Damma in Arabic

Arabic is a rich language. One of the reasons for its richness is its diacritical marks and diacritical marks mean any mark or sign we add above letter. In Arabic, we have many diacritical marks such as Fattah   ( -َ ) Damma ( -ُ ), or Kasrah ( -ِ ). Today, we will talk about Damma ( -ُ ). Damma is one of the main three vowels. It is very important to know how to pronounce Damma ( -ُ ). 

What is Damma in Arabic vowels?

Damma is a diacritic mark used in the Arabic language. It’s a small sign that looks like an apostrophe. Damma is written above letter. Damma represents a short vowel (u). It looks like a small و waaw. For example, look at the following table: 

تِجارَةُ بِحارُ بَشَرُ
شَجُرَ الكُفَّارُ نُهِبَ

Why Damma is important?

Damma plays an important role in the Arabic language because it can change the meaning and pronunciation of the word. For example, the word كَتَبَ kataba means (he wrote) but if I add Damma instead of Fattah will be كُتِبَ kutiba. So, the meaning of the word will be changed to be (was written).

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How to pronounce Damma?

Damma is a short vowel. It is pronounced as a short vowel (u). It is like the (u) sound in the English word “food”. The following table will help you to pronounce the letter with Damma:

bu بُ
nu نُ
shu شُ
ku كُ
su سُ

How do you write Damma in Arabic letters?

Damma is a small و waaw . Unlike Kasrah, we add Damma above the letter. So, the word رَبنَا  , if I want to add Damma above ب will be as following, رَبُنَا rabuna. 

If you want to write it in the keyboard, ensure that your keyboard input is set to Arabic. Then, write the letter you add Damma above it. Then, press shift +E. 

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Examples of Damma in words and sentence

To make it clear, let’s read some examples for words and sentences.

Words examples:

Word  Meaning   Pronunciation guide 
جُمِعَ was collected  jumeaa
شُرِبَ was drunk shuriba
هُوَ he huwa
رُفِعَ was lifted rufia
بَشَرُ human basharu
ذَكَرُ man dhakkar

Sentence examples:

Sentence   Meaning   Pronunciation guide 
دَخَلَ الْمُدَرِسُ الْفَصْلَ The teacher entered the class. dakhala l-mudarrisu al fasla
خَرَجَ الْوَلَدُ The boy went out. karga al- waladu
نَامَتْ الْبِنْتُ The girl slept. namat al bentu

What does double Damma mean?

In the Arabic language, double Damma means Tanween. Tanween is a 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. We have three types of Tanween, Tanween al-fathah, Tanween Addhamma, and Tanween Al-kasrah.

Tanween Damma (تنوين ضمة) is marked with two Damma at the end of the word. It’s pronounced as “un”. For example, ولدٌ waldun. You can see Tanween Damma as two Damma with each other or 

Words with Tanween Damma Meaning   Pronunciation guide 
كِتَابٌ  book ketabun
جُمُعَةٌ  Friday  jumahtun
جَمِيلَةٌ beautiful  jamilatun

Test yourself.

  1. Here are some of the words with Damma. Underline each letter has Damma.
Word without Damma Word with Damma
  1. Write Damma above the first letter in every word. 
Word Letter that has Damma
  1. Add Tanween Dammah at the following words:
Word Letter that Tanween Damma

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So, whether your goal is to delve into classical Arabic texts, hold conversations with native speakers, or simply deepen your appreciation for this rich language, Kalimah Center’s online Arabic courses are your pathway to success. Join us today, and let us empower you on your journey to becoming a confident Arabic language enthusiast. Discover the beauty of Arabic script, including the Damma, with Kalimah Center by your side!

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