numeral + noun - gender agreement تذكير العدد/تأنيث العدد

shushanna

Member
Polish
Could you explain me how principal and ordinal numeral with nouns work?

as far as I manage to comprehend:
feminine numerals + masculine end non-feminine nouns masculine numerals + feminine nouns.
Is that correct rule and, if it is, does it apply for both: principal numeral as well as ordianl ones?

To make sure I understand, could you please translate for me into arabic (in arabic alfabet) the following:

PRINCIPAL NUMERAL
Two girls
Fifty students (male)
Fifteen notebooks
Twenty one pens
ORDINAL NUMERAL
The second man
The fifth student (female)
The forthy eighth car

Thank you
 
  • cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Hello Shushanna,
    numbers and genders in Arabic have simple rules:
    - 1, 2 always follow the gender of the word: واحد/واحدة، اثنان/اثنتان And this happenes whether they're "independent" (1, 2) or part of a number (11, 12, 21, 22, 31, 32....)
    - 2 is treated like any dual word: اثنان in nominative case, and اثنتين in (genetive), and it looses its nuun when in an iDaafa structure with 3ashra: اثنا عشر رجلاً and اثنتا عشرة امرأة .
    - 10 takes the opposite gender of the word: عشر نساء وعشرة رجال
    - 3 - 9 also the opposite. I always remind myself with this using the Quranic verse: في ستة أيام (God created the world in 6 days).
    - 11-12: follow the gender: أحد عشر رجلاً وإحدى عشرة امرأة، اثنا عشر رجلاً واثنتا عشرة امرأة
    - 13-19: the ten follows the gender and the other figure doesn't: ثلاث عشرة يومًا وخمسة عشر ليلة
    - 20, 30, 40....90 : same gender as the word.
    - 23, 24, 25... 33, 34,...93, 94... : the (3,4,5,6,7,8,9) take the opposite gender of the word, while the 30, 40....90 are invariables: ثلاثة وعشرون رجلاً وثلاث وعشرون امرأة

    I hope it's clear, if not, hopefully someone else will shed more light to it :)

    And I added few examples (in blue) to your sentence, to clarify the gender differences:


    PRINCIPAL NUMERAL
    Two girls فتاتان
    Two boy ولدان - فَتَيان
    Fifty students (male) خمسون طالبًا
    Fifty students (female) خمسون طالبة
    Fifteen notebooks خمس عشرة كتابًا - خمسة عشر كراسة
    Twenty one pens واحد وعشرون قلمًا
    Twenty one girls واحدة وعشرون فتاة

    ORDINAL NUMERAL
    The second man الرجل الثانى
    The second woman السيدة الثانية
    The fifth student (female) الطالبة الخامسة
    The fifth male stude: الطالب الخامس
    The forthy eighth car السيارة الثامنة والأربعون
    The forty eighth student الطالب الثامن والأربعون
     
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    shushanna

    Member
    Polish
    Dear Cherine

    Thank you for your afford. I think I understand the basic rules, although I still have e few concerns:
    why do you use
    الطالبة الخامسة instead of الطالبات
    why do you put tens first instead of واحد و عشرون

    Well, if I may permitt myself a little comment: I could have said more than a lot about Arabic numbers' rules but never that:
    numbers and genders in Arabic have simple rules
    Anyway thank you for making them comprehensive to me :)
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    why do you use
    الطالبة الخامسة instead of الطالبات
    Because الطالبات is a plural word, and not only does your sentence say "the fifth student" (singular) but I also can't imagine many persons being fifth.
    why do you put tens first instead of واحد و عشرون
    Sorry, I don't understand what you mean by this :confused: Can you give me the whole sentence I wrote and the sentence you think should be the correct one?

    Well, if I may permitt myself a little comment: I could have said more than a lot about Arabic numbers' rules but never that
    :D I understand what you mean, they used to be very difficult to me, and till now sometimes I have to get back to my grammar book to remember what gender I shoud use. But by "simple" I meant they're clear and don't need lots of reading. As for "easy", that's another thing :)
    Anyway thank you for making them comprehensive to me :)
    You're welcome :)
     

    shushanna

    Member
    Polish
    Oh, silly me, I meant: why don't you use plural of female students الطالبات in
    Fifty students (female) خمسون طالبة
    and why don't you use plural of male students طلاب in
    Fifty students (male) خمسون طالبًا
    as it goes for the other questions - everything is clear now, I was looking at the print of your post at which all the arabic sentences were printed in the backward/ backword;) order - sorry
     

    clevermizo

    Senior Member
    English (USA), Spanish
    ^Because you use the singular noun after 10, and it is منصوب (has the ending -an).

