Arabic verbs - Wikipedia
Arabic verbs
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Arabic verbs (فِعْلfiʿl; pl. أَفْعَالafʿāl), like the verbs in other Semitic languages, and the entire vocabulary in those languages, are based on a set of two to five (but usually three) consonants called a root (triliteral or quadriliteral according to the number of consonants). The root communicates the basic meaning of the verb, e.g. ك-ت-بk-t-b 'write', ق-ر-ءq-r-ʾ 'read', ء-ك-لʾ-k-l 'eat'. Changes to the vowels in between the consonants, along with prefixes or suffixes, specify grammatical functions such as person, gender, number, tense, mood, and voice. There is a rough parallel to the variation in English among the words "writing", "rewrote" and "unwritten", where the basic consonant stem (WR-T) is constant but the vowels, prefixes and suffixes change to show different grammatical forms.
Various categories are marked on verbs:
Weakness is an inherent property of a given verb determined by the particular consonants of the verb root (corresponding to a verb conjugation in Classical Latin and other European languages), with five main types of weakness and two or three subtypes of each type.
Arabic grammarians typically use the root ف-ع-لf-ʿ-l to indicate the particular shape of any given element of a verbal paradigm. As an example, the form يتكاتب (root: ك-ت-ب) yutakātabu 'he is corresponded (with)' would be listed generically as يتفاعلyutafāʿalu (yuta1ā2a3u), specifying the generic shape of a strong Form VI passive verb, third-person masculine singular present indicative.
The maximum possible total number of verb forms derivable from a root — not counting participles and verbal nouns — is approximately 13 person/number/gender forms; times 9 tense/mood combinations, counting the س- ‎sa- future (since the moods are active only in the present tense, and the imperative has only 5 of the 13 paradigmatic forms); times 17 form/voice combinations (since forms IX, XI–XV exist only for a small number of stative roots, and form VII cannot normally form a passive), for a total of 1,989. Each of these has its own stem form, and each of these stem forms itself comes in numerous varieties, according to the weakness (or lack thereof) of the underlying root.
Inflectional categories
Each particular lexical verb is specified by four stems, two each for the active and passive voices. In a particular voice, one stem (the past stem) is used for the past tense, and the other (the non-past stem) is used for the present and future tenses, along with non-indicative moods, e.g. subjunctive and imperative. The past and non-past stems are sometimes also called the perfective stem and imperfective stem, respectively, based on a traditional misinterpretation of Arabic stems as representing grammatical aspect rather than grammatical tense. (Although there is still some disagreement about the interpretation of the stems as tense or aspect, the dominant current view is that the stems simply represent tense, sometimes of a relative rather than absolute nature. There are some unusual usages of the stems in certain contexts that were once interpreted as indicating aspectual distinctions, but are now thought to simply be idiosyncratic constructions that do not neatly fit into any aspectual paradigm.)[citation needed]
To the past stem, suffixes are added to mark the verb for person, number and gender, while to the non-past stem, a combination of prefixes and suffixes are added. (Very approximately, the prefixes specify the person and the suffixes indicate number and gender.) A total of 13 forms exist for each of the two stems, specifying person (first, second or third); number (singular, dual or plural); and gender (masculine or feminine).
There are six separate moods in the non-past: indicative, imperative, subjunctive, jussive, short energetic and long energetic. The moods are generally marked by suffixes. When no number suffix is present, the endings are -u for indicative, -a for subjunctive, no ending for imperative and jussive, ـَنْ-an for shorter energetic, ـَنَّ-anna for longer energetic. When number suffixes are present, the moods are either distinguished by different forms of the suffixes (e.g. ـُونَ-ūna for masculine plural indicative vs. ـُو for masculine plural subjunctive/imperative/jussive), or not distinguished at all. The imperative exists only in the second person and is distinguished from the jussive by the lack of the normal second-person prefix ـتta-/tu-.
The third person masculine singular past tense form serves as the "dictionary form" used to identify a verb, similar to the infinitive in English. (Arabic has no infinitive.) For example, the verb meaning 'write' is often specified as كَتَبَkataba, which actually means 'he wrote'. This indicates that the past-tense stem is كَتَبْـkatab-; the corresponding non-past stem is ـكْتُبْـ-ktub-, as in يَكْتُبُyaktubu 'he writes'.
Tense
There are three tenses in Arabic: the past tense (اَلْمَاضِيal-māḍī), the present tense (اَلْمُضَارِعal-muḍāriʿ) and the future tense. The future tense in Classical Arabic is formed by adding either the prefix ‏‎سَـsa- or the separate word ‏‎سَوْفَsawfa onto the beginning of the present tense verb, e.g. سَيَكْتُبُsa-yaktubu or سَوْفَ يَكْتُبُsawfa yaktubu 'he will write'.
In some contexts, the tenses represent aspectual distinctions rather than tense distinctions. The usage of Arabic tenses is as follows:
In all but Form I, there is only one possible shape for each of the past and non-past stems for a given root. In Form I, however, different verbs have different shapes. Examples:
Notice that the second vowel can be any of a i u in both past and non-past stems. The vowel a occurs in most past stems, while i occurs in some (especially intransitive) and u occurs only in a few stative verbs (i.e. whose meaning is 'be X' or 'become X' where X is an adjective). The most common patterns are:
Mood
There are three moods (حَالَاتḥālāt, a word that also means "cases"; sg.حَالَةḥālah), whose forms are derived from the imperfective stem: the indicative mood (‏مَرْفُوعmarfūʿ), usually ending in u; the subjunctive (‏مَنْصُوبmanṣūb), usually ending in a; and the jussive (‏مَجْزُومmajzūm), with no ending. In less formal Arabic and in spoken dialects, the subjunctive mood is used as the only imperfective tense (subjunctivism) and the final ḥarakah vowel is not pronounced.
The imperative (صِيغَة اَلْأَمْرṣīghat al-amr) (positive, only 2nd person) is formed by dropping the verbal prefix (ت-) from the imperfective jussive stem, e.g. قَدِّمqaddim 'present!'. If the result starts with two consonants followed by a vowel (a or i), an elidible alif (ا) is added to the beginning of the word, usually pronounced as "i", e.g. اِغْسِلْighsil 'wash!' or اِفْعَلifʿal 'do!' if the present form vowel is u, then the alif is also pronounced as u, e.g. أُكْتُبuktub 'write!'. Negative imperatives are formed from the jussive.
The exception to the above rule is the form (or stem) IV verbs. In these verbs a non-elidible alif ا pronounced as a- is always prefixed to the imperfect jussive form, e.g. أرسلarsil "send!", أضف[1]aḍif 'add!'.
The subjunctive is used in subordinate clauses after certain conjunctions. The jussive is used in negation, in negative imperatives, and in the hortative la+jussive. For example: 2. sg. m.:
Voice
Arabic has two verbal voices (صِيغَاتsīghāt "forms", sg. صِيغَةsīghah), active (صِيغَة اَلْمَعْلُومṣīghat al-maʿlūm), and passive (صِيغَة اَلْمَجْهُولṣīghat al-majhūl). The passive voice is expressed by a change in vocalization. For example:
Thus, the active and passive forms are spelled identically in Arabic; only their vowel markings differ.
Participle
Every verb has a corresponding active participle, and most have passive participles. E.g. معلمmuʿallim 'teacher' is the active participle to stem II. of the root ع-ل-مʿ-l-m ('know').
Verbal noun (maṣdar)
In addition to a participle, there is a verbal noun (in Arabic, مَصْدَرmaṣdar, pl. مَصَادِرmaṣādir, literally meaning 'source'), sometimes called a gerund, which is similar to English gerunds and verb-derived nouns of various sorts (e.g. "running" and "a run" from "to run"; "objection" from "to object"). As shown by the English examples, its meaning refers both to the act of doing something and (by frequent semantic extension) to its result. One of its syntactic functions is as a verbal complement of another verb, and this usage it corresponds to the English gerund or infinitive (He prevented me from running or He began to run).
Some well-known examples of verbal nouns are فتحfatḥ (see Fatah) (Form I), تنظيمtanẓīm (Form II), جهادjihād (Form III), إسلامislām (Form IV), انتفاضةintifāḍah (feminine of Form VIII verbal noun), and استقلالistiqlāl (Form X).
Derivational categories, conjugations
The system of verb conjugations in Arabic is quite complicated, and is formed along two axes. One axis, known as the form (described as "Form I", "Form II", etc.), is used to specify grammatical concepts such as causative, intensive, reciprocal, passive or reflexive, and involves varying the stem form. The other axis, known as the weakness, is determined by the particular consonants making up the root. For example, defective (or third-weak or final-weak) verbs have a وw or يy as the last root consonant (e.g. ر-م-يr-m-y 'throw', د-ع-وd-ʿ-w 'call'), and doubled (or germinated) verbs have the second and third consonants the same (e.g. م-د-دm-d-d 'extend'). These "weaknesses" have the effect of inducing various irregularities in the stems and endings of the associated verbs.
Examples of the different forms of a sound verb (i.e. with no root weaknesses), from the root ك-ت-بk-t-b 'write' (using ح-م-رḥ-m-r 'red' for Form IX, which is limited to colors and physical defects):
FormPastMeaningNon-pastMeaning
Ikataba
كَتَبَ
'he wrote'yaktubu
يَكْتُبُ
'he writes'
IIkattaba
كَتَّبَ
'he made (someone) write'yukattibu
يُكَتِّبُ
'he makes (someone) write'
IIIkātaba
كاتَبَ
'he corresponded with, wrote to (someone)'yukātibu
يُكاتِبُ
'"he corresponds with, writes to (someone)'
IVʾaktaba
أَكْتَبَ
'he dictated'yuktibu
يُكْتِبُ
'he dictates'
Vtakattaba
تَكَتَّبَ
nonexistentyatakattabu
يَتَكَتُّبُ
nonexistent
VItakātaba
تَكَاتَبَ
'he corresponded (with someone, esp. mutually)'yatakātabu
يَتَكَاتَبَ
'he corresponds (with someone, esp. mutually)'
VIIinkataba
اِنْكَتَبَ
'he subscribed'yankatibu
يَنْكَتِبُ
'he subscribes'
VIIIiktataba
اِكْتَتَبَ
'he copied'yaktatibu
يَكْتَتِبُ
'he copies'
IXiḥmarra
اِحْمَرَّ
'he turned red'yaḥmarru
يَحْمَرُّ
'he turns red'
Xistaktaba
اِسْتَكْتَبَ
'he asked (someone) to write'yastaktibu
يَسْتَكْتِبُ
'he asks (someone) to write'
The main types of weakness are as follows:
Main weakness varieties for Form I, with verbs in the active indicative
WeaknessRootPast
3rd sg.masc.
Past
1st sg.
Present
3rd sg.masc.
