Object Marker (rā)
را ‘rā’ (Object Marker) is used after a definite direct object.
What is a definite direct object?
See this example:
I bought him a book.
There are two objects used in this sentence:
– him (indirect object)
– book (direct object)
‘book’ is the direct object, because the action of verb (bought) is directly affecting ‘book’ (not him).
When you say ‘ bought him the book’, the word ‘book’ is definite, because it is a specific book. Therefore, it must be followed by ‘rā’ (را) when translated to Persian.
/man ketāb rā barāte u xaridam/ من کتاب را برای او خریدم
However, the translation of the following sentence would not need ‘rā’ as the direct object is not definite and is general:
I bought him a book
من یک کتاب برای او خریدم
/man yek ketāb barāye u xaridam/
/man har šab televizion mibinam/ من هر شب تلویزیون می بینم
(I watch TV every night)
* ‘rā’ is not needed after the object (/televizion/) as it refers to TV in general.
/man har hafte(h) televizion rā tamiz mikonam/ من هر هفته تلویزیون را تمیز می کنم
(I clean the TV every week)
* ‘rā’ is needed after the object (/televizion/) as it refers to a specific TV set.
/man mamulan sā’at-e 9 qazāyam ra mixoram/
من معمولا ساعت 9 غذایم را می خورم
By its nature, ‘ra’ is used only in sentences with a transitive verb.
What is a Transitive verb?
The definition and usage of transitive verbs in Persian are very similar to English.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires one or more (direct) objects (as well as a direct subject)
– Amin saw Sara. /Amin Sārā rā did/ (Sara is the direct object of “saw”)
– I like nature. /Man tabi’at rā dust dāram/ (nature music is the direct object of “like”)
In contrast, an Intransitive verb does not take an object. In other words, an intransitive verb has only one argument (the subject)
– She laughs /u mixandad/Handout: