Types of Questions in Arabic

ypes of Questions in Arabic

Types of Questions in Arabic

Questions are part of your daily routines, and if you are learning a new language, you’ll be asking a lot of them. Asking questions in Arabic is not as difficult as some may assume. I have a questions in Arabic for you now that you will most definitely be able to answer once we are done: “هل تعلم كيف تسأل باللغة العربية؟”

If you know all the Arabic question words and meanings, you’ll be able to answer simple Arabic questions and answers. From WH questions to Arabic question words with examples, we have it all.

أ؟ – هل؟
 /a/ – /hal/

These are used primarily to answer yes or no type of questions only. They can be used in both formal and informal situations.

هل أنت هنا؟
/hal anta huna?/
(Are you here?)

أقرأت التعليمات ؟
/a qara’ta al taalimat/
(Did you read the instructions?)

They are used interchangeably however; the hamza “a” can be used for a question with a negative statement, for example: 

أليس لديك أصدقاء ؟
/a laysa ladaik astiqaa’/
(Don’t you have friends?)

ألا تعلم أن الموعد اليوم ؟
/ala taa’lam ana almaw’ido al yawma?/
(Don’t you know that the appointment is today?)

من؟  /man/

This is a question to ask about a person, as in “who

من كتب السؤال؟
/man kataba al so’al?/
(Who wrote the question?)

من هنا؟
/man huna?/
(Who’s here?)

كيف؟ /kayf/

This is a question to ask about the means of something, as in “how”.

They are both used formally; however, /kayfa/ is never used in informal Arabic in all dialects.

كيف كتبت الكتاب؟
/kayfa katabta alkitab?/
(How did you write the book?)

كيف تراني؟
/kayfa train?/
(How do you see me?)

متى؟ /mata/

This is a question to ask about when something happens, as in “when”.

متى رأيت صديقك؟
/mata ra’aayto sadeeqak?/
(When did you see your friend?

متى ستأتي؟
mata stat’ti?
(When are you coming?)

ما؟ – ماذا؟ 
/ma/ – /matha/ 

Both of these questions ask the question “what”, however, “ma” doesn’t used a verb while “matha” does.

ما هواسمك؟
/ma huwa ismok?/
(What is your name?)

ماذا سنعمل اليوم؟
/mathat sna’amal al yawma?/
(What are we doing today?)

ماذا عن صديقك؟
/matha aan sadeqak?/
(What about your friend?)

لماذا؟ /limadha /

Add one letter to “matha” 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”.

لماذا أنت هنا؟
/limathat anta hona?/
(Why are you here?)

لماذا تريد القلم؟
/limatha tureedo al qalam?/
(Why do you want the pen?)

أين؟  /ayn/

This is a question that ask about “where” something is.

من أين أنت؟ 
min ayna anta?
(Where are you from?)

إلى أين ذاهب؟ 
ila ayna t’ahib?
(Where are you going?)

أين تريد أن اذهب؟
/ayna tureedo an at’haab?/
(Where do you want me to go?)

من أين جائت سارة؟
/min ayna dja’at Sarah?/
(Where did Sarah come from?)

إلى أين أذهب اليوم؟
ila ayna at’hab al yawm?
(Where do I go today?)

كم؟  /kam/

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

كم عمرك؟
/kam 3omruka?/
(How old are you?)

كم تريد؟
/kam tureed?/
(How much/many do you want?)

When asking about a price, it is usually asked like this: 

(How much?)

Or specifically:

بكم كيلو البطاطا؟
/bikam keelu al batata?/
(How much is a kilo of potatoes?)

لمن؟ /liman/

This answers the question”whose”. If we break it down, you’ll notice that it is “li”, which means for, and “man” which means who, come together to form “whose”.

لمن هذه الشنطة؟
liman haathi-hi al shanta?
(Whose bag is this? / Whom does this bag belong to?)

أي؟ /ay/

This answers the question “which”. Let’s take a look at some examples

أي قصة تقصد؟
/ay qisaa taqsid?/
(Which story do you mean?)

اي نوع أفضل؟
/ay naw3on afdal?/
(Which type is the best?)

Asking questions in Arabic doesn’t sound so bad now huh? We didn’t think so. Now you can where in Arabic, when in Arabic and even how and whose. Get busy learning those Arabic question words with examples. We are assuming your answer to our first question is now a strong yes!

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