Present
3pl. fem.
Sound (Non-Weak)ك-ت-ب
k-t-b 'to write'
كَتَبَ
kataba
كَتَبْتُ
katabtu
يَكْتُبُ
yaktubu
يَكْتُبْنَ
yaktubna
Assimilated (First-Weak), Wو-ج-د
w-j-d 'to find'
وَجَدَ
wajada
وَجَدْتُ
wajadtu
يَجِدُ
yajidu
يَجِدْنَ
yajidna
Assimilated (First-Weak), Yي-ب-س
y-b-s 'to dry'
يَبِسَ
yabisa
يَبِسْتُ
yabistu
يَيْبَسُ
yaybasu
يَيْبَسْنَ
yaybasna
Hollow (Second-Weak), Wق-و-ل
q-w-l 'to say'
قالَ
qāla
قُلْتُ
qultu
يَقُولُ
yaqūlu
يَقُلْنَ
yaqulna
Hollow (Second-Weak), Yس-ي-ر
s-y-r 'to travel, go'
سارَ
sāra
سِرْتُ
sirtu
يَسِيرُ
yasīru
يَسِرْنَ
yasirna
Defective (Third-Weak, final-weak), Wد-ع-و
d-ʿ-w 'to call'
دَعا
daʿā
دَعَوْتُ
daʿawtu
يَدْعُو
yadʿū
يَدْعُونَ
yadʿūna
Defective (Third-Weak, final-weak), Yر-م-ي
r-m-y 'to throw'
رَمَى
ramā
رَمَيْتُ
ramaytu
يَرْمِي
yarmī
يَرْمِينَ
yarmīna
Doubled (germinated)م-د-د
m-d-d 'to extend'
مَدَّ
madda
مَدَدْتُ
madadtu
يَمُدُّ
yamuddu
يَمْدُدْنَ
yamdudna
Conjugation
Regular verb conjugation for person-number, tense-aspect-mood, and participles
In Arabic the grammatical person and number as well as the mood are designated by a variety of prefixes and suffixes. The following table shows the paradigm of a regular sound Form I verb, kataba (كتب‎) 'to write'. Most of the final short vowels are often omitted in speech, except the vowel of the feminine plural ending -na, and normally the vowel of the past tense second person feminine singular ending -ti.
Paradigm of a regular Form I Arabic verb, (كتب‎ (يكتبkataba (yaktubu) 'to write'
PastPresent
Indicative
SubjunctiveJussiveLong
Energetic
Short
Energetic
Imperative
ActiveSingular
1stkatab-tua-ktub-ua-ktub-aa-ktuba-ktub-annaa-ktub-an
كَتَبْتُأَكْتُبُأَكْتُبَأَكْتُبْأَكْتُبَنَّأَكْتُبَنْ
2ndmasc.katab-tata-ktub-uta-ktub-ata-ktubta-ktub-annata-ktub-anu-ktub
كَتَبْتَتَكْتُبُتَكْتُبَتَكْتُبْتَكْتُبَنَّتَكْتُبَنْاُكْتُبْ
fem.katab-tita-ktub-īnata-ktubta-ktub-innata-ktub-inu-ktub
كَتَبْتِتَكْتُبِينَتَكْتُبِيتَكْتُبِنَّتَكْتُبِنْاُكْتُبِي
3rdmasc.katab-aya-ktub-uya-ktub-aya-ktubya-ktub-annaya-ktub-an
كَتَبَيَكْتُبُيَكْتُبَيَكْتُبْيَكْتُبَنَّيَكْتُبَنْ
fem.katab-atta-ktub-uta-ktub-ata-ktubta-ktub-annata-ktub-an
كَتَبَتْتَكْتُبُتَكْتُبَتَكْتُبْتَكْتُبَنَّتَكْتُبَنْ
Dual
2ndkatab-tumāta-ktub-ānita-ktubta-ktub-ānniu-ktub
كَتَبْتُمَاتَكْتُبَانِتَكْتُبَاتَكْتُبَانِّاُكْتُبَا
3rdmasc.katabya-ktub-āniya-ktubya-ktub-ānni
كَتَبَايَكْتُبَانِيَكْتُبَايَكْتُبَانِّ
fem.katab-atāta-ktub-ānita-ktubta-ktub-ānni
كَتَبَتَاتَكْتُبَانِتَكْتُبَاتَكْتُبَانِّ
Plural
1stkatab-nāna-ktub-una-ktub-ana-ktubna-ktub-annana-ktub-an
كَتَبْنَانَكْتُبُنَكْتُبَنَكْتُبْنَكْتُبَنَّنَكْتُبَنْ
2ndmasc.katab-tumta-ktub-ūnata-ktubta-ktub-unnata-ktub-unu-ktub
كَتَبْتُمْتَكْتُبُونَتَكْتُبُواتَكْتُبُنَّتَكْتُبُنْاُكْتُبُوا
fem.katab-tunnata-ktub-nata-ktub-nānniu-ktub-na
كَتَبْتُنَّتَكْتُبْنَتَكْتُبْنَانِّاُكْتُبْنَ
3rdmasc.katabya-ktub-ūnaya-ktubya-ktub-unnaya-ktub-un
كَتَبُوايَكْتُبُونَيَكْتُبُوايَكْتُبُنَّيَكْتُبُنْ
fem.katab-naya-ktub-naya-ktub-nānni
كَتَبْنَيَكْتُبْنَيَكْتُبْنَانِّ
PassiveSingular
1stkutib-tuu-ktab-uu-ktab-au-ktabu-ktab-annau-ktab-an
كُتِبْتُأُكْتَبُأُكْتَبَأُكْتَبْأُكْتَبَنَّأُكْتَبَنْ
2ndmasc.kutib-tatu-ktab-utu-ktab-atu-ktabtu-ktab-annatu-ktab-an
كُتِبْتَتُكْتَبُتُكْتَبَتُكْتَبْتُكْتَبَنَّتُكْتَبَنْ
fem.kutib-titu-ktab-īnatu-ktabtu-ktab-innatu-ktab-in
كُتِبْتِتُكْتَبِينَتُكْتَبِيتُكْتَبِنَّتُكْتَبِنْ
etc.
NominalActive ParticiplePassive ParticipleVerbal Noun
kātibmaktūbkatb, kitbah, kitābah
كَاتِبمَكْتُوبكَتْب، كِتْبَة، كِتَابَة
The initial vowel in the imperative (which is elidable) varies from verb to verb, as follows:
In unvocalised Arabic, katabtu, katabta, katabti and katabat are all written the same: كتبت‎. Forms katabtu and katabta (and sometimes even katabti) can be abbreviated to katabt in spoken Arabic and in pausa, making them also sound the same.
ا‎ (alif) in final ـُوا‎ () is silent.
Weak roots
Roots containing one or two of the radicals و ‎w (wāw), ي y (yāʾ ) or ء ʾ (hamzah) often lead to verbs with special phonological rules because these radicals can be influenced by their surroundings. Such verbs are called "weak" (verba infirma, 'weak verbs') and their paradigms must be given special attention. In the case of hamzah, these peculiarities are mainly orthographical, since hamzah is not subject to elision (the orthography of ء ‎hamzah and ا alif is unsystematic due to confusion in early Islamic times). According to the position of the weak radical in the root, the root can be classified into four classes: first weak, second weak, third weak (or final weak) and doubled, where both the second and third radicals are identical. Some roots fall into more than one category at once.
Assimilated (first-weak) roots
Most first-weak verbs have a و ‎w as their first radical. These verbs are entirely regular in the past tense. In the non-past, the w drops out, leading to a shorter stem (e.g. (وجد (يجد ‎wajada (yajidu) 'to find'), where the stem is ـجدـ ‎-jid- in place of a longer stem like ـجلدـ ‎-jlid- from the verb (جلد (يجلد ‎jalada (yajlidu) 'to whip, flog'. This same stem is used throughout, and there are no other irregularities except for the imperative, which has no initial vowel, consistent with the fact that the stem for the imperative begins with only one consonant.
There are various types of assimilated (first-weak) Form I verbs:
Past stem
(3rd sg.masc.)
Non-past stem
(3rd sg.masc.)
Imperative
(masc.sg.)
MeaningSound verb parallel
وَجَدَ
wajad-a
يَجِدُ
yajid-u
جِدْ
jid
'to find'(فَعَلَ (يَفْعِلُ
faʿala (yafʿilu)
وَرِثَ
warith-a
يَرِثُ
yarith-u
رِثْ
rith
'to inherit'(فَعِلَ (يَفْعِلُ
faʿila (yafʿilu)
(rare normally, but in assimilated verbs,
rather more common than faʿila (yafʿalu) (فَعِلَ (يَفْعَلُ)
وَضَعَ
waḍaʿ-a
يَضَعُ
yaḍaʿ-u
ضَعْ
ḍaʿ
'to put'(فَعَلَ (يَفْعَلُ
faʿala (yafʿalu)
وَجِلَ
wajil-a
يَوْجَلُ
yawjal-u
إيجَلْ
ījal
'to be scared'(فَعِلَ (يَفْعَلُ
faʿila (yafʿalu)
(rare case where w و is preserved
in non-past)
يَسَرَ
yasar-a
يَيْسِرُ
yaysir-u
إيسِرْ
īsir
'to be simple'(فَعَلَ (يَفْعِلُ
faʿala (yafʿilu)
(y ي is normally preserved
in non-past)
يَبِسَ
yabis-a
يَيْبَسُ
yaybas-u
إيبَسْ
ības
'to be/become dry'(فَعِلَ (يَفْعَلُ
faʿila (yafʿalu)
(y ي is normally preserved
in non-past)
(وَدَّ (وَدِدْتُ
wadd-a (wadid-tu)
يَدُّ
yadd-u
إيدَدْ
īdad
'to want to; to love'(فَعِلَ (يَفْعَلُ
faʿila (yafʿalu)
(also a doubled verb)
وَلِيَ
waliy-a
يَلِي
yalī
لِ
li
'to protect'(فَعِلَ (يَفْعِلُ
faʿila (yafʿilu)
(also a defective verb)
Hollow (second-weak) roots
The following shows a paradigm of a typical Form I hollow (second-weak) verb (قال (قلت، يقول ‎qāla (qultu, yaqūlu) (root: ق-و-ل q-w-l) 'to say', parallel to verbs of the (فعل (يفعل ‎faʿala (yafʿulu) type. See notes following the table for explanation.
