Welcome back to our series Arabic for Life. In Part 3 we finish our lesson on Arabic you can use at the airport by showing you how to form basic interrogative questions.

Of course, when you arrive at the airport, you’ll not only have lots of questions but you’ll also be asked a lot of them as well. So, whether it’s customs, immigration, or at the ticket counter, here are a few of the basics to help you give the right answers

Wh- Questions in Arabic

We’ll begin with question words in Arabic. In English these are known as “Wh- questions”, and they work pretty much the same way only they simply use the Arabic equivalent of their English Wh- counterparts (who, what, where, when, why, and how). Notice that Arabic “Wh-” questions use the following formula:

Wh- word + Verb + Noun?

مَن /man/who

This is a Wh - word to ask about a person or people.

Who is traveling with you?

مَن سَيُسافِرُ مَعَك؟

/man sayusaafiru maʻak/

Who will pick you up at the airport?

مَن سَيَصطَحِبُك مِنَ المَطار؟

/man sayaSTaHibuka min ilmaTaar/

 ما or ماذا /maa or maaTHaa/ what

Both of these words ask the question “what”, however, ما /maa/ doesn’t used a verb while ماذا /maaTHaa/ does.

What is your name?)

ما هَوَ اِسمُك؟
/maa huwa ismuk/

What about your luggage?

ماذا عَن أَمتِعَتِك؟

/maaTHaa ʻan ʼamtiʻatik/

أَين؟  /ʼayn/where

This is a word that asks about “where” something is.

Where will you be flying to today?

إلى أَينَ تَتَوَجَّه طائِرَتُك اليَوم؟

/ʼilaa ʼayna tatawajjah Taaʼiratuk ilyawm/

Where will you be staying in Amman?

أَينَ سَتُقيمُ في عَمّان؟

/ʼayna satuqeemu fee ʻammaan/

مَتى؟ /mataa/when

This is a word to ask about when something happens, happened or will happen.

When is the flight from Philadelphia arriving?

مَتى تَصِلُ الرِّحلَةَ مِن فيلادِلفيا؟

/mataa taSilu irriHlah min felaadilfyaa/

When does your passport expire?

متى تَنتَهي صَلاحيَّةُ جَوازِ سَفَرِك؟

/mataa tantahee SalaaHyyatu jawaazi safarik/

لِماذا؟ /limaaTHaa /why

Add two letters to “maaTHaa” and you get the question “why” in Arabic. The “li” part actually means “for”, so it would be translated to “for what” which gives the exact same meaning as “why”.

Why are you visiting Jordan? For business or tourism?

لماذا تَزورُ الأُردُن؟ لِلعَمَلِ أَم للسِّياحَة؟

/limaaTHaa tazooru ilʼurdun lilʻamal ʼaw issiyaaHah/

Why has the flight been delayed?

لِماذا تَأَخَّرَتِ الرِّحلَة؟

/limaaTHaa taʼakharati irriHlah/


كَم؟  /kam/ how much or how many

This answers the questions “how much” or “how many” depending on the noun.

How many days do you plan on staying in Jordan?

كَم يَومًا تُخَطِطُ لِلبَقاءِ في الأُردُن؟

/kam yawman tukhaTiT lilbaqaaʼi fee ilʼurdun/

How much money are you bringing into the country?

 كَم المَبلَغ الَّذي تُريدُ اِدخالَهُ إِلى البَلَد؟

/kam ilmablagh illaTHee tureedu idkhaalahu ʼilaa ilbalad/

Well, that just about does it for our lesson on Arabic you can use at the airport. Of course, if you have questions on how you can learn even more Arabic, be sure to visit our website and download the Kaleela Arabic language learn app for even more fun lessons like this.

Go to kaleela.com now and start learning Arabic the right way today with Kaleela!