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Northern Kurdish Grammar - Questions

Hi Northern Kurdish learners! 😊
In this lesson, we will discuss the basics of asking questions in Northern Kurdish. By the end of this class, you will be able to confidently ask for information, clarification, or opinions in various situations. Remember, practice makes perfect, and don't forget to make mistakes! Let's get started!

Consider exploring these related pages after completing this lesson: Northern Kurdish Grammar: Subordinating Conjunctions, Northern Kurdish Grammar Lesson: Understanding Place Adverbs, Negation & Coordinating Conjunctions.

Word Order[edit | edit source]

In Northern Kurdish, the word order in questions is the same as in statements: Subject-Object-Verb (SOV). For example:

Northern Kurdish Pronunciation English
Hûn şivanê dibînin /hun ʃivanə dibiːnin/ You see the tree
Hûn şivanê dibînin? /hun ʃivanə dibiːnin/ Do you see the tree?

Notice that the only difference between the statement and the question is the rising intonation at the end of the sentence.

Question Words[edit | edit source]

Northern Kurdish, like all other languages, has specific question words that we use to inquire about different pieces of information. Here are some of the most common question words in Northern Kurdish:

Northern Kurdish Pronunciation English
Ke /ke/ Who
Çima /tʃima/ Why
Hejmara xwe çi ye? /hejmara xwe tʃi je/ What is your phone number?
Ji bo çi? /dʒibo tʃi/ For what purpose? (Why?)
Wêneyê çawa çêkir? /wenjəje tʃawa tʃekir/ How did you make the picture?
Kurê te kaç saet e? /kure te katʃ saet e/ What time is it?


  • Person 1: Ke malê ? (Who is at home?)
  • Person 2: Min, ev hevala min e. (Me, this is my friend.)
  • Person 1: Çima derê kêvan e? (Why is the door closed?)
  • Person 2: Ji ber ku hewl dide blank bike. (Because I'm trying to cool the room.)
  • Person 1: Hejmara telefonê te çi ye? (What is your phone number?)
  • Person 2: Hejmara telefonê min... (My phone number is...)

Yes/No Questions[edit | edit source]

In addition to question words, Northern Kurdish also has yes/no questions, where we expect a simple "yes" or "no" response from the listener. In Northern Kurdish, we form these questions by simply adding the question particle "ê" at the end of the sentence. For example:

Northern Kurdish Pronunciation English
Te li Tirkîyê bûyî? /te li tirkije buji/ Were you in Turkey?


  • Person 1: Te xemgîn ê? (Are you sad?)
  • Person 2: Na. (No.)
  • Person 1: Dilê te xaw/ (Is your heart broken?)
  • Person 2: Bellaş e. (Yes, it is.)

Tag Questions[edit | edit source]

A tag question is a question added to the end of a declarative sentence, to turn it into a question. Tag questions in Northern Kurdish are formed by using the question particle "nî" at the end of the sentence. The question particle agrees with the gender of the subject. For example:

Northern Kurdish Pronunciation English
Hûn zanin.", Hûn zanin, nî? (female) Hûn zanin, nê? (male) Do you know? Do you know, right?


  • Person 1: Were pirtûkên wê û bîra wê heya te? (Did you get his books and his diary?)
  • Person 2: Belaşim, nî? (Yes, don't you know?)
  • Person 1: Ke eve hevala te ye, nê? (This is your friend, right?)
  • Person 2: Belaş e, nî. (Yes, he is, isn't he?)

Indirect questions[edit | edit source]

Indirect questions are generally used to ask for information in a more polite or tentative way compared to a direct question. Indirect questions in Northern Kurdish take the same word order as statements, and the overall structure is quite similar to that of a sentence. For example:

Northern Kurdish Pronunciation English
Ez xwest ku hûn zarokên kurdî bixwînin. /ez xwest ku hun zaroken kurdî bixwînin/ I wanted you to read Kurdish Children's books.
Misogerna ka berê çi pîroz kir, min nizane. /misogerna ka bere tʃi pirɔz kir min nizane/ I don't know what he did before Newroz.

Exercises[edit | edit source]

Here are some simple exercises you can do to practice Northern Kurdish questions:

1) Ask somebody what their favourite food is. 2) Ask somebody when their birthday is. 3) Ask somebody how long they have been learning Northern Kurdish. 4) Create a dialogue that uses yes/no questions. 5) Create a dialogue that uses tag questions. 6) Create a dialogue that uses indirect questions.

To improve your Northern Kurdish Grammar, you can also use the Polyglot Club website. Find native speakers and ask them any questions!

Sources[edit | edit source]

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