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Old 02-06-2017, 06:58 PM
Karim Karim is offline
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Default difference between ما and ماذا

salamu allaikum together,

the question is in the title.
i searched the whole internet and everyone says something else. in this forum they say so, in another they say so, i ask somebody he says so and another says so, but i i think this is a really important question. perhaps somebody could give this question to dr. v abdur rahim himself.

another question: difference between أ and هل
also searched the internet and find a video on youtube, there is somebody talking a half hour about it, but my arabic is not that good that i understand everything. here the same case, everybody you ask has a different meaning.

by the way: in the whole internet you can find everything explained except these two things. perhaps it is a secret, lol.
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Old 02-14-2017, 01:55 AM
Tanweer Tanweer is offline
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This post has some useful comments from brother irf2k.

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Old 04-29-2017, 07:50 PM
AbuAminah72 AbuAminah72 is offline
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If you mean difference in structure, then ماذا is a composite of ما and ذا. The ذا can be interpreted as an اسم اشارة or an اسم موصول with the ما being an اسم اسنفهام. In terms of differences in usages, I did read that it’s best to use ماذا with verbs so as not to conflate it with the negative particle ما.

As for the difference between هل and همزة الاستفهام then the first is only used in reference to yes–no questions; whereas, the latter can be used with both yes–no questions and information-based questions (questions that require informative answers and not just a simple yes or no). So with the همزة الاستفهام you could say أزيد عندك أم عمرو؟. However, in such a structure, you cannot use theهل because هل is only deployed with yes-no questions (التصديق).

Another subtle difference, in terms of sentence structure, is that همزة الاستفهام precedes the conjunctions الواو and الفاء. Whereas هل does not. Examples:

فَهَلْ وَجَدتُّم مَّا وَعَدَ رَبُّكُمْ حَقًّا ۖ قَالُوا نَعَمْ
Have you found what your Lord promised to be true?" They will say "Yes."

أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
Then will you not reason?
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:59 PM
AbuAminah72 AbuAminah72 is offline
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Another difference is that همزة الاستفهام can enter on إنَّ unlike هل. Example:

إنك لأنت يوسف
Are you indeed Yusuf?
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Old 07-30-2017, 10:39 PM
Sunnah_Notes Sunnah_Notes is offline
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As salaamu 'alaikum,

To answer your question, the difference between ما and ماذا is of course that ماذا it has a ذا, which could be ism ishaarah, ismul mawsul etc, but the point is that, when you ask with ماذا, there's more emphasis in the asking. If you assume that ذا is an ism ishaarah (this is how some scholars construed this), the questioner will be pointing to the thing being asked about.

For example, you may say:

ما على المكتب؟ - what is on the desk?
ماذا على المكتب؟ - what is on the desk?

In the usage of ماذا above, we can infer that the questioner was pointing to be maktab whilst asking, whereas when ما was used, there was no pointing, therefore less emphasis.

Allaah ta'aala knows best.
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