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ARABIC ONLINE

        اللّغة العربيّة    

Arabic Online

 

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Relative Pronouns (continued)

 

Usage Of Relative Pronouns

 

 

1. General Relative Pronouns

 

Those are the relative pronouns most commonly used. They can be translated as who, whom, which, or that. They are used somewhat similarly to English but the point here is that they change in form to suit the antecedent.

 

هَذَاْ الْكِتَاْبُ الَّذِيْ اِشْتَرَيْتُ

haathaa ('a)l-kitaab(u) ('a)l-lathee 'ishtarayt(u)

= this (is) the book which/that (I) bought

Translation: this is the book which I bought

 

It is very common to add an attached object pronoun after the verb in such sentences:

هَذَاْ الْكِتَاْبُ الَّذِيْ اِشْتَرَيْتُهُ

haathaa ('a)l-kitaab(u) ('a)l-lathee 'ishtaraytu-h(u)

= this (is) the book that/which (I) bought him

Translation: this is the book which I bought

 

It is also common to add a pleonastic separation subject pronoun in such sentences:

 

هَذَاْ هُوَ الْكِتَاْبُ الَّذِيْ اِشْتَرَيْتُهُ

haathaa huw(a) ('a)l-kitaab(u) ('a)l-lathee 'ishtaraytu-h(u)

= this he (is) the book that/which (I) bought him

Translation: this is the book which I bought

 

Other examples:

هَذَاْنِ هُمَاْ الْكِتَاْبَاْنِ الْلَّذَاْنِ اِشْتَرَيْتُهُمَاْ

haathaan(i) humaa ('a)l-kitaabaan(i) ('a)l-lathaan(i) 'ishtaraytu-humaa

= those they (are) the two books that/which (I) bought them

Translation: those are the two books which I bought

 

خُذِ الْدِّيْنَاْرَيْنِ الْلَّذِيْنِ فِيْ الْدُّرْجِ

khuth(i) ('a)d-deenaarayn(i) ('a)l-lathayn(i) fee ('a)d-durj(i)

= (you) take the two dinars that/which (are) in the drawer

Translation: take the two dinars (currency unit) that are in the drawer

 

هَؤُلاءِ هُمُ النَّاْسُ الَّذِيْنَ سَاْعَدُوْنِيْ

haa'ulaa'(i) hum(u) ('a)n-naas(u) ('a)l-latheen(a) saa"adoo-nee

= those they (are) the people that/who helped me

Translation: those are the people who helped me

 

 

Note that when using the general relative pronouns it is often possible to omit the word to which the relative pronoun refers (the antecedent).

 

Examples:

هَذَاْ هُوَ الَّذِيْ اِشْتَرَيْتُهُ

haathaa huw(a) ('a)l-lathee 'ishtaraytu-h(u)

= this he (is) that/which (I) bought him

Translation: this is what I bought

 

هَؤُلاءِ هُمُ الَّذِيْنَ سَاْعَدُوْنِيْ

haa'ulaa'(i) hum(u) ('a)l-latheen(a) saa"adoo-nee

= those they (are) that/who helped me

Translation: those are (the people) who helped me

 

 

 

 

2. The Relative Pronoun "Who"

 

"Who" in English changes in form as the following:

 

Subject Tom is the one who can do it
Object Dan is the man whom I saw
Adpositional Complement Jenny is the woman with whom he is happy
Possessive Jack is the boy whose book is this

 

Surprisingly, the Arabic equivalent does not change at all. It is a "built" word and it assumes a sole form for all cases, numbers, and genders.

 

Who / Whom

man

مَنْ

 

However, the usage of this word differs from English.

