Learn Arabic – Lesson 22

In this lessson, we will learn the Arabic equivalent of “who” and “which”.

In English we say: The man who talk. And: The house which was built. However, in Arabic the same word is used for “who” & “which”. And this word is Allathi= الَّذي. So depending on the sentence and the preceding word, we know whether it’s for human or else.

Let’s take some examples to make things easier:

We say: The man who went out of the Masjid=Al-Rajul allathi kharaja mina l-Masjidi= الرجل الذي خرج من المسجد. So in this last example, the word “Allathi”= الذي refers to the man, i.e. a human. Now let’s take another example.

And we say: The house which is in front of the masjid=Al-Baytu allathi ‘amama l-Masjidi= البيتُ الذي أمامَ المسجدِ. Now notice that in this last example, the word “Allathi”= الذي referred to “The house”, i.e. a thing.

Finally we say: The dog which ate the meat=Al-Kalbu allathi akala al-lahma= الكلب الذي أكل اللحم. With animals, we still use “Allathi”= الذي.

Let us now learn the Arabic possessive nouns.

We know that Book=Kitabu= كتابُ. But how do we say “Your book” in Arabic? We simply add the letter ‘K’ ك at the end of the word. So if Book=Kitabu= كتابُ then “Your book”=Kitabuka= كتابكَ. And the ‘ka’ pronunciation at the end is because it takes a Fathah. Also notice here that Kitabuka= كتابكَ is for masculine singular, whereas Kitabuki= كتابكِ with a Kassrah is for feminine singular.

Now how about “His book”? We simply add an ‘H’ at the end of the word. So Kitabuhu= كتابهُ for masculine singular. Now be careful, because for feminine singular we add an ‘H’ and an ‘A’, so it becomes Kitabuha= كتابها not with a Fathah but rather with an Alif.

Now the last one to conclude. How do we say “My book”? We simply add the letter ‘i’ ي at the end of the word. And it’s the same for masculine and feminine singular. So it becomes My book=Kitabi=كتابي.

One last thing to note with all those pronouns is that they’re not full-fledged words,but like suffixes attached to the nouns.