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    In literary pronunciation IPA(key): [æl], [al], [ɐl]
  • In common speech: IPA(key): [el], [ɪl]


اَل (al-)

  1. the

Usage notesEdit

The /l/ of this prefix assimilates to and geminates the first letter of the following word when it begins with one of the sun letters: ت(t), ث(), د(d), ذ(), ر(r), ز(z), س(s), ش(š), ص(), ض(), ط(), ظ(), ل(l), ن(n), and dialectally ج(j) when pronounced /ʒ/. This is strictly a pronunciation change; the spelling with ل(l) is unchanged, except that in fully vocalized texts a shadda may be written over the sun letter to reflect gemination.


  • Egyptian Arabic: ال(el)
  • Gulf Arabic: ال(il)
  • Maltese: il

See alsoEdit

Egyptian ArabicEdit


الـ (el-)

  1. the

Gulf ArabicEdit


Etymology 1Edit

From Arabic اَلْ(al-).


اِلـ (il-)

  1. the definite article; the

Etymology 2Edit

Contraction of الي(illi, the relative clause), itself a contraction of Arabic اَلَّذِي‎ m (allaḏī) and اَلَّتِي‎ f (allatī)


اِلـ (il-)

  1. (dialectal) the relative clause; that, who, which, etc
    Synonym: الي(illi)

Etymology 3Edit

Could be directly from Arabic إِلَىٰ(ʾilā).


اِلـ (il-)

  1. (dialectal) to (destination)
    Synonyms: لي() (dialectal), ل(li) (dialectal)
Alternative formsEdit



ال (alm

  1. wet

North Levantine ArabicEdit


الـ (l-, il-, li-, ili-)

  1. the

Usage notesEdit

  • Strictly speaking, the article consists solely of the consonant /l/, which is assimilated to the same onsets as in classical Arabic (see above).
  • The linking vowel /i/ is added as necessary according to the phonological rules, be it before the article, after it, or both:
النص المكتوب‎ ― n-naṣṣ il-maktūbthe written text
الكتاب المقدس‎ ― li-ktāb li-mʾaddasthe Holy Book, i.e. the Bible
النص المقدس‎ ― n-naṣṣ ili-mʾaddasthe holy text
  • Assimilation is hindered when the linking vowel comes between the article and an onset consonant that would normally trigger assimilation:
الولاد الصغار‎ ― li-wlād li-ṣḡārthe small children

Ottoman TurkishEdit


ال (el)

  1. hand