Our Arabic grammar lesson for today is all about pronouns. As you already know, pronouns are used to replace nouns in the English language. The same applies to Arabic. In this lesson, we are going to go over all three types of Arabic pronouns: personal, possessive, and demonstrative pronouns.

Personal Pronouns

أنا/ana/SingularMe in Arabic
أنتَ/anta/ SingularYou in Arabic (male)
أنتِ/anti/SingularYou in Arabic (female)
هو/huwa/SingularHim in Arabic (male)
هي/hiya/SingularHer in Arabic (female)
نحن/nahnu/PluralWe in Arabic
أنتم/antom/PluralYou in Arabic (male)
أنتنَّ/antenna/PluralYou in Arabic (female)
هم/hom/PluralThem in Arabic (male)
هنَّ/honna/PluralThem in Arabic (female)

As you can see from the table, there are ten personal pronouns in Arabic. Let’s take a look at this sentence:

أنا في البيت /ana fi al bait/
Meaning: I am in the house.

This is an example that uses an Arabic preposition with pronouns. The preposition /fi/ في is used to state that this person is “in” in the house. The same can be applied to the rest of the pronouns. Let’s apply we in Arabic.

نحن في البيت /nahnu fi al bait/
Meaning: We are in the house.

Here’s another example of the pronoun they:
هنَّ في البيت /honna fi al bait/
They (female) are in the house. 

Possessive Pronouns

Possessive pronouns are different than personal pronouns in that they are not a separate word, and instead turn into suffixes. The suffix indicates whom it is referring to. The following table demonstrates this using the word كتاب /kitab/ meaning “book”.

Arabic suffixNo.EnglishExampleTransliteration
يSingularMy in Arabicكتابي/kitabi/
كَSingularYour in Arabic (male)كابكَ/kitabika/
كِSingularYour in Arabic (female)كتابكِ/kitabiki/
هَSingularHis in Arabicكتابه/kitabihi/
هاSingularHer in Arabicكتباها/kitabiha/
ناDualOur in Arabicكتابنا/kitabina/
كماDualYour in Arabicكتابكما/kitabikuma/
هماDualTheir in Arabicكتابهما/kitabihima/
ناPluralOur in Arabicكتابنا/kitabina/
كمPluralYour in Arabic (male)كتابكم/kitabikom/
كنPluralYour in Arabic (female)كتابكن/kitabikonna/
همPluralTheir in Arabic (male)كتابهم/kitabihim/
هنPluralTheir in Arabic (female)كتابهن/kitabihinna/

You’ll notice that the feminine possessive in Arabic, especially with the plural is obviously different. For example, the pronoun her in Arabic adds an extra alif to the male version.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

أريد كتابي /oredo kitabi/
I want my book.

تريد كتابها
/toredo kitabaha/
She wants her book

تريدان كتابهما
/toredan kitabihima/
They want their book

Fun fact: possessive pronouns in Levantine Arabic are almost exactly the same as they in formal Arabic!

Demonstrative Pronouns

These pronouns are called أسماء الإشارة /asma’ al ishara/. Similar to possessive pronouns, they are categorized into singular, dual, and plural, as well as female or male. Let’s take a look at the table below that demonstrates all of this.

هذاSingularThis in Arabic (male)/hatha/
هذهSingularThis in Arabic (female)/hathihi/
هذانDualBoth in Arabic (male)/hathan/
هاتانDualBoth in Arabic (female)/hatan/
هؤلاءPluralThese in Arabic/ha’ola’/

In English, they are the equivalence to the words “this” and “that.” There is one more categorized for demonstrative pronouns which is human and non-human.
Human means that it refers to a human.

For example:

هذه معلمة
/hathihi mo’alima/
This is a teacher (female).

هذا معلم
/hatha mo’alim/
This is a teacher (male).

As you can see, there can be human (male) and human (female). The same applies to the dual and plural.
Note the following table on human and non-human forms.

هذاHuman (male)هذا ولد/hatha walad/This is a boy
هذانهذان ولدان/hathan waladan/Both are boys
هؤلاءهؤلاء أولاد/ha’ola’ awlad/These are boys
هذهHuman (female)هذه بنت/hithi bint/This is a girl
هاتانهاتان بنتان/hatan bintan/Both are girls
هؤلاءهؤلاء بنات/ha’ola’ banat/These are girls
هذاNon-Human (male)هذا قلم/hatha qalam/This is a pen
هذانهذان قلمان/hathan qalaman/Both are pens
هذههذه أقلام/hathihi aqlam/These are pens
هذهNon-Human (female)هذه طاولة/hathihi tawela/This is a table
هاتانهاتان طاولتان/hatan tawelatan/Both are tables
هذههذه طاولات/hathihi tawelat/These are tables

Arabic grammar is simple when you take it step by step.
There is one more sub-type of demonstrative pronouns that refer to places. They are divided into the distance they refer to: near or far.

هنا Here in ArabicNear/hona/هنا بيتيHere is my house/hona baiti/
هناك There in ArabicFar/honak/هناك صديقيThere is my friend/honak sadeeki/
هنالك There in ArabicFar/honalik/هنالك أوراقيThere are my papers/honalik awraqi/

In conclusion

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