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Lesson 79 – الدَّرْسُ التَّاسِعُ والسَّبْعونَ

The followers(2) The adjective - التَّــوَابِع(٢)العَطْفُ وَحُروفُهُ

The coordinating particle (bal) and (lākin) - حروف العطف ( بَلْ ، لَكِنْ)

  • In this part we will learn the last two coordinating particles (بَلْ ، لَكِنْ).
  • The particle (bal بَل):
  • This particle shows the meaning of rectification, i.e. when you say something by mistake or forgetting, then you rectify it, and say another. It equals the English linking word (rather). Consider the following examples:



Arabic lesson image

I will give Muhammad, no, rather Khalid.

سَأُعْطِي مُحَمَّدًا بَلْ خَالِدًا lesson image

I want chicken, no, or rather fish

أُرِيدُ دَجَاجًا بَلْ سَمَكًا lesson image

I will travel to Egypt, or rather to Syria

سَأُسَافِرُ إِلَى مِصْرَ بَلْ سُوريا lesson image

This is sugar, or rather salt

هَذَا سُكَّرٌ بَلْ مِلْحٌ

  • It also can be used with the meaning of (but), when you want to verify an information. This happens originally when (بَلْ) is preceded by a negating particle as follows:
  • You may notice in the above mentioned examples that the noun after (بَلْ) is a follower, i.e. it follows the preceding noun in the declension case (nominative, accusative or genitive).
  • The particle (لَكِنْ):
  • This particle has the restrictive meaning (but). Therefore it is originally preceded by a negating particle, as we negate the information related to the preceding word, then we confirm its relation  to the following word. Consider the following example:



Arabic lesson image

I didn’t eat dates but grapes

لَمْ آكُلِ التَّمْرَ لَكِنِ الْعِنَبَ

  • In the above mentioned example we notice that the noun after (لَكِنْ) follows the declension of the preceding noun.
  • (لَكِنْ) makes the function of a coordinating particle under a condition that it links nouns, not sentences. If it links sentences, it will be considered an introductive letter in a new sentence.
  • Please notice that the coordinating particle (لَكِنْ) which we study in this lesson is different from (لَكِنَّ) with double (nūn) the sister of (inna). (inna) and its sisters are  the annuller particles which fall in the beginning of the nominal sentence (lesson 60).
  • Consider the following examples which show the difference between the coordinative, introductive, and annuller particle (لكن):

Type of لكن



Coordinating particle

Do not be a friend of bad people, but of good people

لا تُصَاحِبِ الأَشْرَارَ لَكِنِ الأَخْيَارَ

Coordinating particle

I do not like football, but basket ball

لا أُحِبُّ كُرَةَ الْقَدَمِ لَكِنْ كُرَةَ السَّلَّةِ

Coordinating particle

I will not watch the match, but the film

لَنْ أَشَاهِدَ الْمُبَارَاةَ لَكِنِ الفِيلْمَ

Introductive particle

The teacher went away, while the students are still in the class

ذَهَبَ الأُسْتاذُ لَكِنِ الطُّلاَّبُ فِي الْفَصْلِ

Introductive particle

The hardworking person succeeds while the lazy person always fails

يَنْجَحُ الْمُجْتَهِدُ لَكِنِ الْكَسْلانُ يَفْشَلُ دائِمًا

Annuller particle

We got tired but the home is near

تَعِبنا لَكِنَّ البَيْتَ قريبٌ

  • Please notice that (لَكِن) contains an Alif which is not written, but it is pronounced, as if it is written لاكِنْ. This is one of the exceptions in Arabic writing that we are supposed to learn in lesson 108 of this course.


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