Egypt's Golden Empire
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  Egyptian Words As well as the signs which stand for single sounds, Egyptian uses many signs that stand for two or three sounds


Ancient Egyptian also uses meaning-signs, called 'determinatives'. These are written at the end of a word, after the sound-signs, to tell us the correct category of meaning for the word. Without the determinative you can't tell what it means. Here are some examples:

  words to do with movement
  words associated with man and his activities
  words associated with woman and her activities
  words associated with water
  names of towns or places

Ancient Egyptian words were usually (but not always) made up of both sound-signs and meaning-signs. Where possible, scribes liked to group signs together to form nice square shapes.

Click here to see some real Ancient Egyptian words.

Next: Now that you've learned about sound-signs and meaning-signs, we think you're ready to find out if you can read ancient Egyptian!

Next: Egyptian Quiz

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Egypt's Golden Empire