Paradigm of a hollow (second-weak) Arabic verb, (قال (قلت، يقول ‎qāla (qultu, yaqūlu) 'to say'
PastPresent
Indicative
SubjunctiveJussiveLong
Energetic
Short
Energetic
Imperative
Singular
1stqul-tua-qūl-ua-qūl-aa-qula-qūl-annaa-qūl-an
قُلْتُأَقُولُأَقُولَأَقُلْأَقُولَنَّأَقُولَنْ
2ndmasc.qul-tata-qūl-uta-qūl-ata-qulta-qūl-annata-qūl-anqul
قُلْتَتَقُولُتَقُولَْتَقُلتَقُولَنَّْتَقُولَنقُلْ
fem.qul-tita-qūl-īnata-qūl-īta-qūl-innata-qūl-inqūl-ī
قُلْتِتَقُولِينَتَقُولِيتَقُولِنَّْتَقُولِنقُولِي
3rdmasc.qāl-aya-qūl-uya-qūl-aya-qulya-qūl-annaya-qūl-an
قَالَُيَقُولَيَقُولْيَقُليَقُولَنَّْيَقُولَن
fem.qāl-atta-qūl-uta-qūl-ata-qulta-qūl-annata-qūl-an
قَالَتُْتَقُولَتَقُولْتَقُلتَقُولَنَّْتَقُولَن
Dual
2ndqul-tumāta-qūl-ānita-qūl-āta-qūl-ānniqūl-ā
قُلْتُمَاتَقُولَانِتَقُولَاتَقُولَانِّقُولَا
3rdmasc.qāl-āya-qūl-āniya-qūl-āya-qūl-ānni
قَالَايَقُولَانِيَقُولَايَقُولَانِّ
fem.qāl-atāta-qūl-ānita-qūl-āta-qūl-ānni
قَالَتَاتَقُولَانِتَقُولَاتَقُولَانِّ
Plural
1stqul-nāna-qūl-una-qūl-ana-qulna-qūl-annana-qūl-an
قُلْنَاُنَقُولَنَقُولْنَقُلنَقُولَنَّْنَقُولَن
2ndmasc.qul-tumta-qūl-ūnata-qūl-ūta-qūl-unnata-qūl-unqūl-ū
قُلْتُمْتَقُولُونَتَقُولُواتَقُولُنَّْتَقُولُنقُولُوا
fem.qul-tunnata-qul-nata-qul-nānniqul-na
قُلْتُنَّتَقُلْنَتَقُلْنَانِّقُلْنَ
3rdmasc.qāl-ūya-qūl-ūnaya-qūl-ūya-qūl-unnaya-qūl-un
قَالُوايَقُولُونَيَقُولُوايَقُولُنَّْيَقُولُن
fem.qul-naya-qul-naya-qul-nānni
قُلْنَيَقُلْنَيَقُلْنَانِّ
All hollow (second-weak) verbs are conjugated in a parallel fashion. The endings are identical to strong verbs, but there are two stems (a longer and a shorter) in each of the past and non-past. The longer stem is consistently used whenever the ending begins with a vowel, and the shorter stem is used in all other circumstances. The longer stems end in a long vowel plus consonant, while the shorter stems end in a short vowel plus consonant. The shorter stem is formed simply by shortening the vowel of the long stem in all paradigms other than the active past of Form I verbs. In the active past paradigms of Form I, however, the longer stem always has an ā vowel, while the shorter stem has a vowel u or i corresponding to the actual second root consonant of the verb.
No initial vowel is needed in the imperative forms because the non-past stem does not begin with two consonants.
There are various types of Form I hollow verbs:
The passive paradigm of all Form I hollow verbs is as follows:
(قيل قلن (يقال يقلن qīla qilna (yuqālu yuqalna) 'to be said'
Defective (third-weak) roots
فعى يفعي faʿā (yafʿī)
The following shows a paradigm of a typical Form I defective (third-weak) verb (رمى (يرمي ‎ramā (yarmī) (root: ر-م-ي r-m-y) 'to throw', parallel to verbs of the (فعل (يفعل ‎faʿala (yafʿilu) type. See notes following the table for explanation.
Paradigm of a defective (third-weak) ي ‎y Arabic verb, (رمى (يرمي ramā (yarmī) 'to throw'
PastPresent
Indicative
SubjunctiveJussiveLong
Energetic
Short
Energetic
Imperative
Singular
1stramay-tua-rmīa-rmiy-aa-rmia-rmiy-annaa-rmiy-an
رَمَيْتُأَرْمِيَأَرْمِيأَرْمَِأَرْمِيَنَّْأَرْمِيَن
2ndmasc.ramay-tata-rmīta-rmiy-ata-rmita-rmiy-annata-rmiy-ani-rmi
رَمَيْتَتَرْمِيَتَرْمِيتَرْمَِتَرْمِيَنَّْتَرْمِيَناِرْمِ
fem.ramay-tita-rm-īnata-rm-īta-rm-innata-rm-ini-rm-ī
رَمَيْتِتَرْمِينَتَرْمِيَتَرْمِنَّْتَرْمِناِرْمِي
3rdmasc.ram-āya-rmīya-rmiy-aya-rmiya-rmiy-annaya-rmiy-an
رَمَیيَرْمِيَيَرْمِييَرْمَِيَرْمِيَنَّْيَرْمِيَن
fem.ram-atta-rmīta-rmiy-ata-rmita-rmiy-annata-rmiy-an
رَمَتْتَرْمِيَتَرْمِيتَرْمَِتَرْمِيَنَّْتَرْمِيَن
Dual
2ndramay-tumāta-rmiy-ānita-rmiy-āta-rmiy-ānnii-rmiy-ā
رَمَيْتُمَاتَرْمِيَانِتَرْمِيَاتَرْمِيَانِّاِرْمِيَا
3rdmasc.ramay-āya-rmiy-āniya-rmiy-āya-rmiy-ānni
رَمَيَايَرْمِيَانِيَرْمِيَايَرْمِيَانِّ
fem.ram-atāta-rmiy-ānita-rmiy-āta-rmiy-ānni
رَمَتَاتَرْمِيَانِتَرْمِيَاتَرْمِيَانِّ
Plural
1stramay-nāna-rmīna-rmiy-ana-rmina-rmiy-annana-rmiy-an
رَمَيْنَانَرْمِيَنَرْمِينَرْمَِنَرْمِيَنَّْنَرْمِيَن
2ndmasc.ramay-tumta-rm-ūnata-rm-ūta-rm-unnata-rm-uni-rm-ū
رَمَيْتُمْتَرْمُونَتَرْمُواَتَرْمُنَّْتَرْمُناِرْمُوا
fem.ramay-tunnata-rmī-nata-rmī-nānnii-rmī-na
رَمَيْتُنَّتَرْمِينَتَرْمِينَانِّاِرْمِينَ
3rdmasc.ram-awya-rm-ūnaya-rm-ūya-rm-unnaya-rm-un
رَمَوْايَرْمُونَيَرْمُواَيَرْمُنَّْيَرْمُن
fem.ramay-naya-rmī-naya-rmī-nānni
رَمَيْنَيَرْمِينَيَرْمِينَانِّ
Two stems each
Each of the two main stems (past and non-past) comes in two variants, a full and a shortened. For the past stem, the full is رميـ ‎ramay-, shortened to رمـ ‎ram- in much of the third person (i.e. before vowels, in most cases). For the non-past stem, the full is rmiy-, shortened to rm- before -ū -ī. The full non-past stem ـرميـ ‎rmiy- appears as ـرميـ ‎rmī- when not before a vowel; this is an automatic alternation in Classical Arabic. The places where the shortened stems occur are indicated by silver (past), gold (non-past).
Irregular endings
The endings are actually mostly regular. But some endings are irregular, in boldface:
(فعا (يفعو faʿā (yafʿū)
The following shows a paradigm of a typical Form I defective (third-weak) verb (دعا (يدعو (root: د-ع-و) ‎daʿā (yadʿū) 'to call', parallel to verbs of the (فعل (يفعل ‎faʿala (yafʿulu) type. Verbs of this sort are entirely parallel to verbs of the (فعا (يفعي ‎faʿā (yafʿī) type, although the exact forms can still be tricky. See notes following the table for explanation.
Paradigm of a defective (third-weak) و ‎w Arabic verb, (دعا (يدعو daʿā (yadʿū) 'to call'
PastPresent
Indicative
SubjunctiveJussiveLong
Energetic
Short
Energetic
Imperative
Singular
1stdaʿaw-tua-dʿūa-dʿuw-aa-dʿua-dʿuw-annaa-dʿuw-an
دَعَوْتُأَدْعُوَأَدْعُوأَدْعَُأَدْعُوَنَّْأَدْعُوَن
2ndmasc.daʿaw-tata-dʿūta-dʿuw-ata-dʿuta-dʿuw-annata-dʿuw-anu-dʿu
دَعَوْتَتَدْعُوَتَدْعُوتَدْعَُتَدْعُوَنَّْتَدْعُوَناُدْعُ
fem.daʿaw-tita-dʿ-īnata-dʿ-īta-dʿ-innata-dʿ-inu-dʿ-ī
دَعَوْتِتَدْعِينَتَدْعِيَتَدْعِنَّْتَدْعِناُدْعِي
3rdmasc.daʿ-āya-dʿūya-dʿuw-aya-dʿuya-dʿuw-annaya-dʿuw-an
دَعَايَدْعُوَيَدْعُويَدْعَُيَدْعُوَنَّْيَدْعُوَن
fem.daʿ-atta-dʿūta-dʿuw-ata-dʿuta-dʿuw-annata-dʿuw-an
دَعَتْتَدْعُوَتَدْعُوتَدْعَُتَدْعُوَنَّْتَدْعُوَن
Dual
2nddaʿaw-tumāta-dʿuw-ānita-dʿuw-āta-dʿuw-ānniu-dʿuw-ā
دَعَوْتُمَاتَدْعُوَانِتَدْعُوَاتَدْعُوَانِّاُدْعُوَا
3rdmasc.daʿaw-āya-dʿuw-āniya-dʿuw-āya-dʿuw-ānni
دَعَوَايَدْعُوَانِيَدْعُوَايَدْعُوَانِّ
fem.daʿ-atāta-dʿuw-ānita-dʿuw-āta-dʿuw-ānni
دَعَتَاتَدْعُوَانِتَدْعُوَاتَدْعُوَانِّ
Plural
1stdaʿaw-nāna-dʿūna-dʿuw-ana-dʿuna-dʿuw-annana-dʿuw-an
دَعَوْنَانَدْعُوَنَدْعُونَدْعَُنَدْعُوَنَّْنَدْعُوَن
2ndmasc.daʿaw-tumta-dʿ-ūnata-dʿ-ūta-dʿ-unnata-dʿ-unu-dʿ-ū
دَعَوْتُمْتَدْعُونَتَدْعُواَتَدْعُنَّْتَدْعُناُدْعُوا
fem.daʿaw-tunnata-dʿū-nata-dʿū-nānniu-dʿū-na
دَعَوْتُنَّتَدْعُونَتَدْعُونَانِّاُدْعُونَ
3rdmasc.daʿ-awya-dʿ-ūnaya-dʿ-ūya-dʿ-unnaya-dʿ-un
دَعَوْايَدْعُونَيَدْعُواَيَدْعُنَّْيَدْعُن
fem.daʿaw-naya-dʿū-naya-dʿū-nānni
دَعَوْنَيَدْعُونَيَدْعُونَانِّ
Verbs of this sort are work nearly identically to verbs of the (فعى (يفعي ‎faʿā (yafʿī) type. There are the same irregular endings in the same places, and again two stems in each of the past and non-past tenses, with the same stems used in the same places:
The Arabic spelling has the following rules:
فعي يفعى faʿiya (yafʿā)
The following shows a paradigm of a typical Form I defective (third-weak) verb nasiya (yansā) (root: ن-س-ي) 'to forget', parallel to verbs of the (فعل (يفعل ‎faʿila (yafʿalu) type. These verbs differ in a number of significant respects from either of the above types.
