F: The Words كلٌّ and بَعْضٌ

كُلٌّ is a noun which means “each” or “every” and sometimes means “all” depending upon the context. When كل is followed by an indefinite noun, it is translated as “each” or “every.” For example, كلُّ طالبٍ means “each student” or “every student.” The phrase كلُّ طالبٍ is an idaafa. That is why there is no nunation on كل and why the word طالب is in the genitive case. طالب also has nunation because it is indefinite.

Because كل is a noun it can be in any case as required by its usage in the sentence. For example: قرأتُ كلَّ كتابٍ في المكتبةِ. Here كل is in the accusative because it is the object of the verb.

So far, the examples using كل have been indefinite. When كل is followed by a definite singular noun كل is usually translated as “all.” For example كل الكتابِ means “all of the book.”

When the word following كل is plural, that word is usually also definite. In this case also كل is translated as “all.” For example كلُ الطالباتِ “all of the students (fem).” Below are two columns. On the right are phrases and sentences using كل. On the left are the translations. Cover up the English and read the Arabic; then use the translations to check yourself.



1. Every student (fem) in this class is from Lebanon.

١. كلُ طالبةٍ في هذا الصف من لبنان.

2. All of the students (fem) in this class are from Lebanon.

٢. كلُ الطالباتِ في هذا الصف من لبنان.

3. In every classroom

٣. في كلِ صفٍ.

4. In all of the classrooms

٤. في كلِ الصفوفِ.

5. All of the city.

٥. كلُ المدينةِ

6. Every page

٦. كلُ صفحةٍ

7. All of the page (The whole page)

٧. كلُ الصفحةِ

8. All of the pages

٨. كلُ الصفحاتِ


Often you will see كل with a pronoun suffix following the direct object of a verb. In this case كل and its suffix are used for emphasis. For example قرأتُ الكتابَ كُلَهُ read all of the book.” (Literally “I read the book, all of it.”) Because الكتاب is in the accusative كل is also in the accusative. This is called apposition and refers to consecutive nouns in the same case. The suffix هُ refers الكتاب. The suffix will always agree in gender and number with the noun to which it refers. If مقالة (“article”) were used in place of كتاب, the sentence would be قرأتُ المقالةَ كلَّها .

It is also possible to see the two sentences discussed in the above paragraph rendered as قرأتُه كلَّه and قرأتُها كلَّها . Here the nouns الكتاب and المقالة have been replaced by pronoun suffixes attached to the verbs. In each sentence كل and the suffix attached to it, are still being used for emphasis.


كل is also used for emphasis following plural verbs. For example, فهم كلُّهم means “All of them understood.” But the sentence فهموا كلُّهم stresses that all of them understood. If كل is placed before the verb, the verb will agree with the noun or pronoun following كل. See the examples below.


١. كلُّهم ذهبوا.

٢. كلُّ الطالباتِ درسن.

٣. كلُّكم فهمتم.

٤. كلُّ استاذةٍ حضرت.

Likewise, in an equational sentence, the predicate will agree in number and gender with the noun or pronoun following كل. See the examples below.

١. كل مدير في هذه الشركة مجنونٌ

٢. كلهم لبنانيون


كلٌّ مِن means “everyone of” or “each one of.” For example ُشاهدت كلاً من الموظفين في الاجتماع “I saw every one of the employees at the meeting.”

الكل means “all of it” or “everyone” if it refers to people.



بَعْضٌ is a masculine singular noun meaning “some.” It is usually followed by a definite noun (singular or plural) or a pronoun suffix. Like كل, the word بعض is in an idaafa with the noun that follows it. ِقرأتُ بعض الكتاب means “I read some of the book” and قرأتُ بعضَ الكتبِ means “I read some of the books.” The latter Arabic sentence can also mean “I read some books” as بعض is not usually followed by an indefinite plural. Thus, “I want to ask you some questions” is usually rendered اريد ان أسألك بعضَ الأسئلة.


When بعض follows the verb the verb will usually be masculine singular regardless of the gender and number of the noun or pronoun following بعض. See the sentences below.


١. لا يفهم بعضُ الرؤساءِ العربِ شيئا عن حقوق الانسان.

٢. درس بعضُهن العربية مدة طويلة.


However, when بعض precedes the verb, the verb usually agrees with the gender and number of the noun or pronoun following بعض .


١. بعضُ الرؤساءِ العربِ لا يفهمون شيئا عن حقوق الانسان.

٢. بعضُهن درسن العربية مدة طويلة.

On the other hand, the tendency does not always apply, so you may sometimes see the verb following بعض remain masculine singular because بعض is a masculine singular noun as said above.


In an equational sentence, the predicate will usually agree with the noun or pronoun following بعض For example: بعضُ المدرسين لبنانيون (You might see بعض المدرسين لبنانيٌّ, but stick with the first example for the purposes of this book.)

9 responses to “F: The Words كلٌّ and بَعْضٌ”

  1. Muhammad Islam Avatar
    Muhammad Islam

    Very informativ and usefull. Shukran.

  2. Indran Fernando Avatar
    Indran Fernando

    thanks, this one was useful. I´m kinda surprised there isn´t a consistent standard for how to modify بعض when it precedes the verb

  3. anwar choudhry Avatar
    anwar choudhry

    Jazak Allah, very informative. Question is about indefinite ithafa, using كل . if we say كُلُّ وَاحِدٍ meaning ” each and every one ” does it leave any room for exception. eg this sentence in the Holy Quran وَآتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِّنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًا My understanding is, that there is no exception in this description.

  4. Jared Avatar

    I believe there might be one small error on this page. It reads: “قرأتُ بعضَ الكتبِ” means “I read some of the books.” Shouldn’t it be “.قرأتُ بعْض الكتبونِ”? Thank you for all this useful information!

    1. Jared Avatar

      Err, that was meant to say: “Shouldn’t it be ‘قرأتُ بعْض الكتابونِ.’?” Sorry for the mistake.

      1. م ف دفليس Avatar
        م ف دفليس

        The plural of كتاب is كتب

      2. roohi Avatar

        The plural of the book is kutub not kitabun, thank you. So, what is written is correct.

  5. محب العربية Avatar
    محب العربية

    thank you! very precious info! but may i know what’s the references u used to write this article?
    أود أن أعرف المراجع لهذا المقال.. شكرا!

  6. salman Avatar

    Thank you that was very helpful I needed to study for a test and this really helped so thank you a lot 🙂

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