Adjective Conjunctions

In some cases there are pauses between each adjective (indicated by placing commas between them), and the conjunction و is used only before the last adjective. The pauses (and commas) are used to prevent the redundancy of using the conjunction between all the adjectives.

خانهٔ بزرگ، زیبا، نوساز و سفید
xāne-ye bozorg, zibā, nowsāz va sefid
‘the big, beautiful, (and) newly-built white house’

Note that in English the conjunction is optional.

As is explained in the section dealing with determiners i.e., the indefinite enclitic ـی , this suffix may be added to the noun or the attributive adjective:

a big house xāne-ye bozorg-i خانهٔ بزرگی
a big house xāne-yi bozorg خانه ای بزرگ

In the addition of the indefinite enclitic to a noun modified by a chain of adjectives, the suffix is either attached to the noun or the last adjective:

خانهٔ بزرگ، زیبا، نوساز و سفیدی
xāne-ye bozorg, zibā, nowsāz va sefid-i
‘a big, beautiful, (and) newly-built white house’

خانه ای بزرگ، زیبا، نوساز و سفید
xāne-yi bozorg, zibā, nowsāz va sefid
‘a big, beautiful, (and) newly-built white house’

An adjective may also be a (part of the) predicate. In this case it does not immediately follow the noun, but immediately precedes the verb (which is normally at the end of the sentence):

این خانه بزرگ است
in xāne bozorg ast
“This house is big.”

آن دانش آموز زرنگ است
ān dāneš-āmuz zerang ast
“That student is (a) hardworking (student).”

آن دانشجو تنبل است
ān dānešju tambal ast
“That (college) student is (a) lazy (student).”

Note that in this context زرنگ ‘hardworking, nimble, shifty’ is used as antonymous to تنبل ‘lazy.’ These two are particularly common expressions used in regards with a hardworking or lazy student. To translate the word زرنگ as ‘clever’ (as some scholars have done) is not really accurate; although historically this word is related to another Persian word, namely, زیرک (~ Middle Persian), which does mean ‘clever, wise.’ Remember that a ‘lazy’ student may be ‘clever,’ but he or she just does not work hard enough. These two expressions have to do with this aspect of the person’s performance as a student. Moreover, one may never make the following remark:

آن دانشجوی زرنگ تنبل است
ān dānešju-ye zerang tanbal ast

Hoping that it would mean, ‘that clever student is lazy,’ because it does not. The only meaning is contradictorily—

“That hardworking student is lazy.”

Some compound nouns or adjectives have an adjective as one of their components. Normally, in these cases the adjective precedes the noun:


پیر مرد
pir-mard (colloquial: pir-e-mard)
‘(an/the) old man’

‘morose, having a sour face’

تند خو

خوش زبان
‘well-spoken, one who speaks pleasantly’



شکسته دل
šekaste-del (also: del šekaste)

سخت دل
‘cruel, hard-hearted’

روشن ضمیر
‘(an) enlightened (person)’