Showing Relationship Between Nouns

Definite al-iDaafa الإضافة

One of the most common grammatical constructions in Arabic is the al-iDaafa  الإضافة. It is formed by placing two (or more) nouns back to back to show that they are related to one another.

This type of construction is used in many ways, such as to present the names of things and places:

مدينة شكاغو Speaker Icon
mediinat shikaagu
the city of Chicago

ولاية نيويورك Speaker Icon
wilaayat nyuyork
the state of New York

It can also be used to express possession:

بيت سمير Speaker Icon
bayt Samiir
Samiir's house

حبيب أميرة Speaker Icon
Habiib 'amiira
Amira's dear one

You might be tempted to use a full English-based translation when expressing a relationship between two nouns, complete with articles and prepositions (e.g. "the city of Chicago" or "the dear one of Amira"), but don't! Arabic is so much easier: it's four words for the effort of two!

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