Learn the Arabic letter Lam

You will also see this letter transliterated as Laam.


The Arabic letter Lam is a Sun Letter.

The shape of Lam has some similarity to that of Kaf, but the vertical stroke is longer and the base is more rounded.

Lam also has a special additional form. When an Alif comes after the Lam they perform a “Lam-Alif” with this form ( لا ). Actually, these two letters on their own make the word “Laa” which means “No” in English. But they can also be a part of a bigger word, and they might take this form if they are connected to a letter before ( ـلا ).


On the other hand, when the Lam comes after the Alif in the beginning of a word, it forms the definite article Al (ال) meaning “The”, whose function is to make the noun which it precedes definite.

Unlike most other particles in Arabic, “al” is always prefixed to another word and it never stands alone.


Note: In case of the 13 Arabic Sun letters, they assimilate the “l” of “Al”  in pronunciation thus, al-shams (The sun) is rather pronounced as a-shams while written as al-shams. So, the definite article is written al  in transliteration, even when the l is assimilated in pronunciation ie. Being followed by a moon letter affects only the pronunciation and not the spelling of the article.

How the Arabic letter Lam is written

How the Arabic letter Lam is pronounced

Lam is the counterpart of the English letter L which is pronounced by slightly pressing the tip of the tongue on the top portion of the mouth.

Basic Sample words of Lam in different states

Lam is connectable to both sides. It take these three forms depending on its position in the word:


Word examples using the Arabic letter Lam with diacritics

Lam represents all four kinds of sounds:


Lam with a fatha: ( لَـ ) ( ـلَـ )

– Might have a soft sound like La in “Land” or the word “Laa” mentioned above. OR like la in “Plastic”.


– Might have a soft sound like Lu in “Luck”. OR like lu in “Curriculum” or la in “Alarm”.


Lam with a kasra: ( لِـ ) ( ـلِـ )

– It sounds like Li in “List” or “Lin”. OR like le in “bullet”.


Lam with a damma: ( لُـ ) ( ـلُـ )

– It sounds like Lo in “Lose”. OR like lo in “Balloon”.


Lam with sokoon: ( ـلْـ ) ( ـلْ )

– It sounds like l in “Help”. OR like ll in “Ball”.


Lam ( ل ) looks a bit like the previous letter Kaf ( ك). But it has a circular base and of course no Hamza.


Lam is written exactly like the English letter J.


Suggested for you

Arabic Alphabet Chart pdf download

Learn about diacritics/Tashkeel

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