Paradigm of a defective (third-weak) a Arabic verb, (نسي (ينسى nasiya (yansā) 'to forget'
PastPresent
Indicative
SubjunctiveJussiveLong
Energetic
Short
Energetic
Imperative
Singular
1stnasī-tua-nsāa-nsaa-nsay-annaa-nsay-an
نَسِيتُأَنْسَىأَنْسََأَنْسَيَنَّْأَنْسَيَن
2ndmasc.nasī-tata-nsāta-nsata-nsay-annata-nsay-ani-nsa
نَسِيتَتَنْسَىتَنْسََتَنْسَيَنَّْتَنْسَيَناِنْسَ
fem.nasī-tita-nsa-ynata-nsa-yta-nsa-yinnata-nsa-yini-nsa-y
نَسِيتِتَنْسَيْنَتَنْسَيَْتَنْسَيِنَّْتَنْسَيِناِنْسَيْ
3rdmasc.nasiy-aya-nsāya-nsaya-nsay-annaya-nsay-an
نَسِيَيَنْسَىيَنْسََيَنْسَيَنَّْيَنْسَيَن
fem.nasiy-atta-nsāta-nsata-nsay-annata-nsay-an
نَسِيَتْتَنْسَىتَنْسََتَنْسَيَنَّْتَنْسَيَن
Dual
2ndnasī-tumāta-nsay-ānita-nsay-āta-nsay-ānnii-nsay-ā
نَسِيتُمَاتَنْسَيَانِتَنْسَيَاتَنْسَيَانِّاِنْسَيَا
3rdmasc.nasiy-āya-nsay-āniya-nsay-āya-nsay-ānni
نَسِيَايَنْسَيَانِيَنْسَيَايَنْسَيَانِّ
fem.nasiy-atāta-nsay-ānita-nsay-āta-nsay-ānni
نَسِيَتَاتَنْسَيَانِتَنْسَيَاتَنْسَيَانِّ
Plural
1stnasī-nāna-nsāna-nsana-nsay-annana-nsay-an
نَسِينَانَنْسَىنَنْسََنَنْسَيَنَّْنَنْسَيَن
2ndmasc.nasī-tumta-nsa-wnata-nsa-wta-nsa-wunnata-nsa-wuni-nsa-w
نَسِيتُمْتَنْسَوْنَتَنْسَوْاَتَنْسَوُنَّْتَنْسَوُناِنْسَوْا
fem.nasī-tunnata-nsay-nata-nsay-nānnii-nsay-na
نَسِيتُنَّتَنْسَيْنَتَنْسَيْنَانِّاِنْسَيْنَ
3rdmasc.nas-ūya-nsa-wnaya-nsa-wya-nsa-wunnaya-nsa-wun
نَسُوايَنْسَوْنَيَنْسَوْاَيَنْسَوُنَّْيَنْسَوُن
fem.nasī-naya-nsay-naya-nsay-nānni
نَسِينَيَنْسَيْنَيَنْسَيْنَانِّ
Multiple stems
This variant is somewhat different from the variants with ـِي ‎ or ـُو in the non-past. As with other third-weak verbs, there are multiple stems in each of the past and non-past, a full stem composed following the normal rules and one or more shortened stems.
  1. The full stem نسيـ ‎-nsay- occurs before -a/ā- or ـنـ -n-, that is before dual endings, feminine plural endings and energetic endings corresponding to forms that are endingless in the jussive.
  2. The modified stem نساـ ‎-nsā occurs in "endingless" forms (i.e. masculine or common-gender singular, plus 1st plural). As usual with third-weak verbs, it is shortened to نسـ ‎-nsa in the jussive. These forms are marked with red.
  3. Before endings normally beginning with -i/ī- or -u/ū-, the stem and endings combine together into a shortened form: e.g. expected تنسين ‎*ta-nsay-īna 'you (fem. sg.) forget', تنسيون *ta-nsay-ūna 'you (masc. pl.) forget' instead become تنسين ‎ta-nsayna, تنسون ta-nsawna respectively. The table above chooses to segment them as تنسين ‎ta-nsa-yna, تنسون ta-nsa-wna, suggesting that a shortened stem ـنسـ ‎-nsa- combines with irregular (compressed) endings ـين ‎-yna < ـين *-īna, ـون -wna < ـون *-ūna. Similarly subjunctive/jussive تنسوا ‎ta-nsaw < تنسيوا *ta-nsay-ū; but note energetic تنسون ‎ta-nsawunna < تنسين *ta-nsay-unna, where the original ـيـ ‎*-yu- has assimilated to ـوـ ‎-wu-. Consistent with the above analysis, we analyze this form as تنسون ‎ta-nsa-wunna, with an irregular energetic ending ـون ‎-wunna where a glide consonant has developed after the previous vowel. However, since all moods in this case have a form containing ـنسوـ ‎-nsaw-, an alternative analysis would consider ـنسوـ ‎-nsaw and ـنسيـ -nsay as stems. These forms are marked with gold.
Irregular endings
The endings are actually mostly regular. But some endings are irregular in the non-past, in boldface:
Doubled roots
The following shows a paradigm of a typical Form I doubled verb (مد (يمد (root: م-د-د) ‎madda (yamuddu) 'to extend', parallel to verbs of the (فعل (يفعل ‎faʿala (yafʿulu) type. See notes following the table for explanation.
Paradigm of a form I doubled Arabic verb, madda (yamuddu) "to extend"
PastPresent
Indicative
SubjunctiveJussiveLong
Energetic
Short
Energetic
Imperative
Singular
1stmadad-tua-mudd-ua-mudd-aa-mudd-a,
ʾa-mudd-i,
ʾa-mdud
a-mudd-annaa-mudd-an
مَدَدْتُأَمُدُّأَمُدَّأَمُدَّ,
أَمُدِّ,
أَمْدُدْ
أَمُدَّنَّأَمُدَّنْ
2ndmasc.madad-tata-mudd-uta-mudd-ata-mudd-a,
ta-mudd-i,
ta-mdud
ta-mudd-annata-mudd-anmudd-a,
mudd-i,
u-mdud
مَدَدْتَتَمُدُّتَمُدَّتَمُدَّ,
تَمُدِّ,
تَمْدُدْ
تَمُدَّنَّتَمُدَّنْمُدَّ,
مُدِّ,
اُمْدُدْ
fem.madad-tita-mudd-īnata-mudd-īta-mudd-innata-mudd-inmudd-ī
مَدَدْتِتَمُدِّينَتَمُدِّيتَمُدِّنَّتَمُدِّنْمُدِّي
3rdmasc.madd-aya-mudd-uya-mudd-aya-mudd-a,
ya-mudd-i,
ya-mdud
ya-mudd-annaya-mudd-an
مَدَّيَمُدُّيَمُدَّيَمُدَّ,
يَمُدِّ,
يَمْدُدْ
يَمُدَّنَّيَمُدَّنْ
fem.madd-atta-mudd-uta-mudd-ata-mudd-a,
ta-mudd-i,
ta-mdud
ta-mudd-annata-mudd-an
مَدَّتْتَمُدُّتَمُدَّتَمُدَّ,
تَمُدِّ,
تَمْدُدْ
تَمُدَّنَّتَمُدَّنْ
Dual
2ndmadad-tumāta-mudd-ānita-mudd-āta-mudd-ānnimudd-ā
مَدَدْتُمَاتَمُدَّانِتَمُدَّاتَمُدَّانِّمُدَّا
3rdmasc.madd-āya-mudd-āniya-mudd-āya-mudd-ānni
مَدَّايَمُدَّانِيَمُدَّايَمُدَّانِّ
fem.madd-atāta-mudd-ānita-mudd-āta-mudd-ānni
مَدَّتَاتَمُدَّانِتَمُدَّاتَمُدَّانِّ
Plural
1stmadad-nāna-mudd-una-mudd-ana-mudd-a,
na-mudd-i,
na-mdud
na-mudd-annana-mudd-an
مَدَدْنَانَمُدُّنَمُدَّنَمُدَّ,
نَمُدِّ,
نَمْدُدْ
نَمُدَّنَّنَمُدَّنْ
2ndmasc.madad-tumta-mudd-ūnata-mudd-ūta-mudd-unnata-mudd-unmudd-ū
مَدَدْتُمْتَمُدُّونَتَمُدُّواتَمُدُّنَّتَمُدُّنْمُدُّوا
fem.madad-tunnata-mdud-nata-mdud-nānniumdud-na
مَدَدْتُنَّتَمْدُدْنَتَمْدُدْنَانِّاُمْدُدْنَ
3rdmasc.madd-ūya-mudd-ūnaya-mudd-ūya-mudd-unnaya-mudd-un
مَدُّوايَمُدُّونَيَمُدُّوايَمُدُّنَّيَمُدُّنْ
fem.madad-naya-mdud-naya-mdud-nānni
مَدَدْنَيَمْدُدْنَيَمْدُدْنَانِّ
All doubled verbs are conjugated in a parallel fashion. The endings are for the most part identical to those of strong verbs, but there are two stems (a regular and a modified) in each of the past and non-past. The regular stems are identical to the stem forms of sound verbs, while the modified stems have the two identical consonants pulled together into a geminate consonant and the vowel between moved before the geminate. In the above verb (مد (يمد ‎madda (yamuddu) 'to extend' (s.th.), the past stems are مددـ ‎madad- (regular), مدـ madd- (modified), and the non-past stems are مددـ ‎mdud- (regular), مدـ mudd- (modified). In the table, places where the regular past stem occurs are in silver, and places where the regular non-past stem occurs are in gold; everywhere else, the modified stem occurs.
No initial vowel is needed in most of the imperative forms because the modified non-past stem does not begin with two consonants.
The concept of having two stems for each tense, one for endings beginning with vowels and one for other endings, occurs throughout the different kinds of weaknesses.
