Egyptian Arabic Grammar


Time

Time can be expressed in several different ways:

  • units of time - days, weeks etc
  • parts of the day - morning/afternoon
  • time of day - 6.30
  • relative time (before/after) - today/yesterday etc
  • days of the week
  • dates

Units of time

EnglishEgyptianPlural
moment lahZalaHZao
لـَحظـَة
lahZaatlaHZaat
لـَحظا َت
second thanyathaanyao
ثا َنيـَة
thawaanithawaany
ثـَوا َني
minute di'ee'adiqyqao
د ِقيقـَة
da'aayi'daqaayiq
د َقا َيـِق
hour saaAasaaAao
سا َعـَة
saAaatsaaAaat
سا َعا َت
day yoomywm
يوم
'ayaamaacyaam
أيا َم
week 'usbooAuucsbwA
أ ُسبوع
'asaabiyAaacsaabiyA
أسا َبـِيع
month shahrshahr
شـَهر
shuhoorshuhwr
شـُهور
year sanasanao
سـَنـَة
sineensinyn
سـِنين
lifetime AumrAumr
عـُمر
'aAmaaraacAmaar
أعما َر

Parts of the day

The main events in the day are sunrise and sunset. Midnight, noon and the six prayer times can also be used to specify an approximate time.

EnglishArabic
last prayers till dawn illeeliil-lyl
ا ِلّيل
dawn until sunset ilSubhiil-SubH
ا ِلصـُبح
after sunset masa'masaaC
مـَسا َء
dawn fagrfagr
فـَجر
noon ilDuhriil-Duhr
ا ِلضـُهر
after noonbaAd ilDuhrbaAd iil-Duhr
بـَعد ا ِلضـُهر
sunset ilmaGribiil-maGrib
ا ِلمـَغر ِب
midnight nuS illeelnuS iil-lyl
نـُص ا ِلّيل

Time of day

In English, it is normal to use half and quarter hours to describe time. In addition, in Egyptian, thirds are used. Here is a list of the words that can be used:

EnglishArabic
halfnuSnuS
نـُص
a thirdtilttilt
تـِلت
a quarterrubArubA
ر ُبع
andwawa
وَ
less'ilaiiclaa
إلاَ

Here are all the times at five minute intervals:

EnglishArabic
seven o'clock sabAasabAao
سـَبعـَة
five past seven past sabAa wa KamsasabAao wa Kamsao
سـَبعـَة و َ خـَمسـَة
ten past seven sabAa wa AasharasabAao wa Aasharao
سـَبعـَة و َ عـَشـَر َة
quarter past seven sabAa wa rubA sabAao wa rubA
سـَبعـَة و َ ر ُبع
twenty past seven sabAa wa tiltsabAao wa tilt
سـَبعـَة و َ تـِلت
twenty five past seven sabAa wa nuS 'ila KamsasabAao wa nuS iiclaa Kamsao
سـَبعـَة و َ نـُص إلا َ خـَمسـَة
half past seven sabAa wa nuSsabAao wa nuS
سـَبعـَة و َ نـُص
twenty-five to eight sabAa wa nuS wa KamsasabAao wa nuS wa Kamsao
سـَبعـَة و َ نـُص و َ خـَمسـَة
twenty to eight tamanya 'ila tilttamaanyao iiclaa tilt
تـَما َنيـَة إلا َ تـِلت
quarter to eight tamaanyao iiclaa rubaA
ten to eight tamanya 'ila Aasharatamaanyao iiclaa Aasharao
تـَما َنيـَة إلا َ عـَشـَر َة
five to eight tamanya 'ila Kamsatamaanyao iiclaa Kamsao
تـَما َنيـَة إلا َ خـَمسـَة

Relative time

EnglishArabic
the day before yesterday'awil 'imbaarihaacwil iicmbaariH
أو ِل إمبا َر ِح
yesterday 'imbaarihiicmbaariH
إمبا َر ِح
today ilnahaardaiil-nahaar-dao
ا ِلنـَها َرد َة
tomorrow bukrahbukrah
بـُكر َه
the day after tomorrow baAd bukrahbaAd bukrah
بـَعد بـُكر َه
EnglishArabic
last week iloosbwaA 'ili faatiil-uusbwaA iicly faat
ا ِلـاسبو َع إلي فا َت
this weekiloosbwaA dihiil-uusbwaA dih
ا ِلـاسبو َع د ِه
next week iloosbwaA 'ili gaaiiil-uusbwaA iicly gaay
ا ِلـاسبو َع إلي جا َي
English Arabic
now dilwa'tidilwaqty
د ِلو َقتي
soon baAd shuwayao
later baAdeenbaAdyn
بـَعدين
not yet lissahlissah
لـِسّـَه
early badribadry
بـَدري
late (at night) waKriwaKry
و َخري

Days of week

EnglishArabic
Sunday yoom ilaaahadywm iil-aaaHad
يوم ا ِلا َ َحـَد
Monday yoom il'ithneenywm iil-iicthnyn
يوم ا ِلإثنين
Tuesday yoom iltalaatywm iil-talaat
يوم ا ِلتـَلا َت
Wednesday yoom il'arbaAaywm iil-aacrbaAa
يوم ا ِلأربـَعَ
Thursday yoom ilKameesywm iil-Kamys
يوم ا ِلخـَميس
Friday yoom ilgumaAaywm iil-gumaAao
يوم ا ِلجـُمـَعـَة
Saturday yoom ilsabtywm iil-sabt
يوم ا ِلسـَبت

Dates


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