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Making Polite Requests in Arabic Posted by on Mar 13, 2019 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Language

It’s always important to learn how to be polite مُؤَدَّب in the language we are learning. In this post we’ll be looking at the common phrases used in MSA (Modern Standard Arabic) to make a polite request طَلَب.

In English, a few common words used to make requests are (may, could, would, please, etc.) In Arabic, we have words that serve the same function though the literal translations may differ from those used in English.

Image provided by Yasmine K.

  • Let’s begin with a common phrase that I’m sure you’ve already learned which can mean “please” and “excuse me” مِنْ فَضْلِكَ this phrase literally means “of/from you favor”.

For example, .أَعْطِنِيْ الْكِتاب مِنْ فَضْلِكَ meaning “Give me the book please”. / “Could/would you please give me the book?”

 

  • Another phrase that can mean “please” but literally means “if you allowed” is لَوْ سَمَحْتَ 

For example, .لَوْ سَمَحْتَ ، نَاْوِلْنِيْ الْسُّكَر meaning, “Please, hand me the sugar.”/” Could/would you please hand me the sugar?”

 

  • If you are asking for a favor, a very polite way to ask is by using هَلْ مِنَ الْمُمْكِنِ أَنْ …؟ meaning “Is it possible for/that…?

For example, هَلْ مِنَ الْمُمْكِنِ أَنْ تَغْلِق الْباب؟ meaning, “Is it possible for you to shut the door?”/” Could/would you shut the door?”.

 

  • Another way to ask is by using رَجَاْءً literally meaning “I beg…”, this is obviously more urgent then the ones above yet still polite.

For example, !رَجَاْءً سَاْعِدْنِيْ Meaning “Please help me!”.

I hope you found this useful. There are other ways to make requests in Arabic that are similar variants to the ones above. I chose the most frequent ones used. Happy practicing! 😊

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author:yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.


Comments:

  1. Ritva A:

    Very useful! Thank you very much, Yasmine!😊

  2. Nancy:

    This is great. So useful!

    I really appreciate the more functional languages items you’ve been posting lately.
    It’s something most books fail to present and many instructors do not teach. Yet one absolutely must know these to function properly in a language and culture.

    Keep them coming!
    Thanks!!

  3. Lish:

    Thank you for the post. If you don’t mind can you explain the meaning and how to use the words حيث ، and قد ، ف ، انٌ ، اِنَ ، على.
    Thank you in advance.

    • yasmine:

      @Lish !مرحباً ليش
      I sure will in this week’s coming post. 😀

      Shukran for the suggestion!

      سلام
      ياسمين


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