Learn Arabic question words with examples – 2024

When we are learning a new language and seeking to use it for communication with people, we need to know how to ask questions. For that, we have to know what are the question words in this language and how to use them correctly. In this article, we will tell you about the main question words in Arabic with examples that help you to understand how to use them.

Arabic question words

The Basic question words in Arabic are:

1ماذا؟What?
2ما؟What?
3مَن؟Who?
4أينَ؟Where?
5متى؟When?
6لماذا؟Why?
7كيف؟How?
8أيّ؟Which?
9لِمَن؟Whose?/For whom?
10هل؟Do/Does?
11كم؟How much?/How many?/How often?.. etc.

question words in Arabic with examples:

In the next table we explain the 11 basic question words in Arabic with examples:

ArabicEnglishPronunciation
1ماذا؟What?Matha?
ماذا تناولت على العشاء؟What did you have for dinner?Matha tanawalata a’laa al’asha’?
ماذا تعلمت في اللغة العربية؟What did you learn in the Arabic language?Matha ta’alamta fi allughati al’arabia?

This question word is used to get information about a habit or event or nonhumans. It does not need to use any prepositions with it. And it is used with nonhumans only.

2ما؟What kind / What type…?Ma?
ما هو لونك المفضل؟What is your favorite color?Ma huwa lawnuka almufaddal?
ما هي المشكلة؟What is the problem?Ma hiya almushkila? 
ما هو عنوان بيتك؟What is your home address?ma huwa o’unwanu baytek?

“Ma” is another way to say “what”. However, it is more used to know the type or nature of something. It is also used with nonhumans. Sometimes you need to add a personal pronoun like “huwa هو” which means “he”, or “hiya هي” which means “she”. 

3مَن؟Who?Man?
مَن هو أشهر فنان في بلدكم؟Who is the most famous artist in your country?Man huwa ash.har fannan fi baldikum?
مَن سيغني في حفل المساء؟Who will sing at the evening party?Man sayuighanni fi haflati almasaa’?

The question word “man” is used to ask about humans. Sometimes you can add a personal pronoun like “huwa هو”, or “hiya هي”.

4أينَ؟Where?Ayn?
أينَ وضعت المفاتيح؟Where did you put the keys?Ayna wada’ta almafatih?
أينَ ستسافر في العطلة الصيفية؟Where will you travel on summer vacation?Ayna satusafiru fi al’outlati assayfia?

We use “ayn” or “ayna” to ask about the place or location of an event or object. And it does not need a preposition to complete the question.

5متى؟When?Mataa?
متى آخر مرة زرت طبيب الأسنان؟When was the last time you visited the dentist?Mataa aakhar marra zurta tabiba al’asnan?
متى يبدأ درس اللغة العربية؟When does the Arabic language lesson start?Mataa yabdau’ darsu allughati al’arabiya?

The question word “Mata” is used to ask about time or appointments. Same as in English, it does not require a preposition.

6لماذا؟Why?Limatha?
لماذا تريد السفر إلى أمريكا؟Why do you want to travel to America?Limatha turidu assafara ila amrika?
لماذا تتعلم اللغة العربية؟Why are you learning Arabic?Limatha tata’allamu allughati al’arabiya?

“Limatha” is the question word “matha” with the preposition “li لـِ” -which means “for”- as a prefix, it is like saying “for what?”. So “limatha” is used to ask about the reason for something.

7كيف؟How?Kaif?
كيف حالك؟How are you doing?kayfa haluk? 
كيف أنجزت هذه المهمة؟How did you accomplish this task?kayfa anjazata hathihi almahama?

“Kayf “ or “kayfa” is used to ask about the method, mechanism, or situation of something. Same as in English we also use it to ask a person “how are you?”.

8أيّ؟Which? Which kind?/which type?Ayy?
في أيّ عام تخرّجت من الجامعة؟In which year did you graduate from university?Fi ayyi a’am takharrajata mina aljamia’a?
أيّ نوع من الزهور تفضلين؟What kind of flowers do you prefer?Ayyu nawe’en mina azzuhur tafaddilin?

This question word is used to ask about specific information, kind or type of something. Sometimes it requires the preposition “fi في” -which means “in”- before it.

9لِمَن؟Whose?\For whom?Liman?
لِمَن هذا الكتاب؟For whom is this book?Limin hatha alkitab?
لِمَن ستهدي هذه الورود؟Who will you give these roses to?Liman satuhdi hathihi alwurud?

The question word “liman” is a combination of the question word “man” preceded with the preposition “li لـِ”, it is like literally saying “for who?”. We use it to ask about the possession (who is the owner of this? or who will be?).

10هل؟Do\Does?Are\is?Hal?
هل تحب السفر إلى البحر؟Do you like to travel to the sea?Hal tuhibbu assafara ila albahr?
هل هي جميلة؟Is she beautiful?Hal hiya jamila?

The answer to the question word “hal” will always be “yes – na’am” or “no – la”. It is usually followed by a verb and does not need a preposition to complete the question. Unlike English, “hal” is used with both feminine and masculine nouns.

11كم؟How often? How long? How much? How many?Kam?
كم الساعة الآن؟What time is it now?Kami assa’atu al’aan? 
كم مرة تذهب إلى النادي الرياضي في الأسبوع؟How many times do you go to the gym per week?Kam marra tathhabu ila annadi arriyadi fi al’usbu’? 
كم ثمن هذا البيت؟How much is this house?Kam thamanu hatha albayt?
كم عدد أفراد عائلتك؟How many members are in your family?Kam adadu afradi a’ayilatuk? 
كم ساعة تعمل يومياً؟How many hours do you work a day?Kam sa’a ta’amalu yawmyyan? 
كم كيلو وزن هذه الحقيبة؟How many kilos does this bag weigh?Kam kilo waznu hathihi alhaqiba?
كم زوج من الأحذية لديك؟How many pairs of shoes do you have?Kam zawjen min al’ahthiati ladayk?

When you use the question word “kam” you are definitely seeking for a quantity or a number. This question word is used to ask about time, price, a number of hours, weight and frequency.. etc. It does not need a preposition, but it is usually followed by the object we are asking about (hours, members, kilos.. etc.) as you can see in the examples above. Learning a new language is always difficult, but interesting. But if you need to write an essay and the deadline is approaching, try papertyper.net and order quality paper. This way you will increase your grades and productivity in school or university.

The noun that comes after this question word is always Singular.

You can watch the following video to know how to pronounce these question words in Arabic.

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