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The بك and لك.

I can't distinguish the difference of these two prefixes. لك و بك. I know both represents the "you". May someone help me understand the use of each one? I will highly appreciate it.

For learning: Arabic
Base language: English
Category: Other



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    Best Answer - Chosen by Voting
    As Turkish illustrated, a lot of the occurences you'll see with لك ,بك, etc are in fixed expressions (so translating phrases literally using the preposition's most common meaning won't always make sense. The phrase has to be memorized as is). Furthermore, prepositions (ie. في, ب,ل, etc.) are never consistent in meaning. What means "in", "at", "with" in one collocation - or group of words patterned together - may mean "on" "to" "for" in another.

    To further illustrate this in very basic terms:

    لك could mean for you, to you, "have/possession", association, etc:

    .عندي هدية لك - I have a gift for you.
    ...قال لك - He said to you...
    هل لديك إخوة أو أخوات؟ - Do you have any brothers or sisters?
    ...المعجم المفضل لي - My favorite dictionary is...

    ب can also allude to association, "with", "in", etc:

    .هذه المجموعة الخاصة بك - This group is yours (literally: particular for you).
    .لا تتردد في الإتصال بي - Don't hesitate to contact me. (Here, as you can see, ب doesn't mean "for", "in", "with", "at" or anything like that. It's just an fixed part of the verb followed by an attached pronoun.)
    .يبدأ بك - It starts with you.

    While you can think of these prepositions as having specific meanings, it'd be best to also consider them variables a part of phrases rather than the pronoun attached to them.

    shukran laka
    ahlan bika
    marhaban bika
    qultu laka

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