Arabic Comparison/ Superlative 





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Arabic comparison, superlative, Arabic inferiority, equality and superiority

 Comparison in Arabic:

To form comparison or express equality in Arabic we add the word “methla مثل or the prefix “ka ك  "to the thing or person compared with, for example:

He is as tall as Ali = howa taweel methla Aliهو طويل مثل علي    or howa taweel kaAliهو طويل كعلي

That horse is as fast as an arrow = hisaani saree’ methla arromh حصاني سريع مثل الرمح   or hisaani saree’ karromhحصاني سريع كالرمح

 Superiority in Arabic:

To express Superiority Arabic uses the word “akthar + (adjective turned into noun+an)+…. men اكثر ...من

A is more beautiful than B = A akthar jamalan men B أ اكثر جمالا من ب  

Grammatically it’s: subject+ akthar + (noun of adjective+an) + men + object.  He is more diligent than Ahmad è howa akthar ejteehadan men Ahmad.

Remember that Arabic starts from right to left when you write it with Arabic alphabet.

Everest is higher than Kilimanjaro = Everest akthar ‘olowwan men Kelimanjaro افرست أكثر علوا من كليمانجارو  or إفرست أعلى من كليمانجارو

Fatima is younger than Sofia = Fatima asghar men Sofia فاطمة أصغر من صوفيا *

* Like in English, Arabic can take more than one form to form the superiority, in English we can say: the Pacific is deeper than the Mediterranean or we can simply say the pacific is more deep than the Mediterranean (even though the last example is less used and less grammatical), same thing in Arabic, to form superiority there are two ways, either by using “more …than è akthar …~an  men اكثر .. ا...منor by modeling the adjective to it’s superiority form, for example

more cute than… = akthar jamaalan men … أكثر جمالا من

cuter than … = ajmal men أجمل من

If you’re a beginner you may want to stick with the first method, because the second one has some irregularities and depends on the adjective and also because sometimes it’s not possible to form the superlative that way, same thing in English where you cannot say:…beautifler than … instead we say : it’s more beautiful than …

This is how to form the superiority using the second method which we just discussed:

If the superiority is used on an adjective (which is the case most of the time) then you need to follow these steps: first extract the three consonant from the adjective, (beautiful = jameel è jml, then spread the consonant respectively to this model given here è a??a? by replacing each question mark with a consonant, you would have then : a superiority adjective è ajmal). You can do that with most adjectives.

Near = qareeb è qrb è Nearer = aqrab

Big = kabeer è kbr è Bigger = akbar

Beautiful = jameel è jml è more beautiful = ajmal

But note that like in English some superlative change totally from the original adjective

Good = jayyed è  better = ahsan è the best = al ahsan (you will learn about superlative next!)

Inferiority in Arabic:

To express inferiority you just need to follow the rules of how to form superiority, but instead of the “akthar …~an  men” form, use “aqal…~an  men”

Easy! Literarily meaning: … less … than , instead of …more than …

The stars are less shiny than the moon = annojoum aqal diaya’an men al qamar = النجوم أقل ضياءا من القمر

 Superlative in Arabic:

To form Arabic superlative, once more you just need to make some modifications to the superiority form you learned before. Add “al” and omit “men” to the superiority form, because “men” is used to compare two things, which is not the case in superlative.

Fatima is younger than Sofia è Fatima asghar men Sofia فاطمة أصغر من صوفيا  , Fatima is the youngest = Fatima hia al asghar فاطمة هي الاصغر

His house is the most beautiful è baituhu howa al akthar jamaalan.

Note that since the superiority adjective starts always with an “a”, placing “al” before it to form superlative will give you most of the time the form “al a” for the superlative before the adjective used. Examples: the youngest: al asghar, the biggest: al akbar, the tallest: al atwal, the best: al ahsan, the dummest: al aghbaa.

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