Direct + indirect suffixes



🔴 See also: Direct and indirect object explained, Be careful, Listen then repeat out loud.


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(2.58 min)

Verbs Direct and Indirect Suffixes.

A step back...

What is the difference between a direct and indirect object?

A direct object answers the questions “who” or “what.”

An indirect object answers the questions “to whom” or “for what.”

Example: I sold it to her.

Who or what? = it= direct object.

To whom or for what? = her= indirect object.





Direct and Indirect object explained

Arabic loves to attach direct and indirect objects onto verbs in the form of suffixes (endings).


Let’s take a look at how to say "I sold it to her." 




1 Baçtaha = I sold it
Verb +
helping vowel + pronoun           





2 liha = to her 

Preposition + helping vowel + pronoun

Instead of saying five separate words we end up writing two words that sound like one word.

بِعْتُـها لَها = I sold it to her.

Click below to hear it as one word... 2-2

In Arabic to say “I sold it to her” you only need two words and not five.


The answer is in the power of suffixes (endings).

Let’s take a closer look…

ها         لِـ         ها         بَعْتَ
5      4 3 2&1

Biçt = I sold = بِعْتْ

Appears in English as two words: verb + subject. But in Arabic just one word.

aha = it = ها (direct object).

Beware: Use the helping vowel a because biçt ends in two consonants and there cannot be three consonants in a row.

Rule recall: Don't forget that you can't have more then two consonants in a row in a word.

li = to = لِـ (preposition).

ha = her = ها (indirect object).





  Be careful. You asked and we answered.

1- Remember that the trick of saying two words instead of five only applies with direct and indirect pronouns.

Verb + Direct Object Pronoun + preposition (l or li) + Indirect Object Pronoun.  

2- Why l or li ?

Use "li" if you have more than two consonants and in need of a helping vowel.

You will get used to it.

Too many consonants make the Arabic word difficult to pronounce. Vowels "soften up" the word...

3- The final vowel before the last suffix is lengthened. This simply allows for easier pronunciation.

Keep going! You're almost there.


  Read more on direct and indirect objects


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