Question Words أَدَوات الاستِفهام

Read and listen to the following question words and notice the differences between the ones in MSA and the ones in ‘Ammiyya.

English الفصحى MSA  العامية Colloquial Jordanian استَمِع Listen
What? ما / ماذا؟ شو / ايش؟ *
Why? لِماذا؟ ليش؟
How? كَيفَ؟ كِيف؟
Where? أَينَ؟ وين؟
When? مَتى؟ مَتى؟ / ايمتى؟
How many? / How much? كَم؟ كَم؟ / قَديش؟ **
What time is it? كَم السّاعة؟ كَم / قَديش الساعة؟
How much? (Asking about the price of something) بِكَم؟ بْكَم؟ / بْقَديش؟
Who? مَنْ؟ مين؟
Which? أَيّ؟ أيْ؟
Yes or no questions. هَل؟ X  

 

* While in MSA ماذا would precede a verb and ما would come before a noun, شو / ايش can come before any type word and they are interchangeable. For example:

 

  What are you reading these days? شو / ايش بتِقْرَأ هاي الأَيّام؟
  What is your favorite color? شو / ايش لونَك المُفَضَّل؟

 

** كَم / قَديش usage in Ammiyya is as in MSA in which it is followed by a singular noun. 

  How old is the Jordan Museum?  قَديش عُمُر مَتحَف الأُردُن؟
  How many hours is this movie? كَم ساعَة هاد الفِلِم؟

 

Examples:

Read and listen to the following sentences. Note the usage of َquestion words and their pronunciations in context.

English السؤال
The Question
استَمِع
Listen
What is the name of this city? شو اِسِم هاي المَدينة؟
Why did you travel to the US? ليش سافَرِت عَلى أَمريكا؟
How is studying in Jordan? كيف الدِّراسة في الأُردُن؟
Where were you last week? وين كُنْت الأُسبوع الماضي؟
When is class time? ايمَتى وَقْت الصَّف؟
How many rooms are in this house? كَم غُرفة نوم في هاد البيت؟
For how much did you buy the book? بِقَديش اشتَريتْ الكتاب؟
Who is this actress? مين هاي المُمَثِّلة؟
Which university is better? أَي جامْعة أَحسَن؟
Are you (pl) from Syria? إِنتو مِن سوريا؟

 

Now let’s practice!

Click to flip the cards and learn the question words in ‘Ammiyya. Then, select a game to test your knowledge by clicking “Choose a Study Mode” on the bottom right corner. Have fun!

 

Exercise: Fill in the blanks 

 

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