Own stuff  - the possessive suffix



🔴 See also: Possession explained, Be careful, Drills


 Watch summary video
(1.14 min)

Possessive endings (the suffix).

Only nouns can be owned and not verbs.

Therefore, the possessive suffixes are attached to nouns in Arabic.

ExampleMy shirt is just one word using the i suffix.

 Let's do a close up:



     1 قَميصـي


 Possessive endings

i - ana  
my contract            

na - ihna
our contract

ak - inta
your contract

kum - intu or intum
your contract

ik - inti

your contract (f.)


u - huwwa
his contract

hum - humma
their contract

ha - hiyya
her contract



 Listen then repeat out loud:

"amiis" ends in one consonant so you slot in the suffix without a helping vowel.

"amiis" ended in two consonants a helping vowel is needed.

 Possessive suffixes


2 amiisi       
my shirt          


3 amiisak
your shirt (m.)             

🔴 See remaining conjugations

 GAME: Egyptian Colloquial


 GAME: MSA/Colloquial


 GAME: Arabic in English



  Beware: Helping vowels are usually not typed in the Arabic text but are pronounced. Hear the helping vowels on the audio clips.

  Beware: The suffixes “i” (my), “ik” and “ak” (your), and “u” (his) do not need helping vowels.

After all, why would they if they already begin with a vowel.

  Be careful:

Add a helping vowel before the suffix for the following two cases:

CASE #1: If the noun ends in two consonants – add a vowel.

You can only guess if the helping vowel is an a i or u vowel until you get better at the "sounds" of the language.

Frequently, the helping vowel is similar to any prior vowel in the word.

Example: Let’s say we want to add to the word shoghl (work) the suffix “ha” (her).

Note: shoghl ENDS in two consonants (غل) and ha BEGINS with a consonant.

Rule recall: You cannot have three consonants in a row in Arabic.

 Let's do a close up:

شُغْلـُ+ ها      

شغل + ها
10 shoghl + ha 

10-1 her work  



In the above example the helping vowel a is seen in the transliteration.

CASE #2: If the noun ends in a vowel add another similar vowel before attaching the suffix.

  Example: Let’s say we want to add to the word korsi (meaning “chair”) the suffix “ha” (which means “her”).

Note that
korsi already ENDS in one vowel. So, you need to add ONE MORE VOWEL prior to adding any suffix.

The two vowels now appear in the word like this:

 Let's do a close up:

كرسيُ+ ها

كُرْسي + ها
11 korsi + ha

 her chair



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