ما

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Arabic[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

مَا ‎(m

  1. (interrogative) what?
  2. (indefinite) some, a certain
  3. (relative) that which, what
  4. (relative) something which
  5. (indefinite relative) whatever, all that

Usage notes[edit]

  • As an interrogative pronoun, generally the simple form مَا() is used only in nominal sentences, while the extended form مَاذَا(māḏā) is used in verbal sentences:
مَا رَأْيُكَ فِي هٰذِهِ ٱلْمَسْأَلَةِ؟
raʾyuka fī hāḏihi l-masʾalah?
What is your opinion on this issue?
مَاذَا تُفَكِّرُ فِي هٰذِهِ ٱلْمَسْأَلَةِ؟
Māḏā tufakkiru fī hāḏihi l-masʾalah?
What do you think about this issue?

Particle[edit]

مَا ‎()

  1. not

Conjunction[edit]

مَا ‎()

  1. as long as

Adverb[edit]

مَا ‎()

  1. whenever
  2. as far as, to the extent that, to the degree that
  3. (with an elative in the accusative) (oh) how...!
    مَا أَجْمَلَ ٱلْحَيَاةَ!
    ʾajmala l-ḥayāh!
    How beautiful life is!

Usage notes[edit]

  • (oh how): The above accusative construction is called تَعَجُّب(taʿajjub, amazement) in Arabic. According to traditional grammar, if a nominative were used in the example above (resulting in mā ʾajmalu l-ḥayāh), it would turn into a question meaning: “What is the most beautiful kind of life?” Like all case distinctions in modern standard Arabic, of course, this distinction is not strictly followed and the difference may be lost on a majority of native speakers.

Persian[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Persian 𐭫𐭭𐭤(amāh, we, us).

Pronunciation[edit]

Pronoun[edit]

Dari ما
Iranian Persian ما
Tajik мо(mo)

ما ‎()

  1. we
  2. (generally with following را) us
  3. (at end of an ezafe) our

Interjection[edit]

ما ‎()

  1. sound of a cow, moo