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Definite Article

By default nouns (excluding proper nouns like names of people and countries) in Sudanese Arabic are indefinite. One way to create a definite noun is to add a possessive pronoun to it. Another way is through use of the definite article "ال" (al-).


The definite article is always added to the beginning of the word and can change the pronunciation based on if the word is a sun or moon letter. For example, "a dog" "كَلِب" (kalib) becomes "the dog" "الكَلِب" (al-kalib) when preceded by the definite article. Adjectives that follow definite nouns must also include the definite article if they are meant to modify a noun. To say "the hungry dog" you would say "الكَلِب الجِعان" (al-kalib al-ji3aan) whereas saying "الكَلِب جِعان" (al-kalib ji3aan) means "the dog is hungry".

Note that some words must always be preceded by the definite article. Generally these words describe abstract concepts such as "الحُب" (al-Hubb) which means "love" (as a noun).

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