short vowels in arabic

Short vowels in Arabic

Short vowels in Arabic are not indicated in authentic Arabic texts, they are marked only for certain words that may cause confusion. A native speaker does not need the vowels to read and understand the text correctly, because he knows the grammar of the language.

However, Arabic learners at the beginning will find it very difficult to read without vowels. As the knowledge of the language increases, reading becomes easier to the student. Don’t worry, there are only three short vowels in Arabic and it’s pretty easy to learn them.

Today you will learn about short vowels, doubled consonant and absence of vowel. There is a Quiz at the end of this lesson to help you understand the topic.

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

Short vowels in Arabic

Short vowels in arabic, Fatha kasrah damma in arabic


Al fatha (الفَتْحَةُ) is a diagonal line placed above the letter, which represents a vowel identical to a in English.

Arabic short vowels fatha

How to read fathah:

Fatha vowel


Al kasrah (الكَسْرَةُ) is a diagonal line placed below the letter and it’s a vowel identical to i in English.

Short vowels kasrah

How to read kasrah:

Kasrah vowel in arabic


Ad dammah (الضّمَّةُ) a small curl placed above a letter, looks like comma. It’s a vowel identical to u in English.

How to read dammah:

Dammah vowel in arabic

Absence of vowel – sukoon

As-sukoon is a small circle above the letter that marks absence of a vowel.

Sukoon in arabic
Sukoon sign in arabic

Doubled consonant- shaddah

Ash-shaddah is a sign of emphasis placed above the letter (looks like small w) it means that the consonant is doubled.

Shaddah Arabic sign
Shaddah in arabic

It’s important to remember that when you write kasrah and shaddah together kasrah is placed below the shaddah but above the letter. When kasrah stands alone it is placed below the letter:

Shaddah in arabic

Short vowels in Arabic Quiz

Quizzes are a great tool to practice your vocabulary. All the Arabic vocabulary lists on our website contain quizzes at the end of each lesson, to help you remember newly learned words. To check more Arabic Quizzes go to -> Selfarabic – Arabic Vocabulary Quizzes

Short vowels in Arabic

Let’s get started!

If you want to practice reading Arabic words or just want to learn some new Arabic vocabulary check our Arabic Vocabulary Lists.

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