The letter waw

The letter waw is a part of the Arabic alphabet. Here you will learn how to pronounce and write waw.

How waw is pronounced

The Arabic letter waw is pronounced w like in the English word 'wild'.
The letter و can also function as a vowel. It functions as a vowel when it is preceded by the vowel damma (u) and doesn't have any vowel of its own. Then, the pronunciation is a long uu.
We can see the difference using the Arabic word for fuel that is written وٌقُود and pronounced wuquud . The first letter و is pronounced w while the second و blends with the vowel u to form the long vowel uu.

In the phonetic alphabet, the pronunciation of waw is written [w]. On this website, I write the pronunciation w.

How waw is written

The letter waw has two forms: isolated and final.

finalisolerad
ـﻮ

Which of the shapes to use depends on the letter's position in the word and surrounding letters. Do not forget that Arabic is written from right to left.

The letter waw is right joining. That means that it wants to connect to the right (with the letter before it) but not no the left (with the letter after). If there is a letter before that is dual joining, then waw is connected to it. But waw is never connected to the letter after. How to write with right joining letters.

waw isolerad form

This is how the Arabic letter waw is written in its isolerad form:

This form is used in the following situations:

waw alone

When waw stands by itself, the isolaetd form is used.

waw in the beginning of words

When waw is the first letter of a word, the isolated form is used. It i free to the right since there is no letter before, and it is free to the left since it refuses to connect to the letter after.

waw in the middle after right joining letter

When waw is in the middle of a word and follows another right joining letter, the isolated form is used. It is free to the right since the letter before it refuses to connect, and it is free to the left since it refuses to connect with the letter after.

waw in the end after right joining letter

When waw is the last letter of a word and follows another right joining letter, the isolated form is used. It is free to the right since the letter before it refuses to connect, and it is free to the left since there is no letter after (and even if it was, waw would refuse to connect with it).

waw final form

This is how the Arabic letter waw is written in its final form:

ـﻮ

This form is used in the following situations:

waw in the middle of words

When waw is in the middle of a word, e.g. when waw is neither the first nor the last letter, the medial form is often used. It has a tail to the right to connect with the letter before, but it is free to the left since it refuses to connect with the letter after.

waw in the end of words

When waw is the last letter of a word, the final form is often used. It has a tail to the right to connect to the letter before it, and it is free to the left since there is no letter after.

Conclusion: how waw is written

The letter waw has two shapes.
The isolated shape is used when waw stands by itself, in the beginning of words, in the middle of words (after a right joining letter) and in the end of words (after a right joining letter). In other words: When there is no letter before that wants to connect with it.
The final shape ـﻮ is used in the middle of words (if the letter before is not right joining) and in the end of words (if the letter before is not right joining). In other words: When there is a letter before that wants to connect with it.

That's it!
The rules you have learned can be applied to all Arabic right joining letters.

waw is a moon letter

You get the definite form of a word by putting the definite article al in front of it.

اَل

The Arabic letter waw is a moon letter. That means that the definite article is pronounced al and nothing else. The letters that are not moon letters are called sun letters, and they are assimilated with the definite article al.

For example the Arabic word for delegation is pronounced wafd and written ﻭَﻓﺪ. In definite form, it is pronounced alwafd and written اَل‍ﻭَﻓﺪ.

Read more about definite form

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