Arabic What for / why – What for / why İn Arabic

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 Arabic What for / why – What for / why İn Arabic

What for / why

Adding the preposition li-لِـ= for to maawill produce lima لِمَwhich means “what for” or “why.”

 

لِـ + مَاْ=لِمَ

li- +maa= lima

for + what what for / why

 

لِمَ هَذَاْ ؟

lima haathaa

= what for/why this (is)

Translation: what is this for?

 

لِمَ أَنَاْ هُنَاْ ؟

lima ‘anaa hunaa

= what for/why I (am) here

Translation: why am I here?

 

لِمَ فَعَلْتَ هَذَاْ ؟

lima fa”alt(a) haathaa

= what for/why (you sing. masc.) did this

Translation: what did you do that for?

why did you do that?

 

لِمَ تَضْحَكْنَ ؟

lima tadhakn(a)

= what for/why (you plu. fem.) laugh

Translation: why are you laughing?

 

Similarly, li-is added to maathaa to create the interrogative li-maathaa لِمَاْذَاْ, which means just like lima.

 

لِـ +مَاْذَا= لِمَاْذَاْ

li- +maathaa= limaathaa

for + what what for / why

 

لِمَاْذَاْهَذَاْ ؟

limaathaa haathaa

= what for/why this (is)

Translation: what is this for?

 

لِمَاْذَاْ أَنَاْ هُنَاْ ؟

limaathaa ‘anaa hunaa

= what for/why I (am) here

Translation: why am I here?

 

لِمَاْذَاْ فَعَلْتَ هَذَاْ ؟

limaathaa fa”alt(a) haathaa

= what for/why (you sing. masc.) did this

Translation: what did you do that for?

why did you do that?

 

لِمَاْذَاْ تَضْحَكْنَ ؟

limaathaa tadhakn(a)

= what for/why (you plu. fem.) laugh

Translation: why are you laughing?

 

Maa& Maathaa as Relative Pronouns

This was covered in the relative pronoun section.

An example:

Question

أَتَعْرِفُ مَاْذَاْ يُرِيْدُ ؟

‘a-ta”rif(u)maathaa yureed(u)

= is it that (you sing. masc.) know what (he) wants

Translation: do you know what he wants?

 

Answer

وَمِنْ أَيْنَ لِيْ أَنْ أَعْلَمَ

wa-min ‘ayn(a) l-ee ‘an ‘a”lama(u)

= and from where for me that (I) know

Translation: how should I possibly know?

 

*The wa- وَ = “and” in the beginning of the second sentence is a superfluous word. Arabs use a lot of unnecessary “and’s” in their talk.