Damascus Gate Arabic

Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Tel: 647-914-7085

In Palestinian Arabic, hada means “this” for masculine things, and hadi means “this” for feminine things.

 

How do you know if something is masculine or feminine?

 

Usually everything is assumed to be masculine unless the word ends with an “a” or an “e” in which case it is most likely feminine.

 

Examples are:

- madrase (school)

- jarīde (newspaper)

- sayyāra (car).

 

Additionally, words that don’t end with an “a” or an “e” that obviously refer to a feminine thing, are feminine as well, such as:

 

bint (girl/daughter)

umm (mother)

 

Ok so lets get started.

 

hada bēt = this is a house

 

In arabic there is no verb “is”. Just put hada in front of any masculine noun and it means “this is a so and so”.

 

hada walad = this is a boy

hada jār = this is a neighbor

hada rādyo = this is a radio

hada baskalet = this is a bicyle

hada kursi = this is a chair

hada kitāb = this is a book

hada kwayyes = this is good

 

etc.

 

Now for feminine things:

 

hadi madīne = this is a city

hadi jarīde = this is a newspaper

hadi ṭāwle = this is a table

hadi umm = this is a mother

hadi bint = this is a girl

hadi sayyāra = this is a car

 

Just so you know, some people instead of saying hadi, say hay. It means exactly the same thing (“this” for feminine things). Here is the same list as you just saw using hay instead of hadi.

 

hay madīne = this is a city

hay jarīde = this is a newspaper

hay ṭāwle = this is a table

hay umm = this is a mother

hay bint = this is a girl

hay sayyāra = this is a car

 

Now. If you want to say “this house” instead of “this is a house” we have to just add the definite article onto the noun.

 

Here is an example of the two side by side:

hada bēt = this is a house

hada il-bēt = this house

 

Here is an example using a feminine noun:

 

hadi madīne = this is a city

hadi il-madīne = this city

 

The last thing you need to know is a really common shortcut using in spoken Arabic. Instead of saying hada il- and hadi il- (or hay il- as mentioned earlier), people shorten both to hal-.

Here are some examples so you know what I mean:

 

hada il-bēt = this house

hal-bēt = this house

[both of the above have the same meaning. The second is just a common shortcut]

 

hadi il-madīne = this city

hal-madīne = this city

 

hadi il-jarīde = this newspaper

hal-jarīde = this newspaper

 

Last thing to note is that hal- is a shortform for hada il- or hadi il- and has no connection to ḥāl (meaning state/status/mood) as in the phrase “kīf il-ḥāl”.

Hada vs. Hada il-