The grammatical person marks the participant or participants of an action typically described by a verb. Persian has three degrees of grammatical persons:
- first person: the person talking (the speaker)
- second person: the person being talked to (the addressee)
- third person: the person being talked about (the other)
Modern Persian does not distinguish between genders and has two numbers (singular and plural). Therefore, it has six grammatical persons. Here, they will be abbreviated as 1S, 2S, 3S, 1P, 2P and 3P.
|1S||first-person singular||1P||first-person plural|
|2S||second-person singular||2P||second-person plural|
|3S||third-person singular||3P||third-person plural|
Persian verbs are typically conjugated for six persons. However, there are a few verbs that are only conjugated in third-person singular.
In Persian, each plural person can function as the honorific form of its singular counterpart to denote formality, social distance, politeness, etc. That is to say:
- 1P can function as formal 1S
- 2P can function as formal 2S (similar to tu-vous distinction in French)
- 3P can function as formal 3S
For example, the 3P verbal form گفتند (“goftand”) normally means “they said” but depending on the context, it can also function as the honorific form of 3S and mean “he/she said”.