    E.g.:

    ثلاث سيارات
    ثلاثة رجال
    عشرون رجلاً
    خمسة وثلاثون سيارةً
     

    CSB2808

    Senior Member
    English
    This is literally amazing, its so great to have it clearly explained.
    One thing though:
    Fifteen notebooks خمس عشرة كتابًا - خمسة عشر كراسة
    But:
    13-19: the ten follows the gender and the other figure doesn't: ثلاثة عشر يومًا وخمس عشرة ليلة
    Do these two things not contradict each other? Am I reading something wrong? Kitaab is masculine right?
    I know you posted 3 years ago, but any clarification would be fab - I have my exam in two days! :)
    Thank you.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Good catch!
    :eek:
    Here's the rule in Arabic (copied from my school grammar book):

    العدد (10) يأتي على خلاف المعدود إذا كان مُفْرَدًا، مثل: اعتكف المريضُ عشرةَ أيام، وعشر ليالٍ.
    فإذا كانت العشرةُ مركَّبةً مع غيرها، أتت على وِفْق المعدود، مثل: هذه التمثيلية المسلسلة ثلاثَ عشرةَ حلقةً، واشتركَ فيها أربعةَ عشرَ ممثِّلاً

     

    CSB2808

    Senior Member
    English
    I'm afraid my arabic is not that good yet! (and google translate's version didn't make sense)
    Any chance you could explain in english? Sorry...
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Ah, sorry about that.
    Here's a try:
    The number (10) has the inversed [grammatical] gender of the word it counts:
    أيام is masculine, so 10 must be feminine: عشرة أيام. Also, ليلة is fem., so 10 must be masculine: عشر ليالٍ.

    But with the numbers from 11 to 19, the (10) has the same gender and the other digit is the opposite:
    حلقة is a feminine word, so the 10 is also feminine, and the other digit is masculine: ثلاث عشرةَ حلقة .
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    - 13-19: the ten follows the gender and the other figure doesn't: ثلاث عشرة يومًا وخمسة عشر ليلة

    Fifteen notebooks خمس عشرة كتابًا - خمسة عشر كراسة
    Good catch!
    :eek:
    Here's the rule in Arabic (copied from my school grammar book):

    العدد (10) يأتي على خلاف المعدود إذا كان مُفْرَدًا، مثل: اعتكف المريضُ عشرةَ أيام، وعشر ليالٍ.
    فإذا كانت العشرةُ مركَّبةً مع غيرها، أتت على وِفْق المعدود، مثل: هذه التمثيلية المسلسلة ثلاثَ عشرةَ حلقةً، واشتركَ فيها أربعةَ عشرَ ممثِّلاً

    Excuse me Cherine, numbers have always been quite confusing for me, but do you think you might have edited your older post incorrectly. Shouldn't it be

    ثلاثة عشر يوما
    خمس عشرة ليلة
    خمسة عشر كتابا
    خمس عشرة كراسة ?
     

    paieye

    Senior Member
    English - British
    What is the rule for the gender of numbers when the nouns are of both genders, for example "I teach 10 girls and boys" ? What if you say "I teach 10 boys and girls " ?
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    It depends on what's mentioned first:
    أعلّم عشر فتيات وفتيان
    أعلّم عشرة فتيان وفتيات
     

    paieye

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Thank you, I feared as much.

    Whatever the rule, how consistently is it observed in M.S.A. ?
     
    Last edited:

    MaisR

    Member
    English
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hi all,

    I typed this up to serve as a guide for myself and others for Arabic cardinal numbers. Please feel free to correct and/or add to the list.

