Arabic Language Blog

Definite Nouns:(5) Relative Nouns الأسماء الموصولة Posted by on Apr 2, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

  • Today we continue learning about another type of  definite nouns. This new type is known in English as Relative Pronouns . However, in Arabic, they are nouns, not pronouns.
  • A relative noun is a noun referring to a definite thing by a sentence that follows it. This sentence is called  the relative dependant clause or جملة صلة الموصول (Sela Clause)
  • The Sela sentence can be a Verbial sentence or a Nominative one.
  • The Sela sentence must always have a pronoun that relates it to the Mawsool noun.
  • This pronoun or reference must agree with the Mawsool (noun it refers to) in everything.

Types of Relative Nouns

1-  الذي   =  (who / which) : Referring to the Masculine Singular (persons & things). 

                    Examples:     –  محمد هو الذي قرأ الكتاب    

                                                 = Mohamed is the person who read the book .

                                                 –  الكتاب الذي على الأريكة كتابي 

                                                =  The book which is on the table is mine.

2-   التي    =  (who / which) : Referring to the feminine singular (persons & things).

                    Examples:    –  هذه هي المدرسة التي أذهب إليها 

                                                = This is the school which I go to .

                                                 – منى هي الفتاة التي ترتدي الزى الأزرق   

                                                = Mona is the girl wearing the blue uniform.

3-   اللذان    =  (who / which) : Referring to the Masculine Dual (persons & things).

                     Example:  -علي و أحمد هما اللذان كتبا الدرس   

                                            = Ali and Ahmed are the boys who wrote the lesson.

                                             – الكتابان اللذان اشتريتهما رائعان 

                                            = The two books (which) I bought are great.

4-  اللتان    =  (who / which) :  Referring to the Feminine Dual (persons & things)

                    Examples:   – البنتان اللتان وصلتا أولاً هما منى و سها  

                                             = The two girls who arrived first are Mona and Soha.  

                                             – المقالتان اللتان قرأتهما لكاتبةٍ عربية                 

                                           = The two articles which I read, are by an Arab writer.

5-   الذِين    =   (who) : Referring to The Masculine Plural (Persons only).  

                    Examples:  –  هؤلاء هم الأولاد  الذين وصلوا متأخرين

                                              = These are the boys who arrived late.

6-   اللاتي / اللائي    =   (who) : referring to the Feminine Plural (Persons only)

                          Examples: – هؤلاء هن البنات اللاتي / اللائي وصلن متأخرات

                                                 = These are the girls who arrived late.

7-    مَنْ   =  (who) : Referring to only Persons (F./M.) in all Numbers (Sing./Dual/ Pl.)

                   Examples:  – أحب مَنْ يقول الصدق   

                                             = I like this / those who tell(s) the truth.

                                             – مَنْ يحب وطنه فهو مواطن صالح  

                                            = He who loves his country is a good citizen.

8-   ما   = (What/which) : Referring to only nonhuman things (F./M.) in all Numbers (Sing./Dual/Pl.)

                    Examples:  – أحب كل ما تكتبه من قصص 

                                              = I like all what you write.

                                             – نشرت الصحيفة كل ما أرسلت لها   

                                           = The paper published  all what I sent of stories.


Next time, we will discuss the last two types of Definite Nouns.

Check us back soon

Peace سلام   /Salam/  

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


  1. mogamat osman dawood:

    assalaamu alaykum,
    i would like you to go into detail about the relative pronoun, as i dont understand when the returner عائد is used. shukran.