|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:
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.