Levantine Arabic: لازم + ما \ مو

Ouch, what a pain it is...
لازم ما، ما لازم، ما كان لازم، مو لازم، ... not easy to understand it all.
  1. لازم ما = you must not do it, you must stop doing it (in the future)
  2. ما لازم = you should not do it
  3. ما كان لازم = you should not have done it
  4. كان لازم ما = does it exist ???
  5. مو لازم = you don't have to do it
  6. مو كان لازم = you did not have to do it
Is this right ?
 
  • Hemza

    Senior Member
    French, Mor/Hijz Arabic (heritage)
    If it's similar to Hassaniya, then:

    ما/مو لازم are the same
    مو كان لازم I have no idea how it's used in Syrian but again, it sounds similar to ما كان لازم to me and even so, ما كان لازم sounds more "natural".
    كان لازم ما should be followed by another verb, the ما negating this following verb (كان لازم ما تفعل) but to me, it would sound better to say
    ما كان لازم+تفعل.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Almost all of these are more or less synonymous. There is a small difference in nuance depending on what part of the sentence you negate, but generally speaking ما كان لازم and كان ما لازم and كان مو لازم express more or less the same thing.

    ما لازم etc. generally means 'shouldn't'. ما كان لازم etc. means 'shouldn't have'. When saying 'you don't have to' it is much more common to use another structure, e.g. ما في داعي.

    مو كان لازم carries an extra nuance which مو often does when combined with verbal expressions - a sort of rhetorical question or a question about something someone had said to you.
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    Is this right ?
    Hmm, you go some right and some you did not. Hamza is right, ما and مو are the same, you can add to that مش in some contexts. I'm going to go with ما.

    I'm assuming that what follows لازم is a present tense verb, because the meaning of لازم changes if it were a past tense verb, a maSdar, or a noun. In the former (which I'm assuming we are discussing) لازم would mean "should" or "have to". I based this assumption on the meanings you gave in your original post.

    So, here's my two cents:
    1. the negation particle ما goes before the thing you want to negate. If what you are saying is "don't have to" then the maa comes first because here you are negating the "necessary" part of the sentence. If what you are saying is "have to not" (i.e., shouldn't or mustn't) then the لازم comes first because you don't want to negate that, then you negate the verb.
    Example:
    لازم يروح = he has to/should/must go. i.e. going is obligatory.
    ما لازم يروح = he doesn't have to go. i.e. going is optional.
    لازم ما يروح = he shouldn't/mustn't go. i.e. going is not an option.

    2. كان puts it in the past. The rest remains the same.
    Example:
    كان لازم يروح = he should have went. i.e. going was obligatory, but the sentence implies that he did not go.
    كان ما لازم يروح = he didn't have to go. i.e. going was optional, but the sentence implies that he did go.
    كان لازم ما يروح = he shouldn't have went. i.e. going was not an option, but the sentence implies that he did go.

    Note: putting كان after لازم would change the verb not the sentence into the past, and thus the meaning of لازم would be different and that's why I didn't add that option.

    Note 2: لازم followed by anything other than a present tense verb is not used so much in Palestinian (maybe not every, I don't recall hearing it). It is used in Iraqi Arabic, hence the mention because sometimes things that don't exist in PA but exist in IA happen to exist in Syrian Arabic also. Maybe a Syrian can confirm this.
     
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    When saying 'you don't have to' it is much more common to use another structure, e.g. ما في داعي.
    Ahhh nice! thanks :)

    Note: putting كان after لازم would change the verb not the sentence into the past, and thus the meaning of لازم would be different and that's why I didn't add that option.
    You mean لازم يكون يروح ? What would it mean?
     

    Mahaodeh

    Senior Member
    Arabic, PA and IA.
    You mean لازم يكون يروح ? What would it mean?
    No, nothing turns into the past here because يكون is also present.

    I mean something like: لازم كان يروح, which in Iraqi Arabic would mean: he must have "used to go"; I know, it sounds very awkward in English (actually, I wouldn't say it at all in English) but they do use it. In this case لازم takes the meaning of "must have" in the sense of saying "something probably was so", not that "one should do so". In Palestinian Arabic they would normally say كِنه كان يروح instead. I don't know what they would say in Syrian Arabic.
     

    momai

    Senior Member
    Arabic - Syria
    لو إنك كنت تنتبه أكثر من هيك بالحصة, كنت ما اضطريت تراجع هالقد بالبيت
    or
    .... كان ما لزمك تراجع هالقد ...
    One more question:
    If I want to say: 'If you had listened/paid attention more in class, you wouldn't have to study this much home'.

    Would this work: لو كنت تسمع أكتر بالصفّ، مو لازم تراجع هالقد بالبيت ?
    مو لازم تراجع is unfortunately not a valid option in here.
     

    Eternal student

    Senior Member
    English - London
    Analeeh and Mahaodeh seem to directly contradict each other regarding the meaning of ما لازم : obligation not to vs. no obligation. Can someone resolve this contradiction for us?
     
    I don't see the contradiction but ما لازم means 'no obligation'.

    It's kinda logic because it's the word لازم that has the value of obligation, so if you negate it, you end with a 'no obligation', while if you keep it and negate the following verb (لازم ما), you will get the 'obligation not to'.
    That's maths. :D
     

    Eternal student

    Senior Member
    English - London
    I don't see the contradiction but ما لازم means 'no obligation'.

    It's kinda logic because it's the word لازم that has the value of obligation, so if you negate it, you end with a 'no obligation', while if you keep it and negate the following verb (لازم ما), you will get the 'obligation not to'.
    That's maths. :D
    I agree it would be totally logical if it meant no obligation, but analeeh says it (usually) means obligation not to, and this fits with my experience.
     

    analeeh

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    Yes, I'm surprised that Maha automatically reads ما لازم تروح as 'you don't have to go'. It is possible for ما لازم, مش لازم etc to have this meaning but it's not very common and I don't think it's the default reading especially out of context. As I said, there are lots of other ways of expressing no obligation (ما في داعي, ما في عازة, ما في لزوم, مانك مضطر, مو ضروري etc) which are more commonly used instead.
     
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