 

Example in English:

Tom is the one who can do it

 

In Arabic, this sentence will become:

 

Tom is who can do it

 

This is the major point here, in Arabic the antecedent must go away when using the relative pronoun "who." Usually, a separation subject pronoun will be added so the final structure will be:

Tom he is who can do it

 

Examples:

 

Subject Case

 

تومٌ هُوَ مَنْ يَسْتَطِيْعُ أَنْ يَفْعَلَهَاْ

tōm(un) huw(a) man yastatee"(u) 'an yaf"ala-haa

= Tom he (is) who (he) can that (he) do her

Translation: Tom is the one who can do it

 

الْغَنِيُّ مَنْ يَقْنَعُ بِمَاْ يَمْلِكُ

'al-raniyy(u) man yaqna"(u) bi-maa yamlik(u)

= the rich (is) who is sufficed with what (he) has

Translation: he who is sufficed with what he has is a rich person

 

الْغَنِيُّ هُوَ مَنْ يَقْنَعُ بِمَاْ يَمْلِكُ

'al-raniyy(u) huw(a) man yaqna"(u) bi-maa yamlik(u)

= the rich he (is) who is sufficed with what (he) has

Translation: he who is sufficed with what he has is a rich person

 

 

Object Case

 

دَاْنٌ هُوَ مَنْ رَأَيْتُ

daan(un) huw(a) man ra'ayt(u)

= Dan he (is) whom (I) saw

Translation: Dan is the man whom I saw

 

And more commonly:

دَاْنٌ هُوَ مَنْ رَأَيْتُهُ

daan(un) huw(a) man ra'aytu-h(u)

= Dan he (is) whom (I) saw him

Translation: Dan is the man whom I saw

 

 

With Prepositions

The usage of relative pronouns as adpositional complements is NOT present in Arabic.

 

Example, the English sentence:

Jenny is the woman with whom he is happy

In order to translate this sentence to Arabic, it must be rephrased first. Either one of the two types of relative pronouns can be used:

1. The General Relative Pronoun (≡That)

 

The structure in Arabic will be:

"Jenny is the woman that he is happy with her"

 

2. The Specific Relative Pronoun (Whom)

 

The structure in Arabic will be:

"Jenny she is whom he is happy with her"

 

It is NOT possible to delete the object pronoun after the preposition.

 

Examples:

 

جينِيْ هِيَ الْمَرْأَةُ الَّتِيْ يَسْعَدُ مَعَهَاْ 

jenee hiy(a) ('a)l-mar'a(tu) ('a)l-latee yas"ad(u) ma"a-haa

= Jenny she (is) the woman that (he) is happy with her

Translation: Jenny is the woman that he's happy with

جينِيْ هِيَ مَنْ يَسْعَدُ مَعَهَاْ 

jenee hiy(a) man yas"ad(u) ma"a-haa

= Jenny she (is) whom (he) is happy with her

Translation: Jenny is the woman whom he's happy with

Again, it was NOT possible to delete the final object pronoun in those two sentences.

 

The Possessive

Another usage of relative pronouns in English is in the possessive form "whose." This type of relative pronouns is NOT present at all in Arabic.

 

An English example:

Jack is the boy whose book is this

In order to translate this sentence to Arabic it must be rephrased in either way of the following two:

 

1. With The General Relative Pronoun (≡That)

 

The structure in Arabic will be:

"Jack is the boy that his book is this"

OR

"Jack is the boy that this is his book"

 

2. With The Specific Relative Pronoun (Whom)

 

The structure in Arabic will be:

"Jack is who his book is this"

OR

"Jack is who this is his book"

 

3. Without Any Relative Pronoun (the best way)

 

"Jack is the owner of this book"

 

Examples:

جَاْكٌ هُوَ الْصَّبِيُّ الَّذِيْ هَذَاْ كِتَاْبُهُ  

jaak(un) huw(a) 'as-sabiyy(u) 'al-lathee haathaa kitaabu-h(u)

= Jack he (is) the boy that this (is) (the) book (of) him

Translation: Jack is the boy whose book is this

 

جَاْكٌ هُوَ مَنْ كِتَاْبُهُ هَذَاْ   

jaak(un) huw(a) man kitaabu-h(u) haathaa

= Jack he (is) who (the) book (of) him (is) this

Translation: Jack is the boy whose book is this

 

جَاْكٌ هُوَ صَاْحِبُ هَذَاْ الْكِتَاْبِ

jaak(un) huw(a) saahib(u) haathaa ('a)l-kitaab(i)

= Jack he (is) (the) (of) this book

Translation: Jack is the owner of this book

 

 

 

 

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