Colloquial Persian
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Colloquial Persian Part 1
Colloquial Persian part 2

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P ER SIAN LeilaMoshiri

Gontents Introduction




The PersianAlphabet


6 Pronunciation AlterDiphthongs; Vowels; Consonants; Intonation; and Stress ation of Vowel Soundsin Colloquial Speech;Capital Letters and Functuation

11 Lesson 1 Articles; Gender; -elast, hast, nist; Word Order; Plurals; lnterrogatives;And; Phrasesand Expressions 19 Lesson2 SubjectPronouns;T\e ezãfe;Adjectives; Comparisonof Adjectives; Demonstratives;Phrasesand Expressions 7Ã Lesson 3 Verbs I: the infinitive; tensesformed from the past stem- simple past, imperfect and past participle; The Verb 'to be'; Phrases and Expressions 38 Lesson4 present tense' Verbs II: tensesformed from the present stem subjunctive, imperative, Noun of the Agent; Phrases and Expressions 49 Lesson5 Tenses Compound Use of the Particle rã; Compound Verbs; and passive; Phrases past subjunctive, perfect, pluperfect,future, Expressions;Summaryof Verb Endings

Lcsson6 Ot Adverbsand Adverbial E:rpressions; Prepositions;phrascsand Expressions ksson 7 Numben; Phrasesand Expressions Lesson 8 79 The Calendar; The Seasons;The Days of the Week; The points of the Compass; Telling the Time; Currency; Expressions of Time Lesson9 97 Pronouns - possessivepÍonouns, interrogative pÍonouns, indefinite pronouns, khod, colloquial use of pronominal suffixes; Colloquial Use of the ezãfe; Conjunctions; phrases and Expressions Lesson 10 96 Subordinate Clauses - relative clauses, indirect statements, wishes and commands, result clauses, conditional sentences, possibility; Impenonal Constructions; phrasesand Expressions

I*sson 11 Word Fornation Irsson 12 Polite Phrasesand Conventions;Other Expressions




At the Airport; At the Travel Agent; Shopping;Asking the Way; The Telephone Appendix Numbers; Currency; The Calendar


Exercise key







lntroduction The country is lran, its people are lranians, but things and the language are Persian. The Iranians themselves refer to their languageas fãrsi becausewhereasthe country as a whole derived its name from the Aryan peoples who first migrated there, the predominant tongue came to be that of the people of Fars, the province which held Persepolis,the capital of the Persianempire of two thousandyearsago. Persian is an Indo-European language,which means that it is related to the languagesof Western Europe (when you come to them, you may like to compare the words for father, rnother, daughter, brother, with English or German). After the Islamic conquest of lran, Arabic became for a time the language of officialdom and learning with the result that Persianitself came to be written with the Arabic alphabet and there was an enormous Arabic influenceon the languagein terms of vocabulary,though hardly any in terms of its oasic structure which retained its own identity.Thereis usuallya pure Persianequivalentfor mostÀrabic borrowings, but one or the other has tended to becomedominant and more normally used.This is rather like the French borrowings in English after the Norman conquest. In the 1960sand 1970sa consciouseffort was made to reducethe use of Arabic words, but with the return to an Islamic societyand the greateremphasisthat is now placed on the teaching of Arabic and the learning of the Koran in schools,this trend hasbeenreversed.It is probablyworth noting, however,that many words of Arabic origin usedin modern Persian have acquired a different meaning or shade of meaning from that of present-dayArabic. Colloquial Persianis the languageof ordinary speechand conversation. It is not written down, exceptnowadaysin informal correspondencebetween young people. The main difference between the spoken word and the written languageis in the alteration of vowel sounds, the contractionsthat occur in many forms of the

