Arabic Language Blog

The expression “There is” in Arabic Posted by on Dec 6, 2009 in Arabic Language

The expressions ‘there is’ and ‘there are’ are expressed in two ways in Arabic. The first one is using (هُناكَ) which literally means ‘there’. This expression is used in a nominal sentence with a fronted predicate, and the subject of the sentence is usually indefinite, e.g.

هُناكَرَجُلٌ في الشارِع.

“There is a man in the street.”


“There is a problem!”

Like other nominal sentences, these sentences are negated using (لَيْس). If the subject of the sentence is masculine, we should use (لَيْس), but if it is feminine we should use (لَيْسَت).

لَيْس هُناكَرَجُلٌ في الشارِع.

“There is no man in the street.”

لَيْسَت هُناكَمُشْكِلَة!

“There is no problem!”

The second way of expressing ‘there is’ and ‘there are’ involves the use of the verb (يوجد) which means ‘exist’ in the present form. It has to agree with the subject whether it is masculine or feminine as the examples below:

يوجَدرَجُلٌ في الشارِع.

“There is a man in the street.”

توجَد مُشْكِلَة!

“There is a problem!”

Like other present tense verbs, the sentences are negated using (لا), for example:

لا يوجَدرَجُلٌ في الشارِع.

“There is no man in the street.”

لا توجَد مُشْكِلَة!

“There is no problem!”

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  1. Meyra:

    Really, I find it very frustrating to not know how to read the words you are presenting. All your blog entries are useful, but without haraka or an audio or even transliteration for me at least its difficult to guess the correct pronunciation. I wish you’d fix that.. although I think I am alone in this, haven’t seen any complaint about it from someone else in past comments. Are you aiming more to advanced learners?

    Thanks & Good day!

  2. Juan:

    Hello Aziza:

    Thank you very much for this post, it was exactly what I was trying to learn.



  3. othmaan:

    dear meyra! u r right as far as the matter of harakaat is concerned but if u really want to learn arabic then learn it through proper channel.These r only blogs n not the arabic learning institution.Take care!

  4. Meyra:

    @othmaan These are valuable pieces of information that I wouldn’t want to miss, one can’t find many on the Internet as good as this. I do study from elsewhere too, but with Arabic its never enough! *faint*

  5. Aziza:

    Ahlan Meyra,
    I have already updated the post for you. I hope you find it more useful now.

  6. Meyra:

    Thank you, I appreciate it very much!

  7. Juan:

    Hello and thanks again:

    Could anybody please translate into Arabic the following simple sentence using both ways of expressing “there is”:

    “In this street there is not a pharmacy”…

    In English you can also change the order as:

    “There is not a pharmacy in this street”,

    Can we do something similar in Arabic?


  8. Aziza:

    Ahlan Juan,
    We can say this expression both ways:
    في هذا الشارع لا توجد صيدلية

    لا توجد صيدلية في هذا الشارع

    Next time, send your own translation, and I will tell you what I think of it.