Persian Lesson 34 – When and how to use /ra:/ with objects

Persian Lesson 34 – When and how to use /ra:/ with objects

Persian Lesson 34 – When and how to use /ra:/ with objects

Jan 11, 2019 - Persian Language Courses

Salam! Khosh amadid!

Hello everyone, how are you?


1- Listen to the audio files first (preferably once). Repeat it for a couple of times. Write it down on a paper. Find their English equivalents. (Seen).


2- Find the Persian equivalent for the following words and make six sentences with each of them (one in simple past tense, negative in simple past, interrogative in simple past, one in present perfect tense, negative in present perfect tense, and negative using ‘for’).

To cook
To sharpen
To obey

3- Say these numbers in Persian:

12 – 15 – 50 – 601 – 106 – 2002 – 5555

All right,

As I told you last week, we are going to take another look at ‘objects’ and /ra:/.

Note: I am teaching you based on my own knowledge without having any access to Persian grammar books. Everything throughout this site comes from my memory. Nevertheless, it does not mean that I have memorized all these things. Whenever I need to find a rule, I try to say a couple of sentences first. Then, I find a rule based on these sentences. So, it seems natural that sometimes I forget something. If this is the case, I will try to correct or complete the rules later. Whatever it is, you can be sure that I will not teach you something wrong.

Look at the following sentence:

I saw him.
I = subject
Saw = verb
Him = object

Here, to understand the concept of objects, I am going to explain it in different situations. In the above sentence, both the Person who is speaking and the one who is listening know whom we are talking about. I mean, the object of our sentence is known to both of us. The person who is saying ‘ I saw him’ expect me, as a listener, to know ‘him’, which is the object of the sentence. Is the explanation clear?

In this case, we have to put /ra:/ after the object of our Persian sentence. We should say /mæn u: ra: didæm/.

Now look at this sentence:

I saw your friend.

This sentence has the same story. That is to say, the object of our sentence is known to me, as the subject, and the person who is listening to me. So, we should say /mæn du:stæt ra: didæm/. We should put /ra:/ after the object.

Is it clear? Good.

Now, look at this sentence:

I saw the book.

I am sure your English is better than mine. You know that ‘the’ in this sentence has made the ‘book’ known to us. In another word, ‘the’ is a ‘definite article’ through which we know which book we are talking about. Am I right?

So, if we have a ‘definite article’ (the) before the object of our sentence, we should put /ra:/ after the object in our Persian sentence. This is our Persian sentence: /mæn keta:b ra: didæm/.

Now, look at the following example:

I saw a book.

As you see, there is ‘a’ before object, and we know that ‘a’ is an ‘indefinite article’, which does not specify the object so clearly as ‘the’ does. That is to say, we don’t know which book we are talking about.

Here, we’d better not add /ra:/ to our object in the Persian sentence. So, our Persian sentence is this: /mæn keta:bi didæm/, or /mæn yek keta:b didæm/.

Note: as you see, I said ‘better not‘ for this rule. It means that this rule is not very strict. It, mostly, depends on the nature of the verb and our context. So, you are allowed to say your sentences with or without /ra:/ in Persian.

Now, try this one:

I saw two books.

Here, we don’t know which books we saw. Therefore, if we accept ‘two’ as an article, we should call it an ‘indefinite article’. So, we shouldn’t put /ra:/ after the object of our Persian sentence. Our Persian sentence is this: /mæn do keta:b didæm/.

Or, I bought two books = /mæn do keta:b khæridæm/.

Sometimes, we are talking about a general concept. Look at the following example:

I have eaten food.

As you see, food is a general concept.

So, in such general concepts, we shouldn’t put /ra:/ after the object. We simply say /mæn ghæza: khordeh æm/.

But, if we say /mæn ghæza: ra: khordeh æm/, we mean that ‘I have eaten the food’, which, for example, you left for me and so on.

In short,

If the object is known to us, we should put /ra:/ after it in our Persian sentences. An object can be known to us if it has ‘the’, ‘this’, ‘that’, ‘these’, ‘those’, ‘my’, ‘your’, …

But, if the object is not clear to us or conveys a general concept, or if the object comes with numbers in our English sentences, we shouldn’t put /ra:/ after the object in our Persian sentences.

Note: /ra:/ has almost the same function in Persian as ‘the’ in English. That is to say, we make an object known by putting /ra:/ after it.

Note: the words I can remember here are ‘someone’ or ‘somebody’.

I saw somebody.

Somebody is not so clear to us. But, it has the same structure as ‘I saw him’. Therefore, we should say that the structure of these two sentences is the same:

I saw him = I saw somebody

They have the same structure. Therefore, we should use the same rule for both of them.

I saw somebody/someone = /mæn yeki ra: didæm/.

See you next week!

Khoda Hafez!

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