ة (تَاء مَرْبُوطَة (tāʾ marbūṭa))
- ة (tāʾ marbūṭa) is a variant of the letter ت (tāʾ) used at the end of words. It is formed from the letter ه (hāʾ) with the addition of the two overdots of ت (tāʾ).
- It mostly exists in grammatically feminine words. It always follows a fatḥa ـَ ("a"), and it changes to a normal ت (tāʾ) when a suffix is added, e.g. غُرْفَة (ḡurfa, “a room”) -> غُرْفَتِي (ḡurfatī, “my room”) (غُرْفَة (ḡurfa) (ة -> ت) + ـِي (-ī)).
- When desinential inflection is used in Classical Arabic or in formal Modern Standard Arabic, non-pausal ة is pronounced as /t/ (preceded by usually unwritten fatḥa "a") and has -u/un, -i/-in, -a/an case endings, e.g. لُغَةٌ - "luḡah" (pausal), "luḡatun" formal, non-pausal pronunciation (nominative case, indefinite).
- Adverbials from tāʾ marbūṭa do not add alif (ا) with fatḥatān. Instead, fatḥatān is attached directly to tāʾ marbūṭa and the "hidden t" is pronounced with the ending "-an" e .g. عَادَةً (ʿādatan, “usually”).
- In a more relaxed orthography ة is replaced with ه (hāʾ) with the same pronunciation, especially in Egypt and Sudan.
- Loanwords in other languages (e.g. Persian or Turkish) from words with tāʾ marbūṭa use the endings at, et, ah, a or e.
ـَة • (-a)
- Suffix used to form feminine adjectives from masculine adjectives.
- Suffix used to form feminine nouns from masculine nouns referring to people.
- Suffix used to form singulative nouns (referring to one item) from collective nouns (referring to a collection of items): for instance, بَقَرَة (baqara, “cow”) from بَقَر (baqar, “cattle”) or شَجَرَة (šajara, “tree”) from شَجَر (šajar, “trees”).
- Suffix used to form instance nouns (nomina vicis, referring to a single instance of an action) from verbal nouns: for instance, اِبْتِسَامَة (ibtisāma, “a smile”) from اِبْتِسَام (ibtisām, “smiling”) or اِنْتِفَاضَة (intifāḍa, “an uprising, an intifada”) from اِنْتِفَاض (intifāḍ, “rising up, shaking off”).
- Suffix used to form abstract nouns from nisba adjectives in ـِيّ (-iyy): for instance, اِشْتِرَاكِيَّة (ištirākiyya, “socialism”) from اِشْتِرَاكِيّ (ištirākiyy, “socialist”). Alternatively, the combination of the two suffixes can be viewed as a single suffix ـِيَّة (-iyya).
- Suffix used to form nouns referring to devices from occupational/characteristic nouns and adjectives (e.g. دَبَّابَة (dabbāba, “tank”) from دَبَّاب (dabbāb, “crawling, crawler”)) and from active participles (e.g. طَابِعَة (ṭābiʿa, “printer (computing device)”) from طَابِع (ṭābiʿ, “printer (person)”)).
- Suffix used to form nouns of various sorts from adjectives: for instance, قَرِينَة (qarīna, “connection”) from قَرِين (qarīn, “connected”) or مُعَلَّقَة (muʿallaqa, “poster, placard”) from مُعَلَّق (muʿallaq, “suspended”).