Egyptian Arabic Grammar


Courtesies

This section summarises the expressions that are used daily to greet and say goodbye to people, ask for things and thank people on a day to day basis.

Religion

Religion is very important in Egypt. There are several phrases that you will hear regularly in any conversation.

EgyptianEnglish
ilhamdu lillahiil-Hamdu lillah
ا ِلحـَمد ُ لـِلّـَه
thanks to Allah
'allah yisalaamakaacl-lah yisalaamak
ألّـَه يـِسـَلا َمـَك
may god protect you m
'allah yisalaamikaacl-lah yisalaamik
ألّـَه يـِسـَلا َمـِك
may god protect you f
'inn sha' 'allahiicnn shaaC aacl-lah
إنّ شا َء ألّـَه
god willing
ya rabyaa rab!
يا َ ر َب
Oh god!
rabbinarabbinaa!
ر َبّـِناَ
our god!
greetingilsalaam Aaleekumiil-salaam Aalykum
ا ِلسـَلا َم عـَليكـُم
peace be with you m/f
responseAaleekum ilsalaamAalykum iil-salaam
عـَليكـُم ا ِلسـَلا َم

Addressing somebody

yayaa ياَ is often used before somebody's name or title as a greeting

EgyptianEnglish
ya 'ahmadyaa aacHmad!
يا َ أحمـَد
hey, Ahmad!
ya rayisyaa rayis!
يا َ ر َيـِس
hey, boss!
ya 'usTahyaa uucsTah!
يا َ أ ُسطـَه
driver!
ya 'ustaazyaa uucstaadh!
يا َ أ ُستا َذ
hey mister(teacher)!
to a respectable person
ya 'ustaazayaa uucstaadhao!
يا َ أ ُستا َذ َة
hey madam!
baashabaashaa
با َشاَ
pasha m/f

In addition to the standard pronouns for you, there are some more formal versions:

EgyptianEnglish
informal'intaiicnta
إنتَ
you m
'intiiicnti
إنتِ
you f
'intuiicntoo
إنتوا
you pl
formalhaDritakHaDritak
حـَضر ِتـَك
sir
haDritikHaDritik
حـَضر ِتـِك
madam
siyadtaksiyadtak
سـِيـَدتـَك
sir
siyadtiksiyadtik
سـِيـَدتـِك
madam
'afandimaacfandim
أفـَند ِم
Sir/Madam

Greetings

To welcome somebody, you can use one of these phrases...

EgyptianEnglish
greeting'ahlan wa sahlanaachlaaN wa sahlaaN
أهلاً و َ سـَهلاً
welcome and ease
response'ahlan wa sahlanaachlaaN wa sahlaaN
أهلاً و َ سـَهلاً
welcome and ease
response'ahlan beekaachlaaN byk
أهلاً بيك
welcome to you m
response'ahlan beekiaachlaaN byky
أهلاً بيكي
welcome to you f
greetinghamd illah Aala salamtakHamd illah AalY salaamtak
حـَمد ِلّـَه عـَلى سـَلا َمتـَك
thank god for protecting you m
greetinghamd illah Aala salamtikHamd illah AalY salaamtik
حـَمد ِلّـَه عـَلى سـَلا َمتـِك
thank god for protecting you f

Whenever you meet somebody that you already know, you should shake hands (very gently) and use one of the following greetings.

Before sunset, the following informal greetings are used:

EgyptianEnglish
greetingSabaah ilKeerSabaaH iil-Kyr
صـَبا َح ا ِلخير
a day of wellbeing
responseSabaah ilnoorSabaaH iil-nwr
صـَبا َح ا ِلنور
a day of light
responseSabaah il'ishTaSabaaH iil-qishTao
صـَبا َح ا ِلقـِشطـَة
a day of cream
responseSabaah ilfulSabaaH iil-ful
صـَبا َح ا ِلفـُل
a day of daisies

After sunset, the following informal greetings may be used: I have heard them very rarely, though.

