Negating verbs in Arabic Posted by yasmine on Mar 6, 2019 in Arabic Language
Even if you’re a beginner in Arabic, negating verbs will come in handy for beginner’s conversations. It’s easy! 😊 There are three ways to negate verbs in Arabic depending on the tense. In this post, we’ll look at how to negate verbs in both MSA and in Levantine dialect for those of you who wish to also communicate with speakers from Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.
In English, if you want to negate a present tense verb such as “eating”, it becomes not eating. In the future, will not eat, in the past, did not eat, in the imperative, do not eat!
Arabic is similar in that we must add a word before the verb to negate it.
Present: In MSA, all you do is add لا before the verb.
Let’s start with the present tense. We’ll use the example “He is eating.” يأكُل
MSA: He is not eating. .لا يأكُل
Levantine: He is not eating. .ما عم بياكُل
Note: In Levantine ما is used to negate.
Note: If we were to say, “He does not eat meat.” We would do the same by adding لا .
.لا يأكُل اللحم
And in dialect: .ما بياكُل لحم
Past: Add لَم
MSA: He did not eat. .لم يأكُل
Levantine: He did not eat. .ما أَكَل
Future: Add لَن
MSA: He will not eat. .لَن يأكُل
Levantine: He will not eat. .ما راح ياكُل
Imperative: Also add لا
MSA: Do not eat! !لا تأكُل
Levantine: Do not eat! !لا تاكُل
How would you say the following in Arabic?
I will not go to work tomorrow.
Do not open the window!
She does not sleep early.
They did not know.
I hope you found this easy. Keep practicing! 😊
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