demonstrative pronouns

Introduction to the demonstrative pronouns

 

Words that are used to point at something are known as

 

Demonstrative pronouns – اِسْمُ الْإِشارَةِ

 

For example:

 

هَذَا كِتَابٌ

This is a book (complete sentence)

 

 

كِتَابٌ = مُشارٌ إِلَيْهِ

هَذا = اِسْمُ الإِشارَةِ

 

 

ذَلِكَ الْكِتَابُ

That book (incomplete sentence)

 

 

 

الْكِتَابُ= مُشارٌ إِلَيْهِ

ذَلِكَ = اِسْمُ الإِشارَةِ

 

 

In the above examples, هذا and ذلك are demonstrative pronouns – اِسْمُ الإِشارَةِ. The objects pointed at are called – مُشارٌ إِلَيْهِ.

 

Not that by prefixing ال to the مُشارٌ إِلَيْهِ, the sentence gives an incomplete meaning as in the above example “that book.”

 

The demonstrative pronouns have two forms:

 

Near distance

اِسْمُ الإِشارَةِ لِلْقَرِيْبِ

 

Far distance

اِسْمُ الإِشارَةِ لِلْبَعِيدِ

These are considered to be proper nouns or definite nouns.

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Table for demonstrative pronouns – near distance

 

Masculine

 

Singular

هَذَا

This

 

Dual

هَذَيْنِ – هَذَانِ

These (two)

 

Plural

هَؤُلآءِ

These (all)

 

 

 

Feminine

 

Singular

هَذِهِ

This

 

Dual

  هَاتَيْنِ – هَاتَانِ

These (two)

 

Plural

هَؤُلآءِ

These (all)

 

 

 

There is a plural form in the demonstrative pronouns that is common to both genders – هَؤُلآءِ – which is used only for human beings. Otherwise, the singular form of the feminine – هَذِهِ – is enough to refer to the collective of plural non-human nouns and broken plurals.

Examples from the Noble Quran

 

وَإِنَّ هَـٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاتَّقُونِ

And indeed this, your religion, is one religion, and I am your Lord, so fear Me.” (23:52)

 

 

وَهَـٰذَا كِتَابٌ مُّصَدِّقٌ لِّسَانًا عَرَبِيًّا

 And this is a confirming Book in an Arabic tongue  (46:12)

 

 

قَالُوا إِنْ هَـٰذَانِ لَسَاحِرَانِ

They said, “Indeed, these are two magicians (20:63)

 

 

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَـٰؤُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ

Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another (2:85)

 

 

Note: if the demonstrative pronoun comes in a possessive sentence, it will come after the possessive phrase.

 

قَالَ إِنِّي أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُنكِحَكَ إِحْدَى ابْنَتَيَّ هَاتَيْنِ

He said, “Indeed, I wish to wed you one of these, my two daughters (28:27)

 

Table for demonstrative pronouns-far distance

 

Masculine

 

Singular

ذَلِكَ

That

 

Dual

ذَيْنِكَ – ذَانِكَ

Those (two)

 

Plural

أُولئِكَ

Those (all)

 

 

 

Feminine

 

 

Singular

تِلْكَ

That

 

Dual

تَانِكَ – تَيْنِكَ

Those (two)

 

Plural

أُولئِكَ

Those (all)

 

 

The plural for – أُولئِكَ – is common to both genders in far distance demonstrative pronouns and is used only for human beings. Otherwise, the singular form of the feminine – تِلْكَ – is used to refer to the broken plurals.

 

 

Examples from the Holy Quran

 

تِلْكَ الرُّسُلُ 

Those messengers (2:253)

 

 

 

 ذَٰلِكَ الْكِتَابُ لَا رَيْبَ ۛ فِيهِ ۛ هُدًى لِّلْمُتَّقِينَ

This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah (2:2)

In the above examples, ذَٰلِكَ and تِلْكَ are also used for things of the near distance to emphasize the greatness or seriousness of the object point.

 

فَذَانِكَ بُرْهَانَانِ مِن رَّبِّكَ

for those are two proofs from your Lord (28:32)

 

 

 أُولَـٰئِكَ عَلَىٰ هُدًى مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ ۖ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ 

Those are upon [right] guidance from their Lord, and it is those who are successful. (2:5)

 

 

  ذَٰلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي

 That is from what my Lord has taught me (12:37)

 

 

ذَٰلِكُمُ اللَّـهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُوهُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ

That is Allah, your Lord, so worship Him. Then will you not remember? (10:3)

 

Note: In the last two examples, ذَٰلِكُمَا and ذَٰلِكُمْ are used. Although they seem dual and plural, they are singular but the pronouns used are dual and plural.

هَاهُنَا  “here” and هُنَالِكَ “there” and “then” are demonstrative pronouns for place and time, e.g.

 

 

فَاذْهَبْ أَنتَ وَرَبُّكَ فَقَاتِلَا إِنَّا هَاهُنَا قَاعِدُونَ

so go, you and your Lord, and fight. Indeed, we are remaining right here. (5:24)

 

 

 

هُنَالِكَ دَعَا زَكَرِيَّا رَبَّهُ

at that, Zechariah called upon his Lord (3:38)

 

 

 

 

This Arabic lesson is now finished. The next one will be insha’Allah about the relative pronouns in Arabic.

 

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