Numbers Overview

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Arabic has certain rules to deal with numbers. These are based on the number itself, and also the gender of the subject.

Here are the numbers from 1 to 10 in Arabic. The numbers are are in words next to the symbol for each:

1واحِدٌ١
2إثْنانِ٢
3ثَلاثَةٌ٣
4أَرْبَعَةٌ٤
5خَمْسَةٌ٥
6سِتَّةٌ٦
7سَبْعَةٌ٧
8ثَمَانِيَةٌ٨
9تِسْعَةٌ٩
10عَشرَةٌ١٠

Rules for numbers 1 and 2

The numbers 1 and 2 always match the gender of the noun they qualify. That is, their form is masculine with masculine nouns and feminine with feminine nouns. These are اِثْنَان/ وَاحِد with masculine nouns and وَاحِدَة / اِثْنَتَان with feminine nouns, as in these examples:

يومٌ وَاحِدٌ | one day

ُحُجرَةٌ وَاحِدَةٌ | one room

جَاءَ عَالمِانِ اِثْنَان | Two scientists came

قَرَأتُ رِسَالَتَينِ اِثْنَتَين | I read two letters

Remember: The numbers 1 and 2 in Arabic follow the noun they modify and agree with it in case and gender.

Rules for numbers 3-9

For numbers 3-9, we use plural nouns, disagreeing with the gender of the noun, Nouns that follow these numbers should be indefinite genitive plural, as in these examples:

Keep in mind that the numbers 3-10 are made masculine by just dropping ‘ta’,  the feminine marker from the end. (ة )

سَبْعَةُ كُتُبٍ| seven books

تِسْعُ سَيَّارَاتٍ | nine cars

Just remember, the number has the opposite gender of the singular noun.

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Abdul Aleem

Founder, Arabic For Beginners

Abdul Aleem is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Fiqh from the Medina Islamic University Malaysia. He loves Arabic and wants to help others learn it.

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