الذي

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Arabic[edit]

Etymology[edit]

An innovation in Arabic, formed from اَل(al-, the) +‎ لَ(la, truly) +‎ ذِي(ḏī, this).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /al.la.ðiː/
  • (file)

Pronoun[edit]

اَلَّذِي (allaḏīm sg

  1. (relative pronoun) who, that, which
    • 10th century, Al-Mutanabbi
      أَنَا الَّذِي نَظَرَ الْأَعْمَى إِلَى أَدَبِي / وَأَسْمَعَتْ كَلِمَاتِي مَنْ بِهِ صَمَمُ
      ʾanā allaḏī naẓara l-ʾaʿmā ʾilā ʾadabī / waʾasmaʿat kalimātī man bihi ṣamamu
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Usage notes[edit]

Although used similarly to the relative pronouns of the modern Germanic and Romance languages, It may be worth noting that "relative clauses" in Arabic are structurally identical to "nominal" (or zero-copula) sentences and "verbal" sentences with fronted nouns. Thus, when the relative pronoun is the object of a verb or a preposition, a pronominal clitic that references and agrees with the "relative pronoun" in gender and number is added after the respective verb or preposition while the relative pronoun itself remains at the beginning of the clause, though the addition of clitics after verbs and participles is optional (just as when nouns in verbal sentences are fronted).

  1. هٰذَا هُوَ الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي رَأَيْتُ‎ ― hāḏā huwa r-rajulu allaḏī raʾaytuThis is the man I saw. (literally "This is the man that I saw")
  2. هٰذَا هُوَ الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي رَأَيْتُهُ‎ ― hāḏā huwa r-rajulu allaḏī raʾaytuhuThis is the man I saw. (literally "This is the man that I saw him")
  3. هٰذَا هُوَ الصُّنْدُوقُ الَّذِي فِيهِ الْكِتَابُ‎ ― hāḏā huwa ṣ-ṣundūqu allaḏī fīhi l-kitābuThis is the box that the book is in. (literally "This is the box that in it is the book")
  4. تِلْكَ هِيَ الْوَرَقَةُ الَّتِي كَتَبْتُ عَلَيْهَا‎ ― tilka hiya l-waraqatu allatī katabtu ʿalayhāThis is the paper on which I wrote. (literally "This is the paper that I wrote on it")

This is also the case in fused (or nominal) relative clauses.

  1. فَٱقْضِ مَا أَنْتَ قَاضٍ‎ ― fa-qḍi mā ʾanta qāḍinSo judge as you will. (literally "So ordain what[ever] you [are] ordaining")

Syntactically, this differs from, for example, English, where relative pronouns replace nouns (as in that, which, who, and whom) and determiners (as in whose and which) in the relative clause. Hence, relative pronouns are classified in traditional Arabic grammar as a subcategory of nouns. In linguistics, such a clitic is often termed a resumptive pronoun, whose addition in the relative clause is also a feature of Hebrew (for which see the usage notes in the entry for אשר‎).

If the antecedent is indefinite, the relative pronoun is obligatorily omitted, regardless of the structure of the relative clause.

  1. هٰذَا هُوَ الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي يَبِيعُ كُتُبًا كَثِيرَةً‎ ― hāḏā huwa r-rajulu allaḏī yabīʿu kutuban kaṯīratanThis is the man who sells a lot of books. (literally "This is the man that sells many books")
  2. هٰذَا رَجُلٌ يَبِيعُ كُتُبًا كَثِيرَةً‎ ― hāḏā rajulun yabīʿu kutuban kaṯīratanThis is a man who sells a lot of books. (literally "This [is] a man sells many books")
  3. هٰذَا هُوَ الرَّجُلُ الَّذِي شَعْرُهُ طَوِيلٌ‎ ― hāḏā huwa r-rajulu allaḏī šaʿruhu ṭawīlunThis is the man whose hair is long. (literally "This is the man that his hair [is] long")
  4. هٰذَا رَجُلٌ شَعْرُهُ طَوِيلٌ‎ ― hāḏā rajulun šaʿruhu ṭawīlunThis is a man whose hair is long. (literally "This [is] a man his hair [is] long")

If the relative clause includes a predicative adjective qualifying an attribute of the antecedent or another referent related to or associated with it, the adjective may be moved to the front of the clause, in which case the relative pronoun is obligatorily omitted. The adjective also becomes perpetually in the singular unless the attribute or related referent is a broken plural, in which case the adjective may be pluralized, though this is relatively uncommon and some traditional grammarians criticize it. In its new position, the adjective agrees with the antecedent in case and definiteness and with the noun denoting the attribute or associated referent in gender.

  1. رَأَيْتُ رَجُلًا طَوِيلًا شَعْرُهُ‎ ― raʾaytu rajulan ṭawīlan šaʿruhuI saw a man whose hair is long. (literally "I saw a man long (indefinite, masculine, singular, accusative) [is] his hair")
  2. رَأَيْتُ الرَّجُلَ الطَّوِيلَ شَعْرُهُ‎ ― raʾaytu r-rajula ṭ-ṭawīla šaʿruhuI saw the man whose hair is long. (literally "I saw the man long (definite, masculine, singular, accusative) [is] his hair")
  3. رَأَيْتُ ٱمْرَأَةً طَوِيلًا شَعْرُهَا‎ ― raʾaytu mraʾatan ṭawīlan šaʿruhāI saw a woman whose hair is long. (literally "I saw a woman long (indefinite, masculine, singular, accusative) [is] her hair")
  4. رَأَيْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ الطَّوِيلَ شَعْرُهَا‎ ― raʾaytu l-marʾata ṭ-ṭawīla šaʿruhāI saw the woman whose hair is long. (literally "I saw the woman long (definite, masculine, singular, accusative) [is] her hair")
  5. هٰؤُلَاءِ رِجَالٌ طَوِيلٌ شَعْرُهُمْ‎ ― hāʾulāʾi rijālun ṭawīlun šaʿruhumThese are men with long hair. (literally "These [are] men long (indefinite, masculine, singular, nominative) [is] their hair")
  6. هٰؤُلَاءِ نِسَاءٌ طَوِيلٌ شَعْرُهُنَّ‎ ― hāʾulāʾi nisāʾun ṭawīlun šaʿruhunnaThese are women with long hair. (literally "These [are] women long (indefinite, masculine, singular, nominative) [is] their hair")
  7. وَقَفَ الْعُصْفُورُ عَلَى شَجَرَةٍ عَظِيمَةٍ أَغْصَانُهَا‎ ― waqafa l-ʿuṣfūru ʿalā šajaratin ʿaẓīmatin ʾaḡṣānuhāThe bird stood on a tree with great branches. (literally "The bird stood on a tree great (indefinite, feminine, singular, genitive) [are] its branches")
  8. وَقَفَ الْعُصْفُورُ عَلَى شَجَرَةٍ عِظَامٍ أَغْصَانُهَا‎ ― waqafa l-ʿuṣfūru ʿalā šajaratin ʿiẓāmin ʾaḡṣānuhāThe bird stood on a tree with great branches. (literally "The bird stood on a tree great (indefinite, feminine, plural, genitive) [are] its branches")

Declension[edit]

Descendants[edit]

  • Gulf Arabic: الي
  • Moroccan Arabic: اللي(elli, lli), الدي(eddi, ddi)

References[edit]

  • Wehr, Hans (1979) , “الذي”, in J. Milton Cowan, editor, A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, 4th edition, Ithaca, NY: Spoken Language Services, →ISBN