Subscribe to receive updates for new Arabic lessons, videos, articles. Updates are sent maximum once weekly, normally once a month.
Madinah Arabic Learn Arabic Online
Learn Arabic Online

Lesson 41 – الدَّرْس الحادي والأرْبَعُونَ

Interrogative (questioning) Articles (1 of 3) – أدَوَات الاسْتِفْهام (١ من ٣)

The Interrogative (questioning) noun ما /mā/

  • Mā (مَا) is an Interrogative (questioning) noun with a sukūn case-ending.
  • The usage of /mā/ (مَا) is similar to /man/ مَنْ, but the only difference is that it is used to ask about inanimate, singular, dual or plural (masculine and feminine). Study the following examples:






This is an elephant.

هَذا فِيلٌ.

/Hādhā fīlun./

What is this?

مَا هَذا؟

/Mā hādhā?/

Singular masculine

Its price is one thousand dollars.

ثَمَنُهَا أَلْفُ دُولارٍ.

/thamanuhā alf-u dulārin/

What is the price of the car?

مَا ثَمَنُ السَّيَّارَة؟

/Mā thaman-u as-sayyāra-ti?/

This is a plane.

هَذِهِ طَائِرَة.

/Hādhihī ŧā’iratun./

What is this?

مَا هَذِهِ؟

/Mā hādhihī?/

Singular, feminine

These are the two science books.

هَذانِ كِتابا العُلُومِ.

/hādhān-i kitābān-i al-ulūm-i/

What are these two books?

مَا هَذان الكِتابانِ؟

/Mā hādhān-i al-kitābān-i?/

Dual, masculine

These are the two Kuwaiti planes.

هَاتَانِ طَائِرَتا الكُوَيْتِ.

/hātān-i ŧâ’iratā al-kuwayt-i./

What are these two planes?

مَا هَاتَانِ الطَّائِرَتانِ؟

/Mā hātāni aŧ-ŧâ’iratān-i?/

Dual feminine

These are the doors of my new flat.

هَذَهِ أَبْوَابُ شَقَّتِي الجَدِيدَة.

/hādhihi abwābu shaqqati-ya al-ĵadīda./

What are these doors?

ما هَذَهَ الأبْوابُ؟

Mā hādhihi al-abwāb-u?/

Plural masculine

These are the drawing tools.

هَذِهِ أَدوَات الرَّسْمِ.

/hādhihi adawātu ar-rasm-i/

What are these things?

مَا هَذِهِ الأشْيَاءُ؟

/Mā hādhihi al-ashyā-‘u?/

Plural feminine

  • In the last example, we used the demonstrative noun hādhihi before the inanimate plural as any inanimate plural is handled like a feminine singular, as in the following examples:




These are pens.

Hādhihi aqlām-un

هَذِهِ أَقْلامٌ.

These are doors.

Hādhihi abwāb-un


هَذِهِ أَبْوَابٌ.

These are watches.

Hādhihi sāξāt-un

هَذِهِ سَاعَاتٌ.

  • Quick Links
  • Arabic Tuition
    Madinah Arabic Tuition Center
    Arabic Tuition over Skype from Learn Modern Standard Arabic, Business Arabic, Classical–Qu’ranic and Tajweed. Get A Free Trial!
    Please note that continues to be a free resource and the new Tuition Centre is for those seeking 1-to-1 tuition over Skype with one of our qualified native Arabic tutors.
  • Learn Arabic Alphabet
    This video teaches you how each Arabic letter is written and pronounced along with an illustration of a word using that letter and guides on pronunciation.
  • MadinahArabic iPhone App
    iMadinahArabic for iPhone app is the iPhone version of the lessons located at MadinahArabic website.
    MadinahArabic iPhone App
  • Madinaharabic Translation Center