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The letter ع

Isolated form
ع
Letter name
3ayn = عَيْن
Pronunciation
Please watch the video below!
Connector
Yes

This sound is highly distinctive to Arabic and other Semitic languages. Imagine opening you mouth under water and constricting the throat at the back. Some compare the lovely sound to when you are being lightly choked. This can be a hard sound, so spend some time listening to it before attempting to reproducing it.

And now with the short vowels:

This is a new shape, so pay attention to the tables and video for how to write it.

Final
Connected only to the letter before it.
ـع
مَع
with

Medial
Connected to the letter before and after it.
ـعـ
يَعْمِل
he makes

Initial
Connected only to the letter before it.
عـ
عَلَى
on

Isolated
Written alone or after a non-connecting letter.
ع
-

Exercise 1: Distinguishing between similar sounds

Listen to the sounds and decide if you are hearing the ء sound which an equivalent to English (like the ‘uh’ in uh-oh) or the ع sound which is distinct to Arabic.

Coming soon!

Number
ء
ع
1.
أَلَم
عَلَم
2.
أَقَل
عَقل
3.
تَبَرَّأ
تَبَرَّع
4.
أَمَل
عَمَل
5.
أَرض
عَرض
6.
رَأي
رَعي

Exercise 2: Joining together letters

Please join up these individual letters to form words.

Example: عَ + رُ + و + س = عَرُوس = Bride

  1. ع + م ْ + ر
  2. عَ + سَ + ل
  3. عِ + بَ + ا + رَ + ة
  4. عِ + نِ + ب
  5. طَ + بِ + ي + عَ + ة
  6. رَ + ا + عِ + ي
  7. وَ + ضِ + ع 

Answers

  1. ع + م ْ + ر = عمْر = Age
  2. عَ + سَ + ل = عَسَل = Honey
  3. عِ + بَ + ا + رَ + ة = عِبَارة = Phrase
  4. عِ + ن + ب = عِنِب = Grapes
  5. طَ + بِ + ي + عَ + ة = طَبِيعَة = Nature
  6. رَ + ا + عِ + ي = رَاعِي = Shepherd 
  7. وَ + ض + ع = وَضِع = Situation

Exercise 3: Dictation

Watch to the video, listen to the word, pause, attempt to write the answer, then compare what you wrote with the written answer.

This is the hardest type of exercise here. Don’t agonise if you can’t do this, move quickly on to the answers. There are sometimes several sounds for the same letter like ‘a’ which has َ  and ا and ة. So just give it your best shot! Or it is too much, move on!

Video coming soon…