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Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
Nowadays men cannot love seven night but they must have all their desires: that love may not endure by reason; for where they be soon accorded and hasty, heat soon it cooleth. Right so fareth love nowadays, soon hot soon cold: this is no stability. But the old love was not so.Sir Thomas Malory
- IPA: /laʔ/
- IPA: /lo/
- Not; used in negating verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
- לא is not used to negate verbs in the imperative; rather, in ancient texts negative imperatives consist of לא and a verb in the future, and in modern use they consist of אל (al) and a verb in the future. However, even in modern use, לא may be used together with a to-infinitive to create what might be called a "general negative imperative", where no specific person is being addressed. (The general negative imperative might be better viewed as a kind of declarative, however, as it can be used in a subordinate clause.)
- Hebrew does not require a "dummy auxiliary verb" to negate a verb; for example, English "I didn't go" corresponds to Hebrew לא הלכתי (lo halákhti), “‘not went-1ST-PERSON-SINGULAR’”).
- לא cannot be used to negate יש (yesh), “‘there is, there are’”); rather, its negative counterpart אין (ein), “‘there isn't, there aren't’”) must be used.
- In formal Hebrew, clauses of the form <subject> לא <adjective or noun phrase> (meaning <subject> isn't/aren't/am not <adjective or noun phrase>) are typically recast using אין (ein).
- לא can stand in for an entire negative clause, rather like English not or an English auxiliary verb plus not, but a bit more flexibly.
- No; used in responding to questions.
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