Learn Arabic For Work

How do you say “myself” in Arabic?

The word “myself” in English, loosely translated into Arabic, would be “nafsee” or “nafsii” or spelt in Arabic: “نفسي”.

If you remove the letter “ya” at the end, it makes the word “nafs” or “nafsun”. Which means simply “self”. So adding the “ya” gives it the ownership to the person speaking.

Adding the “ya” at the end is meant to give a dragging “eee” sound.

To give you an example, “baythun” or “bayt” means “house”. When we say “baythee” (adding the letter “ya” at the end) it makes the sound “ee” so “bayt” or “baythun” becomes “baythee”.

Making just “a house” become “my house”.

So “nafsun” or “nafs”, with the “ya” at the end, adds the “eee” effect, which makes “a self” or “self” to become “myself”.


To say “by myself”, one would say in Arabic: “bi nafsee”.

The word “ana” means “I”. So when we take usage into consideration, to say: “I am going by myself”, one would say “Ana azhab bi nafsee”.


The word “bi” however can have other meanings. Including meaning “with”. So if one were to say, “Ana aktub bi qalamee”, this would mean, “I write/am writing with my pen”.

It wouldn’t translate as “I write/am writing by the pen”.

Here are some more examples of usage (phrases) for the word “nafsee”:

  • Thabakh-thu al-‘ashaa-a bi nafsee (طبخت العشاء بنفسي) – I cooked the dinner by myself.
  • Uhibbu an aqra-a bi nafsee (احب ان اقرأ بنفسي) – I love to read by myself.
  • Ishtharay-thu li nafsee qalaman jadeedan (اشتريت لنفسي قلمًا جديدًا) – I bought for myself a new pen.
  • Zhahabthu ilaa hunaaka bi nafsee (ذهبت إلى هناك بنفسي) – I went there by myself

The word “nafsee” also gives the meaning of “solely for myself”.

The word “nafs” can also mean “soul”. This is because when translating from Arabic to English, it’s not possible to always translate directly word to word. So if you look here:

Translation of “nafs” by Sahih International. Taken from TheNobleQuran.com

You will see that the word “nafs” has been translated by reliable and recognised translators to mean “soul” in the Qur’aan. (Sahih International is widely known for their authentic translations.)

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