Arabic Language Blog

Arabic Negation Using ‘laa’ Posted by on Dec 6, 2010 in Grammar

In my previous post, I explained how (لا) can be used to indicate categorical negation. In this post, I explain the difference between its use for negation (النفي) and prohibition (النهي).

(لا) is used for negation (النفي) with present tense verbs, e.g.

لا أشرب القهوة كثيراً.

“I do not drink a lot of coffee.”

لا نحب السباحة في الأنهار.

“We do not like swimming in rivers.”

لماذا لا تسمحون للطلاب بالسفر خلال العام الدراسي؟

“Why do you not allow your students to travel during the academic year?”

أصدقائي لا يحبون الأسماك.

“My friends do not like fish.”

(لا) is used for prohibition (النهي) as well. In this case, it is used with second person pronouns only (you), and it makes the verb jussive (مجزوم), consider the following examples:

لا تشرب في المكتب.

“Don’t drink in the office.” (sing. masc)

لا تشربي في المكتب.

“Don’t drink in the office.” (sing. fem)

لا تشربا في المكتب.

“Don’t drink in the office.” (dual)

لا تشربوا في المكتب.

“Don’t drink in the office.” (pl. masc)

لا تشربنَ في المكتب.

“Don’t drink in the office.” (pl. fem.)

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  1. non:

    Dear Madam
    I would like to express my deep appreciations to you and other administrative staff for great efforts of sending me the Arab Blogs and useful site to use , I found all are very useful , in spite of I am an Arabic Native speaker and Arabic teacher for non-native speakers,but I found the blogs and sites sent to me are very interested.
    thank you
    with best regards

  2. saadullah Husami:

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