40 Comments

  1. khurram khokhar
    May 2, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

    Hello its khurram from lahore, Pakistan. i am really thankful to u providing such a wonderful platform for learning this beautiful language. i really admire ur style and congratulate u for this great endeavor.
    though ur style is quite simple and convenient but unfortunately i am unable to understand the meaning of ”aez’. plz tell me its meanings and its actual place and way of usage. i will be greatful to u.
    Regards’

    • leveni
      August 2, 2013 @ 10:47 am

      ‘aez’ means from.

  2. Thalia Rahme (@Thalloula)
    August 3, 2012 @ 11:19 am

    I Think the Ra will take me some time to understand :) but thanks anyway

  3. clau
    November 3, 2012 @ 1:25 am

    The only one that I dont understand is ” I saw my friend.” Why does it translate to= man doostam ra didam. Shouldn’t it be “man doostam didam”? Since its not “the friend” just my friend. And friend is not an object?

    • Dariush
      July 23, 2014 @ 4:47 pm

      /dustam/ is a definite object, nonetheless. Of course, English skips the determiner ‘the’ in case of nouns with a possessive pronoun. You never say “He is the my friend.”. It sounds absurd, because ‘my’, in itself, is enough to define the friend you are referring to. However, Farsi adds personal pronouns to the noun itself (enclictic pronoun). So adding an object marker would not harm the aesthetic appeal of a sentence. Although the ending ‘am’ suffices to define the noun, yet by convention the object marker ‘ra:’ is used. And conventions override rules in semantics. Remember that.

  4. Marco
    November 4, 2012 @ 4:21 am

    to my understanding, را does not mean “the” in Persian. it is not a word that is translated into English at all, it just marks that the word before it is in the objective case. “friend” is an object, meaning that it is the object of the verb. it takes the verbs action. having to decline nouns into different cases due to their use in a sentence is not a concept familiar to Spanish or English speakers, but in Latin is essential. in this language, depending on how the noun is used (like objective for direct object of transitive verb, or genitive for possession of another noun) it takes a different suffix. this is called inflection. for verbs, inflection is more common called conjugation. all romantic languages do this. in nouns, it is called declension. the Persian word “ra”, while it may be a separate word or even perhaps a suffix that our teacher is calling a word for now, serves this purpose to put a noun in a certain case so that the translation knows whether the noun is the subject, object, etc. of the sentence (and thus it’s place in an English sentence translation). in other languages, there might be an equivalent, like in Latin, را would be equivalent to the the -am and -as (pl.) suffixes attached to first declension nouns (to show they are objective case). in spanish, if the direct object is a person, you put “a” before the object. for example,”yo miro a Maria” means “I see Maria” and the “a” has no English equivalent. it just means that Maria is the object. hopefully that helps.

  5. clau
    November 4, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

    Marco, the comparison with Spanish definitely helped. I never thought about it like the english-spanish example you showed. thank you

  6. Marco
    November 7, 2012 @ 7:42 am

    ola clau, r hispanohispante? ahorita estudiendo esta leccion en vez de la 15ra cuando t conteste. y my current conclusion, from my limited linguistic knowledge and our teacher’s explanation, would be that there is no “ra” because the verb “to have” does not impart action on the “object”. your “having” the basket is a state that the basket is in; therefore is would be similar to a verb like budan, “to be” which i assume, does not take “ra” either (Hassan???). i can imagine a language without definite athus, a much better example in spanish (english is no good for learning new languages bc it has no logic or structure), you say “tengo hambre” not “tengo una hambre” for a similar reason

    si r hispanohablante de hecho, seria dificil entender por k no incluya “ra” porq diria “tuve una canasta” siempre pero es posible que sea diferente en farsi y todos objectos, o todos objectos indefinidos, de este tipo de verbo no exija “ra” siguiente…el respuesto de Hassan es un poco ambiguo: !si sabemos cual canasta, el k esta teniendo! ?tal vez aprenderemos mas de “ra” luego?

  7. Marco
    November 7, 2012 @ 7:45 am

    Hassan: does بودان also often not have را following its objects? and are you saying that usually داشتن does not have “ra”? or it is likely also to have را and that means something different, that “he has THE basket” – or, maybe, “he has a basket (with him).” I can understand a difference between having a basket (that you own – in general) versus having a basket (in your hands – with you), but not the difference that you explain. Or does someone else know?

    !ممنون

  8. clau
    November 7, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

    Marco, thank you for the explanation. And yes I am hispanic lol. I figured that ” he had a basket” does not need “ra” because you are already using “yek” which tells you its “a” basket and not “the basket.” Its a specific basket. So in this case, “ra” would work like “the.” In one of his examples he put “man yek ketab dashtam” = I had a book, which also doesnt have “ra.” I seem to understand these ones better where there is “a” (yek) present.

