أيها

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Arabic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

أَيُّ(ʾayyu) +‎ هَا()

Particle[edit]

أَيُّهَا (ʾayyuhā) (feminine أَيَّتُهَا(ʾayyatuhā))

  1. vocative particle preceding a noun used in direct address; only rarely omitted in such contexts; occasionally translated as O or hey
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 8:45:
      يَا أَيُّهَا ٱلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا لَقِيتُمْ فِئَةً فَاثْبُتُوا وَاذْكُرُوا ٱللَّٰهَ كَثِيرًا لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
      ʾayyuhā llaḏīna ʾāmanū ʾiḏā laqītum fiʾatan fāṯbutū wāḏkurū llāha kaṯīran laʿallakum tufliḥūna
      O you who have attained to faith, when you meet a host in battle, be firm, and remember God often; so that you might attain to a happy state!
    • 609–632 CE, Qur'an, 12:70:
      فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ ٱلسِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا ٱلْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ
      falammā jahhazahum bijahāzihim jaʿala s-siqāyata fī raḥli ʾaḵīhi ṯumma ʾaḏḏana muʾaḏḏinun ʾayyatuhā l-ʿīru ʾinnakum lasāriqūna
      And when he had provided them with their provisions, he placed the drinking-cup in his brother's camel-pack. And a herald called out: "O you people of the caravan! Verily, you are thieves!

Usage notes[edit]

  • The subsequent noun stands in the accusative of the determinate state and must have the article ال(al-) attached to it.
  • أَيُّهَا(ʾayyuhā) is often used in conjunction with a preceding يَا() (this usage is the norm in the Quran, see first usage example above).
  • أَيُّهَا(ʾayyuhā) is far less common than يَا() and reserved for elevated registers. Whereas يَا() is often left untranslated in English, أَيُّهَا(ʾayyuhā) is used in similar situations to English O.
  • Unlike يَا(), أَيُّهَا(ʾayyuhā) inflects for gender. When addressing a female, a group of females, or else anything that is referred to by a grammatically feminine word (see second usage example above), the form أَيَّتُهَا(ʾayyatuhā) is used.

See also[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

أَيِّهَا (ʾayyihāf

  1. which one of them.

References[edit]