Diacritics

 

 Fatḥah 

The fatḥah فَتْحَة is a small diagonal line placed above a letter, and represents a short /a/. The word fatḥa itself (فَتْحَة) means opening, and refers to the opening of the mouth when producing an /a/.

Example  دَ

da

 

Harakat (dhamma, kasra, fatha)

 

Kasrah

A similar diagonal line below a letter is called a kasrah كَسْرَة and designates a short /i/.

Example: دِ 

di

 

Dammah

The ḍammah ⟨ضَمَّة⟩ is a small curl-like diacritic placed above a letter to represent a short /u/.

Example: دُ 

du

 


سُكُون

sukūn

indicates that the consonant to which it is attached is not followed by a vowel; Example: دَدْ dad.

shaddah

شَدَّة

indicate gemination (consonant doubling or extra length); written above the consonant which is to be doubled.

madrasah مَدْرَسَة ("school") vs. mudarrisah مُدَرِّسَة ("teacher", female).

Notice that kasra is often written below the shadda rather than below the letter itself 

tanwīn - double diacritic

تَنْوِين


ـٌ  ـٍ  ـً

= indefinite, or proper names

-un, -in, -an.


 

 

-un: indefinite - nominative case;

-an: indefinite - accusative case, also serves as an adverbial marker;

-in: indefinite - genitive case.

 

 

Nom tanwin Damma

Acc tanwin fatha

Gen tanwin kasra

 

 

 

 

 

كتابُ

كتابَ

كتابِ

 

 

 

 

Tanwin (indefinite)

كتابٌ

كتابً

كتابٍ

 

 

 

 

 

miftāḥ, key

 

with diacritics

 any noun (or adjective) which is neither defined by al- nor by annexation (iDafa, genitival construction), should get a tanwin, unless it's a diptote. (for more on diptotes)

And the type of tanwin depends on the case of the word, tanwin Damma for the nominative, tanwin kasra for the genitive and tanwin fatHa for the accusative (of course the aforementioned general rule has to apply for the word to take the tanwin).


The adjective following an idefinite noun should also be indefinite and would carry also a tanwin (unless a diptote).


Some examples:

the house: al-baytv (where the v is the short vowel of the case)

a house: baytvn (where the v is the short vowel of the case)

baytun, baytan, baytin


A big house: baytun kabiirun

The house is big: al-baytu kabiirun (kabiirun here is the predicate, so it's normal that the predicate be indefinite)

The boy's house is big: baytu 'l-waladi kabiirun (same as above)

I saw a house: ra2aytu baytan

from a house: min baytin



P.S. Sometimes written Arabic omits writing the diacritics, that's why you might not find the tanwins written.

 

مِفْتَاح

 

without diacritics

 

مفتاح