Arabic sun and moon letters

Arabic sun and moon letters

There are 28 letters in Arabic. Letters of the Arabic alphabet are divided into two group: sun and moon letters. Both groups consist equally of 14 letters.

Today you are going to learn Arabic sun and moon letters rule with examples and quiz.

If you don’t know the Arabic alphabet yet check our post Arabic alphabet – All you need to know to write in Arabic

What are the Arabic sun and moon letters?

Even if you have just started learning the language, you have probably noticed yourself that when a word occurs with a definitive article ال [al] sometimes the L in Al is omitted when pronouncing the word. This is due to the division of Arabic letters into sun and moon letters.

The rule is simple: when the Arabic definite article ال is followed by a sun letter, the letter L is assimilated to the initial consonant of the word, which results in a doubled consonant. So the sun in Arabic الشمس is pronounced ash-shams, not al-shams.

The name of this rule refers to the fact that الشمس (the sun) begins with the sun letter ش [sheen] so it is pronunced ash-shams, and the word القمر begins with the moon letter ق [qaaf], so it is pronunced al-qamar. The name helps to remember the meaning behind this rule.

Arabic sun and moon letters

It is worth adding, that you do not have to memorize which letters belong to which group. The letters have been divided this way according to the points of articulation for the Arabic letters, to make it easier to pronounce. So it will come naturally after a while of studying Arabic.

Important! Although the pronunciation is different for sun and moon letters, the writing stays the same.

If you are a beginner see also: Numbers in Arabic 1 to 10, Basic Arabic Adjectives, Short vowels in Arabic, Prepositions in Arabic.

Sun letters in Arabic

تثدذرزسشصضظطلن
taa’thaa’daaldhaalraa’zaaysiinshiinSaadDaadDhaa’Taa’laamnuun
tthddhrzsaSDDhTln

Moon letters in Arabic

ءبجحخعغفقكمهوي
hamzabaa’jiimHaa’Khaa’3aynghaynfaa’qaafkaafmiimhaa’waawyaa’
bjHkh3ghfqkmhwy

Arabic sun and moon letters examples

Below you will find the examples of pronunciation of different Arabic words with the definite article. The best way to remember how to pronounce sun and moon letters is to practice reading in Arabic.

Sun letters in Arabic examples:

  1. نَهْر [nahr] river -> النهر an-nahr – the river
  2. رَسْم [rasm] painting -> الرسم ar-rasm – the painting
  3. شارِع [shaari3] street -> الشارع ash-shaari3 – the street
  4. طَريق [Tariiq] road -> الطريق aT-Tariiq – the road
  5. سوق [suuq] market -> السوق as-suuq – the market
  6. صالون [Saaloon] salon -> الصالون aS-Saaloon – the salon

*You can learn all the vocabulary mentioned above here: Places in Arabic, Hobbies in Arabic, Transportation in Arabic, Rooms in Arabic,

Moon letters in Arabic examples

  1. جَبَل [jabal] mountain -> الجبل al-jabal – the mountain
  2. مَدينَة [madiina] city -> المدينة al-madiina – the city
  3. بَحْر [baHr] sea -> البحر al-baHr – the sea
  4. حَدِيقَة [Hadiiqa] park/garden -> الحديقة al-Hadiiqa – the garden/park
  5. قِطار [qiTaar] train -> القطار al-qiTaar – the train
  6. غَوْص [ghawS] diving -> الغوص al-ghaws – the diving
  7. خاتَم [khaatam] ring -> الخاتم al-khaatam – the ring
  8. فُسْتان [fustaan] dress -> الفستان al-fustan – the dress

*You can learn all the vocabulary mentioned above here: Places in Arabic, Sports in Arabic, Clothes & accessories in Arabic.

Arabic sun and moon letters quiz

Arabic sun and moon letters Quiz

Check if you know how to pronounce Arabic nouns with definite article correctly. 

10 questions!

Let’s get started!

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