Following the above rules, endingless jussives would have a form like تمدد ‎tamdud, while the corresponding indicatives and subjunctives would have forms like تمد ‎tamuddu, تمد tamudda. As a result, for the doubled verbs in particular, there is a tendency to harmonize these forms by adding a vowel to the jussives, usually a, sometimes i. These are the only irregular endings in these paradigms, and have been indicated in boldface. The masculine singular imperative likewise has multiple forms, based on the multiple forms of the jussive.
There are various types of doubled Form I verbs:
Modified past stem
(3rd sg.masc.)
Regular past stem
(3rd plur. fem.)
Modified non-past stem
(3rd sg.masc.)
Regular non-past stem
(3rd plur. fem.)
MeaningSound verb parallel
مَدَّ
madd-a
مَدَدْنَ
madad-na
يَمُدُّ
ya-mudd-u
يَمْدُدْنَ
ya-mdud-na
'to extend'(فَعَلَ (يَفْعُلُ
faʿala (yafʿulu)
تَمَّ
tamm-a
تَمَمْنَ
tamam-na
يَتِمُّ
ya-timm-u
يَتْمِمْنَ
ya-tmim-na
'to finish'"(فَعَلَ (يَفْعِلُ
faʿala (yafʿilu)
ظَلَّ
ẓall-a
ظَلِلْنَ
ẓalil-na
يَظَلُّ
ya-ẓall-u
يَظْلَلْنَ
ya-ẓlal-na
'to remain'(فَعِلَ (يَفْعَلُ
faʿila (yafʿalu)
Formation of derived stems ("forms")
Arabic verb morphology includes augmentations of the root, also known as forms, an example of the derived stems found among the Semitic languages. For a typical verb based on a triliteral root (i.e. a root formed using three root consonants), the basic form is termed Form I, while the augmented forms are known as Form II, Form III, etc. The forms in normal use are Form I through Form X; Forms XI through XV exist but are rare and obsolescent. Forms IX and XI are used only with adjectival roots referring to colors and physical defects (e.g. "red", "blue", "blind", "deaf", etc.), and are stative verbs having the meaning of "be X" or "become X" (e.g. Form IX iḥmarra 'be red, become red, blush', Form XI iḥmārra with the same meaning). Although the structure that a given root assumes in a particular augmentation is predictable, its meaning is not (although many augmentations have one or more "usual" or prototypical meanings associated with them), and not all augmentations exist for any given root. As a result, these augmentations are part of the system of derivational morphology, not part of the inflectional system.
The construction of a given augmentation is normally indicated using the dummy root f–ʿ–l (ف–ع–ل), based on the verb faʿala 'to do'. Because Arabic has no direct equivalent to the infinitive form of Western languages, the third-person masculine singular past tense is normally used as the dictionary form of a given verb, i.e. the form by which a verb is identified in a dictionary or grammatical discussion. Hence, the word faʿala above actually has the meaning of 'he did', but is translated as 'to do' when used as a dictionary form.
Verbs based on quadriliteral roots (roots with four consonants) also exist. There are four augmentations for such verbs, known as Forms Iq, IIq, IIIq and IVq. These have forms similar to Forms II, V, VII and IX respectively of triliteral verbs. Forms IIIq and IVq are fairly rare. The construction of such verbs is typically given using the dummy verb faʿlala (root: ف-ع-ل-ل). However, the choice of this particular verb is somewhat non-ideal in that the third and fourth consonants of an actual verb are typically not the same, despite the same consonant used for both; this is a particular problem e.g. for Form IVq. The verb tables below use the dummy verb faʿlaqa (root: ف-ع-ل-ق) instead.
Some grammars, especially of colloquial spoken varieties rather than of Classical Arabic, use other dummy roots. For example, A Short Reference Grammar of Iraqi Arabic (Wallace M. Erwin) uses فمل ‎FaMaLa (root: ف-م-ل) and فستل FaSTaLa (root: ف-س-ت-ل) for three and four-character roots, respectively (standing for "First Middle Last" and "First Second Third Last"). Commonly the dummy consonants are given in capital letters.
The system of identifying verb augmentations by Roman numerals is an invention by Western scholars. Traditionally, Arabic grammarians did not number the augmentations at all, instead identifying them by the corresponding dictionary form. For example, Form V would be called "the tafaʿʿala form".
VerbsDerived nounsTypical meanings, notesExamples
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
Iفَعَلَ
faʿala
يَفْعُلُ
yafʿulu
اُفْعُلْ
ufʿul
فُعِلَ
fuʿila
يُفْعَلُ
yufʿalu
فَاعِل
fāʿil
مَفْعول
mafʿūl
فَعْل faʿl, فُعُول fuʿūl, فِعْل fiʿl, (فُعْل(ة fuʿl(ah), (فَعَال(ة faʿāl(ah), (فِعَال(ة fiʿāl(ah), etc.basic verb form(كتب (يكتب kataba (yaktubu) 'write"; (دخل (يدخل dakhala (yadkhulu) 'enter'; (درس (يدرس darasa (yadrusu) 'study"; (قتل (يقتل qatala (yaqtulu) "kill"
يَفْعِلُ
yafʿilu
اِفْعِلْ
ifʿil
(حمل (يحمل ḥamala (yaḥmilu) 'carry'; (قدر (يقدر qadara (yaqdiru) 'be able'; (عرف (يعرف ʿarafa (yaʿrifu) 'know'; (جلس (يجلس jalasa (yajlisu) 'sit'
يَفْعَلُ
yafʿalu
اِفْعَلْ
ifʿal
usually with a guttural consonant (ʾ ʿ h ḥ) in second or third position(قطع (يقطع qaṭaʿa (yaqṭaʿu) 'cut'; (قرأ (يقرأ qaraʾa (yaqraʾu) "read"; (ظهر (يظهر ẓahara (yaẓharu) 'seem'; (بحث (يبحث baḥatha (yabḥathu) 'search'
فَعِلَ
faʿila
often stative verbs (temporary conditions)(فهم (يفهم fahima (yafhamu) 'understand'; (ركب (يركب rakiba (yarkabu) 'ride'; (شرب (يشرب shariba (yashrabu) 'drink'; (لبس (يلبس labisa (yalbasu) 'wear'
يَفْعِلُ
yafʿilu
اِفْعِلْ
ifʿil
often stative verbs (temporary conditions); rare except with initial و ‎w consonant (which disappears in non-past)(حسب (يحسب ḥasiba (yaḥsibu) 'estimate'; (وثق (يثق wathiqa (yathiqu) 'trust'
فَعُلَ
faʿula
يَفْعُلُ
yafʿulu
اُفْعُلْ
ufʿul
only with stative verbs (permanent conditions)(كبر (يكبر kabura (yakburu) 'grow big, grow old'; (كثر (يكثر ‎kathura (yakthuru) 'be many, be numerous'; (بعد (يبعد ‎baʿuda (yabʿudu) 'be distant (from)'; (كرم (يكرم ‎karuma (yakrumu) 'be/become noble'
IIفَعَّلَ
faʿʿala
يُفَعِّلُ
yufaʿʿilu
فَعِّلْ
faʿʿil
فُعِّلَ
fuʿʿila
يُفَعَّلُ
yufaʿʿalu
مُفَعِّل
mufaʿʿil
مُفَعَّل
mufaʿʿal
تَفْعِيل، تَفْعَال، فِعَّال، تَفْعِلَة
tafʿīl, tafʿāl, fiʿʿāl, tafʿila
causative and intensive; denominative; transitive of form 1.كتّب kattaba 'make (someone) write (something)'; دخّل ‎dakhkhala 'bring in (someone/something)'; درّس ‎darrasa 'teach'; قتّل qattala 'massacre'; حمّل ḥammala 'burden, impose'; عرّف ‎ʿarrafa 'announce, inform'; قطّع ‎qaṭṭaʿa "cut into pieces"
IIIفاعَلَ
fāʿala
يُفَاعِلُ
yufāʿilu
فَاعِلْ
fāʿil
فُوعِلَ
fūʿila
يُفَاعَلُ
yufāʿalu
مُفَاعِل
mufāʿil
مُفَاعَل
mufāʿal
مُفَاعَلة، فِعَال، فِيعَال
mufāʿalah, fiʿāl, fīʿāl
the verbs in this form need an indirect object which is often "with" and sometimes "against".كاتب kātaba 'write to, correspond with (someone)'; داخل ‎dākhala 'befall (someone)'; دارس ‎dārasa 'study with (someone)'; قاتل ‎qātala 'fight'; جالس jālasa 'sit with (someone), keep (someone) company'; قاطع ‎qāṭaʿa 'disassociate (from), interrupt, cut off (someone)'
IVأَفْعَلَ
afʿala
يُفْعِلُ
yufʿilu
أَفْعِلْ
afʿil
أُفْعِلَ
ufʿila
يُفْعَلُ
yufʿalu
مُفْعِل
mufʿil
مُفْعَل
mufʿal
إِفْعَال
ifʿāl
usually transitive and causative of form 1 (this form has not intensive meaning).أكتب aktaba 'dictate'; أدخل adkhala 'bring in (someone), bring about (something)'; أقدر ‎aqdara 'enable'; أجلس ajlasa 'seat'; أقطع aqṭaʿa 'make (someone) cut off (something), part company with, bestow as a fief'
Vتَفَعَّلَ
tafaʿʿala
يَتَفَعَّلُ
yatafaʿʿalu
تَفَعَّلْ
tafaʿʿal
تُفُعِّلَ
tufuʿʿila
يُتَفَعَّلُ
yutafaʿʿalu
مُتَفَعِّل
mutafaʿʿil
مُتَفَعَّل
mutafaʿʿal
تَفَعُّل، تِفِعَّال
tafaʿʿul, tifiʿʿāl
