Grammar : arabic pronouns
Isolated personal pronouns :
In Arabic, there are so-called “isolated” personal pronouns, to the extent that they can be used alone, without any verb or without being conjugated. We are first going to learn the isolated personal pronouns in the singular.
You (female) أنتِ
He is a pupil
You may note that in the sentences above , the verb to be is not used.
أنا سعيد Me, Saïd. I, Saïd. I am Saïd.
هو تلميذ Him, a pupil. He, a pupil. He is a pupil.
These are nominal sentences.
Affix pronouns, expressing possession
In Arabic there are “affix” pronouns which are added to the ends of words, in order to express possession, among other things.
In the first dialogue, Sélim’s teacher asks : what is your name ? ما اسمك ؟ . To which Sélim answers : my name is (I’m called) Sélim EL Fassi. اسمي سليم الفاسي
The word for name in Arabic is اسم (ism). In اسمك there is :
the interrogative form ما (mâ)
the word ism + ك which is an affix pronoun meaning you.
In اسمي (ismî) you find :
the word ism اسم+ي (long vowel) which means I.
Remember that affix pronouns are written so because they are joined to the ends of the words. For example, in order to say my book, your book, his book … one only needs to add the affix pronoun to the word كتاب (kitâb) = book.
كتابي – كتابكَ – كتابكِ – كتابهُ – كتابها
You will note that for the first person, the affix pronoun ي is a long vowel which you join to the last letter, thus forcing you to use the kasra with the letter ب with the word كتابي (kitâbî). The other pronouns are consonants, so that before joining them, you must place the vowel mark above or below the last letter of the word.
When a word ends in ة (tâ’ marbûta, feminine marker), you must write a normal tâ’ in order to be able to join the affixes to it. Example : A pupil (feminine) تلميذة Your pupil ( feminine) تلميذتك