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Negation (continued)

Future Tense Negative Sentences

 

Tense

Usage

Word

Verbal Sentences

Nominal Sentences

Future

Before verbs only

(imperfective verb only)

lan

لَنْ

Present & Future

Before verbs only

(perfective & imperfective verb)

Before nouns or verbs

(perfective & imperfective verb)

laa

لا

All Tenses

Before verbs only

(perfective & imperfective verb)

Before nouns or verbs

(perfective & imperfective verb)

maa

مَاْ

Before verbs only

(perfective & imperfective verb)

Before nouns or verbs

(perfective & imperfective verb)

'in

إِنْ

Those are the negative words that can be seen in negative sentences in the future tense. They are all particles. The first one of them is a subjunctive particle and it requires the imperfective verb after it to be in the subjunctive mood.

 

Lan لَنْ

Lan is the principle negative particle for future tense in formal Arabic. It comes before imperfective verbs, and if there is a future tense particle before the verb (like sa-or sawfa), it must be removed.

Positive Nominal

سَلْمَىْ سَتُسَاْفِرُ غَدًا

salmaa sa-tusaafir(u) rada(n)

= Salma will travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

سَلْمَىْ لَنْ تُسَاْفِرَ غَدًا

salmaa lan tusaafir(a) rada(n)

= Salma will not travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Positive Verbal

سَتُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

sa-tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)

= will travel Salma tomorrow

Translation: Salma is leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

لَنْ تُسَاْفِرَ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

lan tusaafir(a) salmaa rada(n)

 = will not travel Salma tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

 

 

Positive Nominal

الطَقْسُ يَكُوْنُ صَحْوًا يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ

'at-taqs(u) yakoon(u) sahwa(n) yawm(a) ('a)l-'ithnayn(i)

= the weather will be clear Monday

Translation: the weather will be clear on Monday

 

Negative

الطَقْسُ لَنْ يَكُوْنَ صَحْوًا يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ

'at-taqs(u) lan yakoon(a) sahwa(n) yawm(a) ('a)l-'ithnayn(i)

= the weather will not be clear Monday

Translation: the weather will not be clear on Monday

 

Positive Verbal

يَكُوْنُ الطَقْسُ صَحْوًا يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ 

yakoon(u) ('a)t-taqs(u) sahwa(n) yawm(a) ('a)l-'ithnayn(i)

= will be the weather clear Monday

Translation: the weather will be clear on Monday

 

Negative

لَنْ يَكُوْنَ الطَقْسُ صَحْوًا يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ

lan yakoon(a) ('a)t-taqs(u) sahwa(n) yawm(a) ('a)l-'ithnayn(i)

= will not be the weather clear Monday

Translation: the weather will not be clear on Monday

 

 

Lan is a subjunctive particle and the imperfective verb after it must always be in the subjunctive mood.

The future particle sawfa can sometimes be used in negative future tense sentences, but it must come before the negative word.

Examples:

سَوْفَ لَنْ تُسَاْفِرَ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

sawfa lan tusaafir(a) salmaa rada(n)saw

 = will not travel Salma tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

الطَقْسُ سَوْفَ لَنْ يَكُوْنَ صَحْوًا يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ

'at-taqs(u) sawfa lan yakoon(a) sahwa(n) yawm(a) ('a)l-'ithnayn(i)

= the weather will not be clear Monday

Translation: the weather will not be clear on Monday

 

laa لا

Laa works with imperfective verbs, and as those can mean both the present and the future, laa is used for negative sentences in both the present and the future.

