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Question - ما and/or ماذا

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1 Question - ما and/or ماذا on Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:23 am


طالبـــة ابـــن منظـــور
طالبـــة ابـــن منظـــور
السلام عليكم

I understand that ما (what) is used before a noun in a nominal sentence and ماذا is used in front of a verb in a verbal sentence.

But when I looked closer at a sentence ما تعبدونَ؟ I became confused. Is this not a verb?

Then pondering even further as I believe I am the one in the wrong frame of thinking - the original rule MUST have a reason for existing,

I came up with this:

ما تعبدون = What do you worship? (A)

ماذا تعبدون = What is it that you worship? (B)

When looking further at the sentence (A) I decided to play around with the word arragement and turned the sentence into تعبدون ما

In this case, the sentence became 'You worship what?'
i.e. the ما is in the place of the object in a verbal sentence, making it منصوبٌ

For the second sentence (B) I did the same thing:
تعبدون ماذا ='You worship what is that?'

With the addition of 'is' in this sentence, it looks like 'X is the Y' again.
Does this mean that it is a nominal sentence whereby, the ماذا is in the place of the predicate?

At this point I still see that ما has been used in verbal sentence and ماذا in a nominal one. But why is this? Am I completely off track...please intervene...

PS: I did consider the ما of negation, but then I realised that this verb is in the present tense - so that can't work either - can it?

مع السلامة

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