Ezāfe 1

Persian forms the ezāfe اضافه construction to connect words. We use it primarily in three situations:

  • Possession: to connect the possessed noun with its owner
  • Adjectival phrases: to modify nouns
  • Naming: to connect people and titles and places, days, and seasons and their names.

In all three cases, two words are connected using a short -e sound. The primary noun comes first and is followed by the word modifying it with the short -e connecting the two. When a word ends in a consonant, the ezāfe is pronounced but not written; however, we can mark it using the diacritical mark kesre کسره, which becomes the kesre-ye ezāfe کسرهٔ اضافه.

This feature is best explained with examples.


My book ketāb-e man

کتاب من

Your pen qalam-e to

قلمِ تو

Bahrām’s mother mādar-e barām

مادرِ بهرام

Sara’s father pedar-e sārā

پدرِ سارا

The professor’s notebook daftar-e ostād

دفتر استاد

Ownership can be expressed using a pronoun, a proper name, or a noun.


فیلمِ خوب
film-e xub
“The good movie”

مردِ خوشحال
mard-e xošhāl
“The happy man”

فیلمسازِ معروف
filmsāz-e ma’ruf
“The famous director”

کلاسِ مهم
kelās-e mohem
“The important class”

سالِ دیگر
sāl-e digar
“Next year”


خیابانِ فردوسی
xiyābān-e ferdosi
“Ferdowsi Street”

دانشگاهِ تگزاس
dānešgah-e tegzās
“The University of Texas”

فصل بهار
fasl-e bahār
“The Spring Season”

خانم محمودی
xānum-e mahmudi
“Ms. Mahmudi”

شهر تهران
šahr-e tehrān
“The city of Tehran”

کشور ایران
kešvar-e irān
“The country of Iran”

When ezāfe is added to a word that ends in a vowel, the short -e sound becomes a yeh sound. In such cases, the ezāfe is always pronounced and usually written.

If a word ends in a long vowel, the letter yeh is written to connect it with its modifier:


آقای افشار
āqāy-e afšār
“Mr. Afshar”

دانشجوی خوب
dānešjoy-e xub
“The good student”

پای من
pāy-e man
“My foot/leg”

This rule applies to all three cases, possession, adjective, and naming.

If a word ends in the short vowel designated by the heh do-cheshm (ه), then ezāfe may be marked in two ways.

Most commonly, a hamze ء is added on top of the final heh:

خانهٔ ما
xāne-ye mā
“Our house”

هفتهٔ دیگر
hafte-ye digar
“Next week”

امثلهٔ خوب
amsale-ye xub
“The good examples”

Occasionally, you will find the letter yeh in place of the hamze:


خانه‌ی ما
xāne-ye mā
“Our house”

هفته‌ی دیگر
hafte-ye digar
“Next week”

امثله‌ی خوب
amsale-ye xub
“The good examples”

Although the ezāfe is usually marked on words that end in vowels, texts in certain printed sources—like newspapers— often neglect this convention.