Learn Hieroglyphs


In genitives, two nouns are connected. The first noun is the governing noun, and the second noun is the governed noun. A Genitive is a grammatical unit that forms part of the speech or phrase. Hence, it can be the subject, object or predicate. There are two kinds of genitives: direct and indirect.

a) Direct Genitive

The direct genitive follows the noun that governs it, immediately and without a connecting link.


Overseer of the house

imy-rA pr

Lord of Abydos

nb AbDw

Overseer over the inner chamber

imy-rA aXnwty

Lord of Djedu

nb Ddw

In some special cases, the governed noun may be placed before the governing noun, usually due to honorific reasons or graphic reasons.

Genitive also appears in expressions, such as

st-ib (heart’s place) emotion

Most of cases st-ib come as a common adjective

bAk.f mAa n st-ib.f

His real servant, His mate.

b) Indirect Genitive

In this case the governing and the governed nouns are separated by the genitival adjective ny ‘belong to’. A derivative from the preposition n “to, for, of”. The genitival adjective agrees in number and gender with the governing noun.











Another example of the IndirectGenitive

n kA n to the ka of

Although genitive, here, has the same sign as n “to”, the actual meaning automatically appears from the context (weather to be genitive or preposition).

We might find used as genitive for masculine, feminine, singular or plural, as in Hmt.f nst-ib.f.“his wife, his mate” (his wife of his heart’s place).