Pronouns are short words that are used to replace nouns in spoken English and Arabic. They are used when both the speaker and listener know what noun they represent, for example if the noun has already been used in an earlier sentence. This makes our speech clearer and more concise. In this example, Ahmed and dog are the nouns and He and it are pronouns:
There are four main groups of pronoun:
- personal pronouns - I, me, mine, he, him, his etc
- demonstrative pronouns - this, that
- indefinite pronouns - somebody, anywhere
- relative pronouns - who, which, that
In English, there are four versions of the personal pronoun (he, him, his, himself): in Egyptian, there is an additional version (to him).
|to me, to him||-luh_luh||ـلـُه||indirect object|
In Egyptian, there are separate forms of
A subject is the noun that appears before the verb- the person or thing that is doing something.
The subject pronouns are:
Personal pronouns are not needed with perfect and x-imperfect verbs, as it is clear from the verb, but it is common to use them, especially for emphasis. They are often used with participles to make it clearer who is the subject.
You can attach a pronoun as a suffix to a verb, preposition or conjunction. It is normally an object pronoun (me, him) when attached to a verb and a subject pronoun (I, he) when attached to a preposition or conjunction.
|I love her||'ana baahibbahaaacnaa baaHibbaha||أنا َ با َحـِبّ َهـَ|
|Do you have a lighter?||maAakwalaeAa?maAakwalaeAao?||مـَع َكو َلا َعـَة؟|
|I think that you are wrong||'ana 'aftikir 'innak Galtanaacnaa aacftikir iicnn-ak GaltaaN||أنا َ أفتـِكـِر إنّ َك غـَلتاً|
The pronoun suffixes are:
Words like mine and hers are possessive pronouns: they are used on their own to represent something that you own. They are similar to possessive determiners, which are used together with the noun they represent, for example my book. In Egyptian arabic, the equivalent of a possessive pronoun is formed by adding a possessive suffix to the owning-word milkmilk مـِلك.
Reflexive pronouns (myself, yourself, himself)
Reflexive pronouns can be used after a noun or a verb. They are formed by adding a possessive suffix to the self-word nafsnafs نـَفس.
|I can look after myself||haaKud baali min nafsihaaKud baaly min nafs-y||ها َخـُد با َلي مـِن نـَفسي|
|The man himself||ilraagil nafsuhiil-raagil nafs-uh||ا ِلرا َجـِل نـَفسـُه|
|He did it by himself||huwwa Aaamalha binafsuhhuwwa Aaamal-ha bi-nafs-uh||هـُوّ َ عا َمـَله َ بـِنـَفسـُه|
These are the words that you use when you want to point at something.
|this (man)||dahdah||د َه|
|this (woman, thing)||didy||دي|
If you want to use one of these together with a noun, rather than to replace the noun, for example this book, you would use a demonstrative determiner in English and a demonstrative adjective in Egyptian.
|noun||how much is the book?||bikaam ilkitaab?bi-kaam iil-kitaab?||بـِكا َم ا ِلكـِتا َب؟|
|pronoun||how much is this?||bikaam dah?bi-kaam dah?||بـِكا َم د َه؟|
|adjective||how much is this book?||bikaam ilkitaab dahbi-kaam iil-kitaab dah||بـِكا َم ا ِلكـِتا َب د َه|
These are words like anybody, something etc. In Egyptian, these are made up of two words, but they are used in exactly the same way as in English.
|anybody||'ai haddaacy Hadd||أي حـَدّ|
|nobody||wala haddwalaa Hadd||و َلا َ حـَدّ|
|anything||'ai haagaaacy Haagao||أي حا َجـَة|
|nothing||wala haagawalaa Haagao||و َلا َ حا َجـَة|
|anywhere||'ai makaanaacy makaan||أي مـَكا َن|
|nowhere||wala makaanwalaa makaan||و َلا َ مـَكا َن|
A relative pronoun forms a relative clause, which describes a noun in the main clause. The relative pronoun represents that noun within the relative clause. In this example, the who-clause describes man in the first clause and who replaces he in the second clause:
In English, there are three different relative pronouns, some of which have subject, object and possessive forms:
The relative pronoun illiiil-ly ا ِلّي is used to represent that, who and which
Note that illiiil-ly ا ِلّي is not used for whom: