Negation In Moroccan Arabic

In today’s lesson, we will talk about negation in Moroccan Arabic, and how to express it, followed by several examples to understand it well.

To express negation in Moroccan Arabic, Moroccans use two negative markers, one before the verb (ma-) and one after the verb (-sh).

Negation In Moroccan Arabic

Negation In Moroccan Arabic

Mashi the word of negation

Mashi is pretty much like the English Not, see how these sentences are negated:

  • Wash lkorsi khder? / واش الكرسي خضر؟ (Is the chair green?)

Ng: La mashi khder / لا ماشي خضر (no it’s not green)

This is how to negate simple sentences that don’t contain verbs (or any of the words that we will discuss later on in this post), what if you wanted to express negation with verbs?:

  • Wash nta lli ktbti hada? / واش نتا اللي كتبتي هدا؟ (is it you who wrote this?)

Ng: Mashi ana lli ktbt hada, Oualid / ماشي أنا اللي كتبت هدا، وليد (it’s not me who wrote this, Oualid -did-)

NB: as the previous sentence contains lli (who/which) negation will still happen with the mashi, and if you would like to negate the verb itself, without lli or hetta (which we will explain shortly) negation will require this form ma-verb-sh:

  • Wash kat3ref Lingualid? / واش كتعرف لينگوليد؟ (do you know Lingualid?)

Wah kan3ref (yes I know) now the negation lol:

Ng: La makan3refsh / لا مكنعرفش (no I don’t know)

NB: this form could be used with simple sentences that contain adjectives too, so “lkorsi mashi khder” could also be said: “lkorsi makhdersh“. use what you think is easy for you.

Note: you can practice what you’ve learned here, and learn how to pronounce each of the words in our Memrise course here, don’t know how to use the platform or sign up? we’ve got you covered in this easy-to-follow tutorial here.

Negation in Verbal Sentences With Hetta

Hetta (literally means: even) words are words like Hetta haja /حتى حاجة (anything/nothing) hettawahed / حتى واحد (anyone/nobody) and hetta by itself means (even), take a look at these sentences:

Mamsha hetta wahed lelmedrasa : Nobedy went to the school (ما مشى حتى واحد)

Hetta model ma3jebni / حتى موديل ماعجبني (I didn’t like any model)

Negation in Verbless Sentences With Hetta

In this case, we only add ma at the beginning of the verb ( no -sh is needed here):

  • Wash kayna shi haja sahla f ddenya? / واش شي حاجة سهلة فالدنيا (is there anything easy in life?)
  • Ng: Hetta haja masahla : nothing is easy (حتى حاجة ما سهلة)

Hetta model ma3jebni / حتى موديل ماعجبني (I didn’t like any model)

Walo (nothing) follows the same rules Hetta does:

Ahmed magal walo / أحمد ماقال والو (Ahmed didn’t say anything)

Happy learning!

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