Learn how to write Arabic text

Anyone who knows English and wants to learn how to write Arabic text should be aware of the essential differences between English vs Arabic writing which can be summarised in the following points:

To write Arabic text, you would need to start from right to left, whereas to write English text, you should start from left to right. Below is an example of how to write the Arabic proverb "Man’s politeness is far better than his Gold".

Sample of how to write Arabic text from right to left

Sample of how to write Arabic text from right to left

The green arrow in the example shows the direction of Arabic writing from right to left.

When we write Arabic words the shape of Arabic letters change depending on their position in the word. An Arabic letter may have 4 different shapes depending on its position in the word. The shapes are as follows:
1- Alone: The letter is not connected to any other letter.
2- Initial: The letter is connected to the next letter on the left only.
3- Middle : The letter is connected to the next and previous letter.
4- End: The letter is connected to the previous letter on the right only.

Below is a table that illustrates the different shapes of the Arabic letters depending on the position of the Arabic letter in the word:

Sample of how to write Arabic Alphabet in different shapes

Sample of how to write Arabic Alphabet in different shapes

The 6 Arabic letters in green ا د ذ ر ز و have 2 shapes only because they cannot connect to the next letter on the left.


Here is an example that shows how the shape of the Arabic letters change when we write them in the Arabic word Peace

Sample of Arabic letter in different shapes

Sample of writing Arabic letters in separate and joint shapes

From the above sample, we can notice the differences when we write Arabic letters separately vs writing them together in a word.

Besides the 28 Arabic Alphabet which are the main letters for Arabic writing, there are Diacritic marks which are used when we write Arabic educational text, poems, proverbs or Holy Quran.
The Diacritic Marks (Harakat Atashkiil) provides a phonetic guide to show the correct pronunciation and meaning of the word. They are always placed above or below the letter.
Below is an example of how to write an Arabic sentence with diacritics marks.

sample of how to write Arabic sentence with diacritics marks

Sample of how to write Arabic sentence with diacritics

In the above example the Arabic Diacritic marks are written in blue, but it can be changed into any other colour or size independently from the Arabic letters.
The table below has a list of all Arabic Diacritics with examples of how to pronounce them when we write them on Arabic letters.

Samples of how to write Arabic diacritics

Samples of how to write Arabic diacritics

In Arabic writing there is no concept of capital or small letters. When we write Arabic words or sentences, we join the Arabic letters together depending on the type of Arabic alphabet we join. Example of how to write Arabic text with just joining the letters together when it is permissible to do so.

Writing Arabic sentence without using capital or small letters

Sample of writing Arabic text

The above example demonstrates the fact that capital and small letters are not used in Arabic writing .


The last difference in Arabic writing is how we write Arabic Adjectives (a word describing the noun – e.g. Big, Red ...).
In English, we write the adjective after the subject that we want to describe, whereas in Arabic we write the adjective before the subject.

Below is an example of how to write Arabic Adjective

Sample of how to write Arabic adjective

Sample of how to write Arabic adjective