You know that to make a noun indefinite, you have to add the suffix އެއް to it. There is another very similar suffix which is also used to make nouns indefinite. You kind of came across it in the previous lesson. That suffix is އަކު.

އެއް VS އަކު

When a noun is suffixed with އެއް it refers to a specific indefinite thing or person. A noun with އަކު refers to an unspecified thing or person. It is similar to the way the word “some” is used with singular nouns. For example:

މީހާ Person
މީހެއް A person
މީހަކު Some person

އެއް is more common than އަކު. However, when a suffix is added onto an indefinite noun, it is added to އަކު in most cases. You saw this in the previous lesson with އަކީ, and you’ll see this in the next lesson as well.

އަކު, like އެއް, also requires the word ending to change where appropriate. Hopefully you’ve gotten used to the changes. Here’s the summary table again:

dhivehi-indefinite

 

Try adding އަކު to some of the words from the vocabulary section.

Even though there are technically no rules as to the kind of words އަކު can be attached to, it isn’t normally thrown around at the whim of the speaker. You can get a feel for its use by listening to Maldivians speaking.

An Irregular Word

ތަން, which means “place”, can become either ތަނަކު or ތާކު. The latter is more common. Don’t ask why, that’s just the way it is.

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