; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 5.5 - Interrogative Sentence

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5.5 - Interrogative Sentence



 

Section 5.5 - Interrogative Sentences

 

Several Particles are used for interrogative sentences.

 

For those questions which can be answered in yes or no, to make a nominative sentence an interrogative one, two Particles are commonly used which are (1) هَلْ(hull) and (2) أَ (aa).  Examples of these would be:

 

a)     هَلْ مِنْۢ مَزِيْدٍ (hullmim ma-zeed-in) meaning “is there more in it?”,

b)     أَزَيْدٌ عَالِمٌ (a-Zaidun aa-li-mun) meaning “is Zaid a scholar?”

c)     أَ أَنْتَ يُوْسُفُ (a-anta yoo-su-fu) meaning “are you Yousuf?”.

 

There are several ways a question can be posed in addition to the ones described above. The Particles used for these are described in Table 25 below.

 

Table 25 - Interrogative Particles

 

Particles

Meaning

Example

Meaning

مَا

Maa

What

مَا هٰذَا

 

Ma haaza

What is this?

 

 

 

مَا اِسْمُكَ

 

Maa Ismu-ka

or

Mas-mu-ka

 

What is your name?

مَنْ

 

Mun as in sun

Who

مَنْ رَبُّكَ

 

Man rab-buka

 

Who is your Lord?

 

 

مَنْ اَنْتِ

 

Man-anta

who are you (female)?

كَيْفَ

 

Kai-fa

How

كَيْفَ اَنْتُمْ

 

Kaifa-antum

 

Who are you all?

 

 

كَيْفَ حَالُكَ

 

Kaifa haa-lu-ka

How are you?

اَينَ

 

Ai-na

Where

اَيْنَ اَنْتَ

 

Ayna anta

Where are you?

مَتٰى

 

Mata/Aiy-yana

When

مَتٰى جَاءَ

 

Mataa-jaa-a

When did he come?

اَنّٰى

 

Anna

 

Where from/in what way/how

أَنَّىٰ لَهُ الذِّكْرَىٰ

 

Anna la-huz-zikraa

what good to him will be the remembrance?

أَىٌّ

 

Ay-yun

 

Which

أَيُّ طَرِيْقً

 

Ayyu taree-qan

Which way?

كَمْ

 

Kum (sound as in come)

How many/How much

كَمْ عَدَدُ الْاَيَّامِ

 

Kum adad-ul ayyami

How many days?

 

 

Table 26 - Interrogative Particles with Prepositions

 

First Particle - Jarr-un

Second Particle - interrogation

Combined

meaning

لِ

 

li

مَا

 

maa

لِمَا

Li-maa

(Quran sometimes uses it as لِمَ)

Why, for what

فِيْ

 

fee

مَا

 

maa

فِيْمَا

 

Fee-maa

In what/over what

مِنْ

 

min

مَا

 

maa

مِمَّا

 

Mim-maa

With what/from what

عَنْ

 

un

مَا

 

maa

عَمَّا

 

Am-maa

About what/about what

لِ

 

li

مَنْ

 

mun

لِمَنْ

 

Lee-mun (mun as in sun)

For who

مِنْ

 

min

اَيْنَ

 

Ay-na

مِنْ اَيْنَ

 

Min aiy-naa

From where

اِلٰى

 

ilaa

اَيْنَ

 

Ay-na

اِلٰى اَيْنَ

 

Ilaa-aiy-naa

Where to

اِلٰى

 

ilaa

مَتٰى

 

Ma-taa

اِلٰى مَتٰى

 

Ilaa ma-taa

Until when/how long

بِ

 

bi

كَمْ

 

kam

بِكَمْ

 

Bee-kam

For how much

 

Examples for the above Particle combinations:

 

1) لِمَ تَقُوْلُوْنَ مَا لَا تَفعَلُوْنَ(li-ma taqoo-loona ma la taf-aloon) meaning why do you say what you do not do

 

2) فِيْمَا شَجَرَ بَينَهُمْ (fee-masha-ja-ra bai-na-hum) meaning over which they dispute among themselves.

 

3) مِمّا رَزَقْنٰهُمْ(mim-ma razaq-na-hum) meaning from what we gave them.

 

1)     سُبْحَانَ رَبِّكَ رَبِّ الْعِزَّتِ عَمَّا يَصِفُوْنَ (sub-ha-na rabbi-karabbil izza-ti am-ma ya-si-foon) meaning "Exalted is your Lord, the Lord of might, above what they describe."

 

5) وَلِمَنْ خَافَ مُقَامَ رَبِّهِ جنَّتانِ (wa li-mun khaafamu-qa-ma rab-bi-hi jan-na-tani) meaning “For those who fear (the time they will stand) before their Lord, there are two gardens

 

6) مِنْ اَيْنَ اَنْتَ(min-ayi-na anta) meaning where are you from?

 

7) إِلٰى أَيْنَ نَحْنُ ذَاهِبُوْنَ (ilaa-ayi-nanah-nu za-hi-bun) meaning where (where to) are we going

 

8) اِلٰى مَتٰى يَا قَلْبِي (ilaa-ma-taya qal-bi) how long, O my heart

 

9) بِكَمْ ھٰذَالْقَمِيصُ (be-kamhaa-zal qa-meesu) meaning how much is this shirt?

 

 

 

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