The accusative case is a grammatical case that typically marks the direct object of a verb. The direct object is the noun or noun phrase that is affected by the action of a verb. For example: “I saw Ali”, “I saw his brother”.

Accusative case in Persian

The postposition را (“râ”) marks the accusative case and indicates the object of the verb. It is typically, the direct object. Since را is a postposition, it comes after the noun or noun phrase it governs.

برادرش را دیدم
barâdar-aš râ didam
I saw his brother
کلید اتاقم را گم کرده‌ام
Kelid-e otâǧ-am râ gom kardeam
I have lost my room key
پیازها را با یک چاقوی تیز خرد کنید
piyâzhâ râ bâ yek čâǧu-ye tiz xord konid
Chop the onions with a sharp knife
دارد ماشین جدیدش را می‌شوید
Dârad mâšin-e jadid-aš râ mišuyad
He is washing his new car

Accusative pronouns

Personal pronouns have free and bound forms. Bound personal pronouns are used as they are in the accusative case.

Singular Plural
First Person ــَـ م
ــِـ مان
Second Person ــَـ ت
ــِـ تان
Third Person ــَـ ش
ــِـ شان

The accusative proposition is added to free personal pronouns and forms accusative pronouns.

Singular Plural
First Person من را
man râ
ما را
mâ râ
Second Person تو را
to râ
شما را
šomâ râ
Third Person او را
u râ
آن را
ân râ
آنها را
ânhâ râ

The free forms are strong and denote more emphasis.

I saw him/her/it
او را دیدم
u râ didam
I saw him/her
آن را دیدم
ân râ didam
I saw it

Oblique case

In literary Persian, the accusative case can mark objects that are normally expressed with the dative and ablative cases. This function of accusative case is similar to the oblique case, which is found in some languages.

Dative or Ablative Accusative Equivalent
به او گفتم
be u goftam
I told him/her
او را گفتم
u râ goftam
I told him/her
از او پرسیدم
az u porsidam
I asked him/her
او را پرسیدم
u râ porsidam
I asked him/her

Definite nouns

The accusative case can make generic nouns specific and identifiable.

کتاب خریدم
ketâb xaridam
I bought books
(What I bought was "book" and not "pen", for example)
کتاب را خریدم
ketâb xaridam
I bought the book
(A specific "book" that is identifiable to the listener)
کتابها را خریدم
ketâb xaridam
I bought the books
(Specific "books" that are identifiable to the listener)