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Lesson 43 – الدَّرْسُ الثَّالِثُ وَالأرْبَعونَ

Interrogative Words (3 of 3) – أدَوَات الاسْتِفْهام (١من ٣)

Introduction - مُقَدِّمَةٌ

  • In the previous two lessons we studied the following interrogatives (question words):























How many (much)


  • The above mentioned interrogatives are all nouns. In this lesson, In-Shā’-Allâh (God willing), we will study the last two interrogatives, أَ – هَل  (/hal/ - /’a/). They are both particles, not nouns so they don't occupy a position in the sentence itself, i.e. there needs to be a full sentence following these particles. In the table below there are examples of these two interrogative particles:

Answer (English):

Answer (Arabic):

Example Question (English):

Example Question (Arabic):

Interrogative word (English)

Interrogative word (Arabic)

Yes, I am British.

نَعَمْ ، أَنَا بِرِيطانِي.

/Naξam, ana biritâni./

Are you British?

هَلْ أَنْتَ بِرِيطَانِي؟

/Hal anta biriŧâni?/

(for Yes/no questions)



No, I do not like tea.

لا، لا أُحِبُّ الشَّايَ.

/Lā, lā uħibbu ash-shāya./

Do you like tea?

أَتُحِبُّ الشَّايَ ؟

/Atuħibbu ash-shāya?/


(for Yes/no questions)

أَ (الهَمْزَة)

The hamza /a-/

  • This table summarizes the two remaining interrogatives, we will study them in this lesson in part one.  We will not study each of the interrogatives in a separate part because (as you will see) these two particles have the same meaning and function.  In part two there will be exercises on these two particles, while in part three we will have general exercises on all interrogatives studied in this lesson  and in the previous two lessons.  Finally in part ٤ there will be the vocabulary revision of the three lessons tackling the interrogation.


> The interrogative particles (questioning particles) Hal and the hamza -بِنَاءُ الْفِعْلِ الْمَاضِي عَلَى الْفَتْحَةِ

  • These two particles are used for Yes/No questions. “Hal” is indeclinable with sukūn vowel-ending (sukūn on last letter) while the hamza “a-” is indeclinable with Fatħah vowel-ending.

  • The answer to the question of “Hal” should be Yes or No. View the following examples:

Answer (English):

Answer (Arabic):

Question (English):

Question (Arabic):

Yes, I am Egyptian.

نَعَم، أنا مِصْرِيُّ.

/Naξam, anā Miŝri-yyun./

Are you Egyptian?

هَلْ أَنْتَ مِصْرِي؟

/hal anta Miŝriyyun?/

No, I am Lebanese.

لا، أنا لُبْنَانِيُّ

/la, anā Libnāniyyun./

Are you Syrian?


أَأَنْتَ سُورِي ؟

/a-anta Sūriyyun?/

Yes, he is a doctor.

نَعَمْ، هُوَ طَبِيبٌ .

/Naξam, huwa ŧabīb-un./

Is Muhammad a doctor?

هَلْ مُحَمَّدٌ طَبِيبٌ

/hal Muhammad ŧabīb-un?/

No, he is not a doctor. He is an engineer.

لا، هوَ لَيْسَ طبيبًا ،هُوَ مُهَنْدِسٌ.

/lā, huwa laysa ŧabībuan, huwa muhandis-un./



Yes, I visited it.

نَعَم، زُرْتُهَا .

/Naξam, zurtuhā./

Have you visited Mecca?

هَلْ زُرْتَ مَكَّةَ ؟

/hal zurta makka-ta?/

No, I did not visit it.

لا، مَا زُرْتُها .

/la, mā zurtuhā./



Yes, I play it.

نَعَم، أَلْعَبُها .

/Naξam, alξabuhā./

Do you play football?

أَتَلْعَبُ كُرَةَ القَدَمِ ؟

/a-talξabu kurata al-qadam-i?/

No, I do not play it.

لا، لا أَلْعَبُها .

/lā, lā alξabuhā./



Yes, I drink tea.

نَعَم، أَشْرَبُ الشَّايَ.

/Naξam, ashrabu ash-shāy-a./

Do you drink tea?

أَتَشْرَبُ الشَّايَ ؟

/a-tashrabu al ash-shāy-a?/

No, I do not drink tea.

لا، لا أَشْرَبُ الشَّايَ .

/lā, lā ashrabu ash-shāy-a./



  • From the examples above, we notice that “hal and a-” come before the verbal and nominal sentence and the answer to the question is yes or no. both “hal and a-” can replace each other.


Exercise – تَدْرِيبٌ

·         In this section we will have multiple questions to test your understanding of the principles we have learnt In-Shā'-Allâh (God-Willing).  To answer the questions:

o   Type the complete answer for the following questions by selecting the question and using the on-screen keyboard or your actual keyboard.

o   Use the Shift key to enter characters on the upper portions of the letters and use full diacritics in your answers – e.g. fathah, kasrah, sukūn etc.

o   Do not use diacritics in the following cases:

§  The Alif followed by laam ال (while the laam itself can be signed with a vowel)

§  The laam followed by alif لا (while the Alif itself can be signed when it comes with hamzah).

§  Do not put the small Alif on words like هٰذا

§  Do not put diacritics on long vowels.

o   Upon completion of all questions, click on the Mark button to see the correct answer and to get your mark.

·         For more instructions click here.

The Arabic sentence above means "Ask a question for each answer of the following".