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Simple Interrogative Words: Who, When, Why, Where and How



We have learned few interrogative words like kaha (कः), ke (के), kaa (का), kaaha (काः), kim (किम्), kaani (कानि) in previous lesson. Kaha (कः) means 'who' in masculine form and kaa (का) means 'who' in feminine form. saha kaha? (सः कः)? means 'who is he?' and saa kaa? (सा का)? means 'who is she?'.


The word kadaa (कदा) is another interrogative word which means 'when'. Let us use this word kadaa (कदा) in a simple sentence. Let us say, you would like to ask 'when does he go?'. That would be in Sanskrit saha kadaa gachchati? (सः कदा गच्छति)?.


We have learned in another lesson about how to tell the time in Sanskrit. To the question 'when does he go?', let us say, your answer would be 'he goes at 7 o'clock'. That would be in Sanskrit saha saptavaadane gachchati (सः सप्तवादने गच्छति).


Another interrogative word kimartham (किमर्थम्) means 'why'. The question 'why does he go there?' can be translated in Sanskrit in to saha kimartham tatra gachchati? (सः किमर्थं तत्र गच्छति)?


The word kutaha (कुतः) means 'from-where'. The question 'where did he come from?' can be asked using the word in Sanskrit, saha kutaha aagatavaan? (सः कुतः आगतवान्)?


Where as the word kutra (कुत्र) means 'where'. The question 'where did he go?' would in Sanskrit be, saha kutra gatavaan? (सः कुत्र गतवान्)?


Kati (कति) is an interrogative word as well, which means 'how much'. 'How much money do you have?' can be asked using Sanskrit words, 'bhavatha sameepe kati roopyakaani santi?' (भवतः समीपे कति रूप्यकाणि सन्ति?). Here the word bhavataha (भवतः) means 'your' in masculine form. The word sameepe (समीपे) alone would mean 'nearby'. The word roopyakaani (रूप्यकाणि) means 'money'. And the word santi (सन्ति) is plural form of asti (अस्ति).


Katham (कथम्) is another interrogative word which means 'how'. 'How are you?' can be asked bhavaan katham asti? (भवान् कथम् अस्ति)? in the masculine form and bhavatee katham asti? (भवती कथम् अस्ति)? in the feminine form.