usually reflexive of Form II.تدخّل tadakhkhala 'interfere, disturb'; تدرّس ‎tadarrasa 'learn'; تحمّل taḥammala 'endure, undergo'; تعرّف ‎taʿarrafa 'become acquainted (with someone), meet'; تقطّع ‎taqaṭṭaʿa 'be cut off, be disrupted, be intermittent'
VIتَفاعَلَ
tafāʿala
يَتَفاعَلُ
yatafāʿalu
تَفاعَلْ
tafāʿal
تُفوعِلَ
tufūʿila
يُتَفاعِلُ
yutafāʿalu
مُتَفاعِل
mutafāʿil
مُتَفَاعَل
mutafāʿal
تَفَاعُل
tafāʿul
reciprocal of Form III; and even "pretend to X"تكاتب takātaba 'correspond with each other'; تداخل ‎tadākhala 'meddle, butt in'; تدارس ‎tadārasa 'study carefully with each other'; تقاتل ‎taqātala 'fight with one another'; تحامل ‎taḥāmala 'maltreat, be biased (against)'; تعارف ‎taʿarrafa 'become mutually acquainted, come to know (something)'; تقاطع ‎taqāṭaʿa 'part company, break off mutual relations, intersect (of roads)'
VIIاِنْفَعَلَ
infaʿala
يَنْفَعِلُ
yanfaʿilu
اِنْفَعِلْ
infaʿil
اُنْفَعِلَ
(unfuʿila)
يُنْفَعَلُ
(yunfaʿalu)
مُنْفَعِل
munfaʿil
مُنْفَعَل
munfaʿal
اِنْفِعَال
infiʿāl
anticausative verb of Form I;انكتب inkataba 'subscribe'; انقطع inqaṭaʿa 'be cut off, cease, suspend'
VIIIاِفْتَعَلَ
iftaʿala
يَفْتَعِلُ
yaftaʿilu
اِفْتَعِلْ
iftaʿil
اُفْتُعِلَ
uftuʿila
يُفْتَعَلُ
yuftaʿalu
مُفْتَعِل
muftaʿil
مُفْتَعَل
muftaʿal
اِفْتِعَال
iftiʿāl
reflexive of Form I; often some unpredictable variation in meaningاكتتب iktataba 'copy (something), be recorded'; اقتتل ‎iqtatala 'fight one another'; احتمل ‎iḥtamala 'carry away, endure, allow'; اقتدر ‎iqtadara 'be able'; iʿtarafa 'confess, recognize'; ; اقتطع ‎iqtaṭaʿa 'take a part (of something), tear out/off, deduct'
IXاِفْعَلَّ
ifʿalla
يَفْعَلُّ
yafʿallu
اِفْعَلِلْ
ifʿalil
(اُفْعُلَّ)
(ufʿulla)
(يُفْعَلُّ)
(yufʿallu)
مُفْعَلّ
mufʿall
n/aاِفْعِلَال
ifʿilāl
stative verb ("be X", "become X"), specially for colors (e.g. "red", "blue") and physical defects.احمرّ iḥmarra 'turn red, blush'; اسودّ ‎iswadda 'be/become black'; اصفرّ ‎iṣfarra 'turn yellow, become pale'; احولّ ‎iḥwalla 'be cross-eyed, squint'
Xاِسْتَفْعَلَ
istafʿala
يَسْتَفْعِلُ
yastafʿilu
اِسْتَفْعِلْ
istafʿil
اُسْتُفْعِلَ
ustufʿila
يُسْتَفْعَلُ
yustafʿalu
مُسْتَفْعِل
mustafʿil
مُسْتَفْعَل
mustafʿal
اِسْتِفْعَال
istifʿāl
"ask to X"; "want to X"; "consider (someone) to be X"; causative, and sometimes autocausative verb; often some unpredictable variation in meaningاستكتب istaktaba 'ask (someone) to write (something)'; استقتل ‎istaqtala 'risk one's life'; استقدر ‎istaqdara 'ask (God) for strength or ability'; استعرف ‎istaʿrafa 'discern, recognize'; استقطع ‎istaqṭaʿa 'request as a fief'
XIاِفْعَالَّ
ifʿālla
يَفْعالُّ
yafʿāllu
اِفْعالِلْ
ifʿālil
n/aمُفْعَالّ
mufʿāll
n/aاِفْعِيلَال
ifʿīlāl
rare except in poetry; same meaning as Form IXاحمارّ iḥmārra "turn red, blush"; اصحابّ ‎iṣhābba 'be/become reddish-brown'; الهاجّ ‎ilhājja 'curdle'
XIIاِفْعَوْعَلَ
ifʿawʿala
يَفْعَوْعِلُ
yafʿawʿilu
اِفْعَوْعِلْ
ifʿawʿil
اُفْعُوعِلَ
ufʿūʿila
يُفْعَوْعَلُ
yufʿawʿalu
مُفْعَوْعِل
mufʿawʿil
مُفْعَوْعَل
mufʿawʿal
اِفْعِيعَال
ifʿīʿāl
very rare, with specialized meanings; often stativeاحدودب iḥdawdaba 'be convex, be hunchbacked'; اغدودن ‎ighdawdana 'grow long and luxuriantly (of hair)'; احلولك ‎iḥlawlaka 'be pitch-black'; اخشوشن ‎ikhshawshana 'be rough/crude, lead a rough life'
XIIIاِفْعَوَّلَ
ifʿawwala
يَفْعَوِّلُ
yafʿawwilu
اِفْعَوِّلْ
ifʿawwil
اُفْعُوِّلَ
ufʿuwwila
يُفْعَوَّلُ
yufʿawwalu
مُفْعَوِّل
mufʿawwil
مُفْعَوَّل
mufʿawwal
اِفْعِوَّال
ifʿiwwāl
الجوّذ iljawwadha 'gallop'; اعلوّط iʿlawwaṭa 'hang on the neck of (a camel)'
XIVاِفْعَنْلَلَ
ifʿanlala
يَفْعَنْلِلُ
yafʿanlilu
اِفْعَنْلِلْ
ifʿanlil
اُفْعُنْلِلَ
ufʿunlila
يُفْعَنْلَلُ
yufʿanlalu
مُفْعَنْلِل
mufʿanlil
مُفْعَنْلَل
mufʿanlal
اِفْعِنْلَال
ifʿinlāl
اقعنسس iqʿansasa 'have a protruding chest and hollow back, be pigeon-breasted'; اقعندد ‎iqʿandada 'reside'; اسحنكك isḥankaka 'become very dark'
XVاِفْعَنْلَى
ifʿanlā
يَفْعَنْلَى
yafʿanlā
اِفْعَنْلَ
ifʿanla
اُفْعُنْلِيَ
ufʿunliya
يُفْعَنْلَى
yufʿanlā
مُفْعَنْلٍ
mufʿanlin
مُفْعَنْلًى
mufʿanlan
اِفْعِنْلَاء
ifʿinlāʾ
احرنبى iḥranbā 'become very furious'; اغرندى ‎ighrandā 'curse and hit (someone)'
Iqفَعْلَقَ
faʿlaqa
يُفَعْلِقُ
yufaʿliqu
فَعْلِقْ
faʿliq
فُعْلِقَ
fuʿliqa
يُفَعْلَقُ
yufaʿlaqu
مُفَعْلِق
mufaʿliq
مُفَعْلَق
mufaʿlaq
فَعْلَقَة faʿlaqat, فَعْلَاق faʿlāq, فِعْلَاق fiʿlāq, فُعْلَاق fuʿlāqbasic form, often transitive or denominative; similar to Form II, but verbal noun is different; reduplicated roots of the form فعفع ‎faʿfaʿa are common, sometimes فعفل ‎faʿfala is also seenدحرج daḥraja 'roll (something)'; ترجم ‎tarjama 'translate, interpret'; هندس ‎handasa 'sketch, make a plan'; بيطر ‎bayṭara 'practice veterinary surgery' (< 'veter(inary)'); زلزل ‎zalzala 'shake (something), frighten'; وسوس ‎waswasa 'whisper'; غرغر gharghara "gargle"
IIqتَفَعْلَقَ
tafaʿlaqa
يُتَفَعْلِقُ
yatafaʿlaqu
تَفَعْلِقْ
tafaʿlaq
تُفُعْلِقَ
tufuʿliqa
يُتَفَعْلَق
yutafaʿlaqu
مُتَفَعْلِق
mutafaʿliq
مُتَفَعْلَق
mutafaʿlaq
تَفَعْلُق
tafaʿluq
reflexive of Form Iq; frequentative​intransitive​denominative​; similar to Form Vتدحرج tadaḥraja 'roll' (intrans.)'; تزلزل ‎tazalzala 'shake (intrans.), tremble'; تفلسف ‎tafalsafa 'philosophize' (< فيلسوفـ faylasūf- 'philosopher'); تمذهب tamadhhaba 'follow a sect' (< مذهبـ ‎madhhab- 'sect' < ذهب dhahaba 'go'); تقهقر taqahqara 'be driven back'
IIIqاِفْعَنْلَقَ
ifʿanlaqa
يَفْعَنْلِقُ
yafʿanliqu
اِفْعَنْلِقْ
ifʿanliq
اُفْعُنْلِقَ
ufʿunliqa
يُفْعَنْلَقُ
yufʿanlaqu
مُفْعَنْلِق
mufʿanliq
مُفْعَنْلَق
mufʿanlaq
اِفْعِنْلَاق
ifʿinlāq
rareاخرنطم ikhranṭama 'be proud' (cf. الخرطوم ‎al-Kharṭūm- 'Khartoum')
IVqاِفْعَلَقَّ
ifʿalaqqa
يَفْعَلِقُّ
yafʿaliqqu
اِفْعَلْقِقْ
ifʿalqiq
اُفْعُلِقَّ
ufʿuliqqa
يُفْعَلَقُّ
yufʿalaqqu
مُفْعَلِقّ
mufʿaliqq
مُفْعَلَقّ
mufʿalaqq
اِفْعِلْقَاق
ifʿilqāq
usually intransitive; somewhat rareاطمأنّ iṭmaʾanna 'be tranquil, calm'; اضمحلّ ‎iḍmaḥalla 'fade away, dwindle'; اقشعرّ ‎iqshaʿarra 'shudder with horror'
Each form can have either active or passive forms in the past and non-past tenses, so reflexives are different from passives.
Note that the present passive of forms I and IV are the same. Otherwise there is no confusion.
Sound verbs
Sound verbs are those verbs with no associated irregularities in their constructions. Verbs with irregularities are known as weak verbs; generally, this occurs either with (1) verbs based on roots where one or more of the consonants (or radicals) is w (wāw, و), y (yāʾ, ي) or the glottal stop ʾ (hamzah, ﺀ); or (2) verbs where the second and third root consonants are the same.
Some verbs that would be classified as "weak" according to the consonants of the verb root are nevertheless conjugated as a strong verb. This happens, for example:
Form VIII assimilations
Form VIII has a ـتـ -‎t- that is infixed into the root, directly after the first root consonant. This ـتـ -‎t- assimilates to certain coronal consonants occurring as the first root consonant. In particular, with roots whose first consonant is د، ز، ث، ذ، ص، ط، ض، ظ ‎d z th dh ṣ ṭ ḍ ẓ, the combination of root and infix ت ‎t appears as دّ، زد، ثّ، ذّ، صط، طّ، ضط، ظّ dd zd thth dhdh ṣṭ ṭṭ ḍṭ ẓẓ. That is, the t assimilates the emphasis of the emphatic consonants ص، ط، ض، ظ ṣ ṭ ḍ ẓ and the voicing of د، ز d z, and assimilates entirely to the interdental consonants ث، ذ، ظ th dh ẓ. The consonant cluster ضط ‎ḍṭ, as in اضطرّ ‎iḍṭarra 'compel, force', is unexpected given modern pronunciation, having a voiced stop next to a voiceless one; this reflects the fact that ط ‎ was formerly pronounced voiced, and ض ‎ was pronounced as the emphatic equivalent not of د ‎d but of an unusual lateral sound. (ض was possibly an emphatic voiced alveolar lateral fricative /ɮˤ/ or a similar affricated sound /dɮˤ/ or /dˡˤ/; see the article on the letter ض ‎ḍād.)