    What I dont seem to understand is why, “I saw my friend” is “Man doostam ra didam” I translated it to “Man doostam didam”. My only guess is since “friend” is a noun, that s maybe why you put it there. But is “Friend” the object? Or why “Man dar knaneh budam” (i was at home) doesnt have “ra” after “home” since home is an object and its also a noun…. Compared to ” i bought this book in the market yesterday= man in ketab ra dirooz dar bazar kharidam” these are the ones that are confusing me.

  9. Malcom Loa
    December 4, 2012 @ 8:15 pm

    “Ra” is used whenever the object is “definite”. Adding “my” to “friend” specifies the visitor as “my friend”, not just “a friend”. Anyone who knows Hebrew will know that in Hebrew there is a particle “et” which functions exactly like “ra” in Persian, except that “et” precedes the object whereas “ra” follows the object.

  10. Malcom Loa
    December 4, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    By the way, the comparison with Spanish is inexact, because “a” is used only before persons, animals and some place names. So you say in Spanish “yo miro esta mesa” but in Persian “in miz-ra didam”.

  11. Brian
    December 4, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    Malcolm, regarding ra, the examples given in a few of the lessons would seem to contradict the need for what people think of as definiteness or definition in its usage. There are quite a few cases (see the useful drills page for lesson 22) where the instructor has provided examples of indefinite direct objects being modified by ra. I would agree with your description of possessives making a noun definite, rather than indefinite.

  12. Malcom Loa
    December 6, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

    Brian: To judge from the Useful Drills of Lesson 21, it would seem that in Persian a noun ALREADY counts as definite if a number is put before it. And this applies also if the number is “yek”, as in the first sentence in the exercise at the end of the Useful Drills of Lesson 21 (to which you refer). In other words, although we use “yek mard-ra didam” to translate “I saw a man”, in Persian we are rather saying “I saw one man”. (Actually, there is another way of translating “a” into Persian, which Hassan may tell us about later, and in that case “ra” is NOT used according to the grammar books.)

    So here there is a difference from the use of “et” in Hebrew. Since Hebrew has a definite article, in Hebrew there is a clear distinction between “one man” (“adam ehad”) and “the one man” (ha-adam ha-ehad”) and so one uses “et” only in the second case (“ra’iti et ha-adam ha-ehad” vs. “ra’iti adam ehad”).

    In all the other examples in the exercise of Useful Drills 22, the object would count as definite in Hebrew as well as in Persian. So there are, I think, not “quite a few cases” there (as you say), but only the one example that raises a question.

    Incidentally, although I learned the basics of Persian grammar from some books, I find the lessons of Hassan outstanding and invaluable, not least because he took the trouble to record the pronunciation so often.

    • Malcom Loa
      December 21, 2012 @ 11:24 am

      To judge from later lessons, Brian is indeed right: Hasan does not make the distinction of the grammar books between definite and indefinite direct objects.

      • Malcom Loa
        December 26, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

        Thus Hasan translates “This man hasn’t eaten food” (indefinite) without ra in Useful Drills 32 but with ra in Lesson 33. In Lesson 21 he uses yek ketab kharidam and ketab-i kharidam without ra to mean “I bought a book” (indefinite) but in Useful Drills 22, for example, he uses ra in translating “I saw a tall man”. With DEFINITE direct objects, however, I have not (yet) found a case where he does NOT use ra.

  13. Malcom Loa
    December 30, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

    Our Teacher Hasan gives a clarification about the use of ra in Lesson 34 (see also my Reply there) and from then on he does generally make the distinction between definite and indefinite direct objects, using ra only for the definite ones, as far as I have read. But some of the lessons and drills before that have not been corrected to match that clarification (e.g. Useful Drills 21, see my Reply there about the sentences containing numbers).

  14. Hasiibyasir
    February 16, 2013 @ 5:12 am

    “I was” = “Man Budam”.. Does it mean “you were”= “to budii” , “he was”= “Oo bud”, so on..
    please help!!

  15. Shamim
    April 1, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

    Clau, I asked my father, he told me that ‘ra’ goes behind objects, not places, so, ra doesnt go behind khane because it is a place, or for example if you want to say: I was at university, you only say: Man daneshka budam, because daneshka is a place, not an object

  16. locusts1
    April 12, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

    omg i got it! victorious!

  17. robert
    April 14, 2013 @ 4:08 pm

    I live in Bermuda. I could not possibly have studied Persian effectively without this course. Thank you very much. Your are doing great work.

  18. Lore
    April 18, 2013 @ 5:48 pm

    Is it always so that را only follows definite objects? If so, it might be a good idea to mention this in the lesson 13 along with the introduction of را.

