In this lesson, we will be looking at what is tanween in Arabic, examples, types, rules and many more.
What Is Tanween In Arabic?
Tanween is written in Arabic as تَنْوِينٌ. It is called nunation and stands for an extra نْ at the end of a noun, which you pronounce but do not write. It practically means that you add a pronounced “n”-ending to an indefinite noun if you mark it with case endings. Tanween indicates a specific grammatical function in the word.
There are three important rules to remember regarding tanween.
Tanween is only placed on the last letter in a word. You will never find the Tanween in the middle or beginning of the word.
Tanween is a combination of the respective short vowel and the letter noon with sukoon (noon sakin) i.e.
- ـَ + نْ = ـً
- اَ + نْ = اً
- ـُ + نْ = ـٌ
- اُ + نْ = اٌ
- ـِ + نْ = ـٍ
- اِ + نْ = اٍ
However, we can’t replace a tanween with noon sakin, because tanween has some grammatical purposes to serve.
Tanween with fatha is always written with an extra alif ا, i.e.
However, there are two exceptions to this rule of extra alif with tanween fatha.
If the last letter of the word is ta marboota ة, then extra alif would not be written, e.g.
If the word ends in the letter hamza (ء) and the second last letter is alif (ا), then extra alif would not be written, e.g.
Types Of Tanween
There are three types of Tanween:
Tanween fath (تنوين فتح) is marked with two fat-has and an additional alif ا at the end of the word. It’s pronounced as “an”. Examples:
Tanween Fatha Examples
- The businessman opened a new shop فَتَحَ التَّاجِر دُكَانًا جَدِيْدًا
- I found a key in the street وَجَدْتُ مُفْتَاحًا فِي الشَّارِع
- I saw a girl in the garden رَأَيْتُ بِنْتًا فِي الحَدِيْقَة
- My father bought a new car اِشْتَرَى أَبِي سَيَّارَةً جَدِيْدَةً
Tanween al-fatHah at the end of the indefinite noun means that this noun is in the accusative case.
Since they represent the receiver of the action, each noun in these examples is مَفْعُول. Note that there are other positions in which the noun is مَنْصُوب.
In example 3, جَدِيْدةً is an adjective, and it follow the preceding noun in gender and tanween (i.e. case).
Tanween dhamm (تنوين ضمة) is marked with two dhammas at the end of the word. It’s pronounced as “un”. Examples
Tanween Dhamma Examples
- This is a bag هذه حقيبةٌ
- A boy went came out of the room خَرَجَ ولدٌ مِنَ الغُرْفَةِ
- The boy is small الولد صغيرٌ
Tanween al-DHammah at the end of the indefinite noun means that the noun is in the nominative case.
Tanween Al-kasrah is marked with two kasras written under the last letter of the word. It’s pronounced as “in”. Examples
Tanween Kasra Examples
- The traveler slept under a tree نَامَ المُسَافِر تَحْتَ شَجِرَةٍ
- I wrote with a new pen كَتَبْتُ بَـقَلَمٍ جَدِيْدٍ
- The child eats with a spoon يَأكُلُ الطِّفْل بِـمِلْعَقَةٍ
Tanween al-kasrah at the end of the indefinite noun means that this noun is in the genitive case. Since preceded by a preposition, every noun in these examples is مَجْرُور.
Tanween is always added to the end of the indefinite noun. The position of this noun in the sentence determines the type of tanween to add.
If the indefinite noun is a subject, a topic, or a predicate, it gets taween damma. If the indefinite noun is an object, it gets tanween fatha. And if it is after a preposition, it gets tanween kasrah.
Here is the list of tanween letters in Arabic:
Overall, tanween is a crucial aspect of Arabic grammar and pronunciation that plays a key role in the formation and interpretation of words in the language. Its proper understanding and use are essential for effective communication and comprehension in Arabic.