Say everything in Arabic

The Arabic word kull is very useful. With that word, we can say everything, all day, every day.

ﻛُﻞّ
kull
all, every, whole

Write the word كلّ

The Arabic word kull in Arabic is written with the letter k (ك) followed by the letter l (ل). Above the letter k, there is a small symbol that looks like a loop, that is the short vowel u. Above the Arabic letter l, there is a small wave shaped symbol, that means that the letter should be doubled.

Three meanings

The word kull means every, whole or all, depending on the declension of the word that comes after it.

Every

If the word that comes after is singular and indefinite, the word kull has the meaning every.

Every day

The Arabic wordyawm means day. The combination kullu yawmin therefore means every day.

every day

Here are two examples on how every day can be used in sentences.

I take the bus every day.
We took a dip every day during our holiday.1

Every thing

The Arabic word shay' means thing. The combination kullu shay'in therefore means everything.

everything

Here are two examples on how everything can be uesd in sentences.

I drink to forget everything.
Everything will be okay.

Every place

The Arabic word makaan means place. The combination kullu makaanin therefore literally means every place, in other words everywhere.

everywhere

Examples on how to use everywhere in Arabic can be found in the poem The cholera by Nazik Al-Malaika.

Everywhere cries a voice.9
Everywhere there is a soul screaming in the dark.9

More sentences with every

The Arabic word 3aam means year. The combaination kullu 3aamin therefore means every year, which you can hear around new year in this greeting:

Every year and you are fine.

Speaking of time. The Arabic word daqiiqa means minute and the combination kullu daqiiqatin means every minute. The Arabic word saa3a means hour and the combination kullu saa3atin means every hour. You can find these combinations in a poetic text that contains many useful Arabic phrases.

Every minute, every hour, you were in my head.6

Our last example of every will be a sentence that I have written myself. The Arabic word waraqa means leaf while the Arabic word khariif means autumn. The combination kullu waraqati khariifin means every autumn leaf.

Every autumn leaf is a map of a person.5

Whole

If the word that comes after is singular and definite, the word kull has the meaning whole.

The whole day

We know that the Arabic word yawm means day. The combination kullu l-yawmi therefore means the whole day, in other words all day.

all day
The store is open all day.

The whole night

The Arabic word for night is layl. The combination kullu l-layli therefore means the whole night, in other word all night.

all night
I stayed up all night.

The whole house

The Arabic word bayt means house. The combination kullu l-bayti therefore means the whole house.

the whole house
He cleaned the whole house.

The whole fish and the whole apple

Here are some examples with words for food. The Arabic word samaka means fish. The combination kullu s-samakati therefore means the whole fish.

the whole fish
He ate the whole fish.

The Arabic word tuffaaHa means apple. The combination kullu t-tuffaaHati therefore means the whole apple.

the whole apple
He ate the whole apple in one bite.

All

If the word that comes after is plural and definite, the word kull has the meaning all.

All days

We know very well now that the Arabic word yawm means day. The plural form of the word is 'ayyaam. The combination kullu l-'ayyaami therefore means all days.

all days

Here are three examples on how all days can be used in sentences.

All days are the same.
I work all days without vacation.
All days, night and day alternate.

All houses

We know that the Arabic word for house is bayt in singular. The plural form of the word is buyuut. The combination kullu l-buyuuti therefore means all houses.

all houses
All houses are beautiful except one.

All seasons

The Arabic word for season is faSl in singular and fuSuul in plural. The combination kullu l-fuSuuli therefore means all seasons.

all seasons
all the seasons in one day

Poetry by Qabbani

As our last example of all, we look at some poetry by the Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani. The Arabic word for colour is lawn in singular and 'alwaan in plural. The combination kullu l-'alwaani therefore means all colours.

Rain of all colors3

The Arabic word for woman is special since the singular form is quite different form the plural form. The Arabic word 'imra'a means woman while nisaa' means women. The combination kullu n-nisaa' therefore means all women.

You will love all women on Earth.3

The examples comes from the poems Orchard and The cup reader by Qabbani.

Conclusion of كلّ

Definiteness and case

If you want to know more about indefinite form and definite form, there is a lesson about definite form.

You may notice that is sometimes says kullu, sometimes kulla and sometimes kulli. That is because the grammatical case of the word is changed depending on the function in the sentence. The version kullu is nominative which is the default form and is also used for the subject. The version kulla is accusative which is, for example, used for objects and for time and place. The version kulli is genitive which, for example, is used after prepositions. On this website, there are three lessons that discusses each grammatical case in detail, and also an introduction to case.

You may have noticed that all the word that follow kull ends in either i or in. That is becuase kull and the word after form and ownership construction. That means that the word after kull gets genitive case. Ownership construction in Arabic is also called idafa. If you want to know more, there is a description about idafa and genitive.