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.
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
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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