Arabic What – مَاْ ؟ – What İn Arabic

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 Arabic What – مَاْ ؟  – What İn Arabic

1) What

 

مَاْ هَذَاْ ؟

maa haathaa

= what this (is)

Translation: what is this?

 

مَاْ هَذَاْ الْشَّيْءُ ؟

maa haathaa (‘a)sh-shay’(u)

= what this the thing (is)

Translation: what is this thing?

*See the section on demonstrative for information on their usage.

 

Question

مَاْ اِسْمُكَ ؟

maa (‘i)smu-k(a)

= what (the) name (of) you (is)

Translation: what is your name?

 

Answer

اِسْمِيْ عَبْدُ الرَّحْمَنِ

‘ism-ee “abd(u) (‘a)r-rahmaan(i)

= (the) name (of) me (is) (the) servant (of) the merciful (=God)

Translation: my name is Abdurrahman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

مَاْ قُلْتَ ؟

maa qult(a)

= what (you sing. masc.) said (is)

Translation: what did you say?

 

مَاْ تُرِيْدِيْنَ ؟

maa tureedeen(a)

= what (you sing. fem.) want (is)

Translation: what do you want?

 

مَاْ سَتَقُوْلُوْنَ ؟

maa sa-taqooloon(a)

= what will (you plu. masc.) say (is)

Translation: what will you say?

 

مَاْ يُوْجَدُ هُنَاْكَ ؟

maa yoojad(u) hunaak(a)

= what exists there (is)

Translation: what is there?

*Note: yoojad(u) يُوْجَدُ is a passive verb and the literal sense of it is “is/being found.”

 

Maa + thaa

Interrogative maa مَاْ is commonly combined to the demonstrative thaaذَاْ= this.

This combination changes nothing, but it is commonly used, especially with verbs.

 

مَاْ +ذَاْ=مَاْذَاْ

maa + thaa = maathaa

what + this what

 

 

 

 

 

 

Examples:

مَاْذَا قُلْتَ ؟

maathaa qult(a)

= what (you sing. masc.) said (is)

Translation: what did you say?

 

مَاْذَا تُرِيْدِيْنَ ؟

maathaa tureedeen(a)

= what (you sing. fem.) want (is)

Translation: what do you want?

 

مَاْذَاْ سَتَقُوْلُوْنَ ؟

maathaa sa-taqooloon(a)

= what will (you plu. masc.) say (is)

Translation: what will you say?

 

مَاْذَاْ يُوْجَدُ هُنَاْكَ ؟

maathaa yoojad(u) hunaak(a)

= what exists there (is)

Translation: what is there?

 

 

Maa + (‘a)l-lathee

When used before verbs, interrogative maa مَاْ can be followed by the general

relative pronoun (‘a)l-lathee الَّذِيْ= which/that.

 

This also will change nothing. However, the difference here is that the two words will not be combined into a single word.

 

Example:

مَاْ الَّذِيْ قُلْتَ ؟

maa (‘a)l-lathee qult(a)

= what that (you sing. masc.) said (is)

Translation: what did you say?

 

As we showed in the relative pronoun section, it is more usual in Arabic to attach an object pronoun to the verb in such sentences; so the sentences will be as follows:

 

مَاْ الَّذِيْقُلْتَهُ ؟

maa (‘a)l-lathee qulta-h(u)

= what that (you sing. masc.) said him (is)

Translation: what did you say?

 

مَاْ الَّذِيْ تُرِيْدِيْنَهُ ؟

maa (‘a)l-lathee tureedeenah(u)

= what that (you sing. fem.) want him (is)

Translation: what do you want?

 

مَاْ الَّذِيْ سَتَقُوْلُوْنَهُ ؟

maa (‘a)l-lathee sa-taqooloona-h(u)

= what that will (you plu. masc.) say him (is)

Translation: what will you say?

 

مَاْ الَّذِيْ يُوْجَدُ هُنَاْكَ ؟

maa (‘a)l-lathee yoojad(u) hunaak(a)

= what that that exists there (is)

Translation: what is there?

In this last sentence there was not a pronoun attached to the verb. The reason behind this shouldn’t be a mystery. Simply, this verb is an intransitive verb and it is impossible for it to have an object. It won’t make sense.

 

Maathaa + (‘a)l-lathee

This combination is also possible, but not in the regular language. This is a pompous mixture that can be found in classical literature, also in the Koran.

 

مَاْذَاْ الَّذِيْقُلْتَهُ ؟

maathaa (‘a)l-lathee qulta-h(u)

= what that (you sing. masc.) said him (is)

Translation: what did you say?

 

مَاْذَاْ الَّذِيْ تُرِيْدِيْنَهُ ؟

maathaa (‘a)l-lathee tureedeenah(u)

= what that (you sing. fem.) want him (is)

Translation: what do you want?

 

مَاْذَاْ الَّذِيْ سَتَقُوْلُوْنَهُ ؟

maathaa (‘a)l-lathee sa-taqooloona-h(u)

= what that will (you plu. masc.) say him (is)

Translation: what will you say?

 

مَاْذَاْ الَّذِيْ يُوْجَدُ هُنَاْكَ ؟

maathaa (‘a)l-lathee yoojad(u) hunaak(a)

= what that that exists there (is)

Translation: what is there?