Arabic/This is ...

If we want to use the phrase "This is..." basically pointing to something or identifying it, we would use the Arabic word (هذا) which means "this".

As we learned earlier(and to repeat here as a reminder) there are no connecting verbs in the Arabic language, by that I mean the words "is" and "are". Therefore remember when using the term (هذا) that, in most cases, you will not need to add anything between "this" and the noun you are identifying.

"This is..." and common nouns


Lets show a few examples to make it a bit clearer:

Phrase: This is a boy this = (هذا) a boy = (ولد) thus the Arabic is : (هذا ولد)

At first glance one might see this as translating to (this boy) yet there is another way to say that phrase, and before getting into we will practice using (هذا) a bit more.

This is a book = (هذا كتاب) This is a chair = (هذا كرسي) This is a pen = (هذا قلم)

These sentences are both grammatically correct and complete sentences.

"This is..." and proper nouns


(هذا) when used with a proper personal nouns, i.e. a person's name, nothing is added. Thus you would say when introducing your friends John, Muhammad, Ali, and Rama: This is John = (هذا جان) This is Muhammad = (هذا محمد) This is Ali = (هذا علي) This is Rama = (هذا راما)

However, when using (هذا) with a proper noun that denotes other than a personal name, care must be taken to use it is a manner which will fulfill the requirements of a complete sentence. Thus "This pen..." = in Arabic (هذا القلم) would be a sentence fragment, and would not carry a meaning that whoever you are speaking to can understand (unless of course you are answering a question about a pen) An example will make this clearer: Q: Which pen do you want? = (أي قلم تريد؟) A: This pen.(هذا القلم) [identifying the specific pen he wants.]

"This is the..." and the word (هذا)


Now when using the word (هذا) one might want to exclaim "This is the boy!" or point out "This is the pen." Here a pronoun = (هو) needs to be added [in Arabic grammar this pronoun is called (ضمير الشأن)] This pronoun allows the sentence to move from one of a sentence fragment to one of a complete sentence. Examples: "This is the boy!" = (هذا هو الولد) Compare to = "This boy..." = (هذا الولد) "This is the pen." = (هذا هو القلم) Compare to = "This pen..." = (هذا القلم)

"This is..." and the feminine


The feminine form of (هذا) is (هذه) which means exactly the same thing yet will only be used for feminine nouns.

One might then ask "How do I know that the noun is feminine?" Answer: Well one apparent clue is that you are using it to describe a female. Thus names such as Rebecca, Sara, Fatimah, and Aishah will all be identified with the word (هذه). This is Rebecca = (هذه رابكا) This is Sara = (هذه سارة) This is Fatimah = (هذه فاطمة) This is Aishah = (هذه عائشة)

If the word is not blatantly used to describe a female, than there are certain signs that will denote for you the proper usage of (هذه) with that word, such as: 1- the word ending in (ــة ، ة) such as: car = (سيارة) printer = (طابعة) government = (حكومة)

2- the word ending in (ـاء) such as the words: sky = (سـماء) air = (هواء) cover = (غطاء)

Other words are known to be feminine by usage, one needs to build their vocabulary in order to distinguish the masculine from the feminine.