    1. Arabic numbers 3-10 practice reverse gender agreement. In other words, feminine looking numbers are used with masculine nouns and masculine looking numbers are used with feminine nouns. If you want to talk about 1-10 of something the number comes before the noun with the noun in the indefinite genitive plural form. (I have not included the formal final vowels in my examples as it is still correct if you drop them from writing and speech).
      • ثلاث سيارات
      • خمسة رجال
      • سبع مجلات
    2. When using two-digit numbers the order of the two-digit numbers is reversed. For numbers 21 and above Arabic the second digit is followed by و and then the first digit.
      • 23 ثلاثة وعشرون
      • 18 ثماني عشر
      • 13 تلاث عشر
    3. To say there is one of something, such as one car, one apple, the number follows the noun and must agree in gender and case (nominative, accusative, genitive).
      • One house بيت واحد
      • One car سيارة واحدة
    4. To talk about two of something you have two options: either use the dual form of the noun or use the dual form with the number two following (for emphasis). If you use the second option the number two should agree with the noun in gender and case.
      • Dual form: رسالتان (two letters)
      • Dual form followed by the number two: رسالتان اثنتان
    5. To talk about 11 and 12 of something both parts of the number should agree with the noun in gender and the noun should be in the indefinite accusative singular form.
      • 11 pictures احدی عشرة صورة
      • 11 boys احد عشر ولدآٓ
      • 12 girls اثنتا عشرة بنتآٓ
      • 12 boys اثنا عشر ولدآٓ
    6. To talk about 13 to 99 of something the first part of the number should be of the opposite gender to the noun being talked about and the second part of the number should have the same gender as the noun. The noun should be in the indefinite accusative singular form.
      • 18 arrows ثمانية عشر سهما
      • 31 cities واحد وثلاثون مدينة
      • 29 regions تسع وعشرون منطقة
      • 14 windows اربعة عشر شباك
      • 51 journalists واحدة وخمسون صحافيون
      • 99 nicknames تسع و تسعون كنية
    7. To write about hundreds or thousands of something use the indefinite genitive singular form of the noun.
    8. The multiples of ten (ie. 20, 40, 90 etc) have two different forms depending on whether the number is being used in the nominative or accusative/genitive.
      • 20 (nominative)عشرون
      • 20 (genitive/accusative) عشرين
     
    Last edited:

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Numbers 3-10 have gender polarity and are in idaafa with a plural noun, yeah - but one and two are normal adjectives with normal agreement, following the noun and showing normal gender agreement, as you say later. The adjectives واحد and اثنان are used to emphasise the singular and the dual if you want to stress the number. In 3-10 the case ending of the number changes like the first term of any idafa.

    12 shows case agreement in the 'two' (اثنا > اثنَيْ) but the ten is invariable for case and is always عشرَ or عشرةَ. With 11 and 13-19, both elements of the number are invariable and always have a fat7a - ثلاثةَ عشرَ etc.

    There are some weird exceptions to the other rules - specific round numbers like 'hundred', 'thousand' and so on take a genitive singular noun, but not e.g. آلاف 'thousands', which takes genitive plural instead.
     

    Ashraf Mahmoud

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Egyptian
    I want to write something regarding round numbers like hundred, thousand, and million.
    -----------
    First, If we say (three books), (three) is a number/ عدد and (books) is (Tamyiiz تمييز).
    That is normal. (The noun which comes after the number is Tamyiiz.
    ثلاثة كتبٍ – عشرون كتاباً – مئة كتابٍ – ألف كتابٍ
    ----------
    But if we say (3,050 books)
    Three thousand fifty books.
    ثلاثة ألافٍ وخمسون كتاباً
    Of course, as per Mathematics ( ثلاثة ألاف وخمسون 3,050 ) is a number.
    But as per Arabic grammar, (ثلاثة) is a number, ( ألاف ) is Tamyiiz, (خمسون) is a number and (كتاباً) is Tamyiiz.
    As per Arabic grammar, there is no difference between A and B:
    A)
    ثلاثة ألافٍ وخمسون كتاباً
    B)
    ثلاثة أقلامٍ وخمسون كتاباً
    Three pens and fifty books
    So, ألاف here is not a number, but Tamyiiz. (That is from the point of view of Arabic grammar) And both (ألاف و أقلام ) are Tamyiiz, and should be plural and Majror.
    ------------------
    23,050 books
    Twenty three thousand fifty books.
    ثلاثة وعشرون ألفاً وخمسون كتاباً
    As per Arabic grammar, (ألفاً ) is not a number but Tamyiiz.
    That is similar to ثلاثة وعشرون قلماً وخمسون كتاباً
    And both ( ألفاً وقلماً) should be singular and Mansoob.
    ------------------
    100,050 books
    مئة ألفٍ وخمسون كتاباً
    As per Arabic grammar (مئة ) is a number, (ألف) is Tamyiiz, (خمسون) is a number and (كتاباً) is Tamyiiz.
    That is similar to مئة قلمٍ وخمسون كتاباً
    And both (ألفٍ وقلمٍ) should be singular and Majror.
    --------------------
    1,000 books
    ألف كتابٍ
    ( ألف ) is a number and ( كتابٍ ) is Tamyiiz.
    --------------------
    But, 3,000 books
    ثلاثة ألافِ كتابٍ
    ثلاثة is a number.
    ألاف is Tamyiiz for the number (ثلاثة).
    And also ألاف is a number her.
    And (كتابٍ) is Tamyiiz for the number (ألاف)
    That is similar to ثلاثة أرطالِ جبنٍ
    Three pounds of cheese.
    --------------------
    23,000 books
    ثلاثة وعشرون ألفَ كتابٍ
    (ثلاثة وعشرون ) is a number.
    (ألف) is Tamyiiz for the number (23)
    and also ألف is a number her.
    (كتابٍ) is Tamyiiz for the number (ألف)
    That is similar to ثلاثة وعشرون رطلَ جبنٍ
    ---------------
    My purpose in writing this post is just to mention that round numbers like hundred, thousand, and million could be numbers in some sentence, could be Tamyiiz in some sentence, and could be numbers plus Tamyiiz in other sentence.

