Prepositions / حُرُوف الجَرّ

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In Arabic, the noun governed by a preposition will always come after it and be in genitive form. The actual prepositions in Arabic حُروف الجَرّ are particles that are not subject to noun cases.

List of prepositions /قائِمة حُروف الجرّ 

Prepositions (الضَمائِر)
Particles to express the exception (see the dedicated page on that)بِـ
(for the teacher)
as / like
(like the teacher)
up to/until/tillحَتّى
since/fromمُذْ \ مُنْذُ
wāw to swear in the name ofوَ + اِسْم 🢠 واو القَسَم
tāʾ to swear in the name ofتَـ + اِسْم 🢠 تاء القَسَم
Particles to express the exception (see dedicated page on that)عَدا / خَلا / حاشا

Note: prepositions consisting of only one letter are attached to the words following them.

Prepositions: contexts of use

Particle بِـ

  • With/by (instrument):
He came by carجاءَ بِسَيّارةٍ
He is boxing with his glovesيُلاكِمُ بِقُفازاتِهِ

  • At, in, during (temporal or spatial continuity):
At the universityبِالجامعةِ
During the eveningبِالمَساءِ

  • To take an oath:
By God!بِاللّهِ
On my honor!بِشَرَفِي

  • Preceded by إِذا (= and suddenly): 
إِذا بِهِ…
and suddenly he…

  • In combination with other words:
    • 🢡 Prepositional groups: بِدونِ / بِغَيْرِ / بِلا = without
    • 🢡 Interrogatives: بِمَ؟ = with what ?
    • 🢡 Adverbs: بِسُرْعة = quickly (with speed) / بِالضَبْط = exactly

 Particle لِـ

  • For, to, because (purpose and cause):
I studied for the examدَرَسْتُ لِلاِمْتِحان
That’s becauseلِذَلِكَ…

  • Express possession:
لَهُم كِتابٌ
They have a book (litt. => to them a book)

Note: Takes the fatḥa instead of the kasra when used with a pronoun (except for the 1st person singular pronoun ي )   

لَهُ (for him)

Note 2: Before a noun is preceded by the definite article (ال – أَداة التَعْرِيف), the ا of the article disappears:

  لِلْمُعَلِّمِ = for the teacher

  • Express possibility/permission, with أَنْ:
لَكُم أَنْ تَأْخُذوا ذَلِكَ
You can take that / You have the right to take that

  • Express dependency or relationship (when annexation is difficult):
مُنَظَّمةُ الأُمَمِ المُتَّحِدةِ لِلطُفُولةِ
The United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF)

  • In combination with other words:
    • 🢡 Prepositional group: لِأَجْلِ = in order to
    • 🢡 Interrogatives: لِماذا؟ = why?
    • 🢡 Conjunction: لأَنَّ = because

Particle كَـ

  • Like, as:
He is speaking to us as a politicianيُخاطِبُنا كَرَجُلٍ سِياسيٍّ
The girl is beautiful like the full moonالفتاة جميلةٌ كَالبَدْرِ
  • In combination with other words:
    • 🢡 Relative clause: كَمَن/ كَالذي = like the one…
    • 🢡 Adverbial expression: كَذَلِكَ = also / as well / likewise
    • 🢡 Conjunctionكَأَنّ = as if / كَما = like (followed by a relative clause)

Note: Particle كـ can’t be followed by a pronoun (as opposed to مِثْل which can be followed by one)

Particle عَنْ

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