـِز إزّا َز ِة مـَيا َه
give me this bottle of water iddeeni 'izzaazit ilmayaahiiddyny iiczzaazio iil-mayaah
ا ِدّيني إزّا َز ِة ا ِلمـَيا َه
dyh

Belonging- bitaAbitaA بـِتـَع

bitaAbitaA بـِتـَع is used in several ways:

  • noun + bitaA + possessive suffix, to indicate ownership
  • noun + bitaA + possessive suffix, as an alternative to a genitive
  • bitaA + product (milk, onions, tyres etc), to indicate somebody who sells the product
  • bitaA + possessive suffix, to refer to a man's or woman's private parts

bitaAbitaA بـِتـَع is always used for ownership when the noun ends in yn_yn ـين and for imported words (my villa). It is not used for parts of the body (my leg).

EnglishEgyptian
I have lost my passport'ana DayAt ilbasboor bitaaAiaacnaa DaayAt iil-basbwr bitaaAy
أنا َ ضا َيعت ا ِلبـَسبور بـِتا َعي
how many rooms does your villa have? Aandak kam 'uooDa fi ilveela bitaAtak?Aandak kam uucwDao fy iil-vylaa bitaaAtak?
عـَند َك كـَم أ ُوضـَة في ا ِلڤيلا َ بـِتا َعتـَك؟
Where are your teachers? feen ilmudarriseen bitwaAak?fyn iil-mudarrisyn bitwaAak?
فين ا ِلمـُد َرّ ِسين بـِتو َعـَك؟
He is a vegetable seller
huwwa bitaaA KuDaarhuwwa bitaaA KuDaar
هـُوّ َ بـِتا َع خـُضا َر
He is a milk seller
means he's a ladies' man
huwwa bitaaA labanhuwwa bitaaA laban
هـُوّ َ بـِتا َع لـَبـَن
Stop scratching yourself!baTTal tuhrush fi bitaaAakbaTTal tuhrush fy bitaaA-ak!
بـَطّـَل تـُهر ُش في بـِتا َعـَك

bitaaA bitaaA بـِتا َع is like a participle, so it has to agree in gender and number with the noun. Here are all of the possible endings:

Englishmfpl
the bookthe bagthe books
ilkitaab bitaaAiil-kitaab bitaaA_
ا ِلكـِتا َب بـِتا َعـ
ilshanTa bitaAtiil-shanTao bitaaAt_
ا ِلشـَنطـَة بـِتا َعتـ
ilkutoob bitooAiil-kutwb bitwA_
ا ِلكـُتوب بـِتوعـ
belonging to me bitaaAibitaaAy
بـِتا َعي
bitaAtibitaaAty
بـِتا َعتي
bitooAibitwAy
بـِتوعي
belonging to us bitaAnabitaaAnaa
بـِتا َعناَ
bitaaAitnabitaaAitnaa
بـِتا َعـِتناَ
bitooAnabitwAnaa
بـِتوعناَ
belonging to you(m)bitaaAakbitaaAak
بـِتا َعـَك
bitaAtakbitaaAtak
بـِتا َعتـَك
bitooAakbitwAak
بـِتوعـَك
belonging to you(f)bitaaAikbitaaAik
بـِتا َعـِك
bitaAtikbitaaAtik
بـِتا َعتـِك
bitooAikbitwAik
بـِتوعـِك
belonging to you(pl)bitaAkumbitaaAkum
بـِتا َعكـُم
bitaaAitkumbitaaAitkum
بـِتا َعـِتكـُم
bitooAkumbitwAkum
بـِتوعكـُم
belonging to him bitaaAuhbitaaAuh
بـِتا َعـُه
bitaAtuhbitaaAtuh
بـِتا َعتـُه
bitooAuhbitwAuh
بـِتوعـُه
belonging to her bitaAhabitaaAhaa
بـِتا َعهاَ
bitaaAithabitaaAit-haa
بـِتا َعـِتهاَ
bitooAhabitwAhaa
بـِتوعهاَ
belonging to them bitaAhumbitaaAhum
بـِتا َعهـُم
bitaaAithumbitaaAit-hum
بـِتا َعـِتهـُم
bitooAhumbitwAhum
بـِتوعهـُم

Ownership - AandAand عـَند

AandAand عـَند means that you own something but don't necessarily have with you. It can also be used about members of your family. An object pronoun can be added to indicate who owns something. Here are some examples:

EnglishEgyptian
I have a carAandi AarabiyaAandy Aarabiyao
عـَندي عـَر َبـِيـَة
he has two childrenAanduh waladeenAand-uh waladyn
عـَند ُه و َلـَدين
do you have any books?Aandak kutub?Aand-ak kutub?
عـَند َك كـُتـُب؟

Here are all of the possible forms.