EgyptianEnglish
greetingmisa' ilKeermisaaC iil-Kyr
مـِسا َء ا ِلخير
an evening of wellbeing
responsemisa' ilKeermisaaC iil-Kyr
مـِسا َء ا ِلخير
an evening of wellbeing
responsemisa' ilfulmisaaC iil-ful
مـِسا َء ا ِلفـُل
an evening of daisies

Next, you should ask how they are:

EgyptianEnglish
questionAaamil 'ieeh?Aaamil iicyh?
عا َمـِل إيه؟
what are you m doing?
questionAaamila 'ieeh?Aaamilao iicyh?
عا َمـِلـَة إيه؟
what are you f doing?
question'izayak?iiczayak?
إز َيـَك؟
how are you m
question'izayik?iiczayik?
إز َيـِك؟
how are you f
questionil'aKbaar 'ieeh?iil-aacKbaar iicyh?
ا ِلأخبا َر إيه؟
what's new?
responsekuluh tamaam, ilhamdu lillahkuluh tamaam, iil-Hamdu li-llah!
كـُلـُه تـَما َم، ا ِلحـَمد ُ لـِلّـَه
all ok, thank god
responsemiya miya, ilhamdu lillahmiyao miyao, iil-Hamdu lillah!
مـِيـَة مـِيـَة، ا ِلحـَمد ُ لـِلّـَه
100% thank god
responsekuwayis, ilhamdu lillahkuwayis, iil-Hamdu lillah!
كـُو َيـِس، ا ِلحـَمد ُ لـِلّـَه
I m am good, thank god
responsekuwayisa, ilhamdu lillahkuwayisao, iil-Hamdu li-llah!
كـُو َيـِسـَة، ا ِلحـَمد ُ لـِلّـَه
I fgood, thank god
responsenuS nuSnuS nuS
نـُص نـُص
half and half
responsemish baTTaalmish baTTaal
مـِش بـَطّا َل
not bad
questionwa 'inta?wa iicnta?
و َ إنت َ؟
and you m?
questionwa 'inti?wa iicnti?
و َ إنت ِ؟
and you f?

If you know them well, you should ask how their wives, children, etc...

Introductions

EgyptianEnglish
'ismak 'ieeh?iicsm-ak iicyh?
إسمـَك إيه؟
what is your m name?
'ismik 'ieeh?iicsm-ik iicyh?
إسمـِك إيه؟
what is your f name?
'ismi ...iicsm-y ...
إسمي ٫٫٫
my name is ...
tisharrafnatisharrafnaa
تـِشـَرّ َفناَ
pleased to meet you

Making you comfortable

EgyptianEnglish
'istirayahiicstirayaH!
إستـِر َيـَح
make yourself m comfortable
'istirayahiiicstirayaHy!
إستـِر َيـَحي
make yourself f comfortable
tishrab 'ieeh?tishrab iicyh?
تـِشر َب إيه؟
what will you m drink?
tishrabi 'ieeh?tishraby iicyh?
تـِشر َبي إيه؟
what will you f drink?

Meal time

Egyptians normally have two big meals a day, plus a snack before bedtime.

EnglishTimeTypes of foodEgyptian
breakfast11-12ambread with salads, dips, luncheon meats, omelette with bastirma, tamiyyafiTaarfiTaar
فـِطا َر
breakfast
(Ramadan)
sunsetcooked meat, rice and vegetables, juice, sweet things'ifTaariicfTaar
إفطا َر
lunch5-8pmcooked meat or fish, rice and vegetablesGadaGadaa
غـَداَ
dinnerbefore sleepingyogurt, fruitAashaAashaa
عـَشاَ

Here are some expressions that are often used around meal times

EgyptianWhen to say it
remarkbiilhanna wa ilshiffabi-iil-hannaa wa iil-shiffaa
بـِا ِلهـَنّا َ و َ ا ِلشـِفّاَ
before or after eating
remarksufrah daymansufrah daaymaaN
سـُفر َه دا َيماً
say to host
before leaving table
like "thanks for the meal"
responsebiilhanna wa ilshiffabi-iil-hannaa wa iil-shiffaa
بـِا ِلهـَنّا َ و َ ا ِلشـِفّاَ

Please

EgyptianEnglish
to mAan 'iznakAan iicdhnak
عـَن إذنـَك
excuse me
to get past someone
to fAan 'iznikAan iicdhnik
عـَن إذنـِك
to mlaw samahtlaw samaHt
لـَو سـَمـَحت
please
to flaw samahtilaw samaHty
لـَو سـَمـَحتي
to mmin faDlakmin faDlak
مـِن فـَضلـَك
please
to fmin faDlikmin faDlik
مـِن فـَضلـِك
requestmumkin...mumkin...
مـُمكـِن٫٫٫
Please could you/I.....
responsemumkinmumkin
مـُمكـِن
Yes (it's possible)

Thank you

EgyptianEnglish
remarkshukranshukraaN
شـُكراً
remark'alf shukraaclf shukr
ألف شـُكر
remarkmutshakir aaw'imutshakir aawcy
مـُتشـَكـِر ا َٶي
replyAafwanAafwaaN
عـَفواً
don't mention it
you are welcome
replyilAafwiil-Aafw
ا ِلعـَفو
you are welcome

