ء OR أ

This type of hamza can start a question. It works in the same way as هل (hal). It goes before a statement to make it a question. It makes the sound (a). Make sure that you don't pronounce it so it rhymes with "bay", it rhymes with "la".

أليس كذلك؟

a laysa kadhaalik?
Isn't it? / Isn't it like that?


a ra'ayt?
Have you seen?

The difference between هل (hal) and ء/أ (-hamza-)

  • When asking about something happening now ء/أ is used.

The sentence "Are you cooking something?" would be translated with a ء/أ (hamza) at the beginning.

  • When asking about something to happen in the future, or regularly هل is used.

The sentence "Do you cook?" or "Will you cook?" must be translated with هل (hal).