Arabic Multiple-Choice-Questions Arabic Questions – Particles of Interrogation

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Arabic Multiple-Choice-Questions Arabic  Questions – Particles of Interrogation

Multiple-Choice-Questions

Multiple choice questions have the conjunction “or” in them; e.g. “do you like apples more or bananas?”

The particle hal is not used in questions containing the word “or.” Only ‘a- will be used here.

In Arabic, there are two versions of the conjunction “or,” one for regular sentences and another one for questions or sentences preceded by ‘a-. If the sentence containing “or” were not preceded by ‘a-, the version ‘aw أَوْwould be used for “or.” If the sentence were preceded by ‘a-, the version ‘am أَمْ would be used.

 

Positive Sentence

زُرْتُمْ إِمَّاْ سُوْرْيَاْ أَوِ الْعِرَاْقَ

zurtum ‘immaa sooryaa ‘aw(i) (‘a)l-“iraaq(a)

= (you plu. masc.) visited either Syria or Iraq

Translation: you (have) visited either Syria or Iraq

 

Positive Question

أَزُرْتُمْ سُوْرْيَاْ أَمِ الْعِرَاْقَ ؟

‘a-zurtum sooryaa ‘am(i) (‘a)l-“iraaq(a)

= is it that (you plu. masc.) visited Syria or Iraq

Translation: did/have you visit(ed) Syria or Iraq?

 

Positive Answer

زُرْنَاْ سُوْرْيَاْ وَالْعِرَاْقَ

zurnaa sooryaa wa-l-“iraaq(a)

= (we) visited Syria and Iraq

Translation: we (have) visited Syria and Iraq

 

Positive Answer

زُرْنَاْ كِلَيْهِمَاْ

zurnaa kilay-himaa

= (we) visited (the) both (of) them

Translation: we (have) visited both of them

 

Positive Answer

لَمْ نَزُرْ أَيًّا مِنْهُمَاْ

lam nazur ‘ayy(an) min-huma

= did not (we) visit any from/of them

Translation: we did/have not visit(ed) any of them

we (have) visited neither of them

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Syria can be also written sooriyya(t) سُوْرِيَّةُ . This is the only form that was used before the 20th century, and the form used by the people of the country itself until now. It is more correct from an Arabic point of view, but I used up there the form that is common in the Arab world in general.

 

Positive Sentence

إِمَّاْ سَتُسَاْعِدُنِيْ أَوْ لا

‘immaa sa-tusaa”idu-nee ‘aw laa

= either(you sing. masc.) will help me or not

Translation: you are going to either help me or not

 

Positive Question

أَسَتُسَاْعِدُنِيْ أَمْ لا ؟

‘a-sa-tusaa”idu-nee ‘amlaa

= is it that (you sing. masc.) will help me or not

Translation: are you going to help me or not?

 

Positive Answer

نَعَمْ سَأُسَاْعِدُكَ

na”am sa-‘usaa”idu-k(a)

= yes (I) will help you

Translation: yes, I am going to help you

 

Negative Answer

لا لَنْ أُسَاْعِدَكَ

laa lan ‘usaa”ida-k(a)

= no will not (I) help you

Translation: no, I am not going to help you

 

 

 

‘a- Meaning If/Whether

The particle ‘a- becomes in certain sentences a conjunction word that introduces alternatives like “if” or “whether.”

Example:

سَنَبْدَأُ سَوَاْءٌ أَحَضَرُوْا أَمْ لَمْ يَحْضُرُوْا

sa-nabda’(u) sawaa'(un) ‘a-hadaroo ‘am lam yahduroo

= (we) will begin, a same (it is) if/whether (they plu. masc.) came or did not came

Translation: we will begin whether they came/showed up or not

 

The word sawaa'(un) = “a same” is often employed in such sentences, but it can be done without:

سَنَبْدَأُ أَحَضَرُوْا أَمْ لَمْ يَحْضُرُوْا

sa-nabda’(u) ‘a-hadaroo ‘am lam yahduroo

= (we) will begin if/whether (they plu. masc.) came or did not came

Translation: we will begin whether they came/showed up or not

 

The ‘a- itself can also be omitted in such sentences:

سَنَبْدَأُ سَوَاْءٌ حَضَرُوْا أَمْ لَمْ يَحْضُرُوْا

sa-nabda’(u) sawaa'(un) hadaroo ‘am lam yahduroo

= (we) will begin, a same (it is) (if/whether) (they plu. masc.) came or did not came

Translation: we will begin whether they came/showed up or not

 

A mostly reduced version:

سَنَبْدَأُ حَضَرُوْا أَمْ لَمْ يَحْضُرُوْا

sa-nabda’(u) hadaroo ‘am lam yahduroo

= (we) will begin (if/whether) (they plu. masc.) came or did not came

Translation: we will begin whether they came/showed up or not