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Lesson 41 – الدَّرْس الحادي والأرْبَعُونَ أدَوَات الاسْتِفْهام (١ من ٣)

Introduction - مُقَدِّمَةٌ

  • In this lesson, and the following two lessons we will learn the interrogative (questioning) articles (أَدَوَات الاسْتِفْهام). Interrogative (questioning) articles are always indeclinable words. We discussed the indeclinable words in lesson 25 and we learnt that they are nouns that have fixed case-ending irrespective of their function in the sentence.
  • In this lesson, and the following two lessons, we will discuss the Interrogative (questioning) words, so we have to study 10 mostly common used interrogatives (questioning words) in three lessons as follows:
    • Lesson 41: the following four Interrogative (questioning) nouns:

مَنْ؟

مَا؟

مَاذَا؟

لِمَاذَا؟

/man/

/mā/

/mādhā/

/limādhā/

Who?

What?

What?

Why?

    • Lesson 42: four more interrogative (questioning) nouns as follows:

مَتَى؟

أَيْنَ؟

كَمْ؟

كَيْفَ؟

/matā/

/ayna/

/kam/

/kayfa/

When?

Where?

How many (much)?

How?

    • Lesson 43: the two interrogative (questioning) particles:

أَ؟

هَــلْ؟

/'a/

/hal/

(for Yes/no questions)

(for Yes/no questions)

  • As we notice some of these interrogatives (questioning words) are nouns and others are particles. Each one of these interrogative (questioning) nouns or particles has a function and a meaning.
  • The following table summarizes the first four interrogative (questioning) words and an example for each of them (please read the table from right to left):

Picture

Answer

Question

Interrogative (questioning) word

English

Arabic

English

Arabic

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This is Muhammad

هَذَا مُحَمَّدٌ.

/Hādhā Muħammad./

Who is this?

مَنْ هَذَا؟

/Man hādhā?/

مَنْ؟

Who?

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This is a cat.

هَذِهِ قِطَّةٌ.

/Hādhihi qiŧŧatun./

What is this?

مَا هَذِهِ؟

/Ma hādhā?/

مَا؟

What?

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I’m studying.

أنَا أَدْرُسُ.

/Anā adrusu./

What are you doing?

مَاذا تَفْعَلُ؟

/Mādhā tafξal?/

مَاذَا؟

What?

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To study Arabic.

لأَدْرُسَ العَرَبِيَّةَ.

/li-adrusa al-ξarabiyyata./

Why did you travel to Egypt?

لِمَاذا سَافَرْتَ إلى مِصْرَ؟

/LiMādhā sāfarta ila miŝra?/

لِمَاذَا؟

Why?

  • We should note that the above mentioned Interrogative (questioning) articles /man/, /mā/, /Mādhā/ and /liMādhā/ are all nouns and replace the subject of the nominal sentence.
  • Many of our grammarians say that /limādhā/ is not a noun, it's a prepositional structure i.e. it is consists of the preposition (li) + the Interrogative (questioning) noun /mādhā/. But we do not prefer to confuse our student by this division, so we will study it here as one of the interrogative (questioning) nouns).
  • After this introduction and summary, we are going to discuss in each of the following four parts one of the above mentioned four Interrogatives (questioning words), after these parts In-shā'-Allāh, there will be two more parts for the exercise and the revision.