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  5. "لَيْسَ هُناك قَلَم رَصاص في …

"لَيْسَ هُناك قَلَم رَصاص في شَنْطَتي."

Translation:There is no pencil in my bag.

August 20, 2019



Because elsewhere "a cheap pen" is defined by you as a pencil, a cheap pen must be accepted also. Be consistent for pedagogy

  • 1422

Actually قلم رصاص (pencil) is never translated as "cheap pen" Pencil (قلم رصاص: qalam rassáss) means literally (lead pen). Not sure why it is called so in Arabic (since it is graphite and not lead that does the job) but maybe this is in reference to its color (Gray/Grey in Arabic is sometimes called Ramadiy رمادي meaning "ash color" or Rassássiy رصاصي meaning "color of lead"). But "cheap pen" would be قلم رخيص and it means exactly that, not "pencil".


In german, it is called bleistift {blei being lead} an in Dutch potlood {lood being lead}. Before graphite, lead was used..


Why does it say on the pen word and the pencil word the same thing??? Why is there kalam and ratata?

  • 1422

Any writing tool in Arabic would be called Qalam قلم. Some adjective or noun is added to explain (if needed) the type of this tool: pen, or pencil.
Here, we have قلم رصاص (qalam racác) which stands for "pencil". Literally, it means (a pen of lead). Why lead? Well, I guess it's a long story here but I realized many people in other languages do also call it (lead pen).
Ink-based pen would be typically called قلم حبر (qalam Hibr); Literally: ink pen.


Why do you put the words for pen and pencil . very confusing.


Is this also what would be said in Arabic for the English sentence 'There are no / aren't any pencils in my bag'?

  • 1422


that would be: ليس هناك أي قلم رصاص في حقيبتي
The particle (or article) أي (ay) stands for "any" (and it is used as the interrogative particle "which").
Notice here also that I've used حقيبتي (Haqíbatí) for "my bag" - this is the proper way to say (my bag) in proper Arabic.


But the noun of which 'there aren't any' remains singular in Arabic?

  • 1422

in most cases yes, it remains singular (and indefinite), specially in this context


شكر يا TJ_Q8، خد لنجت

  • 1422

welcome :) and thanks :)


Thanks for the new and very useful word أي, TJ_Q8. Of course I don't know what part of speech أي is in Arabic, but in English "any" is, in this case, a determiner, neither a particle nor an article. Ah, I've just looked online, and it seems to be the same in Arabic.

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