Question Words in Arabic

Arabic is a beautiful language that translates unique meanings, which adds value to it as a language. Among the many things that make Arabic language special is its use of verb conjugations and question words.

Asking questions in Arabic can be quite challenging for beginners because of the unique grammar rules and words used. However, getting to know the basic question words can make it easier to get started with asking questions in Arabic.

With this blog post, we aim to introduce beginners to the basics of question words in Arabic.

I. Types of Question Words in Arabic

A. Interrogative Pronouns:

Interrogative pronouns are used to ask questions about people, things, or places.

B. Interrogative Adverbs:

Interrogative adverbs are used to ask questions about time, place, manner, reason, and degree.

Brief & Examples on the question words:

1.      مَا – ma – What


 Used to ask about the identity, nature, or qualities of a person, thing, or situation.


ما اسمك؟____ (maa ismuka?)____What is your name?

2.      مَنْ – man – Who


Used to ask about the identity or occupation of a person.


من هو؟  ___ (man huwa?) ___Who is he?

3.      أَيْنَ – ayna – Where


 Used to ask about the location or position of a person, thing, or place.


 أَين المطعم؟___  (ayna al-mat’am?) ___  Where is the restaurant?

4.      مَتَى – mata – When


 Used to ask about the time or date of an event or action.


 متى تاتي ؟ ___ (mata ta’ti?) ___   When are you coming?

5.      لِمَاذَا – limadha – Why


 Used to ask about the reason or purpose for something.


 لماذا فعلت هذا؟___ (limadha fa3alta hadha?) ___ Why did you do that?

6.      كَمْ – kam – How much/many


 Used to ask about the quantity or number of something.


 كم سعر هذا؟ ___ (kam se3er hadha?) ___  How much does this cost?

7.      هَلْ – hal – “do/does” or “is/are” in English


 Used to ask a question that can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”.


 هل انت متزوج؟ ___ (hal anta mutazawwij?) ___  Are you married?

8.      مَاذَا – maadha – What


Used to ask for more specific information or details about something.


ماذا حدث بعد ذلك؟___ (maadha hadath ba’da dhalik?) ___ what happened after that?

9.      كَيْفَ – kayfa – How



 Used to ask about the process or method of doing something.


كيف تصل الي المكتب؟___ (kayfa tasil ila al-maktab?) ___ How do you get to the office?

10. أي – ayy – Which


 Used to ask for a choice or preference between two or more options.


 أَي كتاب تفضل؟ ___ (ayy kitab tufadhel?) ___  Which book do you prefer?

11.  مُنْذُ (munthu) – Since/How long


Used in to ask about the duration of an action, event, or state.


منذ متى وانت هنا؟ ___Munthu mata w anta hunaa? ___How long have you been her?

12. لِمَا  (lima) For what reason


Used to ask about the reason or purpose behind something.

Example: لما انتَ هنا؟___(Lima anta hunaa?) ___Why are you here?

The questions in Arabic be summarize as follows:

كَمْkamHow much/many
هَلْhal“do/does” or “is/are” in English
مَنْذُmandhuSince/How long
لِمَاlimaFor what reason

You can also read about Days Of The Week In Arabic.

When learning a language, it’s not just important to know how to ask questions, but also to understand the vocabulary related to questioning.

 Here are some useful words in Arabic that are related to asking questions:

استفهامistifhaaminterrogation, questioning
جوابjawaabanswer, response
تساؤلtasa’ulinquiry, query
فهم السؤالfahm al-su’aalunderstanding the question
إدراكidraakperception, comprehension
التواصلal-tawasulcommunication, interaction
Some useful words in Arabic that are related to asking questions

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 Learning the basics of question words in Arabic is essential for taking your knowledge of the language to the next level.

With this guide, we have introduced you to some of the most common question words, which will help you start asking questions in Arabic with more confidence.

Keep practicing and don’t hesitate to seek help when needed, and soon you’ll be speaking Arabic like a pro!

After you finish reading this blog post, please answer the below question:

  • How would you ask the following questions in Arabic?
    • Are you from Jordan?
    • Do you like to drink coffee in the morning?
    • Does he live near the university?
    • Are you studying now or in the evening?
    • Do you prefer to drink orange juice or apple juice?
    • Do you drink coffee or you prefer tea?

Learn the Arabic language at your own pace

Join 100s of happy learners. This online, self-paced Arabic language course is designed to help you learn the Arabic language in a simple and practicle way.