    This being my first comment on the site, I wish to thank you, Hassan: this is a wonderful initiative and you’re doing a great job! از تو تشکر کردم

  19. Lore
    April 18, 2013 @ 5:55 pm

    I only read the last part of this post now. Question asnwered :)

  20. Umme Abiha Zahra
    April 24, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

    doesn’t ”thankyou” means ”mamnun”? and whatdoes ”باز” stands for
    like in ”من در را باز کردم”

    • leveni
      August 2, 2013 @ 10:49 am

      ”باز” means ‘open’. So ”من در را باز کردم” means ‘I opened the door’

  21. Gul
    May 11, 2013 @ 7:21 pm

    I don’t understand the use of sentence of O Kitabish and Kitabat ?

  22. Gul
    May 11, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

    And your web site is so helpful God bless you

  23. farooq sultan
    June 9, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    i think use of raa and yek is comparable to definite and indefinite articles a/an and the

  24. Razia Husain
    July 31, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

    For Urdu speakers, ‘ra’ seems to be the ‘ko’ marker in Urdu…however it does not seem to differentiate between animate/inanimate objects?

  25. Syed Hassan Raza
    December 21, 2013 @ 6:20 pm

    After teaching few words in every lesson,suddenly a Lesson where you have to learn far too many words.

  26. Igor
    February 13, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

    Suddenly, somebody knocked at the door.
    why isn’t that yeki nagahan but nagahan yeki instead?
    doesn’t nagahan mark time when somebody knocked at the door?
    is yeki the subject in this?
    thanks in advance, and kheili moto shakheram for all your hard work.
    you’re a great teacher.
    greetings from Croatia

    • Setareh
      August 17, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

      Dear Igor,

      it isn’t ” yeki, nagahan ” because ‘ nagahan’ means Suddenly, and yeki means ” someone/somebody”. So, our sentence is: Suddenly, somebody knocked at the door.
      In Persian: Nagahan, yeki dar zad.

      I am not good in explaining, sorry :c I wish I could help you.

      ( Sorry for the same comment below, i have clicked wrong “reply” button )

  27. Lauren
    June 30, 2014 @ 7:53 am

    Hi I was wondering if its possible to get the answers with the English letters? Thank you very much.

    • Setareh
      August 17, 2014 @ 9:10 pm

      Dear Igor,

      it isn’t ” yeki, nagahan ” because ‘ nagahan’ means Suddenly, and yeki means ” someone/somebody”. So, our sentence is: Suddenly, somebody knocked at the door.
      In Persian: Nagahan, yeki dar zad.

      I am not good in explaining, sorry :c I wish I could help you.

  28. Setareh
    August 17, 2014 @ 9:04 pm

    Salam :)

    Thank you for your marvellous lessons. I found out that page just few days ago and I am just in heaven ! :) I had been studying Farsi in the past, alone just with few weak websites and I couldn’t learn well. Thanks to you, I had finally understood most of things that were disturbing me :)
    I follow every lessons, and write them down in my notebook.
    Even though I’m polish you write so clearly that even a child would understand. THANK YOU SO MUCH :) Finally I can talk to my friends with more confidence and knowledge.
    I hope to speak Persian fluently in near future.

    Best regards,
    Setareh

  29. Tahir Amar
    November 8, 2014 @ 7:33 pm

    Is it also correct to say : Man yek kitab raa dashtam?

  30. Fatema
    December 25, 2014 @ 4:52 pm

    The way I understand, ‘ra’ is only used when the object is definite, not indefinite. For tho who no arabic, its kind of similar where you use ‘al’ only when the object is definite. The only difference is that “ra” is farsi does not means ‘the’ where as ‘al’ is arabic does. Am I right Hassan?

  31. Carlee
    July 17, 2015 @ 12:03 am

    Would anyone mind to give the answer to the paragraph in English letters please??

  32. Ricky
    September 4, 2015 @ 8:20 pm

    these are my answers in English letters. I checked with my friend, a native Persian speaker. She said these were correct
    I was at home yesterday man dirooz dar knaaneh boodam
    suddenly, someone knocked at the door Naagahaan, yeki dar zad
    I turned off the TV Man televiziyoon raa khaamoosh kardam
    I stood up Man boland shodam
    I opened the door Man dar raa baaz kardam
    I saw my friend Man doostam ra didam
    he was alone Oo tanhaa bood
    he had a basket Oo yek sebad daasht
    He opened the basket Oo sabad raa baaz kard
    I saw a book Man yek ketaab didam
    I took the book Man ketaab raa bardaashtam
    He took the basket Oo sabad ra bardaasht
    I thanked him Man az oo tashakkor kardam
    he went Oo raft
    I closed the door Man dar raa bastam
    I sat down Man neshastam
    I read his book Man ketaabash raa khaandam

  33. Samreen Aziz
    December 27, 2015 @ 4:09 am

    Can someone please post their answers so we can share and compare our translations?