Arabic How many / How much -How many / How much İn Arabic

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Arabic How many / How much -How many / How much İn Arabic

6) How many / How much

 

There is only one word to express these things in Arabic, kamكَمْ. This word was originally ka-maaكَمَاْ= “like what?” before it evolved to the form known today.

The nouns after kam must be always singular and in the accusative, or nasb, case.

 

كَمْ وَلَدًا لَدَيْكَ ؟

kam walada(n) laday-k(a)

= how many a child (in) (the) place (of) you (sing. masc.) (are)

Translation: how many children do you have?

*The words ladaa لَدَىْ & “ind(a) عِنْدَare somewhat similar in meaning to the French chez, but they are also used for time meaning “at,” like in “at sunset.”

كَمْ مَرَّةَ حَذَّرْتُكَ ؟

kam marra(tan) haththartu-k(a)

= how many a time (I) warned you (sing. masc.) (are)

Translation: how many times have I warned you?

 

هَلْ تَعْلَمُ كَمْ سَاْعَةً اِنْتَظَرْتُكَ ؟!

hal ta”lam(u) kam saa”a(tan) ‘intazartu-k(a)

= is it that (you sing. masc.) know how many an hour (I) waited you (sing. masc.)

Translation: do you know how many hours I’ve been waiting for you?!

 

كَمْ يَبْلُغُ عَدَدُ سُكَّاْنِ الْبَرَاْزِيْلِ ؟

kam yablur(u) “adad(u) sukkaan(i) (‘a)l-baraazeel(i)

= how much (he/it) reaches (the) number (of) (the) inhabitants (of) Brazil

Translation: how much is the population of Brazil?

 

If the noun following kam were part of a genitive construction, it would not be in the accusative case but in the regular nominative case.

كَمْ عَدَدُ الْحَاْضِرِيْنَ ؟

kam “adad(u) (‘a)l-haadireen(a)

= how much (the) number (of) the present (people) (is)

Translation: How many are the present people?

 

The noun following kam can be omitted.

Examples:

كَمْ تُرِيْدُ ؟

kam tureed(u)

= how much/many (you) want

Translation: how much/many do you want?

 

كَمْ قَاْلَ لَكَأَنَّهُ يُرِيْدُ ؟

kam qaal(a) la-k(a) ‘ann-h(u) yureed(u)

= how much/many (he) said to you that him wants

Translation: how much/many did he tell you that he wanted?

 

كَمْ هَؤُلاءِ ؟

kam haa’ulaa'(i)

= how many these (are)

Translation: how many are these?

 

 

When asking about price, kam will be preceded by preposition bi- بِِـ= “in/by/with.”

 

Asking About Price

بِـ +كَمْ= بِكَمْ

bi- +kam= bi-kam

by + how much by how much (money)

 

The noun following bi-kamis often omitted.

Examples:

 

Question (Full Form)

بِكَمْ دِرْهَمًا هَذَاْ الْحِذَاْءُ ؟

bi-kam dirhama(n) haathaa (‘a)l-hithaa’(u)

= by how many a dirham (I may buy) this the shoe

Translation: how many dirhams do these shoes cost?

*The dirham is an old Arab currency unit. It is still used in several Arab countries today.

 

Question (Reduced Form)

بِكَمْ هَذَاْ الْحِذَاْءُ ؟

bi-kam haathaa (‘a)l-hithaa’(u)

= by how much (money) (I may buy) this the shoe

Translation: how much are these shoes?

 

Answer

بِعِشْرِيْنَ دِرْهَمًا

bi-“ishreen(a) dirhama(n)

= by twenty a dirham

Translation: the shoes cost twenty dirhams

 

 

بِكَمِ الْهَاْمْبرْغَرُ ؟

bi-kam(i) (‘a)l-haambergar(u)

= by how much (money) (I may buy) the hamburger

Translation: how much is the hamburger?

 

 

Kam Stating Numerousness

kam can be used in a style that is used to state numerousness instead of interrogation or asking a question.

Example:

كَمْ مِنْ كِتَاْبٍ عِنْدَكَ!ه

kam min kitaab(in) “inda-k(a)

= how many of a book (is) (in) (the) place (of)

you (sing. masc.)

 

= so many of a book (is) (in) (the) place (of)

you (sing. masc.)

Translation: you have so many books!

Nouns after preposition min = “from/of” must be in the ablative case, or ‘al-jarr case.

 

Numerousness Stating Style

كَمْمِنْ

kam min

how many/much of so many of

 

The min after kam in this style can often be omitted.

Example:

كَمْ كِتَاْبٍ عِنْدَكَ!ه

kam kitaab(in) “inda-k(a)

= so many (of) a book (is) (in) (the) place (of)

you (sing. masc.)

Translation: you have so many books!

 

Emphatic la- لَـ can also be used here.

لَكَمْ مِنْ كِتَاْبٍ عِنْدَكَ!ه

la-kam min kitaab(in) “inda-k(a)

= certainly so many of a book (is) (in) (the) place (of) you (sing. masc.)

Translation: you really have so many books!

 

لَكَمْ كِتَاْبٍ عِنْدَكَ!ه

la-kam kitaab(in) “inda-k(a)

= certainly so many (of) a book (is) (in) (the) place (of) you (sing. masc.)

Translation: you really have so many books!

 

لَكَمْمَرَّةٍ حَذَّرْتُكَ

la-kammarra(tin) haththartu-k(a)

= certainly so many (of) a time (I) warned

you (sing. masc.)

Translation: I warned you so many times 7) ‘annaa

 

This is an obsolete, classical, interrogative word that may mean how, when, or where.

 

أَنَّىْ يَكُوْنُ لِيْ غُلامٌ ؟!ه

‘annaa yakoon(u) l-ee rulaam(un)

= how will be for me a boy?!

Translation: how am I going to have a son?!