Two Ways to Say “Not Yet” in Arabic

طَريقة

root: ط-ر-ق / noun / plural: طَرائِق or طُرُق / definition: way, method


Don’t you just love adding variety to your foreign language lexicon? (For reference, the only correct answers here are ones synonymous with the word “yes”.)

Well, seeing as you do… I now present you with a new synonyms post: two ways to say “not yet” in Arabic.


In summary, two of the ways to express “not yet” in Arabic are:

لَمْ _ بَعْدُ

and

لَمَّا


Let’s go through each one separately, covering the (minimal) grammar and giving some examples.


لَمْ _ بَعْدُ

The first way to say “not yet” is to have the past tense negation particle (لَم) followed by a verb and then the word بَعْدُ (which doesn’t necessarily have to come directly after the verb).

Things to note:

  • verbs following لَم must be المضارع المجزوم (i.e. in jussive case)
  • بَعدُ has a damma ( ُ ) at the end rather than a fatha ( َ )—you’ve likely encountered the latter more, when بعد is used as a preposition with a following noun or pronoun

Here are two examples using the لم _ بعد construction:


.لَمْ أَذْهَبْ إلى كينيا بَعْدُ

I have not been to Kenya yet.


.لَمْ يَتَوَصَّلوا بَعْدُ إلى اِتِّفاقٍ

They have not yet reached an agreement.


لَمَّا

Using لَمّا is a very simple way of forming “not yet” phrases.

The only thing that you need to remember is that—as with لَم—the particle لَمّا must be followed by a jussive verb (المضارع المجزوم).

Let’s look at the same two examples, this time using لَمّا instead:


.لَمّا أَذْهَبْ إلى كينيا

I have not been to Kenya yet.


.لَمّا يَتَوَصَّلوا إلى اِتِّفاقٍ

They have not yet reached an agreement.


Note: لمّا also has other meanings—sometimes you’ll see it being used as a conjunction meaning “when” or “after” (in that case, the following verb wouldn’t be المضارع المجزوم).


Can you feel your mental lexicon expanding yet? Or do you need to check out the other posts in the synonyms series? And maybe the vocabulary lists and useful phrases series too?

I hope you found this post helpful, and feel free to comment below if you have any questions.

!مع السلامة


P.s. Don’t forget to follow The Arabic Pages on Instagram where you can keep up with the latest posts and test your Arabic knowledge with the regular quizzes in the stories!

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