Nouns & Pronouns

It’s good to get a handle on the building blocks of Kurdish grammar. On this page you will find some basic information on nouns, and pronouns. Remember that nouns are places and things like, “tree, apple, dog, etc.” Pronouns refer to people, as in, “I, we, you”.

Nouns

Nouns are one of the simpler grammatical elements in Kurdish. They don’t change form; they stay the same. They can, however, accept other grammatical elements as attachments, like pronouns, etc. but they themselves stay the same.

English (Sorani) سۆرانی Audio
Goat بزن
Cow مانگا
Wardrobe كه‌نتۆر
Walnut گوێز
Chicken مریشك
Horse ئه‌سپ

Pronouns

Pronouns in Kurdish are more complex than nouns. You will find both bound and unbound pronoun forms. This means that sometimes the pronouns are attached to the words around them, either on the front or back, and sometimes they stand alone, depending on the grammatical construction.

Unbound pronouns

There is only one form for each of the unbound pronouns. This is displayed in the table below. Often this form is used for emphasis and is not mandatory.

English (Sorani) سۆرانی Audio
I من
You (singular) تۆ
He/She/It ئه‌و
We ئێمه‌
You (plural) ئێوه‌
They ئه‌وان
Bound Pronouns

Bound pronouns on the other hand, change form. They can be categorized into two groups, those that associate with an object and those that don’t associate with an object. In grammar terminology, this is called Transitive and Intransitive, respectively.

English Transitive Intransitive
I م م
You (singular) ت یت
He/She/It ی – \ ـه
We مان ین
You (plural) تان ن
They یان ن

Note: The You (singular) Intransitive form can also appear as simply ی in spoken Sorani; the ت in یت can be dropped in certain situations.

Examples

At this point you are probably lost in the tables and wondering what it looks like in reality, so here are a few examples to help you see the pronouns in context. Notice the pronouns highlighted in blue.

I went (with emphasis) (Intransitive) من چووم
I ate walnuts (with emphasis) (Transitive) من گوێزم خوارد
You went (with emphasis) (Intransitive) تۆ چوویت
You ate walnuts (Transitive) گوێزت خوارد
He/She went (Intransitive) چوو
He/She ate walnuts (Transitive) گوێزی خوارد
We didn’t go (Intransitive) نه‌ چووین
We ate walnuts (Transitive) گوێزمان خوارد
You all went (Intransitive) چوون
You all ate walnuts (Transitive) گوێزتان خوارد
They went (Intransitive) چوون
They ate walnuts (Transitive) گوێزیان خوارد

Unbound pronouns are often used for emphasis. For example you could say ئێوه‌ چوون or simply چوون, both translate the same in English. The first example literally means “you all, you all went”.