2 ntnoouctrox verbs and the colloquial useof the many suffixes. It is quite difficult to draw a definite line between the conversationallanguageand more formal speech, not becausethe two forms are interchangeable, but becauseboth forms úll be heard, depending on the circumstances in which you may find yourself. Native speakers alwaysaddresseach other in colloquial Persian,but since they do not $'rite as they speak, anything being read, such as the radio or television news, official reports, etc, will be in the correct forms which would sound stilted if used in conversaüon.It is partly for this reason that the languagecannot be learnt properly without some basic knowledge of the correct forms which are then altered in speech. I have tried, however, not to err too much in this direction. It may be of interest to note that a number of other languages are 5poken in the different regionsof [ran, chief amongwhich are Turkish in the north-western province of Azarbaijan and an Arabic dialect in the South. There are also Kurdish and Baluchi, and the dialect of the Caspian proünce of Gilan. There is a sizeable Armenian minority in the country, chiefly in Tehran and Isphúan. People who are native speakersof any of these languageswill tend to have varying degreesof accent when speaking Persian and this has little to do with the degree of education of the speaker. The standard pronunciation is that of Tehran which is used in this book. A cassettehas been produced to accompany this book so that you can hear Percianspoken by native speakers.All material on the cassetteis marked by a I in the text.

Abbreviations The following abbreviationshave been used in this book:

ThePersian Alphabet As a matter of interest, the Persian alphabet is set out below, togetherwith the transcriptionusedin this book. [t is important to realisethat the letters changetheir shapeaccordingto the position they occupy in the word, and for the sake of simplicity only the initial forms and the final, unjoined forms of the letters are shown here. Name

Final, unjoined form




be pe te

che he


b z




t s j


e c

ch >








h kh


d z


ze zhe



se jim


r z


sin shin


ú s sh










v 0

ân Èân fe Èãf kãf gãf



t :














.J I
















m n

Y ' l r €l

Pronunciation It is very difficult to render the pronunciationin transliteration of any languagenot written with the Roman alphabet.I have tried to keep the following guide as simple and accurateas possible,but correct pronunciation can really only be achievedby hearing and imitating native speech and for this purpose the accompanying cassettewill be found to be extremelyvaluable, if not essential.

STRESSAI\ID INTONATION As a generalrule the stressin Persianfalls on the last syllable of the word. The main exceptionsto this are in words with the various verb endings and some sufffrxes,which will be indicated as they occur, and words with the negativeprefixes.persian makes intensive use of prefixesand suffixes,but in generalwords tend to retain their basic stÍess pattern even when the number of syüablesis altered by such additions: e.g. ketàb - *etÀUi - ketàtsm - tetàte send. Intonation is also used a great deal to give variety of expression, but apart from mentioning the interrogative tone used for questions, the rest can really only be learnt by ear. r 1. CONSONANTS (a) Pronouncedas in English: b d f g - hard as in geÍ h j k I

m n p s*asinsit t v

v z


(b) r kh sh ch zh g! -

trilled, try sayingbrrrr as in the Scots/oclr as in sheep as in chat, chap like the j in the Frenchje there is no correspondingEnglish sound; pronunciation of this letter should be learnt from native speakers.You can achievean approximation by sticking the very back of your tongueto the roof of your mouth and then letting go, letting breath and sound out at the sametime. Where any of the aboveletters appearwithout the joining line underneath,each will have its own value as a consonant.

(c) ' - the glottal stop: The closest to this in English is in the cockney bo'Ie, fot 'bottle'. This soundis not asstrongin Persianasit is in Arabic. Between two vowels' really only separatesthem: sã'at (watch, time), etl'at (obedience) It is slightly stronger between a vowel and a consonant: ta'mir (repair), fe'lan (for the time being) likewise after a consonantat the end of a word: rob' (quarter) (d) Double consonants(called taúdid in Persian): The sound of the consonant is reinforced, so that each consonant is almost pronounced separately,rather like the English word boo/c-case: nqiiãr (carpenter) It is rather like coming down on the first letter then taking off again from the second.

r 2. volvEls ã - as in wash,or the o in on r-asinhat e-asinend i - as in deed

bâbã (daddy) bad (bad) lhâne (house), esm (name) in (this)

8 rnonuxcrenon o - asin the Frenchrzot u - asin oalr

bororg (big), do!!t r (girl) faulu(peach)

r 3. I'TPHTHONGS â - as in raid orv- asin mow

ânek (spectactes) mowz (banana) Where two vowels appear togetheÍ in the text with no connecting line on top, each vowel will have its own value and must be pronouncedseparately.