Defective (third-weak) verbs
Other than for Form I active, there is only one possible form for each verb, regardless of whether the third root consonant is و ‎w or ي y. All of the derived third-weak verbs have the same active-voice endings as (فعى (يفعي ‎faʿā (yafʿī) verbs except for Forms V and VI, which have past-tense endings like (فعى (يفعي ‎faʿā (yafʿī) verbs but non-past endings like (فعي (يفعى ‎faʿiya (yafʿā) verbs. The passive-voice endings of all third-weak verbs (whether Form I or derived) are the same as for the (فعي (يفعى ‎faʿiya (yafʿā) verbs. The verbal nouns have various irregularities: feminine in Form II, -in declension in Form V and VI, glottal stop in place of root w/y in Forms VII–X.
The active and passive participles of derived defective verbs consistently are of the -in and -an declensions, respectively.
Defective Form IX verbs are extremely rare. Heywood and Nahmad list one such verb, iʿmāya 'be/become blind', which does not follow the expected form اعميّ ‎*iʿmayya.[2] They also list a similarly rare Form XI verb اعمايّ ‎iʿmāyya 'be/become blind' — this time with the expected form.
VerbsDerived nouns
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg. masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
Iفَعَى
faʿā
يَفْعِي
yafʿī
اِفْعِ
ifʿi
فُعِيَ
fuʿiya
يُفْعَى
yufʿā
فَاعٍ
fāʿin
مَفْعِيّ
mafʿiyy
فَعْي faʿy, فَعْو faʿw, فَعًى faʿan, فِعًى fiʿan, فَعَاء faʿāʾ, فَاعِية fāʿiyah, فِعَاية fiʿāyah, فَعَاوة faʿāwah, مَفْعَاة mafʿāh, مَفْعِية mafʿiyah, فُعْية fuʿyah, فُعْوة fuʿwah, فُعُوْ fuʿuww, فُعْوَان fuʿwān, etc.
فَعَا
faʿā
يَفْعُو
yafʿū
اُفْعُ
ufʿu
مَفْعُوّ
mafʿuww
فَعِيَ
faʿiya
يَفْعَى
yafʿā
اِفْعَ
ifʿa
مَفْعِيّ
mafʿiyy
IIفَعَّى
faʿʿā
يُفَعِّي
yufaʿʿī
فَعِّ
faʿʿi
فُعِّيَ
fuʿʿiya
يُفَعّى
yufaʿʿā
مُفَعٍّ
mufaʿʿin
مُفَعًّى
mufaʿʿan
تَفْعِية
tafʿiyah
IIIفَاعَى
fāʿā
يُفَاعِي
yufāʿī
فَاعِ
fāʿi
فوعِيَ
fūʿiya
يُفَاعَى
yufāʿā
مُفَاعٍ
mufāʿin
مُفَاعًى
mufāʿan
مُفَاعَاة mufāʿāh, فِعَاء fiʿāʾ
IVأَفْعَى
afʿā
يُفْعِي
yufʿī
أَفْعِ
afʿi
أُفْعِيَ
ufʿiya
يُفْعَى
yufʿā
مُفْعٍ
mufʿin
مُفْعًى
mufʿan
إفْعَاء
ifʿāʾ
Vتَفَعَّى
tafaʿʿā
يَتَفَعَّى
yatafaʿʿā
تَفَعَّ
tafaʿʿa
تُفُعِّيَ
tufuʿʿiya
يُتَفَعَّى
yutafaʿʿā
مُتَفَعٍّ
mutafaʿʿin
مُتَفَعًّى
mutafaʿʿan
تَفَعٍّ
tafaʿʿin
VIتَفاعَى
tafāʿā
يَتَفاعَى
yatafāʿā
تَفاعَ
tafāʿa
تُفوعِيَ
tufūʿiya
يُتَفاعَى
yutafāʿā
مُتَفَاعٍ
mutafāʿin
مُتَفاعًى
mutafāʿan
تَفَاعٍ
tafāʿin
VIIاِنْفَعَى
infaʿā
يَنْفَعِي
yanfaʿī
اِنْفَعِ
infaʿi
(اُنْفُعِ)
(unfuʿī)
(يُنْفَعَى)
(yunfaʿā)
مُنْفَعٍ
munfaʿin
مُنْفَعًى
munfaʿan
اِنْفِعَاء
infiʿāʾ
VIIIاِفْتَعَى
iftaʿā
يَفْتَعِي
yaftaʿī
اِفْتَعِ
iftaʿi
اُفْتُعِيَ
uftuʿiya
يُفْتَعَى
yuftaʿā
مُفْتَعٍ
muftaʿin
مُفْتَعًى
muftaʿan
اِفْتِعَاء
iftiʿāʾ
IX(اِفْعايَ (اِفْعَيَيْت
ifʿāya (ifʿayaytu?)
(يَفْعَايُ (يَفْعَيْنَ
yafʿāyu (yafʿayna?)
اِفْعَيْ
ifʿay?
مُفْعَاي
mufʿāy
اِفْعِيَاء
ifʿiyāʾ
Xاِسْتَفْعَى
istafʿā
يَسْتَفْعِي
yastafʿī
اِسْتَفْعِ
istafʿi
اُسْتُفْعِيَ
ustufʿiya
يُسْتَفْعَى
yustafʿā
مُسْتَفْعٍ
mustafʿin
مُسْتَفْعًى
mustafʿan
اِسْتِفْعَاء
istifʿāʾ
Hollow (second-weak) verbs
Only the forms with irregularities are shown. The missing forms are entirely regular, with w or y appearing as the second radical, depending on the root. There are unexpected feminine forms of the verbal nouns of Form IV, X.
VerbsDerived nouns
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
I(فَالَ (فِلْت
fāla (filtu)
يَفِيلُ
yafīlu
فِلْ
fil
فِيلَ
fīla
يُفَالُ
yufālu
فَائِل
fāʾil
مَفِيل
mafīl
usually فَوْل fawl, فَيْل fayl; also فُول fūl, فَوَال fawāl, (فِيَال(ة fiyāl(ah), فِوَال fiwāl, فُوَال fuwāl, (مَفَال(ة mafāl(ah), مَفِيل mafīl etc.
(فَالَ (فُلْت
fāla (fultu)
يَفُولُ
yafūlu
فُلْ
ful
مَفُول
mafūl
(فَالَ (فِلْت
fāla (filtu)
يَفَالُ
yafālu
فَلْ
fal
مَفُول
mafīl
(فَالَ (فُلْت
fāla (fultu)
مَفُول
mafūl
IV(أَفَالَ (أَفَلْت
afāla (ʾafaltu)
يُفِيلُ
yufīlu
أَفِلْ
afil
أُفِيلَ
ufīla
مُفِيل
mufīl
مُفَال
mufāl
إفَالة
ifālah
VII(اِنْفَالَ (اِنْفَلْت
infāla (infaltu)
يَنْفَالُ
yanfālu
اِنْفَلْ
infal
n/aمُنْفَال
munfāl
اِنْفِيَال
infiyāl
VIII(اِفْتَالَ (اِفْتَلْت
iftāla (iftaltu)
يَفْتَالُ
yaftālu
اِفْتَلْ
iftal
اُفْتيلَ
uftīla
يُفْتَالُ
yuftālu
مُفْتَال
muftāl
اِفْتِيَال
iftiyāl
Xاِسْتَفَالَ
istafāla
يَسْتَفْيلُ
yastafīlu
اِسْتَفِلْ
istafil
اُسْتُفِيلَ
ustufīla
يُسْتَفَالُ
yustafālu
مُسْتَفِيل
mustafīl
مُسْتَفَال
mustafāl
اِسْتِفَالة
istifālah
Assimilated (first-weak) verbs
When the first radical is w, it drops out in the Form I non-past. Most of the derived forms are regular, except that the sequences uw iw are assimilated to ū ī, and the sequence wt in Form VIII is assimilated to tt throughout the paradigm. The following table only shows forms with irregularities in them.
The initial w also drops out in the common Form I verbal noun علة ‎ʿilah (e.g. صلة ṣilah 'arrival, link' from وصلة ‎waṣalah 'arrive'). Root: و-ع-ل‎
VerbsDerived nouns
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
Iوَعَلَ
waʿala
يَعُلُ
yaʿulu
عُلْ
ʿul
وُعِلَ
wuʿila
يُوعَلُ
yūʿalu
واعِل(ة)
wāʿil(ah)
مَوْعُود(ة)
mawʿūd(ah)
وَعْل، وُعُول، عِلة
waʿl, wuʿūl, ʿilah etc.
يَعِلُ
yaʿilu
عِلْ
ʿil
يَعَلُ
yaʿalu
عَلْ
ʿal
وَعِلَ
waʿila
يعِلُ
yaʿilu
عِلْ
ʿil
وَعُلَ
waʿula
يَعُلُ
yaʿulu
عُلْ
ʿul
IVأَوْعَلَ
ʾawʿala
يُوعِلُ
yūʿilu
أَوْعِلْ
ʾawʿil
أُوعِلَ
ʾūʿila
يُوعَلُ
yūʿalu
مُوعِل(ة)
mūʿil(ah)
مُوعَل(ة)
mūʿal(ah)
إيعال(ة)
ʾīʿāl(ah)
VIIIإتَّعَلَ
ʾittaʿala
يَتَّعِلُ
yattaʿilu
إتَّعَلْ
ʾittaʿal
أُتُّعِلَ
ʾuttuʿila
يُتَّعَلُ
yuttaʿalu
مُتَّعِل(ة)
muttaʿil(ah)
مُتَّعَل(ة)
muttaʿal(ah)
إتِّعال(ة)
ʾittiʿāl(ah)
Xاِسْتَوْعَلَ
istawʿala
يَسْتَوْعِلُ
yastawʿilu
اِسْتَوْعِلْ
istawʿil
اُسْتُوعِلَ
ustūʿila
يُسْتَوْعَلُ
yustawʿalu
مُسْتَوْعِل(ة)
mustawʿil(ah)
مُسْتَوْعَل(ة)
mustawʿal(ah)
اِسْتِيعال(ة)
istīʿāl(ah)
When the first radical is y, the forms are largely regular. The following table only shows forms that have some irregularities in them, indicated in boldface. Root: ي-ع-ل
VerbsDerived nouns
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
Iيَعَلَ
yaʿala
يَيْعُلُ
yayʿulu
أُعُولْ
ʾūʿul
يُعِلَ
yuʿila
يُوعَلُ
yūʿalu
ياعِل(ة)
yāʿil(ah)
مَيْعُود(ة)
mayʿūd(ah)
يَعْل(ة)
yaʿl(ah) etc.
