Hamza and Sukoon

Hello all.
So, I am taking your advice and focusing on MSA for now. However, my Arabic teacher at the masjid has gone to Pakistan to see his family and his sub - a very nice man - knows about as much English as I do Arabic :blink:. Topping it off, no one showed for class today. If it was cancelled no one told me :roll:

So thank you for bearing with me. We are using a book called Arabic Reading and Writing Made Easy by Bilal Phillips, if that matters. On page 15 it says alif is the long a sound in English, as in father, and is transliterated in the book as aa. Fine. But on page 75 it says when hamza with a fat7a is followed by an alif it is pronounced as aa and represented by a wavey line over the alif.

Question 1: How is this hamza with alif any different from plain alif?

Question 2: Hamza (alone?) is supposed to be a glottal stop, in English the equivalent of the space between vowels in the expression uh-oh. But in reality, how is that any different from a sukoon when it appears in the middle of a word, like ktabtu?


An Alif is at the beginning of a word often actually a Hamza, because Hamza can’t be alone at the beginning of a word, than you can see a little hamza on top of the Alif or at the bottom of it. Than it can still be pronounced a, u or i. Other ways Alif stands for an long a, it’s better to write it â.

A sukûn means that a consonant is without a vowel.