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Lesson 2b: Pronouns and Gender


This lesson assumes you are already familiar with or are learning the Arabic script. If not, check out our free Arabic Alphabet Textbook.


Lesson 2, Part A:
  • Intro
  • Dialogue
Lesson 2, Part B: Lesson 2, Part C:
  • Adjectives
  • Nisbah Adjectives
Personal Pronouns
Arabic has personal pronouns like in English: I, you, he, she. Review the personal pronouns, take the quiz and read more about how to use them.
Personal Pronouns
ArabicEnglish
أنا
anaa
I
أنتَ
anta
You (masculine)
أنتِ
anti
You (feminine)
َهُو
huwa
He/it
َهِي
hiya
She/it
ُنَحن
naHnu
We
أنتُم
antum
You (masc. plural)
أنتُنَّ
antunna
You (fem. plural)
هُم
Hum
They (masc.)
َّهُن
Hunna
They (fem.)
(click)

Personal Pronouns Quiz

One way in which Arabic differs from English is that Arabic does not have a pronoun "it" for inanimate objects. Instead Arabic uses the pronoun for He or She depending on the gender of the object.

Another way the two differ is that personal pronouns are generally used less frequently in Arabic than in English. This is in part because when a verb is conjugated in Arabic, information about who is performing the action is included in the verb. As a result, specifying this information with a personal pronoun seems redundant. This will be covered in more detail in the lessons on verbs.

Gender
Every noun in Arabic is either Masculine or Feminine. It is important that you know the gender of the inanimate nouns you are using since it will also affect how you use adjectives and whether you refer to it using َهُو or َهِي.

Determining Gender: 95% of the time you can determine whether a noun is Masculine or Feminine based on whether it ends with the taaʾ marbuuTa.

Connected Non-connected

Exceptions: There are a few feminine words that don't end in taaʾ marbuuTa such as sun, war and fire. There are also some masculine nouns that end with taaʾ marbuuTa in the plural.

For now note the gender of each noun you learn and, if you need to guess, the presence/absence of the taaʾ marbuuTa will tell you the correct gender almost all the time.

Proper Names: All cities are considered to be feminine. The reason is that the Arabic word for city مَدينة (madiina) is feminine. That's why, in the dialogue, the city of New York is described as beautiful using the feminine form of the adjective beautiful. Most country names are considered feminine though there are a couple of exceptions that you'll need to learn, such as Morocco, Lebanon and Jordan.