Novel Reading Excercise–Tilka al-Ra’iha

Arabic “Except For” Sentences

In Arabic there are multiple ways to express “except for.” While the case markers for the “excepted word” might change if it is nominative, genitive or accusative, these words can be used fairly interchangeably in speech. Here are some of the ways you can express “except for.”

  1. الا
  2. سوى
  3. عدا
  4. ما عدا

Let’s make some examples!

افضل اللغة العربية اكثرمن كلها الاخرى الا اللغة امي

I prefer the Arabic language more than all others except for my mother’s language.

هدم الملك العتبات المقدسة سوى معبد دمسق و التمثال فيه

The king destroyed all the holy shrines except for the temple of Damascus and the statue in it.

“احترقت المكتبة و معظم الكتب فيها عدا طبعة القصة “الكرز المنسي

The library and most of the books in it were burnt except for a copy of the short story “Forgotten Cherries”

اخترق الشبح لالقتل الاحمر منازل في الشارع ما عدا بيت كاهن

The ghost of the Red killer penetrated all the house except for the priest’s house.

“Suddenly” as Exception—- فاذا

There is one “except for” word that can be used adverbially. This is فاذا. Not that this is not a conditional use of the phrase. Lets look at some examples!

خرجت بناية قسم تريخ الفن فاذا سمعت صوت صديقي

I came out of the art history department building when suddenly I heard my friend’s voice.

قفز ترزان من شجرة الى الارض في الغبة فاذا واجه الاسد الذهبي

Tarzan jumped from a tree to the ground in the forest when suddenly he encountered (faced) a golden lion.






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