May 24, 2024

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Plural Words in the Moroccan Language

There is no strict or definitive rule to make a word plural in Moroccan Arabic; also referred to as Darija. Sometimes plurals are formed in Moroccan Darija by adding the suffix “een” to the end of words that are masculine. At other times the suffix “at” may be added to the end of feminine words to make them plural. However, this is not always the case. Because Darija is a mixture of words from Arabic, Tamazight, French and other languages, this also affects how the plural of certain words are formed. For example, for French words that are used in Moroccan dialect, the plural is formed by adding “les” in front of the word to make it plural. There are also words where their plural form do not follow these rule. Forming plurals in Darija can vary from word to word, therefore there are no exact or clear rules to make words plural in the Moroccan Darija language. You will need to memorize the plural form of each word in order to learn them.

Sometimes you can add the suffix “at” to the end of the word to make it plural in Moroccan Arabic. Here are examples of adding “at” to the end of a word to make the word plural.

automobile – tomobil
automobiles – tomobilat

bus – tobis
buses – tobisat

sister – khet
sisters – khwatat

There are words in Darija whose plural form is formed by adding “een” to the end of the word. Here are some examples of some of those words. But as you will note, for some words the root of the singular form of the word can be different from the root of the plural form of the word.

bint – daughter
binteen – daughters

employee – mudaf
employees – mudafeen

year – ‘am
years – sineen

In the example above, the root of the singular form of the word for “year” is different than the root of the plural form of the word.

The Moroccan Arabic is a mixture of Arabic, Tamazight, French, and other languages. You will find that the plural form of a word sometimes is formed following the conventions of the language from which the word was borrowed. The plural of the French words used in Darija are usually formed following the French convention of adding “les” in front of the words. For example, let’s take a look at the French word for “pilot” which often used in Darija.

pilot – peelote
pilots – les peelote

At other times forming the plural form of a word in the Moroccan language does not follow any strict guidelines. Here are some words whose plural forms do not follow any of these guidelines:

brother – akh
brothers – khut

ticket – warqa
tickets – wraqi

man – rajel
men – rojala

house – dar
houses – dyor

As seen in the example above and throughout this article, there are no definitive rules for forming plurals in Moroccan Arabic. Although there may be patterns at times there are generally no set rules. You will need to memorize the singular and plural forms of Moroccan Arabic words on a word by word basis.