I Pnonunciatbn Exerciscs â a e i

o u el

ãlu (plum); ãb (water); ãrd (flour); bãtâ (up); bad (wind) ast (is); abru (eyebrow); namak (salt); bad (bad) esm (name); emãrú (building); nefrat (hate); negãh (look); !!!ne (house); rânende (driver); entezãr (waiting) in (this); iqie (here); imãm (faith); bebin (took!); bidãr (awake); bimãr (ill); abi (blue); zendegiQife) oftãd (he fell); otãgh (room); bozorg (big); [email protected] (grrl) un (that); hulu (peach);utu (iron); ãrezu (wish) ânok (spe^ctacles);ôrven (verandah, balcony); môaen (square); bôrne(between)

r 4. aLTERATTON OF VOWAL SOITNDSIN COLLOQTIAL SPEBCH (a) The vowel ã almost always becomes u before an n and frequently also before an m: lhãne (house) becomeskhune, nãn (bread) becomesnun, âmad (he came) can becomeumad. (á) Vowels followed by two consonantsat the end of a word are lengthened,as in hast (there is); goft (he said); nist (there isn't); seft (hard). In general,throughout this book, the first time a word is used, it will be shown thus: colloquial or usual spokenform/literary oÍ correct form. Thereafter the colloquial form will generally be usedunlessthe style or sentencerendersit necessaryto do


otherwise. By correct or literary is meant the form as it is written down and which will not normally be usedin ordinary speech,but which one will hear if things are being read out, on radio and television ne\trs,for example.[n explanationsof grammaticalpoints, the correct forms will also be used' The glossarieswill show the correct form.

I Pronunciation Exercise r rãst (right); dorost (correct); rãh (way); barâdar (brother) kh khãhar (sister);ãkhar (last); kãkh (palace);nimrokh (profile); ekhtiyar (will) sh shahr (town); qleno (swimming); shotor (camel); ãsh (broth) ch glerã (why?); glatr (umbrella); ãchâr (spanner);mãgh (kiss); nuch (sticky) zh neghâd(race); moghe(eyelash);Zhâle (a girl's name) gh gharb (west); taghriban (approximately); oghãb (eagle); aghrab (scorpion);meghdâr(quantity); dorugh (lie); mag$ub (defeated);glad (height); ânghadr (that much) sã'at (time); etã'at (obedience); ' ta'mir (repair); fe'lan (for the time being); jor'at (courage) e'terâz (protest); e'tebâr (credit); rob' (quarter) zh ezhãr (statement) sh eshãg! (Isaac); eshãt(dianhoea)

honunciation Exercise: Doubled Consonants pp ii tt chch w rr yy

tappe (hill); lappe (yellow split peas) nqijãr (carpenter) etteÍãgh(happening);ettehãd(unity) baghche(child) dowom (second) kharrãt (woodcarver) $ayyÕt (dressmaker,tailor)

10 ProNUNcrATroN CAPITAL LDTTERS AIìID PI,JNCTUATION Persianis written from right to left using the Arabic script. The Persianalphabet has four additional letters that representsounds that do not exist in Arabic. In transcriptiontheseare p, ú, g and zh. The letters of the alphabetchangetheir shapeaccordingto the position they occupy in the word, but capitalisationas such does not occur. The transcriptionusedin this book, therefore, doesnot use capital letters either. Exception has been made in the caseof proper nounsin the readingpassages as it is felt that this will make things easierfor the student. Punctuationmarks were not traditionally used in Persianas the sentence structure really renders them unnecessary.They are, however,now taught in schoolsand usedin modernPersian,though in a much more limited way than in English, and this has been incorporatedin the transcription.

