What are Demonstrative pronouns in Arabic, what are the different types, and when to use them, let’s find out?
What are pronouns in Arabic? Just like in the English language, pronouns in Arabic language are used to replace the name of an object or person. In English, we use “I”, “you”, “he”, “she”, “it”, “we”, “you”, and “they” while in Arabic “ana”, “anti”, “antum”, etc.
like any other language there are pronouns in Arabic. However, the use of pronouns is different based on multiple things like gender, singular, dual, and plural.
What are demonstrative pronouns in Arabic?
Demonstrative pronouns are used when we want to point to something or to identify it, and it comes before the pronoun that it’s referring to or describing.
Types of demonstratives nouns.
Demonstrative pronouns are called “aisma’ alashara اسماء الاشارة= ” , it’s just like saying this, and that. When it comes alone it doesn’t have any meaning, it should be followed by a word to define it. It’s uses differ based on gender, and if we are talking about singular, dual, or plural.
1- Masculine Demonstrative Nouns:
When talking about one person, object, or an animal that is near we use the demonstrative pronoun “هذا” and in English it means “this”. Here are some examples:
This boy is smart.
هذا الولد ذكى.
This book belongs to Ahmed.
هذا كتاب احمد.
This is a cute dog.
هذا كلب لطيف.
When we want to refer to an object, person, o an animal that is far we use the demonstrative pronoun ‘ذلك’ which means in English “that”. Here are some examples:
That man is smart.
ذلك الرجل ذكى.
That boy is energetic
ذلك الولد نشيط
That is a beautiful book to read.
ذلك كتاب جميل للقراءة.
That man is a scientist.
ذلك الرجل عالم.
When talking about two people, objects, or animals we use the demonstrative pronoun “هذان/هذين” which in English means “These/those”. Here are some examples:
These two men are from Yemen
هَذَان الرَّجُلان مِنْ اليَمَنْ.
I know these two men
أَعْرفُ هَذَيْن الرَّجُلَيْن.
I work with these two men
أَعْمَلُ مَعَ هَذَيْن الرَّجُلَيْن.
Those two men are physicians
هذان الرَّجُلان طَبِيْبَان.
I work with those two men
أَعَمْلُ مَعَ هذين الرَّجُلَيْن.
When talking about a group of people we use the هَؤُلاءِ and أوْلَئِكَ. هؤلاء is used when referring to a group of people that are near. While أوْلَئِكَ is used when referring to far people. Here are some examples:
These students are from Japan
هَؤُلاءِ الطُّلْاب مِنَ اليابان.
Those students are from China.
أُوْلَئِكَ الطُلْاب مِنَ الصين.
I know these, Doctors.
أَعْرِفُ هَؤُلاء الاطباء.
I study with those students.
أَدْرِسُ مَعَ أُوْلَئِكَ الطُّلَّابُ.
2- Feminine Demonstrative pronouns:
When talking about one girl we use the demonstrative pronoun هذه in English is called “this”, it is used to refer to a near person, object or animal. Here are some examples:
This (female) student is smart
هَذِهِ الطَّالِبَة ذَكِيَّة.
This is chicken
This is a school
When we want to refer to a person, object or animal that is far we use the pronoun تلك which means that. Here are some examples:
Do not go to that school.
لا تَذْهَبْ إِلَى تِلْكَ المَدْرَسَة.
I will take that bus.
سَأَرْكَبُ تَلْكَ الحَافِلَة.
To talk about two females, we use the demonstrative pronoun هاتين/هاتان and they both mean “those”, here are some examples:
These two students are Japanese and those two are Egyptians.
هَاتَان الطَّالِبَتَان يابانيتان هاتين مصريتان.
Do you know those two (female) teachers?
هَلْ تَعْرِفُ هاتين المُدَرِّسَتَيْن.
When referring to a group of females we use the demonstrative nouns هَؤُلاءِ and أُوْلَئِكَ, similar to the masculine pronouns.
These (female) students are Koreans, and those are Indians.
هَؤْلاء الطَّالِبَات كوريات وَأُوْلَئِكَ هِنْدِيَّات.
I know these ladies.
أَعْرِفُ هَؤُلاءِ السَّيِّدَات.
Emily studies with these (female) students
تَدْرِسُ ايميلى مَعَ هَؤُلاءِ الطَّالِبَات.
3- Animals and objects Demonstrative Nouns:
When referring to plural objects or animals we use the demonstrative noun هذه for close things and تلك for far things whatever their gender is. Here are some examples:
These cars are new
هِذِهِ السَّيَّارَات جَدِيْدَة.
These pens are expensive
هَذِهِ الأَقْلَام غَالِيَة.
These are chairs
Those are desks
Do not move those chairs
لا تُحَرِّكْ تِلْكَ الكَرَاسِي.
4- Places Demonstrative nouns:
We use the nouns هنا which means “here” to refer to a near place/places, and هناك which means “there” to refer to a far place/places. And they don’s change its form. Here are some examples:
We are Here in Cairo.
نحن هنا فى القاهرة.
There is a hospital over there.
هناك مستشفى هناك.
Here are five chairs
هنا خمسة كراسي
I live here, and I study there
هُنَا أَسْكُن وَهَنَاك أَدْرُس.
Examples of demonstrative pronouns in Arabic
Here are some examples on demonstrative pronouns:
هذه البنت (haadihi l-bint)
هذه المخدة (haadihi l-mixadda)
These books are long
هذه الكتب طويلة (haadihi l-kutub Tawiila)
These cars are new
هذه السيارات جديدة (haadihi s-sayaraat jadiida)
هذا الرجل (haada r-rajul)
هذا الدرس (haada d-dars)
ذلك الرجل (daalika r-rajul)
تلك البنت (tilka l-bint)
These (two) boys are Egyptian
هذان الولدان مصريان (haadaani l-waladaan miSriyaan)
I saw these (two) boys
رأيت هذين الولدين (ra’eitu haadeini l-waladein)
These (two) girls
هتان البنتان (haataani l-bintaan)
I saw these (two) girls
رأيت هتين البنتين (ra’eitu haateini l-bintein)
هؤلا الرجال (haa’ulaa r-rijaal)
هؤلا البنات (haa’ulaa l-banaat)
أولائك الرجل (uulaa’ika r-rijaal)
أولائك البنات (uulaa’ika l-banaat)
Demonstrative pronouns are used when we want to point to something or to identify it, and it comes before the pronoun that it’s referring to or describing. It’s just like saying this, and that.
We talked about its different forms, and we divided into mainly three types Masculine, Feminine, Places.
- For Masculine we use/اولئك هذا/ذلك/هؤلاء//هذان/هذين there use differ from singular, plural, or dual and is it near or far.
- For Feminine we use هذه/ تلك/ هاتين/ هاتان/ هؤلاء/اولئك there use differ from singular, plural, or dual and is it near or far.
- For places we use هنا/هناك