The negative copula  “laysa” / لَيْسَ

The negative copula laysa in Arabic (لَيْسَ)

The negative copula لَيْسَ laysa in Arabic, meaning ‘not to be’, is used to turn a nominal sentence into the negative form.

Uniquely, this verb is one of the ‘sisters of kana’ which we’ll discuss here. Additionally, it inflects only for perfect tense while conveying a meaning associated with imperfect and present actions.

Laysa (لَيْسَ) being technically a verb, the predicate (خَبَر) of the nominal sentence it governs will always be in the accusative form (مَنْصُوب).

مُثَنّى (dual)جمع (plural)مُفْرَد (singular)تَصْرِيف لَيْسَ
Laysa conjugation
لَسْنالَسْتُالمُتَكَلِّم 
1st person 


لَسْتُما
لَسْتُمْلَسْتَالمُذَكَّر
masc.
المُخاطَب 
2nd person 
لَسْتُنَّلَسْتِالمُؤَنَّث
fem.
لَيْسالَيْسُوالَيْسَالمُذَكَّر
masc.
الغائِب 
3rd person
لَيْسَتالَسْنَلَيْسَتْالمُؤَنَّث
fem.

Examples:

I am not a doctorلَسْتُ طَبِيبًا
Fawzia isn’t at homeلَيْسَتْ فَوْزِِيةُ في بَيْتِها
This isn’t correctلَيْسَ صَحِيحًا

Note: When لَيْسَ is followed by preposition بِ the sentence can take step further in the negation, meaning ‘at all’.

I am absolutely not a doctorلَسْتُ بِطَبِيبًا
This isn’t correct at allلَيْسَ بِصَحِيحًا

Note 2: If the nominal sentence carries a temporal expression (كانَ وأَخواتِها), then it is it which will convert into a negative form by adhering to the standard rules of negating verbs.

لَمْ يَكُنْ صَحيحًا← لم + مضارع مجَزوم← كانَ صَحيحًا
It wasn’t correct← Particle لَمْ + imperfect subjunctive mood← It was correct

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Laysa

The negative copula  "laysa"

Learn about the Arabic negative copula 'laysa': its usage, conjugation, and common structures. Improve your understanding of Arabic grammar with our comprehensive guide.

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  1. Very good explanation, but I have one suggestion why not make a button to go the next lesson. It certainly would be a great thing to have.