Arabic Language Blog

Arabic Conditionals: Who, What, When, and Where Posted by on Dec 12, 2009 in Grammar

In this post, I explain 4 more conditionals in Arabic, more specifically (مَنْ) “who”, (ما) “what”, (متى) “when”, and (أين) “where”.

As explained earlier, conditionals are used with 2 actions; one of them depends on the other. Therefore, there must be 2 embedded verbal sentences in each conditional sentence. With (مَنْ) and (ما), both the past tense and the present tense can be used; with (متى) and (أين), the present is used mainly. Consider for example:


مَنْ يَدرسْ كثيراً، يَنجَحْ.

“Who studies a lot, succeeds.”

مَنْ سَافَر إلى مِصر، شَاهَد الأَهْرامات.

“Who traveled to Egypt saw the Pyramids.”


مَا تَزرَعْ، تَحْصُد.

“What you sow, you reap.”

مَا دَرَستُه أمس، تَذَكّرتُه اليَوم.

“What I learned yesterday, I remembered today.”


مَتى تَصِلْ، تَجِدني في اِنتِظارِك.

“When you arrive, you find me waiting for you.”

مَتى تَصِلْ، فاتَّصِل بي.

When you arrive, call me.”


أَيْن تَجلِس، أَجلِس بِجِوارِك.

“Where you sit, I sit next to you.”

أَينَ تَسكُن، تَجِد جِيراناً طَيبين.

“Where you live, you find good neighbors.”

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  1. Rasoul:

    marhaba, My language is Persia but I am learning Arabic. I heard a word (shofee شوفی) that I cannot find it’s meaning! Can you help me please.

  2. Aziza:

    Marhaba Rasoul,
    (shofee شوفی) is colloquial, and the same word means different things in different countries. In Egypt, it means ‘look!’ in the feminine form; but in the Levant, it means ‘what’s the matter?’
    I hope this answers your question.