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Lesson Transcript

Marḥaban ǧamīʿan, ʾanā Carole! Hi everybody! I’m Carole.
Welcome to ArabicPod101.com’s Al-ʿarabiyyah fi ṯalāṯi daqāʾiq. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Arabic.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "What" questions in Arabic.
This time, we are going to ask questions using the interrogative word "Where?" that we already learned before.
Imagine you want to ask where your friend is now. You will ask him ʾayna ʾanta? This is the exact translation of "Where are you?"
[slowly] ʾayna ʾanta?
So let’s break down this answer.
First we had-
ʾayna, which is the basic translation of "where" in Arabic.
ʾanta, which is "you" in the masculine, becomes “ʾanti” in the feminine.
As you noticed, the questionʾayna ʾanta? doesn’t need a verb, and the answer is the same.
ʾanā fī al-madrasah
“I am at school”
In Arabic, there is no such thing as “at”, “in” or “into”, it is all translated into fī.
So ʾanā is “I am”, fī is “at” and al-madrasah is literally “the school”.
So in Arabic, "Where" is mainly translated as ʾayna.
So for example, if you want to ask "Where do you live?" You will say ʾayna taskunu?
As in English, the interrogative word is placed in the 1st position, then the verb, and the subject is included in the verb.
But be careful, several variations of “where” are possible in Arabic. For example, if you want to ask "Where do you come from?" you will use Min ʾayna instead of just ʾayna.
So that question in Arabic is min ʾayna ʾanta?
The word ʾayna also changes if you insist on the arrival point, the destination. If you say, for example, ʾilā ʾayna taḏhabu? which means “where are you going to?”
This literally means "Where are you going to?" This interrogative formula ʾilā ʾayna is often used when asking about your final destination, for example, your final train station or highway exit.
The grammatical rule for “where to” is that it should always be followed by a verb, whereas “where” and “where from” can be followed by both a verb or a noun.
ʾayna ʾanta? - ayna is followed by a noun.
“where are you?”
ʾayna tadrusu? - ayna is followed by the verb tadrusu in the 2nd person of the present indicative, “where do you study?”
Min ʾayna ʾanta? or “where are you from?”, Min ayna is followed by a pronoun ʾanta or “you”.
Min ʾayna taʾtī? or “where do you come from?”, here Min ʾayna is followed by the verb ʾatā or “come” which we studied before.
ilā ʾayna taḏhabu? or “Where are you going to?” ʾilā ʾayna is always followed by a verb. In this case, taḏhabu is the verb “to go”.
Now it’s time for Carole’s tips.
If you ask someone’s country of origin, the exact translation of "Where do you come from", Min ʾayna taʾtī? can also mean, “where are you coming from?”, and the person can answer you, “I’m coming from work”, or “I’m coming working from the hairdresser’s”. So my advice would be asking Min ʾayna ʾanta? instead. That can be translated as "From where are you native?"
In this lesson, we learned how to correctly use the interrogative Arabic word for "Where", ʾayna, and also its different variations.
Now you can avoid getting lost!
In the next lesson we’ll learn more about asking questions, this time using "When" in Arabic.
I’ll be waiting for you in the next Al-ʿarabiyyah fi ṯalāṯi daqāʾiq.
ʾarākum fi al-marrati al-muqbilah!
See you next time!