Subject and object pronouns in Arabic
- Subject pronouns – ضمائر الفاعل
- Object pronouns – ضمائر المفعول به
Subject pronouns (I, you, we, he, she, we, they) take the place of a noun and function as the subject of a sentence. Italic and Bold means (Harakat, the vowels on the letters)
أنا من أمريكا (Ana min America) – I am from the US.
هو مهندس (Whoé mohandis) – He is an engineer.
Note: In Arabic, the subject pronoun is frequently dropped. You can tell from a verb conjugation who the subject is, so it’s not really necessary to use the subject pronoun in such cases except for emphasis. However, in equational (verbless) sentences like the two above, you do need the subject pronoun.
Subject pronouns in Arabic
|English||Standard Arabic||In Dialects|
|you (masc.)||انتَ (anté)|
|you (fem.)||انتِ (anti)||(inti)|
|Plural||we||نحن (naHnu)||احنا (eHna)|
|you (masc.)||أنتم (antum)||انتو (intu)|
|you (fem.)||أنتن (antunna)|
|they (masc.)||هم (homa)||هم (homa)|
|they (fem.)||هن (hunna)|
Note 1: Strikethrough words means that you’re currently not at the level to learn this. Dual is advanced and is not used in dialects at all.
Note 2: In English, there is only one second-person pronoun, “you,” which is used whether you’re talking to one person, two people, or more. But in Arabic, as you see above, there are masculine and feminine versions of “you,” as well as singular, dual (standard Arabic only), and plural versions: انتَ\انتِ if you’re addressing one person, أنتما if you’re addressing two (in standard Arabic), and أنتم\أنتن if you’re addressing three or more people. Note that the dual “you” (أنتما) is the same regardless of gender. In standard Arabic, there is also a dual version of “they” (هما – which is gender-indiscriminate as well) and masculine and feminine versions of the plural “they” (هم and هن).
Note 3: that dialect has fewer pronouns than standard Arabic, since it has no dual pronouns; it just has plural pronouns that are used to talk about two or more people, of any gender. And the colloquial انتو and هم are gender-neutral.
——–Please Don’t read further without me——–
Object pronouns (me, you, us, him, her, them) are used when you do something directly to someone or something else. In Arabic, these pronouns are suffixes that are attached to the verb:
She hit him.
They thank me.
Object pronouns in Arabic
|you (masc.)||ـكَ (-ka)||ـك (-ak)|
|you (fem.)||ـكِ (-ki)||ـك (-ik)|
|you (masc.)||ـكم (-kum)||ـكو\ـكم (-ku/-kum)|
|you (fem.)||ـكن (-kunna)|
|them (masc.)||ـهم (-hum)||ـهم (-hom)|
|them (fem.)||ـهن (-hunna)|
Note: In colloquial Arabic, ـكو and ـكم are both used, but the former is more colloquial than the latter.
Here are some examples of object pronoun usage, using the verb سأل (sa’al) – “to ask.”
|Singular||He asked me|
|He asked you (masc.)||سألكَ (sa’alaka)||سألك (sa’alak)|
|He asked you (fem.)||سألكِ (sa’alaki)||سألك (sa’alik)|
|He asked him|
|He asked her|
|Dual||He asked us||سألنا (sa’alna)|
|He asked you||سألكما (sa’alkuma)|
|He asked them||سألهما (sa’alhuma)|
|Plural||He asked us|
|He asked you (masc.)||سألكم (sa’alkum)||سألكو\ـكم (sa’alku/sa’alkum)|
|He asked you (fem.)||سألكن (sa’alkunna)|
|He asked them (masc.)||سألهم (sa’alhum)||سألهم (sa’alhom)|
|He asked them (fem.)||سألهن (sa’alhunna)|