Idh/Idhaa/Lammaa إذ / إذا / لَمّا

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by justagangsta, Jul 23, 2008.

  1. justagangsta New Member

    Norwegian - Bokmål.

    The title says it all. What are the difference between these three:

    1. Iz: اذ
    2. Izaa:اذا
    3. Lammaa:لما

    When should one be used over the others?

    It would be helpful if examples were given alongside grammatical information.


  2. Mahaodeh Senior Member

    Arabic and English
    This is rather difficult to describe so I’ll give it a shot but I apologize if it’s not clear.

    Ith: a. it can be used as an expression of surprise/an unexpected thing in the past, especially in conjunction with بينما such as: بينما نحن جالسون إذ سمعنا طرقا على الباب – while we were sitting [suddenly]] we heard knocking on the door.

    b. it can be used for explaining things such as: أحب العسل إذ إنه حلو المذاق – I like/love honey [as/because] it is sweet.

    Itha: a. the first and most common meaning is a conditional article with the meaning of “if” such as: إذا أطعتني كافأتك – if you obeyed me I will reward you.

    b. it can be used to connect the answer of the condition (جواب الشرط) with the conditional statement such as: إن تضرب الطفل إذا هو يبكي – if you hit the child [you will find] he cries.

    c. it can be used to express an unexpected thing in the present: ظننته مسافرا فإذا هو في البلاد – I though he was traveling [but I found that] he is in the country. Also: كانت الطقس صحوا فإذا بها تمطر – the weather was sunny [but suddenly/unexpectedly] it started to rain.

    Lamma: a. negation of the present tense: جاعوا ولمّا يحن موعد الغداء– they became hungry [but/although] dinner time has not come yet.

    b. in the meaning of ظرف زمان بمعنى حين when it comes with the past tense: لمّا جاءوا فتحنا الباب – when they came we opened the door.

    c. I don’t think this works in fus7a, but in colloquial it’s used as a conditional article with the present tense in the meaning of إذا such as: لمّا تناديني أجيك – when you call me I’ll come.

    I may have forgotten other uses, but I tried my best.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    In the Qur'an, it seems that "lammaa" is used with a past verb only. In Modern Standard Arabic, I believe "lammaa" is hardly ever used and its place has been taken by "3indamaa". Speaking from Classical Arabic perspective, is it wrong to use "lammaa" with the present tense. Is "lammaa" used in MSA with past and present verbs?

    lammaa kataba... When he wrote...

    lammaa yaktubu...When he writes..
  4. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    I'm afraid this is not correct. Check surat al-Hujurat, verse 14:
    قَالَتِ ٱلأَعْرَابُ آمَنَّا قُل لَّمْ تُؤْمِنُواْ وَلَـٰكِن قُولُوۤاْ أَسْلَمْنَا وَلَمَّا يَدْخُلِ ٱلإِيمَانُ فِي قُلُوبِكُمْ
    And "lamma" here means "not yet", but this meaning is not used in MSA any more. At least as far as I know.

    In MSA, lamma is used with the meaning of "when", and is used with the past verb only.
    Yes, most of the time. I think it may be because lamma is used in dialects, so some people may think it's not proper to use it when writing in fuS7a.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you Cherine. As you have yourself indicated, the "lammaa" you have quoted is not the "lammaa" meaning "when". Also, I am sure I have seen "lammaa" in MSA used with the present tense.
  6. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Could you give us an example? The lammaa with the present tense is used, as far as I know, in dialects, not in MSA. So an example can be useful.

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