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Lesson 61 – الدَّرْسُ الواحِدُ والسِّتُّونَ

/lā/ of generic negation - لا النَّافِيَة لِلْجِنْسِ

The conditions of /lā/ of generic negation – شُرُوط لا النافية للْجِنْسِ

  • We now clearly understand the meaning of /lā/ of generic negation, and the difference between it and the other types of /lā/. We learnt that /lā/ of generic negation intervenes only in the nominal sentence, and it makes a function rather similar to /inna/ and its sisters, i.e. it changes the subject from the nominative to the accusative case.
  • Now we will learn the conditions under which /lā/ can be of generic negation and can make the above mentioned function In-Shā’-Allâh.
    1- The first condition under which /lā/ makes the function of /inna/ and its sisters is that it must indicate the negation of the predicate from the whole genus of the subject. We have already studied examples of the difference between /lā/ which negates the oneness and /lā/ of generic negation. The following table shows more example of /lā/ of generic negation.

Picture

Meaning

Sentence

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No man is travelling

لا رَجُلَ مُسَافِرٌ

/lā raĵula musāfirun/

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No star is in the sky

لا نَجْمَ فِي السَّماءِ

/lā naĵma fī assamā’i

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Nothing is in the box

لا شَيْءَ في الصُّندوقِ

/lā shay’a fī aŝ ŝundūqi/

  • 2- The second condition under which /lā/ can be of generic negation is that both of the subject and the predicate after it have to be indefinite. If you have a look at all the above mentioned examples of /lā/ of generic negation, you may notice that the subject (which is called the noun of /lā/) is always an indefinite noun, while the predicate is never definite noun (it is instead indefinite noun, a sentence, or a quasi sentence, i.e. preposition + noun). Here are some more examples:
  • You may notice that the subject in all the above mentioned examples is an indefinite noun (مِلْحَ خُبْزَ  - طَائِرَ), and the predicate also is not a definite noun (فِي الطَّعامِ  - عَلَى الْمَائِدَةِ - وَاقِفٌ)
  • If any of the subject or the predicate after /lā/ is a definite noun, /lā/ would not be of generic negation. In this case /lā/ has to be repeated in two sentences (meaning neither….nor) and it will have no effect on the nominal sentence, i.e. the subject will be regularly in the nominative case as in the following examples:

English

Arabic

Neither the teacher nor the students are attending

لا الأُسْتَاذُ حَاضِرٌ، ولا الطُلابُ حَاضِرُونَ

  • 3-The third condition under which /lā/ can be of generic negation is that it should not be separated from its noun (the subject), even by its advanced predicate. We studied such situation in the nominal sentence (lesson 58) when we learnt that the predicate can be placed before the subject, especially when the subject is an indefinite noun and the predicate is a quasi sentence (a preposition + noun), as in the following example:

English

Arabic

In the house (there) is a man

في الدّارِ رَجُلٌ

  •  This position cannot be with /lā/ of generic negation. So if you see this structure (لا فِي الدَّار رَجُلٌ) you have to understand that /lā/ here is not of generic negation, and it has no grammatical effect on any of the parts of the nominal sentence. In this case it is just a negating particle, and it has to be repeated, and the subject after it is regularly in the nominative case. See also the following example:

English

Arabic

The bed is not comfortable, neither the chair.

لا مُرِيحٌ الكُرْسيُّ ولا السَّرِيرُ

/lā murīħun al kursiyyu walā as sarīru

·          We notice in the above mentioned example that when the predicate (مُرِيحٌ) is placed before the subject (الكُرْسِيُّ), /lā/ is separated from its noun, so it is not of generic negation, and it has no grammatical effect on the nominal sentence, i.e. both of the subject and the predicate remain regularly in the nominative case.
1- The fourth and the last condition under which /lā/ would be of generic negation is that it should not be preceded by a preposition, otherwise it will be negating particle without no grammatical effect, and the noun after it will be in the genitive case because of the preceding preposition. Consider the following examples:

English

Arabic

The child is angry from nothing

الولَدُ يَغْضَبُ مِنْ لا شَيْءٍ

/al waladu yaghđabu min lā shay’in/

I traveled without money

سافَرْتُ بِلا مَالٍ

/sāfartu bilā mālin/

  • In the following table there are some standard examples in which /lā/ is of generic negation under the above mentioned four conditions, so the subject is signed with fatħah on its last letter, and the predicate is in the nominative case (signed with đammah on its last letter):

Predicate

Subject

Example

English

Arabic

فاشِلٌ

/fāshilun/

طَالِبَ عِلْمٍ

/ŧaliba ξilmin/

No seeker of science is unsuccessful

لا طَالِبَ عِلْمٍ فاشِلٌ

/lā ŧâliba ξilmin fāshilun/

مِسْكِيـنٌ

/miskīnun/

صاحِبَ مَالٍ

/ ŝâħiba mālin/

No owner of money is poor

لا صاحِبَ مَالٍ مِسْكِينٌ

/lā ŝâħiba mālin miskīnun/

(لَيْسَ لها حَلٌّ)ُ

/laysa lahā ħallun/

مُشْكِلَةَ

/mushkilata/

No problem has no solution

لا مُشْكِلَةَ لَيْسَ لها حَلٌّ

/lā mushkilata laysa lahā ħallun/

(فِي المَدْرَسَةِ) ُ

/fī al madrasati/

مُدَرِّسَ عُلُومٍ

/mudarrisa ξulūmin/

No science teacher in the school

لا مُدَرِّسَ عُلُومٍ فِي المَدْرَسَةِ

/lā mudarrisa ξulūmin fī al madrasati/

كَسْلانُ

/kaslānu/

مُمَارِسَ رِياضَةٍ

/mumārisa riyađatin/

No athlete is lazy

لا مُمَارِسَ رِياضَةٍ كَسْلانُ

/lā mumārisa riyađatin kaslānu/