Arabic/LearnRW/alif

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alif is a very common Arabic letter. When it comes after a letter it causes the long "aa" sound. When it comes at the beginning of a word it means the word starts with a vowel sound.


Basic Appearance alif looks like a vertical line. It is drawn from the top down. example:


ا

This is called a plain alif, because it carries no symbols.


alif can also carry a hamza. The hamza is drawn after the alif. It looks like so:


أ

When it makes the "u" or "a" sound.


إ

When it makes the "i" sound (the "i" sound in "bit" not "bite").


When a plain alif comes after a letter. like so:


ب + ا




بـ ـا Putting it together




با

It makes a long "aa" sound come after it. In the previous example the Arabic letter ب (baa) was followed by a plain alif. So it was read as "baa", remember a long "aa" sound, not a short one.




يا (pronounced: yaa)




فا (pronounced: faa)




وا (pronounced: waa)




دا (pronounced: daa)




با (pronounced: baa)




تا (pronounced: taa)




كا (pronounced: kaa)




ما (pronounced: maa)

The first letter can also be written with a fatHa and the pronunciation does not change.


يَا (pronounced: yaa)




فَا (pronounced: faa)

But if the alif is not a plain alif, then the long "aa" sound is not made. Something special happens, the purpose of hamza will be covered later.


يَأ (NOT pronounced: yaa)




فإ (NOT pronounced: faa)

Do not forget that the long "aa" sound is only made with a plain alif. If you see an alif with anything on it, it will not make the "aa" sound.