Nouns are terms that have grammatical gender & number, with the possibility of being definite or indefinite.



In Arabic, there are four types of grammatical agreement: gender, number, person & definiteness. In Palestinian Arabic, gender & number are functionally a single combined category, as nouns are either masculine, feminine, or plural, with the latter always being gender-neutral & not necessarily a reflection of the semantic numerousness of the noun.

Indeed, the syntactic categorization of a noun cannot be determined on the basis of its semantic gender & number alone — animacy plays a part as well — & in some cases multiple categorizations are possible, depending on context & intent. Additionally, certain grammatical structures instantiate specific types of agreement; the semantic characteristics of Arabic nouns are often disaggregated from their actual syntactic features.

Nouns that are treated as animate — primarily humans — tend to reflect the ideal categorization of nouns, with plural animate nouns generally being grammatically plural. Still, certain nouns that refer to masses of animate nouns — like ناس (nās "people") — may be treated as grammatically feminine as well. Either form of agreement is correct, but feminine agreement treats the noun as a single undifferentiated mass, as opposed to the individuation indicated by plural agreement.

As for non-animate nouns, they are never individuated by default, so a multiplicity of a certain noun is generally treated as a single undifferentiated mass; these masses, as well, are always feminine (or mass gender, if you will). Notice that mass nounsanimate or not — are always feminine by default, but animate ones always have the ability of being plural as well.

In fact, non-animate nouns may be grammatically plural as well in certain circumstances: unsurprisingly, when they are not treated as masses, but as individuated instances of the noun. While there is no precise cutoff, counted quantities up to ten are usually grammatically plural, although mass agreement is still technically available; amounts greater than this — & all uncounted quantities — are grammatically mass. The only exception to this is dual nouns, which are always by definition counted & therefore plural.


3. Third is the behavior of collective nouns (e.g. شجر "trees"), which are not formally plural but are semantically analogous to plural nouns. Rather than having formally singular & plural forms, collective nouns have collective & singulative forms that are syntactically masculine & feminine, respectively.

Additionally, nouns are either definite or indefinite.

Mass Nouns

Some animate nouns that refer to human groups — like ناس (nās "people") — may be treated as masses as well; they may be treated either as grammatically plural or feminine (i.e. mass). Demonym Nouns are likewise animate mass nouns, so they may be either plural or feminine.

Collective Nouns


As is the case for many other languages, Palestinian Arabic has lost case marking over time. However, it maintains some case distinctions in its personal pronouns (see Pronouns).


Alongside content nouns, the Nouns category includes various types of pronouns. Although pronouns generally have a definite antecedent, there is one indefinite pronoun available, in addition to interrogative pronouns that by definition have an unknown antecedent.

Note that demonstrative determiners may be used without a dependent (i.e. as pronouns); however, they are not repeated here (see Determiners).

Personal Pronouns

Personal Pronouns refer a particular grammatical person. Not only are they the only terms in the language inflected for case, but their case greatly affects their form: the nominative set are full words, while the genitive & accusative set are clitics. Note that there is one merged genitive-accusative case for all grammatical persons, with only the first-person singular retaining a three-way distinction by retaining distinct genitive & accusative pronouns.

Reflexivity in Arabic is usually expressed through its verbal system. However, it may be expressed analytically via reflexive pronouns in cases where reflexive verbal forms don't exist; حالـ (ħāl-) is properly reflexive, while بعض (baʕḍ) is reciprocal.


coming soon
(reflexive pronoun) -self, -selves
(reciprocal pronoun) each other

Other Pronouns


who, whom


also, additionally

In the case of the relative pronoun, its referent may be indexed by an antecedent or, in its absence, by the subordinate clause itself. Unlike in Standard Arabic, there is a single relative pronoun that is not subject to gender & number agreement. However, it does agree with its referent in definiteness; when the referent is indefinite, the form of اللي is null.


(relative pronoun) that, which, where, who