Arabic Language Blog

Interrogative Particles (Part 1) أدوات الاستفهام Posted by on Oct 17, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Pronunciation, Vocabulary


  • Today we are going to learn about the question particles in Arabic.
  • The particles of today are equivalent to the Wh-question particles; (Interrogative Adverbs) in English.
  • These particles are considered Mabni words (or Mabni Nouns) as they don’t change pronunciation.
  • Question particles should always start the question sentence and can only be preceded by a preposition.
  • These particles are as follows :

* مـَــن    = Who?

             This particle is used to ask about Persons whether they are subject or object.

             Ex.  – مَـن كان أول رئيس لمصر؟  = Who was the first president ofEgypt?

                    – مَـن هو أفضل صديق لك ؟  Who is your best friend?

                   – مَـن الذي بني الهرم الأكبر؟   = Who built the Great Pyramid?

                  – مَـن زاركم بالأمس ؟   = Who visited you yesterday?

                  – مَع مَـن تناولت العشاء بالأمس ؟   = With whom did you have dinner yesterday?

                  – عَـن مَـن تتحدث ؟   = Who are you speaking about?

* مَـا / مَـاذا   = What?

                  This particle asks about things only.

                  Ex. – مَـا رياضتك المفضلة ؟  = What is your favorite sport?

                          – مَـا الذي أعجبك في هذا الكتاب ؟   = What did you like about this book?

                          – مَـاذا تحب أن تأكل؟  = What would you like to eat?

                          –  عَـن مَاذا تتحدثون؟  = What are you talking about?

مَـتى  = When?

                This particle asks about time.

                 Ex. –  مَـتى تذهبُ إلى العمل؟  = When do you go to work?

                         –  مُـنـذُ مَـتى تنتظر؟  = Since when are you waiting?

أيْـنَ  = Where?

                This particle asks about the place.

                Ex.  – أينَ تعيش ؟  = Where do you live?

                          – مـِـن أينَ يُمكن أن نبدأ ؟   = From where can we start?

*  كــَمْ  = How many?

                This particle asks about the number.

                Ex.  – كـَم لاعباَ في فريق كرة القدم؟   = How many players are there in a football team?

*  كــَـيْـفَ  = How?

                This particle asks about the way you do something or the weather or the adverb.

                Ex.  – كيفَ حالكَ ؟    How are you?

                        – كيفَ (حالُ) الجو اليوم؟  = How is the weather like today?

                        – كيفَ تذهبُ إلى المدرسة ؟  = How do you go to school?

                       – كيفَ تطبخ المكرونة؟  = How do you cook macaroni?

*  أيّ  =  Which?

            This particle is used to ask about all of the above; (persons, things, time, place, number, .. etc.) depending on what comes after it.

             Ex.  – أيّ طالبٍ فاز بالسباق؟   = Which student won the race?

                     –  أيُّ كتابِ تفضّـل؟     = Which book do you prefer?

                   – أيّ وقت تريد أن نتقابل؟   = Which time do you want us to meet?

                   – في أيّ مدينةٍ ولدتَ؟   = In which city were you born?


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Peace  سلام  /Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.


  1. yahya ibn imeel:

    I wonder if you give permission to translate your pages into the dutch language to give dutch speaking brothers and sisters to learn the noble arabic language.

  2. Halima:

    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
    Thank you very much for the lesson. I hope you will cover a topic on passive voice.
    جزاك الله خيرا

    • Fisal:

      @Halima ان شاء الله

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