Hieroglyphs tutorial; Adjectives

An adjectives is a word which describes a noun. In the hieroglyphic language of Ancient Egypt the adjective “agrees” with the noun (i.e. an adjective for a female noun also has the ending “t”, and adjectives for plural nouns are plural).

binbinevils bins bin(“a” or “the”) evil manst bintst bint(“a” or “the”) evil woman

Word Order

Unlike English, the adjective generally follows the noun it describes (as above, “s bin” translates as “evil man” not “man evil”). However, an adjective can also be used as a “predicate adjective” (e.g. “The cat is graceful”) in which case the noun follows the adjective.

An adjective can also be used as a noun in which case it will have a determinative sign to shows that it is a noun.

Common Adjectives

aaa’agreat, bigwrwrgreat, mightynfrnfrgood, beautiful, perfectnbnball, everybinbinevil, badwabwabpure


The word this also acts like an adjective and so it follows the noun and agrees with it in gender and number.

pnpnthis (masc)tntnthis (fem)

nb: “every” or “lord”

The word “nb” can act like an adjective (following and agreeing with the noun). In this case, it is translated as “all”, “every” or “any”. However, if the word “nb” appears before the noun, it has a completely different meaning, and is translated as “lord” or “master”.

V30; basket


ndjs nb

ndjs nb – every individual

nb AbDu

nb AbDw – Lord of Abydos (AbDw)

Hieroglyphs Resources

Copyright J Hill 2010