Darija – Feminine Form

In Darija, feminine words generally end with an (a), which is basically a silent (t) in standard Arabic. To form a feminine word from a masculine one –especially adjectives- you just add (a) then.

Word Masculine Feminine
Big Kbîr كبير Kbîra كبيرة
Small Sghîr صغير Sghîra صغيرة
Doctor Tbîb طبيب Tbîba طْبيبة
Teacher Ostâd أُستاد Ostâda أُستادة
Beautiful Zwîn زوين Zwîna زْوينة

 

When the word ends with (i) in its masculine form, it becomes (iyya) in the feminine one.


Word Masculine Feminine
Pharmacist Saydali صيدلي Saydaliyya صيدلية
Moroccan Mghribi مغربي Mghribiyya مغربية
Somalian Sômâlî صومالي Sômâliyya صومالية
American Mirîkânî ميِريكاني Miraikaniyya ميِريكانية
Chinese Shînwî   شينوي Shînwîyya شينوية

There are, nonetheless, words that don’t end with (a) but that are still feminine, like the body parts that come in pairs: “în عين(eye), wdn ودن(ear), îd/yed إيد(hand), rjl رْجل(foot),…

Words’ genders are usually learnt by heart and mastered by practice.

Exercise:

Give the feminine form of the following words:

Modîr          مدير- Director

Jazâyrî    جزايري – Algerian

Khâyb        خايْب – Ugly

Twîl           طْويل – Tall

MowDDaf   مُوْضّف- Employe

Khâyf         خايف- Afraid

MiSrî        مصري – Egyptian

Sa”ôdî     سعودي   – Saudian

Tlmîd       تْلمِيد     – Student

SaHafî     صحفي – Journalist