The possession and annexation in Arabic | إِضَافَة

The possession and annexation in Arabic | إِضَافَة

1. The possession – إِضَافَة


Definition of the possession


To express the state of annexation or possession, the Arabic language uses possessive construction. It comes in two parts.



a child with a book -possession

كِتَابُ الْوَلَدِ

The book of the child



The first part of the construction (كِتَابُ) is called al Mudafاَلْمُضّافُ, it is followed by a second part (الْوَلَدِ) called Mudaf ilayhi الْمُضَافٌ إليْهِ.


The Mudaf must follow some characteristics:

  • it comes in the first position of the construction
  • The Mudaf does not carry the definite article Alif Lam or any nunation (tanween)
  • it is at the nominative case, which means that it carries a dammahas a final vowel. Nevertheless, its case can change if, for example, it is preceded by a preposition. It will depend on the grammatical role of the Mudaf in the sentence.

The Mudaf ilayhi must follow some characteristics:


  • it is at the genitive case – مَجْرورٌ
  • it is marked as definite (with the article Alif Lam, proper noun) or can be indefinite (with nunation – tanween)





سَعيدٌ: أ كتابُ محمدٍ هذا يا ياسِرُ؟

Saeed: Is it the book of Muhammad O Yasir ?

ياسِرٌ: لا, هذا كتابُ حامِدٍ

Yasir: No, this is the book of Hamid.

سعيد: أين كتابُ محمدٍ؟

Saeed: Where is the book of Muhammad?

the book is on the table - possession

ياسر : هو على المَكتَبِ هُناكَ.

Yasir: it is on the desk there.

سعيد: أيْن دَفْتَرُ عَمَّارٍ؟

Saeed: Where is the notebook of Ammar?

ياسر: هو على مكتبِ الْمَدْرَسَةِ.

Yasir: it is on the desk of the teacher.

سعيد: قَلَمُ مَنْ هذا يَا عَلِيُّ؟

Saeed: this is the pen of who O Ali?

عَليٌّ: هذا قَلَمُ الْمُدَرِّسِ.

Ali: this is the pen of the teacher.

سعيد: أين حَقيْبَةُ الْمُدرِسِ؟

Saeed: Where is the bad of the teacher?

the bas is under the desk

عَلِيٌّ: هِي تَحْتَ الْمَكْتَبِ.

Ali: it is under the desk.



In this dialogue, you can learn:


  • The possession, for example, هذا كتابُ حامِدٍ (this is the book of Hamid).
  • Also, you can learn a new preposition: تَحْتَ – under and on – عَلَى.
  • When you want to call someone, you can use the vocative particle يَا (O)


If you want to ask to whom belong something, you can use the following construction:


Thing + مَنْ هذَا ؟


This is a possession construction, which means that the Mudaf here is the thing. Thus, all the conditions of the Mudaf must be applied.


For example:

كِتَابُ مَنْ هذا ؟

To who is this book?

قَلَمُ مَنْ هذا ؟

To who is this pen?

بَيْتُ مَنْ هذا ؟

To who is this house?


Stay updated with our latest offers, and promotions

The al Madina Center for Arabic is the first language school specializing in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers, based in Medina, Saudi Arabia.


2. The vocative particle

The vocative particle – حَرْفُ النِّدَاءُ is used in the Arabic language for calling someone. In English, you use the letter “O,” but in Arabic, you use the vocative particle “يَا.”


يا ياسِرُ

O Yasir

If you observe this construction, it is made from two parts:

  • the vocative particle: يَا
  • the word following this particle: الْمُنادَى. In our example, you can see that “Yasir” takes the nominative case. Also, it lost its nunation (tanween) and carried only a simple dammah .



You now completed this free Arabic lesson. Thus, you have learned :

  • the possession in Arabic
  • the vocative particle


In the next lesson, inshAllah, we will discover how to use the feminine singular demonstrative pronoun in Arabic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Download this free eBook and learn:

1. The main rules of conjugation
2. The main rules of grammar