Negative statements with „la“ (لا).”No”

There are several ways to make negative statements, depending on what you want to express. The most simple negative statement in the present tense is la (لا), which simply means “No” when translated.

The following way of making a negative statement is used quite often:

Transliteration Arabic Translation
la لا no
la mushkila لا مشكلة. No problem.
la sayaara fish-shaari3. لا سيارة في الشارع. No car (not a single car) is on the road.
la illahi ila allah. لا الله إلا الله. There is no God but „Allah“.
la uHibb dhaalik. لا أحب ذلك. I don’t like this.

The verb “be” or its other forms is turned into a negative present tense statement with laysa and its forms.

Transliteration Arabic Translation
(ana) lastu mariDa. (أنا) لست مريضة. I’m not ill.
hal anti lasti min almaania? هل أنتِ لَستِ من ألمانيا؟ Are you (f.) not from Germany?
(hiyya) laysat fi al-maktab haadha al-usbuu3. (هي) ليست في المكتب هذا الأسبوع. We won’t be in the office this week.
(naHnu) lasna fi al-madrassa al-yawm. (نحن) لسنا في المدرسة اليوم. We won’t be at school this week.
(hum) laysuu fi-l-madrasa. (هم) ليسوا في المدرسة. They (m.) are not at school.

Negative statements with „laysa“ – the forms:

Transliteration Arabic Translation
(ana) lastu (أنا) لست I’m not
(anta) lasta (أنتَ) لستَ you (m) are not
(anti) lasti (أنتِ) لستِ you (f) are not
(huwa) laysa (هو) ليسَ he is not
(hiwa) laysat (هي) ليسَت she is not
(naHnu) lasna (نحن) لسنا we are not
(antum) lastum (أنتم) لستُم you  (pl., m) are not
(antunna) lastuna (أنتن) لَستُنَ you  (pl., f) are not
(hum) laysuu (هم) لَئسوا they (m) are not
(hunna) laysna (هن) ليسنَ they (f)  are not

Negative statements with the verb ‘have’

Making  a negative statement with the verb ‘have’ is very easy. Firstly you have to decide if the noun is male or female. After that you have to decide which form of the negative form you need. If the noun that has to be negated is male, you need the form laysa. If the noun is female, you will negate it with laysat.

Transliteration Arabic Translation
laysa 3indana waqt al.yawm. ليس عندنا وقت اليوم. We don’t have any time today.
laysat 3indahu sayyaara. ليست عنده سيارة. He has’t got a car.
laysa 3indahum aSdiqaa‘. ليس عندهم أصدقاء. They haven’t got any friends.
laysat 3indee akhwaat. ليست عندي أخوات. I haven’t got any sisters


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