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Lesson Transcript

Marḥaban, 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 "Who" questions in Arabic.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "Why?"
Imagine you and your friend had agreed to eat together, but as soon as you arrive to the cafeteria you notice he’s already eaten, you will certainly ask him limāḏā ʾakalta waḥdaka?
[slowly] limāḏā ʾakalta waḥdaka? This means “Why did you eat alone?”
So let’s break down this question.
First we had-
limāḏā , which is the basic translation of "Why" in Arabic.
ʾakalta is the 2nd person of the past form of the verb ʾakala or “eat”
And finally waḥdaka which is "alone"
All together it is limāḏā ʾakalta waḥdaka?
So in Arabic, limāḏā is the exact translation of "Why", used to ask the reason for something in a verbal phrase.
So for example, if someone is asking you "Why did you come here?" he will say limāḏā ʾatayta ʾilā hunā?
Here, he uses "Why" in order to get explanations and reasons.
Again, limāḏā , which is "Why" in Arabic.
ʾatayta is “did you come?”
ʾilā is “to”
hunā is “here”
All together it is limāḏā ʾatayta ʾilā hunā?
Another way of saying “why” in Arabic is by saying “limā” to ask the objective of something. But in this case, it only comes in a non-verbal phrase.
For example limā ṣawtuka ḥazīn?
or “why is your voice sad?”
Now it’s time for Carole’s Tips.
A famous expression in Arabic is limā
lā? which means, like in English, "Why not?"
You can use it to accept a proposition if you agree but you are not really keen to do it. Or, if it was not planned in advance.
For example if a friend asks you suddenly "Do you want to go to the cinema tonight?"
You can answer limā lā? "Why not?"
Before ending this lesson, Let’s review all the ways to translate "Why" in Arabic:
- limāḏā is the basic translation of "Why" used in a verbal phrase, as in limāḏā ʾakalta waḥdaka? "Why did you eat alone?"
- limā which is "What for?"
Finally, limā lā? is "Why not?"
This lesson is the last of this Absolute Beginner’s video series.
But it’s hopefully not the last you learn about the Arabic language! To take your language ability to the next level, check out ArabicPod101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Arabic.
ʾarākum qarīban!