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  5. "She does not have a blue dog…

"She does not have a blue dog but she has a white dog."

Translation:لَيْسَ عِنْدها كَلْب أَزْرَق لٰكِنّ عِنْدها كَلْب أَبْيَض.

July 23, 2019



Who on earth have blue dogs?


I was like "what the ----"


Isn't this supposed to read "laysat" rather than "laysa", since the subject is female?

  • 1351

Yes, but we are negating the existence of the thing that this female does not have, which is كلب أزرق, and كلب is masculine. So it must be Laysa and not Laysat.


So if it was a blue cat that she didn't have, it would be "laysat"? Weird. What part of speech is لَيْسَ ? In my mind it translated to "it is not the case that...", which wouldn't be subject to gender change. Same query to Joody1.

  • 1351

Actually no, not really. I'm revising my answer up there.

Laysa would change to Laysat when it is followed directly by a feminine negated noun. I'm reading some examples in my head right now as I'm reading my previous answer in this thread and realized that Laysa would not change even if it was a cat قطة which is a feminine noun. So:

  • She does not have a dog: ليس عندها كلب.
  • She does not have a cat: ليس عندها قطة.

However, suppose we want to negate the "dog" or the "cat":

  • It is not a dog: ليس كلبًا.
  • It is not a cat: ليست قطة.

Notice here that Laysa changed to Laysat because the noun following directly (and to be negated) is feminine.
In the first 2 examples, the negation is about the existence (i.e. the negation particle is followed by عندها [at her]), so the gender is not changed.

I should not name (Laysa) as particle though because in Arabic grammar hierarchy it is named as a verb, but a special kind of verb, coined in Arabic as فعل جامد (fi3lun jámid: frozen verb), which does not conjugate to past or future tense. It might be a long talk here as to what it does to the sentence, but it is classified in Arabic grammar under a category named أخوات كان (axawát kána: the sister of "kána"), where (kána) is actually the verb (to be) in the past tense (i.e. "was"). This class of verbs do a specific job on nominal sentences.


Thank you! That's very interesting. But it's way beyond my present knowledge of Arabic. I'm going to ahve to mull it over. I'm going to have to change my idea that ليس is equivalent to "it is not the case that...", though that's worked so far. Curious, though that both you and Jooody1 gave the same wrong reply, that it's ليس because kalb is masculine.

  • 1351

Yes, maybe i had something else in my mind back then when I answered that

Anyway putting Laysa to be equal to (Not) is not wrong as well - it has that meaning as well and works fine probably on many occasions. After all, it's a negation "particle". The important thing is the effects and how to use the "tool" - so whether you take it as a particle or as a verb as it is dubbed in Arabic grammar books, the important thing is how it works.


No. the subject here is كلب (masculine) and not the pronoun ها. Thus, "laysa".


Is lakin and wa-lakin the same? I learnt the latter.

  • 1351

They are. I can say though that the و is added sometimes to fill a gap in the flow of speech in the middle of the sentence. This said, it can be still used as ولكن in the beginning of the sentence. It translates to (and but). Maybe ولكن is more common in situations when you need to emphasize a contrast between two things (i feel this explanation fits well actually). For example: I have a dog BUT it's not big عندي كلب، ولكنه ليس كبيراً (3indí kalb wa lákinnahu laysa kabíran).


It is not honest if i delete my answer is wrong because i I believe the answer is the first line but it doesn't open .it is not my duty make so it open or delete this play.

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