    Conclusion:
    A) For numbers (from three to ten), The Tamyiiz should be plural, Majror and gender polarity. ثلاثة كتبٍ
    B) For numbers (from eleven to ninety nine), The Tamyiiz should be singular and Mansob. أربعة وخمسون كتاباً
    C) For round numbers (مائة – ألف – مليون – مليار) , The Tamyiiz should be singular and Majror. (مائة كتابٍ – ألف كتابٍ – مليون كتابٍ – مليار كتابٍ )
    --------------
    If ( مئة – ألف – مليون – مليار) are Tamyiiz (not numbers) , we should follow A,B and C above.
    The only exception if (مئة / hundred ) is Tamyiiz for another number, (A) will be )A+(

    A+) For number (from three to nine), If (مئة) is Tamyiiz, (مئةٍ ) will be singular and Majror. Like خمس مئةٍ
    Example:
    3,425 books.

    As per (A+)
    ثلاثة ألافٍ وأربع مئةٍ وخمسة وعشرون كتاباً

    As per (A)
    ثلاثة ألافٍ وأربع مئاتٍ وخمسة وعشرون كتاباً

    (A+) is correct and better than (A).
    (A) is just acceptable.
     
    Last edited:

    MaisR

    Member
    English
    Thank you Ashraf Mahmoud! This is good stuff. At first glance my head was spinning when I tried to understand this but it all makes total sense after I sat down and studied it bit by bit. Thank you for your input.
     

    sollihein

    New Member
    Malay - Malaysian
    Wow, all that headache is coming back to me now!
    Just curious, if I am not mistaken, the Arabian nights (literally 1001 Nights) is الف ليلة وليلة. Is this more like a stylistic way of saying it, or is this exactly the way to say it? Or is it instead something like واحدة والف ليلة? Sorry my Arabic is all rusty. Thank you!
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    It's one way to say it. Others may say for example ألف وليلة. As for واحدة وألف ليلة, it's unheard of. In spoken Arabic, some might say ألف وواحد ليلة.
     

    cherine

    Moderator
    Arabic (Egypt).
    No, 3 has the inverse gender of the noun. As سيارة is feminine, 3 has to be used in the masculine form ثلاث.
    Please re-read the previous posts. :)
     

    lena55313

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Can anybody tell me, please, what gender and number would have the pronoun which replaces the idafa, in case when the numeral and the noun have different gender?
    خَمْسَةُ رِجالٍ for هي or for هم ?
    أَوَّلُ مَرَّةٍ for هي or for هو ?
    The last example I can't understant at all. By the rule the ordinal adjective comes after the noun and has the same gender.
     

    barkoosh

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Lebanon
    Pronouns follow the noun:
    هم خمسة رجال
    هنّ خمس نساء

    Similarly:
    هي أوّل مرّة
    It's common today to keep the ordinal number masculine when it's placed (in some constructions) before the noun. For example:
    Saint Petersburg is the second largest city in Russia.
    سانت بطرسبرغ هي ثاني أكبر مدينة في روسيا
     

    lena55313

    Senior Member
    Russian-Russia
    Pronouns follow the noun
    Thank you!
    هي أول مرة has the same structure as هي أجمل امرأة.
    Does this structure apply only in nominal sentences where an idafa is a الخبر or in verbal sentences where it is an object? Can it be a subject in verbal sentences? Can we say أول بنت ذهبت إلى الحديقة?
    And why the أول is masculine? Is it masculine for both genders same as the superlative?
     
    Last edited:

    Ghabi

    AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod
    Cantonese
    awwal is special. It can behave like ajmal/akbar/aSghar etc to form an iDaafa, which means it remains masculine while the following word is singular and without al-. But awwal can also behave like a regular adjective. So you have both: al-marratu-l-2uulaa and awwalu-marratin.

    awwal can also be a normal noun, meaning "the beginning/the first part" etc. As such, it forms a normal iDaafa, so you can say awwala-l-2amri "at the beginning of the matter", i.e. "at first".

    This is confusing.
     
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