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Persian Prepositions: Usage and Prepositional Phrases

In Persian, prepositions always precede the indirect object of the sentence. As I’ve written about previously, direct objects are always followed by را. Some of the prepositions in Persian take on an ezafe when used, these prepositions are: برای, روی, زیر, and بالای

Here is a list of Persian prepositions:

English Transliteration Persian
From, of az از
with با
Above, over bar بر
To, towards be به
In, into, at, inside, over at dar در
In, inside (colloquial) toy-e توی
for barāy-e برای
Under, underneath zir زیر
On, over, on top of (colloquial) ru رو
Over, on top of, above bālāy-e بالای
Until, so that, till, up to, as far as تا
After(wards) ba’d az بعد از
before qab az قبل از
except geer az غیر از
About, regarding, concerning rāje’ be راجح به
About, regarding, concerning dar bārey-e درباره ی

Prepositional Usage:

Normally in a single sentence the object which takes the از preposition comes prior to the one which takes به:

او از مدرسه به خانه آمد 
“He came from the school to the house.”

In colloquial Persian, در is nearly obsolete and the more colloquial term for “in, at” (تو ) is used instead.

تو خونه ~ در خانه

‘in the house’

Under normal circumstances, both در and تو are dropped unless the whereabouts of the subject is of consequence.

پدرم خونه ست

‘Pedram is in the house’

As a preposition, تا  has many different meanings and functions:

by تا ظهر برگرد return by noon
by the time تا تو غذایت را تمام کنی ، من برگشته ام By the time you have finished your meal, I shall have returned.
up to/until تا آن لحظه او را ندیده بودم Up to/until that moment, I had not seen him/her.
until همانجا نشستم تا او برگشت I sat there until he/she returned.
so, so that بیا تا به تو بگویم Come so that I’d tell you.
in order to آمدم (تا) پدرت را ببینم I have come in order to see your father.
in order that بچّه را آوردیم تا بتواند بازی را ببیند We have brought the child in order that he/she can see the game.
insofar as تا می توانی باید از فرصت استفاده کنی Insofar as you can, you must seize the opportunity.
as long as تا وقتی که تو حرف می زنی ، من جوابت را نمی دهم As long as you talk, I shall not answer you.
as soon as تا برسی به راه می افتیم As soon as you arrive, we shall set out.
to چیزی که می گویید تا حدی صحیح است What you are saying is correct to a certain point.
up to تا اینجا درست است Up to this point, it is correct.

Prepositional Phrases:

Prepositional phrases in Persian can be categorized into two groups:

The first group is prepositional phrases which consist of a noun or an adverb preceded by a preposition and followed by the ezafe (in English, ‘of,’ as in ‘in front of’).  The prepositions most commonly used are در  ‘in, at’ and بر ‘(up)on.’

instead of دربارهٔ
above, on the top of دربالای
between, among, in the middle of دربین
behind, beyond, on the back of درپس
behind, beyond, on the back of درپشت
beside, next to درپهلوی
in front of, before درپیش
inside of درتوی
in front of, before (درجلو(ی
around, about دردُور
under, underneath درزیر
instead of درعوض
between, among, in the middle of درمیان
inspite of باوجود
on, on top of برروی
on, on top of, at the tip of برسر
instead of بعوض
like بمثل
instead of, in place of به جای
because of به واسطهٔ
by, by the means of به وسیلهٔ
along with به همراه

The second group includes prepositional phrases which consist of an adverb or an adjective followed by a simple preposition, more frequently از ‘from, of’:

after بعد از
after پس از
before پیش از
instead of راجع به
except, beside, other than غیر از
before قبل از

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