Good is a word that we use plenty of times throughout the day. From good morning, I’m good, good luck, or simply to agree to something.
There are different ways to say good in Arabic, depending on the context. Same as in English, some words are interchangeable (synonyms), while others are not. Learning Arabic would definitely be easier if we could translate every expression literally, but that isn’t the case.
In this article, I’ll teach you how to say good in Arabic, along with some useful expressions for everyday life. Yallah, let’s dive right in!
1. Good (Affirmations)
The most common situation to use the word good is to express that we like or agree to something.
A straightforward translation for good in Arabic is tamam (تمام). An equally common synonym in spoken Arabic is kwayyes (كويّس).
The best thing about tamam is that it can be used for nouns of both genders. That might sound a little confusing to English speakers, but let me explain. Same as in Spanish, French, German (and many other languages), the gender of an adjective has to be matched to the gender of the noun in Arabic. There are exceptions, and tamam is one of them. You can use tamam for both female and masculine nouns. Besides, it’s used and understood in most Arabic dialects.
While tamam is universal, you’ll often hear the word kwayyes (كويّس) in spoken Arabic (Levantine and Egyptian Arabic). Unlike tamam, kwayyes is an adjective that needs to be adjusted according to the gender of the noun. The feminine form is kwayyesa (كويّسة), and the plural is kwayyeseen (كويّسين).
Tamam and kwayyes can both be used in a full sentence or isolated. If you want to say “that’s good” in Arabic, you can perfectly use tamam or kwayyes.
Feeling a little less enthusiastic about something? Then you can use mashi (ماشي) (meaning okay, alright) as an alternative to good in Arabic. Note that mashi is a colloquial word, only used in spoken language.
2. Greetings: Good Morning to Good Evening
Arabic greetings are certainly a lesson for itself. But let me tell you a thing or two about them. Basically, Arabic greetings such as good morning or good afternoon have one given translation. It’s not common to use any synonyms here.
When saying good morning/evening, you’ll use the word kheir (خير) for good, together with the time of the day.
- Good morning = sabah al kheir
- Good evening = masa’a al kheir
Besides, kheir is mostly used to refer to people, not to objects. That being said, you can’t use it as a synonym for tamam or kwayyes.
By the way, the answer to the greeting is slightly different. If you’d like to learn more about this, check out my article on Arabic greetings.
3. I’m Fine
Another common way to use the word good in Arabic is to answer questions like how are you.
When talking about your wellbeing, kheir and mneeh are the most commonly used words in spoken Arabic. I’m good translates to ana mneeh or ana bikheir in Arabic.
As mentioned earlier, most Arabic adjectives need to be adjusted in accordance to the gender of the noun. That’s something that doesn’t exist in English, but in many other languages (Spanish, French, German… and Arabic).
Mneeh is the masculine form of the adjective. The female form is mneeha. Women referring to themselves (I’m good) will say ana mneeha, regardless of the gender of the person they are talking to.
In the context of “I’m fine”, bikheir is a synonym for mneeh. Note that bikheir is grammatically not an adjective and therefore doesn’t have a female form. Ana bikheir literally means “I’m in good shape”.
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