Lesson One (darse awal) Read aloud:

11 .

drr bür-c/büz rí poqferc bsst-ast/b6tc ast hevã garm.e/gnnmact âb sord.clsrrd a$ nuuhin ttu-últt'p ú mãdsr mehrabm-e/mehrabôn ast 7. pedar llpst-ast/lchaste ast 8. peaa*ozorg pir.e/pir st 9. zan Javuo-e{avãn ast 10. múdarbozory marlz.e/msÍiz ast 1 1 .pesar g!âtun*/snâten sst t2. [email protected] kugbik*/tnçlak ast bozorg-e/ast 13.!!ud!!âne 14. âb sad nist 15. havã garm nist 1ó. mard pir nist 1 7 . gLazã khub-elast 18. otobus por-e/ast 19. otËg! khãü-e/ast zfr.otãgh tamiz nist

) 3. 4. 5. 6.

Vocabulary: water eb is -e/ast bad baste bãz bozorg cherú chp

bad closed open big ìvhy what?

The doo'r is open The window is closed The weather is hot The water is cold The bread is frestr The mother is loving The father is tired The grandfather is old The woman is young The grandmother is ill The boy is mischievous The girl is small The house is big The water is not cold The weather isn't hot The man is not old The food is good The bus is full The room is empty The room isn't clean


der [email protected] garm ghlzã havã javun/ javãn khtli

thing door girVdaughter wann food weather young empty

12 rnssoxoxs: tired !haste khune/hhãne house khub good kojã where? kuchik/huchak small mâdar mother mard man mariz iil mehrabun/ loving, kind mehrabân min table nun/nân bread nist is not, isn't olva and



mãdar pedar bozorg madãrbozorg pedarbomrg nave

otãÈ. otobus paqiere pedar p€sar pir sard sandali shâtun/ rhâtâ" tãa,e yã yek zan

room bus window father boy/son old cold chair mischievous fresh or one woman

mother father big grandmother grandfather grandson/granddaughter

ARTICLES Persianhas no articles as such: khune - house,the house pedar - father, the father In a sentence,the noun on its own generallyconveysthe meaning of the definite article: \hune bozorg-e - The house is big pedar pir-e - The father is old The indefinite is expressedby the addition of an unaccentedi at the end of the noun exceptwhere the noun endswith an i, in which caseno distinction is made: khunei - a house pedari - a father BUT sandali - the chair/a chair

LESONONE 13 In colloquial usage, this l is largely replaced by the use of -ycl ('one') before the noun: yck $une - a house (one house) yck tends to get fuÍth€r shortened in speechto ye, so you will hear: yekhune -ahouse yeterU -abook yeoügh -aroom yctãksi -ataxi ye miz - a table yesandali -achair yemrgas -afly ye nafar - a person (someone) GENDER As in English, nouns in Persian do not have a specific gender beyond that indicated in their meaning: pesar úôltun-e - The boy is mischievous - The girl is good dolhtar khub-e pedarbomrg pir-e - The grandfather is old rnâdarbozorg mariz-e - The grandmother is ill sandali bozorg-e - The chair is big miz bozorg-e - The table is big - The room is big otãg! bozorg-e .E/AST; HAST; NIST -elast = is

hast = there is

The third personsingularof the short form of the verb 'to be' (see LessonThree) is ast or hast. In spoken Persianast is shortenedto e after a word ending in a consonant,and is transcribedas -e in this book to help distinguish it from other e endings. After a vowel, ast is shortenedto st and transcribed-st. Where a word endsin e after a congonant,hotrrever,such as baste(closed), tãze (fresh), then ast is not shortened.The e of the word is elided insteadand will be shown by a hyphen: dar bast-ast (dar basteasÍ) - The door is closed nun tãz-ast (nun tdze ast) - The bread is fresh

14 r,BssoNoNs Ast and hast are not interchangeableand their correct use will best be learnt by examplesand observation. As a generalrule, hast (a) conveysthe idea of ,thereis', or (á) is more emphaticthan ast, dependingon the context: hotel khub-e/khub ast - The hotel is good nun hast - There rs bread hrst will also be used to ask 'is there?' (any bread, a room etc.): nun hast? - Is there any bread? (See'Interrogatives'below) The negativeof both ast and hast is nist - see sentence14 at the beginningof this lesson.

