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Laa Particle in Arabic

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

3 Kinds of Laa:

Imperative Laa + Laa of Negation + Laa of Absolute Negation

In this blog post we will explain in detail about "Laa Particle" in Arabic language, which has different usages. The three kinds of Laa are: لا النَّاهِيَة، ولا النَّافِيَة، ولا النَّافِيَة لِلْجِنْس

Imperative Laa (Particle of Jazm and Order or Request/ Don't!) لا النَّاهِيَة

لا النَّافِيَة Laa of Negation or Particle of Negation

Laa of Absolute Negation or Laa of Quittance or Categorical Negative Laa لا النَّافِيَة لِلْجِنْس

Mind boggled? Don't be, as I will explain what this all means.

Imperative Laa (Particle of Jazm and Order or Request/ Don't!) لا النَّاهِيَة:

-After it comes a verb in the present tense, 2nd person (You أنت /أنتما/أنتم...), and means a request or order. It changes the present tense and causes it to be in the Jussive mood:

-If the present tense verb after Imperative Laa is a sound verb (does not haveو or ي or ا as one of the three root letters, apart from Hamza الفِعْل الصَّحِيح, ex: َجَلَسَ، حَضَرَ، رَفَع، كَتَبَ،أَخَذَ ،أَمَرَ، أَكَل), the verb will be conjugated in the Jussive with a Sukoun (silent vowel) at the end, ex:

تَكْتُبُ--> لا تَكْتُبْ ;you) write-->(you) don't write)

-If the present tense verb after Imperative Laa is a weak verb (hasو or ي or ا as one of the three root letters الفِعْل المُعْتَلّ, ex: بَاعَ، ضَامَ، وَجَدَ، وَعَدَ، يَئِسَ ), the verb will be conjugated by omitting this vowel sound if it's at the end(و or ي or ا),

ex: تَدْعُو--> لا تَدْعُ ; (you) invite-->(you) don't invite.

-If the present tense verb was one of "The Five Verbs" الأَفْعَال الخَمْسَة, it will be conjugated in the Jussive by omitting or removing the "Noun letter" ن at the end:

(تَفْعَلِينَ You do-female، تَفْعَلُوْنَ You do-Plural، تَفْعَلانِ You do-Dual، يَفْعَلُونَ They do- Plural،

يَفْعَلانِ They do-Dual)


(لا تَفْعَلِي Don't do-female، لا تَفْعَلُوا Don't do-Plural، لا تَفْعَلا Don't do-Dual)

(Notice: Second Person Pronouns- You). .أَنْتِ) تَشْرَبينَ العَصير----> لا تَشْربي العَصِير)

(You- female) are drinking juice----> (You- female) don't drink juice. The noun was omitted from the end.

"وَلَا تَحْزَنْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا تَكُ فِي ضَيْقٍ مِمَّا يَمْكُرُونَ"

Quran surah An Nahl 127 (QS 16: 127) ; Sahih International translation:

And do not grieve over them and do not be in distress over what they conspire.

Laa of Negation لا النَّافِيَة:

-It is used to express that the verb has not occurred, i.e. to negate its happening or occurrence.

-It does not have any declension value لا مَحَلّ لَها مِنَ الإِعْراب, i.e. won't affect the grammatical case of the words that come with it.

-After this Laa can come: a present tense verb in the nominative with Damma diacritic as a nominative sign (negates a verbal sentence in the present tense), an indefinite noun in the nominative: with Damma diacritic, or a definite noun in the nominative with Al-.

-Can be used with third person (They, he, she... هُمْ‘ هُوَ‘ هِيَ..) as well as second person (You, we ُأنا، نَحْن).


نَحْنُ لا نَشْرَبُ العَصير.

We don't drink juice.

This is an example of a present tense verb after Laa, with Damma at the end.

"لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا مَا آتَاهَا"

Quran surah At Talaq 7 (QS 65: 7); Sahih International translation:

Allah does not charge a soul except [according to] what He has given it.

This is an example of a present tense verb after Laa, with Damma at the end.

"لَا الشَّمْسُ يَنْبَغِي لَهَا أَنْ تُدْرِكَ الْقَمَرَ وَلَا اللَّيْلُ سَابِقُ النَّهَارِ وَكُلٌّ فِي فَلَكٍ يَسْبَحُونَ"

Quran surah Ya Sin 40 (QS 36: 40); Sahih International translation:

It is not for the sun to overtake the moon, nor does the night outstrip the day. They all float, each in an orbit.

This is an example of a definite noun with Al- after Laa, and has a Damma diacritic at the end.

Laa of Absolute Negation or Laa of Quittance or Categorical Negative Laa لا النَّافِيَة لِلْجِنْس:

-Always comes before an indefinite noun not a verb, so it is used with a nominal sentence and not a verbal one. There is also no separating word between it and its subject.

-It is used to negate the meaning of the proposition absolutely, categorically, or completely, so it negates its kind or Jins جنس.

-It behaves like "Inna and her sisters" إنّ وأخواتها, so it changes the subject from the nominative to the accusative case (FatHa), and it keeps the predicate in the nominative case. Examples:

لا تِلْميذَ كَسول. .No student is lazy

Tileez here, its ending changed from Damma to FatHa (nominative to accusative) because of Laa. Notice it also does not have Al-.

"لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ "

Quran surah Ya Sin 40 (QS 36: 40); Sahih International translation:

There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.

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اِنْتَبِهْ وَ لَا تَتَجَاهَلْ مَخْرَجَ الطَّوَارِىء.

{Intabih wa Laa tatajaahal makhraja at-tawaari'.]

Beware and don't ignore the emergency exit.

مَخْرَجُ الطَّوَارِىء

[Makhraju At-tawaari']

Emergency Exit, a noun or اِسْم "Ism" مَخارجُ🚪


Exits, the plural noun المصدر : خرَجَ [Kharaja]

Masdar or verbal noun, meaning: To Exit/ Go out

Examples: .لا مَخْرَج منه : No exit from that situation.

هو يعرف موالج الأمور ومخارجها. 🧐

He knows all (entries and exits) details of things.(an idiom)

اسم مكان من خرَجَ : مَخْرَج Name of the place: Exit

الطَّارئُ : .Noun or "Ism", meaning: An emergency situation or happening

الجمع : طوارئ

Noun/ Plural اسم فاعل من طرَأَ

active participle from the verb "Taraa'a" طرَأَ = happened suddenly/ past tense verb

⚠️ ْانتبه= Imperative tense/command or request = derived from present; sukoun ending *unless it is with an attached personal pronoun; *2nd person usage only/ YOU: You do! ; *verb-subject agreement. *In the case of attached pronoun, the sukoun changes to another short vowel which agrees with the suffix, ex: انتبهِي kasra, since kasra agrees with the suffix ي . انتبهَا: fatha, since it agrees with the dual suffix ا.

لا= Imperative Laa لا النّاهية, also a particle of jazm حرف جزم = Don't! حرف جزم مبني على السكون= jazm particle تتجاهلْ= verb in the jussive tense/ fi'l majzoum/ sukoun ending= فعل مضارع مجزوم وعلامة جزمه السّكون

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