Praise & Disparagement
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There are many words for answering questions other than na"am, laa, and balaa.
Here is a listing of the main words:
There are several other obsolete synonyms of na"am.
*The literal sense of jayr(i) is "I swear."
Tag questions in the English way are not employed in Arabic. However, there is one formula of a tag question:
Tag Question in Arabic
أَلَيْسَ كَذَلِكَ ؟
= is it that (he/it) is/exists not like that?
Translation: isn't it so?
Note that laa can often be used in place of na"am in answering tag questions. This happens especially when someone wishes to make his answer very clear.
Also called "attention particles," these are the Arabic equivalents of the Latin ecce ="behold." They are used at the beginning of speech in classical Arabic, especially in literary talk, but they do not mean anything specific.
Two of these particles, literally speaking, are based on the interrogative particle 'a-.
أَلاَ إِنِّيْ قَدْ بَلَّغْتُ
'a-laa 'inn-ee qad ballart(u)
= behold truthfully me have informed
Translation: I have informed (you ... so I'm no longer responsible)
Information about 'inna is here.
أَمَاْ إِنَّكَ لَصَاْدِقٌ
'a-maa 'inna-k(a) la-saadiq(un)
= behold truthfully you (sing. masc.) (are) certainly honest
Translation: you are indeed telling the truth
you are honest indeed
The particle haa- = "behold/here" has many uses in Arabic. One of the most notable uses is its prefixation to demonstratives (see here). It is also often used to mean "ecce" or "behold."
= behold/here I (am)
Translation: here I am
= behold/here they (plu. masc.) (are)
Translation: here they are
هَاْ أَنَاْ هُنَاْ
haa 'anaa hunaa
= behold/here I (am) here
Translation: here I am
هَاْ هُمْ هُنَاْكَ
haa hum hunaak(a)
= behold/here they (plu. masc.) (are) there
Translation: there they are
هَاْ قَدْ جِئْنَ
haa qad ji'<n(a)
= behold/here they (plu. fem.) have come
Translation: here they come
Yaa is the main vocative particle in Arabic. There is nothing like it in English, although it is often translated to O as in "O God." This particle is commonly used with the meaning of "ecce."
يَاْ لَيْتَنِيْ مِتُّ قَبْلَ هَذَاْ
yaa layta-nee mitt(u) qabl(a) haathaa
= behold it is wished if me died before this
Translation: I whish I have died before this
I wish I am dead now
Information about layt(a) is here.
Kalla means "no," but it is sometimes used like the rest of the particles here.
كَلاَّ إِنَّ الإِنْسَاْنَ لَيَطْغَىْ
kalla 'inn(a) ('a)l-'insaan(a) la-yatraa
= behold truthfully the human certainly transgresses
Translation: definitely, humans do transgression