WORD ORDER Look again at the examplesunder the headingGENDER. Notice that the verb (-e) is at the end of the sentenceor phrase.The usual word order in Persianis: subject- object (direct, then indirect) verb. The verb normally comesat the end of the sentence,e.g.: verb mtu bozorg + (ast) - The table is big pcsar snâtun 4 (ast) - The boy is naulhty [email protected] (ast) The girl is good !!ub -e PLURAT,S l. As a general rule and particularly in colloquial use, the plural of nouns is formed by the addition of the suffix -hã, which then carriesthe stress: (table, tables) miz - mirhã (chair, chairs) sandali - sandalihÕ * paqjerehã paqjere (window, windows) (bus, buses) otobus - otobushâ (taxi, taxis) tâksi - tâksihã Nate: ln colloquial usage,in fact in speechin general,as opposed to the written word, the h of -ha is often not pronounced exceptwhen the word itself endsin the sound e: otobusã tãksiã sur paqierehã


2. The sufftx -ln is used to form the plural of nouns denoting people, animals, birds etc. For euphony, suchnouns ending in o or u will also add v, those in s n'ill add y and those in e will add g before the suffix: (man, men) msrd - mrrdtn (woman, women) ,tn - ztnln pedar (father, fathen) - p€drfn (gentleman,gentlemen) âghr - rgliyin shenrvande -glcnavandegin (listener, listeners) gudand (one sheep,sheep) - guúndrn (chicken, chickens) norx!, - morg!ân poranAcgfn (bird, birds) Fmnde The plural suffix -ln is not interchangeablewith -hã, but most words, such as mldrr, pcd.r, for which the correct, grammatical plurals are miüdartn, pedrrin, do in fact take -hn to form the plural in colloquial usage: ndrrhr (cotJ. nffarf) pedsrüfl (pdút) pcrerf . dollterl This is the form we will us€ most in this book, but do not expec't even this to be entirely consistent. A common example of the inconsistenciesthat you will [email protected] is in the phrasê 'ladiee and gentlemen'- khânumhl va Íg[tytn, whiú shona the ttpo different forms of the plural which are in use. $lnum is the everyday word for 'lady' or 'Mrs', and is always [nmunhl in the plural, whereasqÈfyln is the correct grammatical plural of

@. 3. The Arabic plural sufâx -it is also used, but not colloquially: bÕg! - bÕglrÍ (garden, gardens) A form of broken plural is also used: nrrnz€l - qrürrl (house, hOuses) But for both theseexamplesand rnanyotherslike them, bÕÈhã and menzrlhl are more common in colloquial usage.The orher forms are mentioned so that you may recognize them for what they are should you encounter them.

16 Lessox.oxs. 4. Use of tlre singular and plurall , . . There aÍe tÌvo points of differehce to be noted,here between Persianand English: (a) Persian usel the singular when considering the noun collectively or in a general sense: Ifies are dirty - magaskasif-e Books are good - ketãb khub-e (â) The singular is also used after ttum-6ersand after the word Èand'how many?': five books - panj ketãb six boys - shish pesar how many books? - chand ketãb? INTERROGATTVES Questions are asked either lvith the use of interrogative words which are usually placed immediately before the verb or the noun to which they refer, or, in the absenceof any interrogative word, by raising the tone of the voice towards the end of the sentenceto indicate a question. The chief interrogative words are: kojã where? ku where? úi what? che what? glerã why? ju" how? Èe ki who? chand how many? (+ kudunr/hodãm which? noun tn smgukô when? lar) chetowr how? I hava úetowr+? hotel kojâ-st? (kojã ast) kudum hotel? ki-e Qtronounced kiy e\? nun hast?



What's the weather like? Where is the hotel? Which hotel? Who is it? (e.9. when answering the door, though it is more polite to say btle) Is there any bread?

