Numerals are adjectives that can head a counting clause & are not necessarily subject to grammatical agreement.

As a grammatical category, Numerals is not merely a semantic grouping of number terms, but is more generally a grouping of terms indicating quantity or degree that have similar syntactic behaviors.

At first glance, semantic numbers can function syntactically like adjectives; in that sense, it could be said that they belong to the Adjective grammatical category.

the young students

However, as a grammatical category, Numerals are defined by their ability to instantiate the so-called counting structure (هيكل العدّ). Although all these terms are classified only as Numerals for simplicity, it should be kept in mind that they are always viably Adjectives as well.

Although this structure is referred to as defining of Numerals, elative adjectives — like semantic numerals — may be used both as attributive adjectives & as the head term of the counting structure as well. Since they share all the features of semantic numerals, elative adjectives are likewise classified as Numerals — keeping in mind that all Numerals are always viably Adjectives as well.

In one sense, elative adjectives are a type of ordinal number; while the canonical ordinal numbers refer to an endpoint in a numerical sequence (e.g. "the fifth"), elative adjectives have their endpoint in a qualitative maximum (e.g. "the smartest").

Although the number of non-compound numbers is finite, the grammatical category of Numerals is considered an open category insofar as it contains the elative forms of all Adjectives.


Cardinal Numbers may be grouped in the following sets:

  • 110
  • 1119
  • multiples of 10 (i.e. 20, 30 ... 90)
  • صفر ("zero"), ميّة ("hundred"), ألف ("thousand") & مليون ("million")

Alongside all terms ending in ة (-e), the sets of 3-10 & 11-19 are the only terms in Palestinian Arabic with construct forms. Meanwhile, واحد (wāħad) & ثنين (tnēn) are the only two numbers with gendered forms rather than construct forms.

All other cardinal numbers are built from these sets & are thus not indexed independently.

Ordinal Numbers are limited only to the first ten positions, with an additional term for the final position; there is no productive way to form higher ordinals.


Although the elative forms of all Adjectives fall within this category, they are not individually recorded as distinct lemmas unless they are not related to any positive form — with the exception of the analytic elativizer أكتر (ʔaktar).

إشي بتحبّ تسوّيه
something you like to do
the thing you like to do the most


(elative form of كثير) more
better, more preferable
coming soon
coming soon