How to Say “Accidentally” in Arabic: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to say “accidentally” in Arabic. Whether you’re learning the language for travel purposes or simply expanding your linguistic skills, understanding how to express accidental actions in Arabic is essential. In this guide, we will provide you with formal and informal ways of saying “accidentally” in Arabic, focusing on standard Arabic while also acknowledging regional variations if necessary. We will also offer helpful tips, examples, and explanations for better comprehension. Let’s explore!

Formal Ways of Saying “Accidentally” in Arabic

When it comes to formal Arabic, commonly known as Fus’ha or Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), you can use the following phrases to convey accidental actions:

  • بطريقة عارضة (Biṭarīqah ‘āriḍah) – This phrase translates to “inadvertently” or “in an incidental manner.” It is suitable for more formal contexts.
  • بطريقة غير مقصودة (Biṭarīqah ghayr maqṣūdah) – Literally meaning “in an unintended manner,” this phrase is also used formally to express accidental actions.

Informal Ways of Saying “Accidentally” in Arabic

Informal Arabic, also known as colloquial Arabic or ‘Amiyyah, allows for greater flexibility and regional variations. Here are a few informal phrases to describe accidental actions:

  • عن طريق الخطأ (‘an ṭarīq al-khaṭa’) – This is a commonly used phrase in informal contexts. It can be used to mean “by mistake” or “by error.”
  • أنا ولّعتها (Anā wallaʼthā) – This is an informal way of saying “I accidentally lit it.” It is mostly used in colloquial conversations.
  • أتساهلت (Atsāhilt) – Translating to “I became careless” or “I slipped up,” this phrase expresses accidental actions in an informal manner.

Regional Variations

Arabic is a rich and diverse language with various regional dialects. While MSA serves as a standardized form, regional variations may exist. Here are a few regional expressions for accidental actions:

Egyptian Arabic: In Egyptian Arabic, you can use the phrase عملتها بلّا عانا (“‘amalt-hā billā ‘ānā”) to mean “I did it unintentionally” or “I did it without realizing.”

Tips for Using “Accidentally” in Arabic

To enhance your understanding and usage of the phrases mentioned, here are some practical tips:

  • Context Matters: Understand the context and choose the suitable phrase accordingly. What works in a formal setting might not be appropriate in an informal conversation.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Regularly practice using these phrases to improve your fluency. Engage in conversation with native Arabic speakers or utilize language learning apps.
  • Body Language: Pay attention to body language and intonation while using these phrases. Delivering them with an apologetic or regretful tone will enhance your communication.

Examples of Using “Accidentally” in Arabic

To help you grasp the usage of these phrases, here are a few examples:

Formal Example: اعتذر عن الأمر بطريقة عارضة. (‘Itaḏartu ‘an al-amr biṭarīqah ‘āriḍah.) – I apologize for the matter inadvertently.

Informal Example: أنا ولّعت الكنديرة عن طريق الخطأ. (Anā wallaʼt al-kandīrah ‘an ṭarīq al-khaṭa’) – I accidentally lit the candle.

Remember, the phrase “accidentally” can vary in translation depending on the context, situation, and regional dialect of Arabic you are using.


In conclusion, understanding how to say “accidentally” in Arabic is crucial for effective communication in various situations. Whether you opt for formal or informal phrases, be mindful of the context and the regional variations that may exist. Utilize the examples provided, practice regularly, and pay attention to body language to enhance your fluency in expressing accidental actions in Arabic. Enjoy your language learning journey, and don’t hesitate to apologize when needed. Happy learning!

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