Note that kojã ast (where is?) is alwayscontractedto kojã-st and ki ast (who is?) is alwaysshortenedto ki-st (coll. ki-e, pronounced ki-ye).


In colloquial use, the noun following th€ interrogative word gle takes the indefinite sufâx "l and as well as just 'what', cte can also mean'what soÍ of': I che ketibi? - What sort of book?lÌVhat book? The word ãyl, which is placed at the beginning of a sentence, is used to indicate that a question follows, but this is not colloquial and is seldom used in ordinary speech.

AIïD The word for'and'is va, usuallyshortenedin speechto o (vo after a word ending in a vowel): zen o mord - man and woman pir o javun - young and old pcsrr o dolltsr - boy and girl pcElrf vo Slterl - boys and girls [email protected] o kç!$ - big and little nrmrl o lefd - salt and pepper (Note the order in the first two phraseswhich is different from that used in English).

I PHRASES AND EXPRESSIONS salim (oa more formal and Icssuniversar, salim aÉlkum)

hâle glomâ gleúowr.e? khubam, mersi

õu uq1â"

khodefez/lúodã hâfez ttr"U t"Hiã"

Hello, How do you do?, general [email protected] - used where we would say either good morning, [email protected] afternoon or good anening. Thc simple arutwerro salãm is also salâm. You will also hear alôkum assallm. How are you? I am well, thank you Good morning (/esscolloquial, than just salâm) Goodbye (lit. God, the Keeper) Good night (on gotng to bed, or also used in conjunction with

18 LD,ssoNoNE

bale na khôrr

ii*tô,t I!ãú.ü!"0

!!odã hâÍezon taking leave,of someoneat night) Yes No No (moreformal) Emphatic no, i.e. certainly not All right, O.K. (Properly speaking this ir !!ôü khub - very good)

EXERCISES A. Put into Persian: 1. The food is good 2. T}lc \ilateÍ is hot 3. The window is not open 4. Hello 5. How are you? 6. I am well, thank you 7. Goodbve 8. a house,a chair, a man 9. Where is the hotel? 10. Which hotel? The Esteghlal 11. Five books t2. The bread is fresh 13. Is the girl small? 14. The weather is not warm 15. The houseisn't big 1ó. The water is cold 17. The mother isn't bad 18. fathers,windows,boys 19. young and old 20. Is the room clean?

B. Read aloud and translate: l. nun tãze nist 2. havã gaÍm-c 3. havã garm ast 4. pesar bozorg-e 5. miz kojã-st? 6. dar bãz-e 7. panjere bast-ast? 8. kudum panjere? 9. dokhtar shâtun nist 10. mãdarbozorgmanz-e 11. magaskasif-e 12. havã chetowr-e?

Lesson Two (darse dowom) I

Read aloud: 1. in otãgbeman-e 2. forudgãhe Tehrãn bozorg-e 3. bãgle mã ghaqhang-e 4. bilite havãpêrmãkhâli gerun-e/gerãnast 5. behtarin hotele shahr kojã-st? 6. istgãheotobuse Shemrun/Shemrãnkojã-st? z. vtãryam az Fãte;; khâli-6ozorgtar-e 8. in chameduneshomã-st? 9. na, un chamedunmãle man-e 10. ketãbe man kuchiktar az ketâbe Hasan-e kuchiktarin ketâbamruye miz-e ast 11. fãrsi az ingilisi ãsuntar-e/ãsãntar Tehrân bozorgtaringhahrelrãn-e 12. mãshineman az mãshineHasan behtar-e mãshineHosein az hame behtar-e 13. lebãseFãteme az lebãseMaryam tamiztar-e lebãseZahrã az hame tamiztaÍ-e 1.4.nune emruz tãzetar az nune diruz-e tãzetarin nun mãle maghãzeyeAkbar ãghâ-st 15. Maryam az Ali bozorgtar-e Hasan az hame bozorgtar-e 16. in nun azuntãzelaÍ-e 17. in kafú az in yeki bozorgtar-e

