Asking for a Particular Item İn Arabic -Arabic- Arabic Beginner Lesson 55– Learn Arabic Free Online

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Asking for a Particular Item İn Arabic -Arabic- Arabic Beginner Lesson 55– Learn Arabic Free Online

Asking for a Particular Item
Oftentimes, you head to the dukkaan not to window shop or browse around
the store but because you have a specific item in mind that you want to purchase.
When you want to direct a khaadim ad-dukkaan to a particular item,
you’re likely to need a demonstrative word, such as “that one” or “this” or
“those over there.” Demonstratives are the little words we use to specify particular
items. Arabic has a number of different demonstratives, depending on
the number of items (singular or plural) and gender (in case of human nouns),
as well as state (present or absent). Table 6-1 presents the common demonstratives
in Arabic:
Table 6-1 Arabic Demonstratives
Arabic Pronunciation Translation
haadhaa hah-zah this (MS)
haadhihi hah-zee-hee this (FS)
dhaalika zah-lee-kah that (MS)
tilka teel-kah that (FS)
haa’ulaa’ii hah-oo-lah-ee these (gender neutral)
‘ulaa’ika oo-lah-ee-kah those (gender neutral)
Chapter 6: Going Shopping 105
Notice that the singular demonstratives (haadhaa, haadhihi, dhaalika, and
tilka) are all gender-defined, meaning that you use a specific demonstrative
corresponding to whether the object being referred to is masculine or feminine.
On the other hand, the plural demonstratives, haa’ulaa’ii and ‘ulaa’ika,
are gender-neutral, meaning that the gender of the object being pointed to
doesn’t matter.
In a sentence, you always place the demonstrative word before the object
being pointed to, which is often a noun. In addition, the noun must be defined
using the definite prefix pronoun al-. Here are some examples to illustrate the
use of the definite prefix pronoun:
 haadhaa al-walad (hah-zah al-wah-lad; this boy)
 haadhihi al-bint (hah-zee-hee al-bee-net; this girl)
 dhaalika ar-rajul (zah-lee-kah ah-rah-jool; that man)
 tilka al-mar’a (teel-kah al-mar-ah; that woman)
 haa’ulaa’ii al-banaat (hah-oo-lah-ee al-bah-nat; these girls)
 ‘ulaa’ika an-nisaa’ (oo-lah-ee-kah ah-nee-sah; those women)
It’s important to not only follow the specific order of the demonstrative
phrase (demonstrative word followed by the noun) but also to make sure the
noun is defined. If the noun isn’t defined with the definite article prefix al-,
the meaning of the demonstrative phrase changes dramatically. Arabic has
no verb “to be” in the present tense, but because every language requires
“is/are” sentences to function appropriately, “is/are” sentences are created in
Arabic by manipulating these little definite articles. If you include a demonstrative
followed by an undefined noun, you create a demonstrative “is/are”
sentence. Using the examples from the earlier list, look at what happens to
the demonstrative phrase when the definite article isn’t included:
 haadhaa walad (hah-zah wah-lad; this is a boy)
 haadhihi bint (hah-zee-hee bee-net; this is a girl)
 dhaalika rajul (zah-lee-kah rah-jool; that is a man)
 tilka mar’a (teel-kah mar-ah; that is a woman)
 haa’ulaa’ii banaat (hah-oo-lah-ee bah-nat; these are girls)
 ‘ulaa’ika nisaa’ (oo-lah-ee-kah nee-sah; those are women)
As you can see by comparing these two lists, one small prefix can radically
alter the meaning of a sentence.