<< Previous

Lesson 10b: Possession (Review)

Lesson 10, Part A:
  • Intro
  • Dialogue
Lesson 10, Part B: Lesson 10, Part C:
  • 3inda
  • ma3a
  • li
In this chapter we will go over the 5 most common ways to express possession in Arabic. Here they are with examples:
  • Possessive Pronouns - "My name" or "Your book"
  • iDaafa Phrases - "The book of my cousin"
  • 3inda - "I have a car"
  • ma3a - "I have a book with me"
  • li - "I have a sister"
Each of these is used in different ways with different nuances as you will see. Additionally some of these expressions can be used in ways unrelated to possession.

  1. Study the new vocab
  2. Take the vocab quiz
  3. Read the grammar lessons
  4. Take the grammar comprehension quiz
to own, to have
to have (with you)
to have, for, in order that
porch, balcony

Possessive Pronouns (review)
Possessive Pronouns, also known as Possessive Endings or Attached Pronouns, were first mentioned in Lesson 1 and covered in detail in Lesson 6. They are pretty straight forward. By attaching endings to a noun you can form phrases such as "My dog", "Your book" and "Her sister".

This is my dog
haadhaa kalbii
هذا كَلبي

Once a possessive ending has been attached to a noun, it is considered definite for grammatical purposes. See lesson 6 for details on usage.

iDaafa Phrase (review) - إضافة
Idaafa phrases are covered in detail in Lesson 6. Two or more nouns can be chained together to form an iDaafa phrase. IDaafa means "addition" and these phrases are very common.

In most cases you can get a rough translation for an iDaafa phrase by using the English word "of" between each noun. For example

مَدينة نيويورك
madiinat nyuu yuurk

can be translated as "The city of New York" and

كِتاب الاستاذ
kitaab al-ustaadh

can be translated as "The book of the teacher".

The iDaafa shows a relationship which, like "of", can be one of possession but can also express a more general association, such as "a cup of coffee" or "the arrival of my mother".

The rules for forming an iDaafa phrase are a little complicated, so see Lesson 6 for details. To summarize:
  • It can link two or more nouns
  • If the first word ends in taa marbuta, it is pronounced like 'at'
  • Only the final noun can take the definite article ال
  • The entire iDaafa phrase is considered definite regardless of whether the definite article is used
  • If you are having trouble figuring out the meaning of an iDaafa, try sticking the word "of" between each noun.
  • The iDaafa phrase is very common. So get used to it!!