 

Positive Nominal

سَلْمَىْ سَتُسَاْفِرُ غَدًا

salmaa sa-tusaafir(u) rada(n)

= Salma will travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

سَلْمَىْ لا تُسَاْفِرُ غَدًا

salmaa laa tusaafir(u) rada(n)

= Salma not will travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Positive Verbal

سَتُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

sa-tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)

= will travel Salma tomorrow

Translation: Salma is leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

لا تُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

laa tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)

= not will travel Salmaa tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

 

لا يَكُوْنُ الطَقْسُ صَحْوًا يَوْمَ الاِثْنَيْنِ

laa yakoon(u) ('a)t-taqs(u) sahwa(n) yawm(a) ('a)l-'ithnayn(i)

= not will be the weather clear Monday

Translation: the weather will not be clear on Monday

 

الطَقْسُ لا يَكُوْنُ صَحْوًا فِيْ الْشِّتَاْءِ

'at-taqs(u) laa yakoon(u) sahwa(n) fee ('a)sh-shitaa'(i)

= the weather not will be clear in the winter

Translation: ≈ the weather is not usually clear in winter

 

See here for explanation about the last sentence.

The future particle sawfa can sometimes be used in negative future tense sentences, but it must come before the negative word.

Examples:

سَوْفَ لا تُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

sawfa laa tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)saw

 = will not travel Salma tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

 

Laa + Perfective

Laa can often precede the perfective (past) verb in classical Arabic. However, this does not mean that the sentence will be in the past tense, because laa can NOT negate past tense events (except in "neither...nor..." construction, where it can).

If laa came followed by a perfective verb, that verb would be a subjunctive verb not an actual past verb; because in Arabic, like in English, the perfective verbs are used as subjunctive verbs.

So laa plus a perfective verb is used for negative wishing; laa will mean in this construction something like "I wish not that."

Examples:

لا سَمَحَ الْلَّهُ

laa samah(a) ('a)l-laah(u)

= I wish not that allow God

Translation: may God not allow (that)

= God forbid

 

لا قَدَّرَ الْلَّهُ

laa qaddar(a) ('a)l-laah(u)

= I wish not that predestine God

Translation: may God not predestine (that)

= God forbid

 

لا سَاْمَحَكَ الْلَّهُ

laa saamaha-k(a) ('a)l-laah(u)

= I wish not that forgive you God

Translation: may God not forgive you

 

 

Maa مَاْ & 'in إِنْ

 

Maa and 'in are used for all tenses. They can be used to form negative sentences in the future tense after removing the future particles (sa-or sawfa).

 

Positive Nominal

سَلْمَىْ سَتُسَاْفِرُ غَدًا

salmaa sa-tusaafir(u) rada(n)

= Salma will travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

سَلْمَىْ مَاْ تُسَاْفِرُ غَدًا

salmaa maa tusaafir(u) rada(n)

= Salma not will travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

سَلْمَىْ إِنْ تُسَاْفِرُ غَدًا

salmaa 'in tusaafir(u) rada(n)

= Salma not will travel tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Positive Verbal

سَتُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

sa-tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)

= will travel Salma tomorrow

Translation: Salma is leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

مَاْ تُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

maa tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)

= not will travel Salmaa tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

Negative

إِنْ تُسَاْفِرُ سَلْمَىْ غَدًا

'in tusaafir(u) salmaa rada(n)

= not will travel Salmaa tomorrow

Translation: Salma is not leaving town/country tomorrow

 

 

 

A summary for the common negative words and their usage in modern standard Arabic: (note that the negative words are always placed before the verbs in this scheme)

 

Tense

Positive Sentence

Negative Sentence

Present

NO VERB

 

lays(a) Before Predicate

لَيْسَ

lays(a)

 

Indicative Imperfective

يَفْعَلُ

yaf"al(u)

Laa + Indicative Imperfective

لا يَفْعَلُ

laa yaf"al(u)

 

Past

Perfective

فَعَلَ

fa"al(a)

Lam + Jussive Imperfective

لَمْ يَفْعَلْ

lam yaf"al

 

Future

Indicative Imperfective

يَفْعَلُ

yaf"al(u)

Lan + Subjunctive Imperfective

لَنْ يَفْعَلَ

lan yaf"al(a)

 

Imperative

(present / future)

Imperative

اِفْعَلْ

'if"al

laa + 2nd Person Jussive Imperfective

لا تَفْعَلْ

laa taf"al

 

 

 

 

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