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Interrogative Maa

Updated: Sep 18, 2019

Interrogative Maa ما الاسْتِفْهامِيَّة

In this blog post I will explain about "Maa" interrogative tool in Arabic. It corresponds to "What" in English, and it is considered a noun. Note that there are many kinds of Maa in Arabic and some are nouns while others are particles.


ما اسْمُك؟

(Maa Ismuk?)

What is your name"

ما في الرِّسالة؟

(Maa fee ar-risaala?)

What is in the letter?

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ما مَعْنَى حُقوق المِلْكِيَّةِ الفِكْرِيَّة؟

What is the meaning of intellectual property rights?

حُقوق = plural noun = rights

حَقّ = single noun = right

المِلْكِيَّةُ : المِلْكُ أَو التَّمْليك noun

مِلْكِيَّةٌ خَاصَّةٌ : مَا يَمْلِكُهُ الإِنْسَانُ = private property

مِلْكِيَّةٌ عَامَّةٌ = public property

فِكْر= thought

مدرسة فكريّة = school of thought

فكريّة ( اسم ):اسم مؤنَّث feminine noun

What is the meaning of...? = ما مَعْنى

Interrogative Maa = ما الاستفهامية = What?

Did you know when Maa is preceded by a preposition حرف الجر it loses its Alif ا (Genitive Case) Examples:

لٍمَ _ بِمَ _ إلامَ_حتام

لِ + ما = لِمَ For what

بِ + مَا = بِمَ With what

إِلى + ما = إِلامَ To what

حتّى + ما = حتّام Until what

مِن + ما = مِمَّ From what

Maa also loses Alif ا when it is Mudaaf Ilayh, preceded by a Mudaaf (Genitive Case); (You can review Mudaaf and Mudaaf Ilayh in detail by clicking here).


بِمُقْتَضَامَ فَعَلْتَ ذَلِك؟

(Bi-moqtadaama fa'alta zaalik?)

Based on what did you do that?

There is one condition where Maa will not loose its Alif, and that it when it connects with "Zaa" ذا, as in: لِماذا؟ or Why?; and بِماذا؟ or With What?

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