11 Useful Question Words In Afrikaans You Should Know

question words in afrikaans

A few years back, I decided to travel to the northern part of Nigeria and visit some of its popular markets and tourist attractions. Unfortunately, I realize that I made a huge mistake by not learning their popular question words in Afrikaans, like who, what, where, when, why, and how. I was stranded most of the time and had to rely heavily on a friend for effective communication. My advice? Learn these important words before you book your flight!

Learning the basics of Afrikaans can be a lifesaver and make your stay easier and more enjoyable. In the course of your stay, you will need to ask some necessary questions, and it won’t be nice if a South African native doesn’t understand you. Although most South Africans speak the English language fluently, it will still be an advantage if you know the popular question words in their native language. The good news is that you are in the right place! In this post, we will explore common question words, how to ask questions, and other phrases to keep going. So, if you are fully ready, let’s dive in!

interrogative pronouns; who, where, what, how, when, and why

Basic Interrogative Pronouns To Get Acquainted With

Before we dive into examples of question words in Afrikaans, let’s start with the basic details of asking questions in any language. Before a question can be formed, you must use interrogative pronouns like Who, What, Why, How, When, and Where. Knowing these pronouns in Afrikaans will help you understand the language better and further equip you to create your own questions. So, pay keen attention as we go along.

EnglishAfrikaansSound
Who Wie?
What Wat?
How Hoe?
When Wanneer?
Where Waar?
Why Hoekom?

These are the common pronouns that are used for the majority of questions.

Examples

  • What is your name – Wat is jou naam?
  • How do I get to the bus stop? – Hoe kom ek by die bushalte?
  • When are you coming back home? – Wanneer kom jy huistoe?
  • Why are you crying? – Hoekom huil jy?
  • Who are you? – Wie is jy?
  • Where are my shoes? – Waar is my skoene?
question and answer card

How Are Questions Formed In Afrikaans

There are different ways to form questions in the Afrikaans language. The more complex the sentence, the more tricky it becomes. However, don’t let that discourage you. Asking questions in Afrikaans is super easy if you understand how it works.

By Using Interrogative Pronouns

Afrikaans question order is similar to the English language if you use interrogative nouns. It follows the Subject-Verb-Object order, just like in the English language. For example, the sentence ‘Who are you?’ has the same Afrikaans structure, ‘Wie is jy?’

So, if you are still learning the Afrikaans language and you want to avoid the complexity of creating questions, stick to using interrogative pronouns and ask the question in Afrikaans how you will ask it in the English language.

Inversion

Another way Afrikaners ask questions is by inverting the sentence to become a question.

Example

  • Sentence: You like football. – Jy hou van sokker.
  • Question: Do you like football? – Hou jy van sokker?

You will notice that the original sentence and question phrase is exactly the same. The only difference is that the first word was interchanged with the second word in the question phrase.

More Examples

  • Sentence: You will go to America. – Jy sal Amerika toe gaan.
  • Question: Will you go to America? – Sal jy Amerika toe gaan?

There are other ways that questions are formed in Afrikaans, but we will stick to the basic ones for easier understanding. If you want more grammar lessons on question words, then you should check out the Ling.

people asking questions in a meeting

Useful Question Words In Afrikaans To Keep Close

EnglishAfrikaansSound
What is your name? Wat is jou naam?
Where are you from? Waar kom jy vandaan?
Where do you live? Waar woon jy?
How old are you? Hoe oud is jy?
How are you? Hoe gaan dit?
Will you like to go out with me?Sal jy graag saam met my uitgaan?
Where is the bus stop?Waar is die bushalte?
Can I get the menu, please?Kan ek asseblief die spyskaart kry?
How much is this?Hoeveel kos dit?
Do you want anything else? Soek jy enige iets anders?
Are you okay? Is jy OK?
Can you speak English?Kan jy Engels praat?
Where can I find…? Waar kan ek vind…?
Can you help me? Kan jy my help?
Do you love me?Het jy my lief?

Over To You

What a ride! We’ve looked at the important interrogative pronouns to know, how to make questions in Afrikaans, and the useful question words in Afrikaans that you can use in daily conversations. I am sure you’ve been able to learn one or two question words to use during your stay in South Africa.

Apart from question words, you should also know basic phrases in Afrikaans, how to greet, how to introduce yourself, and other conversational sentences. However, if you want to take it a step higher by learning Afrikaans, then Ling is for you.

learn afrikaans with ling

Learn Afrikaans With Ling App

Ling App is a language learning platform that brings Afrikaans close to you. You can learn Afrikaans and 60+ languages from the comfort of your home and even on the go. You get access to detailed grammar lessons, interactive quizzes, an AI chatbot, audio recordings by native speakers, and much more. So, what are you waiting for?! Download the Ling App today on Play Store and App Store!

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Why you’ll keep coming back to Ling

Interactive exercises

Improve your pronunciation by practicing your conversation skills with our app’s interactive chatbot!

Engaging activities

Practice your skills with mini-games or track your progress \with fun quizzes. You’ll never forget a grammar rule again

Mix of languages

Choose from over 60 languages, both big and small, and listen to audio from real native speakers.

Proven results

Backed by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time.