Persian: I am vs. My

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by WeetBixer, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. WeetBixer New Member

    I've been learning a little bit of persian online to prepare for a holiday in Iran.

    Something I've noticed: I think I've heard the ending "am" used to signify both "my" and "I am". For example "Hoobam" - I am good, and "Khunam" - My house (which I've also heard as Khune yeh man)

    My question: is Khunam an acceptable way of saying my house? And if so, is distinguishing whether "am" is used for "my" or "I am" just context?
  2. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Let me offer a tiny explanation before the more knowledgeable come to explain it better: the ending -am can be the syncopated form of 'hastam' (I am) as well as the possessive (which you rightly mention being (y)e-man as well).

    Another point: Khunam means 'my blood'!
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Just to add a little..

    These are the verbal endings...

    -am/iim (e.g guft-am, guft-iim I said, we said...hast-am/hastiim I am/We are

    -ii/iid ( guft-ii/guftiid, You (2nd person sg) said, You (pl) said, You (2nd person pl.) You are

    --/-and.. guft He/she said, guft-and They said..hast (He/she/it is, hast-and (They are)

    Then there are possessives..

    kitaab-am (my book) kitaab-imaan (our book)

    kibaat-at (Your (2nd person sg) book) kitaab-itaan (Your book)

    kitaab-ash (His/Her book) kitaab-ishaan (Their book)

    Now the long and the short of this is that the "-am" suffix is co-incidentally common between the two sets.

    As you are already aware, the "xaaneh" (house) is pronounced "xuuneh" in colloquial Persian. "naan" (bread) is prounced "nuun". So, my house would be "xuuneh-am" (not xuun-am), the latter meaning "my blood". The thing is the former is pronounced in such a "fused" way that it may appear as if "xuun-am" is being pronounced.

    Hast-am, in reality is more "I exist" than I am...

    man-am (I am), maa-iim (We are)

    to-ii (Thou art), shumaa-iid (You are)

    uu-ast (or uu-st) He/She is ..iishaan-and (They are)

    I hope this is as clear as mud now!:)
  4. WeetBixer New Member

    Thanks for the help!
  5. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    The difference between the two in colloquial Tehrani Persian is stress: XUU-nam with stress on the first syllable means "my blood" but xuu-NAM means "my house".
  6. darush Senior Member


    Actually in colloquial Farsi/Persian, there's not "much" of a difference between pronuncing "khunam = my house" and "khunam = my blood" , the difference is between the usage of both, so a native speaker will understand you, based on the phrase you will say.
    However Eskandar's saying was kinda true too, but the stress isn't "so" obvious!

    And, since you want basic of the language for your travel, just take it easy!

    So yes, in "colloquial" Farsi/Persian you can say, ( khubam = i am fine/well [ you used it as a pronoun in a verb] ) , ( khunam = my house , dastam = my hand [ you used it in a noun] ) , ( mamnonam = i am thankful, such as saying 'Thanks' [ again you used it as a pronoun in a verb] )

    Source: Me, native Farsi/Persian speaker

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