Arabic Forming “to be” sentences using personal pronouns

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Arabic Forming “to be” sentences using personal pronouns

Every language has personal pronouns, the parts of speech that stand in for
people, places, things, or ideas. Arabic is no different, except that personal
pronouns in Arabic are a lot more comprehensive and specific than personal
pronoun structures in other languages, such as English. Table 2-7 presents all
the major personal pronouns in the Arabic language.
In the translation and conjugation tables in this section and throughout
Arabic For Dummies, in addition to singular and plural denotations, you see a
form labeled dual. This number form, which describes a pair or two of an
item, doesn’t exist in English.

Arabic Pronunciation Translation
‘anaa ah-nah I/me
‘anta an-tah you (MS)
‘anti an-tee you (FS)
huwa hoo-wah he/it
hiya hee-yah she/it
naHnu nah-noo we
‘antum an-toom you (MP)
‘antunna an-too-nah you (FP)
hum hoom they (MP)
34 Part I: Getting Started
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
hunna hoo-nah they (FP)
‘antumaa an-too-mah you (dual)
humaa hoo-mah they (M/dual)
humaa hoo-mah they (F/dual)
In addition to the personal pronouns common in English and other languages,
Arabic makes a gender distinction with “you” in the singular and masculine
forms. Furthermore, Arabic includes special pronouns reserved for
describing two items (no more, no less). So all in all, personal pronouns in
Arabic may describe one thing, two things, and three or more things.
The personal pronoun always comes before the predicate noun that it designates,
and it also creates an “is/are” sentence. For instance, when you say
hiya bint (hee-yah bee-net), you mean “She is a girl.” Similarly, huwa walad
(hoo-wah wah-lad) means “He is a boy.” The meaning changes slightly when
the subject noun is defined. For example, hiya al-bint means “She is the girl,”
and huwa al-walad means “He is the boy.” Here are some more examples to
familiarize you with this concept:
 ‘anaa rajul. (ah-nah rah-jool; I am a man.)
 ‘anaa ar-rajul. (ah-nah ah-rah-jool; I am the man.)
 hum ‘awlaad. (hoom aw-lad; They are boys.)
 hiya al-’imra’a. (hee-yah al-eem-rah-ah; She is the woman.)
 ‘anta kabiir. (an-tah kah-beer; You are big.) (MS)
 ‘anti jamiila. (an-tee jah-mee-lah; You are beautiful.) (FS)
 ‘antum su’adaa’. (an-toom soo-ah-dah; You are happy.) (MP)
 ‘anti bint jamiila. (an-tee bee-net jah-mee-lah; You are a pretty girl.)
 ‘anta al-walad al-kabiir. (an-tah al-wah-lad al-kah-beer; You are the
big boy.)
 hunna ‘an-nisaa’ al-laTiifaat. (hoo-nah ah-nee-sah ah-lah-tee-fat; They
are the nice women.)
 hunna nisaa’ laTiifaat. (hoo-nah nee-sah lah-tee-fat; They are nice women.)
 huwa rajul qawiiy. (hoo-wah rah-jool kah-wee; He is a strong man.)
 huwa ar-rajul al-qawiiy. (hoo-wah ah-rah-jool al-kah-wee; He is the
strong man.)