EnglishArabic
I have AandiAandy
عـَندي
we have AandinaAandinaa
عـَند ِناَ
you(m) have AandakAandak
عـَند َك
you(f) have AandikAandik
عـَند ِك
you(pl) have AandukumAandukum
عـَند ُكـُم
he has AanduhAanduh
عـَند ُه
she has AandahaAandahaa
عـَند َهاَ
they have AanduhumAanduhum
عـَند ُهـُم

Having with you maAamaAa مـَعَ

maAa means that you have something or somebody with you. It takes an object suffix to say who it is with.

EnglishEgyptian
Do you have the keys?maAak ilmafateeh?maAak iil-mafaatyH?
مـَعـَك ا ِلمـَفا َتيح؟
I will go with you'ana harooh maAaakaacnaa haarwH maAa-ak
أنا َ ها َروح مـَعـَـَك
Do you have any change?maAak fakka?maAak fakkao?
مـَعـَك فـَكّـَة؟

Here are all of the possible forms:

EnglishEgyptian
I have maAaayamaAaayaa
مـَعا َياَ
we have maAaanamaAaanaa
مـَعا َناَ
you(m) have maAaakmaAaak
مـَعا َك
you(f) have maAaakimaAaaky
مـَعا َكي
you(pl) have maAaakummaAaakum
مـَعا َكـُم
he has maAaahmaAaah
مـَعا َه
she has maAaahamaAaahaa
مـَعا َهاَ
they have maAaahummaAaahum
مـَعا َهـُم

intended for - lyly_ ليـ

lily لي can be used for parts of the body, members of your family, for something that is attached, and for something that is intended for somebody or something. It is also used when an inanimate object has something. Here are some examples:

EnglishEgyptian
he has only one legleeh rigl wahda baslyh rigl waaHdao bas
ليه ر ِجل وا َحد َة بـَس
she has two childrenlyha waladeenly-haa waladyn
ليها َ و َلـَدين
there is mail for you (f)fi boosTa leekify bwsTao lyky
في بوسطـَة ليكي
I owe you five pounds
Lit: I have five founds for you(m)
Aandi Kamsa gineet lykAandy Kamsao ginyo ly-k
عـَندي خـَمسـَة جـِنية ليك
this present is for (all of) you(pl)ilhidaya di leekumiil-hidayao dy lykum
ا ِلهـِد َيـَة دي ليكـُم
I want a garden seat
A seat intended for the garden
Aaayiz kursi lilginiynaAaayiz kursy li-l-giniynao
عا َيـِز كـُرسي لـِلجـِنـِينـَة
the flat has a garageilsha''a leeha garaajiil-shaqqao lyhaa garaaj
ا ِلشـَقّـَة ليها َ جـَرا َچ
the flat has two bedrooms
use fify في because rooms are inside
ilsha''a feeha'uooDteeniil-shaqqao fyhaauucwDtyn
ا ِلشـَقّـَة فيها َأ ُوضتين

Here are all of the possible forms:

Englishm
I have liyaliya
لـِيَ
we have leenalynaa
ليناَ
you(m) have leeklyk
ليك
you(f) have leekilyky
ليكي
you(pl) have leekumlykum
ليكـُم
he has leehlyh
ليه
she has leehalyhaa
ليهاَ
they have leehumlyhum
ليهـُم

Possession property milkmilk مـِلك

Ownership of real estate - houses, land etc, can be expressed with milkmilk_ مـِلكـ plus a suffix.

EnglishEgyptian
He has his own houseAanduh biyt milkuhAanduh biyt milk-uh
عـَند ُه بـِيت مـِلكـُه
I own land in HurghadaAandi 'arD milk fi ilGarda'aAandy aacrD milk fy iil-Gardaqao
عـَندي أرض مـِلك في ا ِلغـَرد َقـَة

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