Hieroglyphs Tutorial: Pronouns

A pronoun can be defined as a substitute for a noun. There are three types of pronoun in ancient Egyptian; suffix pronouns, dependent pronouns and independent pronouns.


Suffix Pronouns

The Suffix Pronoun is always attached to a preceding word and is connected to it in transliteration by the symbol "=". It will always be placed immediately after the word it is attached to (see below on word order). The suffix pronouns are as follows:

suffix pronouns

The first person suffix pronoun ("I") is usually masculine (i.e. it is the glyph of a kneeling man) but this glyoh can be replaced with that of a woman, a god or a dignitary if the situation warrants this.

There are six main uses for suffix pronouns:


1: As the subject of a verb (but not an infinitive)
sDm=f  he hears

2: As the object after a preposition
n=k  to you

3: As an indirect object of a verb
dd=s n=f  she says to him

4: As the possessor or genitive of a noun
miw=s  her cat

5: As the subject of a non-verbal statement beginning with the particle "iw"
iw=n m pr  we are in the house

6: As the subject following the word "djs" ("self")
djs=i hiself  djs=s  herself

Dependent Pronouns

Dependent pronouns are not as closely connected to the word so they are written with "-". The dependent pronou will always preceed the subject if it is a noun, but if the subject is a suffix pronoun the dependent pronoun will follow it.

dependent pronouns

There are three main uses for dependent pronouns:


1: As the object of a verb (but not an infinitive)
m33=s -sw  she sees him

2: As the subject of a non-verbal statment beginning with a particle
m'k -sy  behold her!

3: as an object reflexively relating back to the subject of the verb
s'h'=f -sw he raised himself up


Copyright J Hill 2010
Return to Top
Ancient Egypt Online

Predynastic period Early Dynastic Old Kingdom First Intermediate Middle Kingdom Second Intermediate New Kingdom Third Intermediate Graeco-Roman period Late period
Google