Vocabulary: ãÈã iisun az bãg!. barâdar baraye

mister, sir easy than, from garden brother for

b€ behtar bilit úamedun dir diruz

to better ticket suitcase late yesterday

20 ressox lvo emnu ffrsl forudglh

s[sÊEqng havrpôrmf in hdlisi lqiâ hfsh ksdf ketib khlhrr


lebôs nagbfze mrn

today Persian airport lovely aeroplane this English here shoe dirty book sister very dress, clothes shop I, me

mÍlef mãshln mcdfd

ruye sorbâz scfid shrhr shgjl' dâh ShemrÕn/ Shemrun hrn|r

tappe un/itr uqjíÍqii

belonging to car pencil on soldier white tovm, city brave black name of the northern part of Tehran clean hill that there

*See LessonNine (l) Proper names: Boys: Mohammad, Hasan, Hosein, Akbar, Ali, Rezâ Girls: Maryam, Fãteme, Zahrã, Shirin SUBJECT PRONOTJNS The subject pronounsare as follows: singular man to u

0) (you) (he, she)

plural mã shomâ ishãn


(vou) (they)

There are two points to be noted here: (a) the subject pronouns are only used for persons,therefore the 3rd person u, ishân (he, she, they) cannot be used to denote inanimate objects. 'It' is expressed by the demonstrative pronoun tn Qtlural unhã) or not separatelyat all, as the verb ending will indicate the subject of the verb.



(à) ghe 2nd person plural úomã (you) is generally used as the polite form of address between strangers,.when children addressadults, as a sign of respect,etc. The singularform to (you) is usedbetweenfriends, by children and young peopleamongthemselves,by adultsaddressingchildren or superiorsaddressinginferiors. The distinction here is similar to that betweentu and vous in French. It is best to use shomã in all casesat first.

THE EZÃFE: C The ezãfeis a final e sound,rather like a suffix, after a word ending in a consonant,or ye after a word endingin a vowel. It has several uses:

r ' ! '

(a) To expressthe possessive: khuneyepedar - the father's house(/it. house-of the father) bilite otobus - the bus ticket (ticket-of the bus) barâdareMaryam - Mariam's brother khâhare Hasan - Hassan'ssister dare khune - the door of the house gharlhe ma$in - the wheel of the car lebãsemard - the man's clothes chõdorezan - the woman'sveil Note the word order which is quite different from the English usageof 's which is what it conveys: khuneyemard - the house-ofthe man. It is the thing which is possessed which takes the ezãfe, not the possessor,as in English. (b) Whenan adjectivequalifiesa noun - again note the word order: noun + ezafe- adjective: hotele hhub - the good hotel lebãsetamiz - the clean dress barãdare bozorg - the big brother farghe bozorg - the big carpet nune tãze - the fresh bread



rcstoÉrc khub daste rlst

the good restaurant the right hand (note: this can also rnean on the right) If the noun is qualified by more than one adjective,the 'qualifyng' ezãfe is also added to each adjective except the final one: - the small white house lhuneye kç$ke sefid nunc garne tâze - the hot fresh bread Írrgle boaorgegerun - the large expensivecarpet If the noun is plural, then the ezãfe is added onto the plural ending and sincethis is generally-hã, the ezãfen'ilIbe ye and not e: - large houses $unehâye boúorg baghclehiye kuchik - small children -

(c) For possessiveadjectives- there are no sepüate possessive adjectives as such (my, your, their etc.) in Persian. The meaning'my book', 'your book'etc. is renderedexactly as the possessivein (a) above, using the subject pÍonouns instead of the noun: skgular: kettbe man my book (tr. book-of I) kcttbc 3o your book (fanilior\ ketÍbc u his/her book phtrol:

k&e mr t& süooi Lalbc Mn

our book your book (polite, their book

Much more @mmon, however, especiallyin speech,is the use of the pronominal suffixee: .em qtn (ny) (colJ. -cmun) (our) .etin (colL +tun) (your) (your) -at GoA. 4) .orh (coll .ç!) @is/her/ {Ê (cott.