Goodbyes

EgyptianEnglish
remarkmaAa ilsalaamamaAa iil-salaamao
مـَع َ ا ِلسـَلا َمـَة
with safety
replymaAa ilsalaamamaAa iil-salaamao
مـَع َ ا ِلسـَلا َمـَة
with safety
hashoofak 'imtaa?hashwfak iicmtaa?
هـَشوفـَك إمتا َ؟
When will I see you f?
hashoofik 'imtaa?hashwfik iicmtaa?
هـَشوفـِك إمتا َ؟
When will I see you f?
hashoofak baAdeenhashwfak baAdyn
هـَشوفـَك بـَعدين
See you m later
hashoofik baAdeenhashwfik baAdyn
هـَشوفـِك بـَعدين
See you f later

Achievement

EgyptianEnglish
haZZ saAeedHaZZ saAyd!
حـَظّ سـَعيد
good luck!
remarkmabrookmabrwk!
مـَبروك
congratulations
response'allah yibaarak feekaacl-lah yibaarak fyk
ألّـَه يـِبا َر َك فيك
god bless you m
response'allah yibaarik feekiaacl-lah yibaarik fyky
ألّـَه يـِبا َر ِك فيكي
god bless you f

Occasions

EgyptianEnglish
kul sana wa 'inta Tayibkul sanao wa iicnta Tayib
كـُل سـَنـَة و َ إنت َ طـَيـِب
every year and you are happy
birthdays, new year, feasts
remarkramaDaan kareemramaDaan karym
ر َمـَضا َن كـَريم
during ramadan
response'allah 'akramaacllah aackram
ألّـَه أكر َم
during ramadan

Opinions

EgyptianEnglish
question'ieeh r'ayak?iicyh raac-y-ak?
إيه رأيـَك؟
what do you m think?
question'ieeh r'ayik?iicyh raac-y-ik?
إيه رأيـِك؟
what do you f think?
questiontamaam?tamaam?
تـَما َم؟
OK?
questiontamaam kidah?tamaam kidah?
تـَما َم كـِد َه؟
Ok like this?
response'aeewaaacywaa
أيواَ
yes
responsemaashimaashy
ما َشي
It goes
ok
responsetamaamtamaam
تـَما َم
good
responseTayibTayib
طـَيـِب
fine
responsehaaDirHaaDir
حا َضـِر
right away
responsemayinfaAshma-yinfaA-sh
مـَيـِنفـَعش
it's no use
responsemish mumkinmish mumkin
مـِش مـُمكـِن
not possible
responsela'laaC
لا َء
no
responsela' 'abadanlaaC aacbadaaN
لا َء أبـَداً
never!
response'ahaaacHaa
أحاَ
offensive way of disagreeing
responseAafwaan?AafwaaN?
عـَفواً؟
Pardon?
if you didn't hear
response'ana mish 'akeedaacnaa mish aackyd
أنا َ مـِش أكيد
I m/f am not sure
response'ana mish Aaarifaacnaa mish Aaarif
أنا َ مـِش عا َر ِف
I m don't know
response'ana mish Aaarifaaacnaa mish Aaarifao
أنا َ مـِش عا َر ِفـَة
I f don't know
response'ana mish faahimaacnaa mish faahim
أنا َ مـِش فا َهـِم
I m don't understand
response'ana mish faahimaaacnaa mish faahimao
أنا َ مـِش فا َهـِمـَة
I f don't understand

Hassle

'imshiiicmshy!
إمشي
go away!
KalaaS kidahKalaaS kidah!
خـَلا َص كـِد َه
stop this
haraam AaleekHaraam Aalyk!
حـَرا َم عـَليك
shame on you m!
haraam AaleekiHaraam Aalyky!
حـَرا َم عـَليكي
shame on you f!
Kaleek muhtaramKalyk muHtaram
خـَليك مـُحتـَر َم
be respectful!
if a man gets
over-friendly to a woman
'ihtirim nafsakiicHtirim nafsak
إحتـِر ِم نـَفسـَك

Insults

remarkhumaarHumaar
حـُما َر
donkey
offensive
remark'ibn marahiicbn marah
إبن مـَر َه
your father is a woman
very offensive
remark'ibn sharmooTaiicbn sharmwTao
إبن شـَرموطـَة
son of a whore/bitch
very offensive
response'ifandim???iicfandim???
إفـَند ِم؟؟؟
pardon????

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