Arabic Asking “What’s your name?” Arabic Beginner Lesson- 32
After you go through the basic greeting procedure, which is covered in the preceding
section, you’re ready to ask people their names. This task is relatively
easy given that you only need to know two words: ‘ism (name) and maa
(what). If you’re addressing a man, you ask maa ‘ismuka? (maa ees-moo-ka;
What’s your name?) (M). When addressing a woman, you ask maa ‘ismuki?
(maa ees-moo-kee; What’s your name?) (F).
If you say maa ‘ismuk without using the suffixes –a or –i at the end of ‘ismuk,
you’re actually using a gender-neutral form, which is perfectly acceptable.
You can address both men and women by saying maa ‘ismuk? (maa eesmook;
What’s your name?) (GN).
Responding with the possessive
“My name is . . .”
The possessive form is one of Arabic’s easiest grammatical lessons: All you
do is add the suffix –ii (pronounced ee) to the noun, and — voila! — you have
the possessive form of the noun. For example, to say “my name,” you add –ii
to ‘ism and get ‘ismii (ees-mee; my name). So to say “My name is Amine,” all
you say is ‘ismii amiin. It’s that simple!