Category: Lessons

Lessons in Arabic Alphabet, Vocabulary, Writing, Grammar and Pronunciation.

Sun and Moon Letters

Lesson # 6- Sun and Moon Letters
Happy Environment Day! Today we’ll be explaining our weekly lesson through environmental messages.

Our lesson today is about sun and moon letters, which are important for pronouncing and understanding Arabic words.
In Lesson # 3, we have seen how to use the article al- before words to make them definite, such as “the” in English.
However, since al- becomes part of the word, its pronunciation sometimes changes according to the first letter of the word.
This pronunciation can change by removing the “L” sound from al-, and doubling the sound of the next letter, using shaddah, which we learned in Lesson # 2.
Example: al-nahr (the river) >> an-nahr
When does this happen? It happens when the first letter of the word belongs to a group of letters called al-huroof ash-shamseyyah (sun letters). However, if the first letter is from the other group (al-huroof al-qamareyyah), al- is pronounced normally.
In this lesson, we will see which letters are sun letters and which are moon letters, and we will show an example sentence for a word beginning with each letter, together with al- . Please visit the page which has all the material, including the pronunciation of each sentence.

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The letter baa’ – ب

The letter baa’ is equivalent to the /b/ sound in English. It has different shapes at the beginning, middle, and end of words, as we can see in the examples below.

There is also a rare letter called paa’, which is sometimes used to represent the sound /p/ in some foreign names, but it is not consistently used.



The letter alif – أ

   The letter alif is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. It is roughly equivalent to “A” in English. However, it can be tricky in some ways. In this post, we introduce the different ways of writing alif. Adding hamza, madda, and diacritics changes the shape and sound of alif. It has different shapes depending on where it is in the word. Also, when preceded by laam, it takes a different shape. Another letter with the same sound, but a different shape, as alif is called alif layyena, and it comes at the end of the word.

The letter alif takes different shapes and sounds, when adding hamza and madda, as well as kasra or damma

The letter alif takes different shapes and sounds, when adding hamza and madda, as well as kasra or damma

The letter alif takes different shapes depending on where it is in the word


A special case is when laam comes before alef, forming the shape called laam-alef
And there is also alif-layyenah, which has the same sound as alif, but comes at the end of words


Learning Arabic Alphabet is the first step to learn Arabic

Welcome everyone! In this post, we will introduce the Arabic alphabet (28 letters). For each letter, we are showing a name of an animal that starts with this letter. We are also showing how words are made of letters. For example, the word:


is made of the letters (alif, seen daal) :

أ س د

and each letter is colored to match with the pronunciation in English. Also you can notice for each letter the different shapes of it, if it comes separate, or whether it is at the beginning of the word, or in the middle or at the end. We will discuss these in upcoming posts. In the comments, let us know if you have any questions.

أسد - أ

بومة - ب

تمساح - ت

ثعلب - ث

Why do Arabic words have numbers?

Have you noticed when Arabic speakers are writing some Arabic word in English they sometimes use numbers? This is because some sounds in Arabic have no equivalent in English.

These letters are the following:

  • 2- corresponding to the letter hamza (ء), which is a glottal stop such as when you say “uh-oh”. It sounds like this.
  • 3 – corresponding to letter ‘ayn (ع). It sounds like this.
  • 7 – corresponding to letter haa’ (ح). It sounds like this.

There are others, but these are the most widely used ones, and are the most necessary.