The word of the day is “bes/bas/bass – بس”.
It has two meanings. Let’s see some examples.
- I want just one pen – أريد بس قلم وحد (ureed bes ‘alam wa7d)
- I need a pen but the stationery is closed – أريد قلم بس مكتبة مقفول (ureed ‘alam bes maktaba ma’fool)
The word is colloquial and as you can infer from the examples it means just, only or but depending on the context. The word لكن that also means but is more formal. The formal alternative that is equivalent to just or only is فقط.