يَيْعِلُ
yayʿilu
إيعِلْ
ʾīʿil
وَعَلَ
waʿala
يَيْعَلُ
yayʿalu
إيعَلْ
ʾīʿal
وَعِلَ
waʿila
يَيْعِلُ
yayʿilu
إيعِلْ
ʾīʿil
وَعُلَ
waʿula
يَيْعُلَ
yayʿulu
أُوعُولْ
ʾūʿul
IVأَيْعَلَ
ʾayʿala
يُعِلُ
yūʿilu
أَيْعِلْ
ʾayʿil
أُوعُولْ
ʾūʿila
أُوعُولْ
yūʿalu
مُوعَل(ة)
mūʿil(ah)
مُوعَل(ة)
mūʿal(ah)
إيعال(ة)
ʾīʿāl(ah)
VIIIإتَّعَلَ
ʾittaʿala
يَتَّعِلُ
yattaʿilu
إتَّعَلْ
ʾittaʿal
أُتُّعِلَ
ʾuttuʿila
يُتَّعَلُ
yuttaʿalu
مُتَّعِل(ة)
muttaʿil(ah)
مُتَّعَل(ة)
muttaʿal(ah)
إتِّعال(ة)
ʾittiʿāl(ah)
Xاِسْتَيْعَلَ
istayʿala
يَسْتَيْعِلُ
yastayʿilu
اِسْتَيْعَلْ
istayʿil
اُسْْتُوعِلَ
ustūʿila
يُسْتَيْعَلُ
yustayʿalu
مُسْْتَيْعِل(ة)
mustayʿil(ah)
مُسْْتَيْعَل(ة)
mustayʿal(ah)
اِسْتِيعال(ة)
istīʿāl(ah)
Doubled verbs
Root: ف-ل-ل
VerbsDerived nouns
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
Iفَلَّ (فَلَلْتُ)
falla (falaltu)
يَفُلُّ
yafullu
فُلَّ، فُلِّ، اُفْلُلْ
fulla, fulli, uflul
فُلَّ
fulla
يُفَلُّ
yufallu
فالّ(ة)
fāll(ah)
مَفْلُول(ة)
maflūl(ah)
فَلّ(ة)
fall(ah) etc.
يَفِلُّ
yafillu
فِلَّ، فِلِّ، اِفْلِلْ
filla, filli, iflil
يَفَلُّ
yafallu
فَلَّ، فَلِّ، اِفْلَلْ
falla, falli, iflal
فَلَّ (فَلِلْتُ)
falla (faliltu)
يَفَلُّ
yafallu
IIIفالَّ
fālla
يُفَلُّ
yufāllu
فالَّ، فالِّ، فالِلْ
fālla, fālli, fālil
فُولَّ
fūlla
يُفالُّ
yufāllu
مُفالّ(ة)
mufāll(ah)
مُفالَّت(ة)، فِلال(ة)
mufāllat(ah), filāl(ah)
IVأَفَلَّ
ʾafalla
يُفِلُّ
yufillu
أَفِلَّ، أَفِلِّ، أَفْلِلْ
ʾafilla, ʾafilli, ʾaflil
أُفِلَّ
ʾufilla
يُفَلُّ
yufallu
مُفِلّ(ة)
mufill(ah)
مُفَلّ(ة)
mufall(ah)
إفْلال(ة)
ʾiflāl(ah)
VIتَفالَّ
tafālla
يَتَفالُّ
yatafāllu
تَفالَلْ
tafālal
تُفُولَّ
tufūlla
يُتَفالُّ
yutafāllu
مُتَفالّ(ة)
mutafāll(ah)
تَفالّ(ة)
tafāll(ah)
VIIاِنْفَلَّ
infalla
يَنْفَلُّ
yanfallu
اِنْفَلَّ، اِنْفَلِّ، اِنْفَلِلْ
infalla, infalli, infalil
n/aمُنْفَلّ(ة)
munfall(ah)
اِنْفِلال(ة)
infilāl(ah)
VIIIاِفْتَلَّ
iftalla
يَفْتَلُّ
yaftallu
اِفْتَلَّ، اِفْتَلِّ، اِفْتَلِلْ
iftalla, iftalli, iftalil
اُفْتُلَّ
uftulla
تُفْتَلُّ
yuftallu
مُفْتَلّ(ة)
muftall(ah)
اِفْتِلال(ة)
iftilāl(ah)
Xاِسْتَفَلَّ
istafalla
يَسْتَفِلُّ
yastafillu
اِسْتَفِلَّ، اِسْتَفِلِّ، اِسْتَفْلِلْ
istafilla, istafilli, istaflil
اُسْتُفِلَّ
ustufilla
يُسْتَفَلُّ
yustafallu
مُسْتَفِلّ(ة)
mustafill(ah)
مُسْتَفَلّ(ة)
mustafall(ah)
اِسْتِفْلال(ة)
istiflāl(ah)
Hamzated verbs
The largest problem with so-called "hamzated" verbs (those with a glottal stop ʾ or "hamzah" as any of the root consonants) is the complicated way of writing such verbs in the Arabic script (see the article on hamzah for the rules regarding this). In pronunciation, these verbs are in fact almost entirely regular.
The only irregularity occurs in verbs with a hamzah ء as the first radical. A phonological rule in Classical Arabic disallows the occurrence of two hamzahs in a row separated by a short vowel, assimilating the second to the preceding vowel (hence ʾaʾ ʾiʾ ʾuʾ become ʾā ʾī ʾū). This affects the following forms:
In addition, any place where a hamzat al-waṣl (elidable hamzah) occurs will optionally undergo this transformation. This affects the following forms:
There are the following irregularities:
VerbsDerived nouns
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Imperative (2nd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)sg. masc. nom.
Iأَعَلَ
ʾaʿala (root: ء-ع-ل)
يأْعُلُ (آعُلُ)
yaʾʿulu (ʾāʿulu)
أؤْعُلْ، أُوعُلْ
uʾʿul, ūʿul
أؤْعُلْ، أُوعُلْ
ʾuʿila
يؤْعَلُ (أُوعَلُ)
yuʾʿalu (ʾūʿalu)
آعِلْ
ʾāʿil
مأْعُول(ة)
maʾʿūl(ah)
أَعْل(ة)
ʾaʿl(ah) etc.
etc.
IVآعَلَ
ʾāʿala
يؤْعِلُ (أُوعِلُ)
yuʾʿilu (ʾūʿilu)
آعِلْ
ʾāʿil
أُوعِلْ
ʾūʿil
يؤْعَلُ (أُوعَلُ)
yuʾʿalu (ʾūʿalu)
مؤْعِل(ة)
muʾʿil(ah)
مؤْعَل(ة)
muʾʿal(ah)
إيعال(ة)
ʾīʿāl(ah)
VIIIائْتَعَلَ، إيتَعَلَ
iʾtaʿala, ītaʿala
يأْتَعِلُ (آتَعِلُ)
yaʾtaʿilu (ʾātaʿilu)
ائْتَعَلْ، إيتَعَلْ
iʾtaʿil, ītaʿil
اؤْتُعِلَ، أُوتُعِلَ
uʾtuʿila, ūtuʿila
يؤْتَعَلَ (أُوتَعَلَ)
yuʾtaʿala (ʾūtaʿala)
مؤْتَعِل(ة)
muʾtaʿil(ah)
مؤْتَعَل(ة)
muʾtaʿal(ah)
ائْتِعال(ة)، إيتِعال(ة)
iʾtiʿāl(ah), ītiʿāl(ah)
Doubly weak verbs
Doubly weak verbs have two "weak" radicals; a few verbs are also triply weak. Generally, the above rules for weak verbs apply in combination, as long as they do not conflict. The following are cases where two types of weaknesses apply in combination:
The following are examples where weaknesses would conflict, and hence one of the "weak" radicals is treated as strong:
The following are cases with special irregularities:
Summary of vowels
The vowels for the various forms are summarized in this table:
Active voicePassive voiceActive participlePassive participleVerbal noun
Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)Past (3rd sg.masc.)Present (3rd sg.masc.)
Before first root consonant (if vowel is present)a in Forms IV–VI. In Forms VII–XII one has i when the hamzah is not elided.a except in Forms II–IV, where it is u.uu, and a after the t of Forms V and VIuu except in Form I, where it is a.a in Forms II, V, and VI. In Forms VII–XII one has i when the hamzah is not elided.
Just before 2nd root consonanta, ā, or nonea, ā, or noneu, ū, or nonea, ā, or nonea, ā, or nonea, ā, or nonei, a, ā, or none
Just before third root consonantaForm I a, i, or u. a in Forms V, VI, and IX, i in others.iai except in Form IX, where it is a.a except in Form I, where it is ū.ī in Form II, u in Forms V and VI, ā elsewhere
After final root consonant, 3rd person sg. indicativeauaun/an/an/a
See also Wiktionary's appendix on Arabic verb forms.
Verbs in colloquial Arabic
The Classical Arabic system of verbs is largely unchanged in the colloquial spoken varieties of Arabic. The same derivational system of augmentations exists, including triliteral Forms I through X and quadriliteral Forms I and II, constructed largely in the same fashion (the rare triliteral Forms XI through XV and quadriliteral Forms III and IV have vanished). The same system of weaknesses (strong, defective/third-weak, hollow/second-weak, assimilated/first-weak, doubled) also exists, again constructed largely in the same fashion. Within a given verb, two stems (past and non-past) still exist along with the same two systems of affixes (suffixing past-tense forms and prefixing/suffixing non-past forms).
The largest changes are within a given paradigm, with a significant reduction in the number of forms. The following is an example of a regular verb paradigm in Egyptian Arabic.
Example of a regular Form I verb in Egyptian Arabic, kátab/yíktib "write"
Tense/MoodPastPresent SubjunctivePresent IndicativeFutureImperative
Singular
1stkatáb-t كتبتá-ktib أكتبbá-ktib بكتبḥá-ktib حكتب
2ndmasc.katáb-t كتبتtí-ktib تكتبbi-tí-ktib بتكتبḥa-tí-ktib حتكتبí-ktib اكتب
fem.katáb-ti كتبتti-ktíb-i تكتبيbi-ti-ktíb-i بتكتبيḥa-ti-ktíb-i حتكتبيi-ktíb-i اكتبي
3rdmasc.kátab كتبyí-ktib يكتبbi-yí-ktib بيكتبḥa-yí-ktib حيكتب
fem.kátab-it كتبتtí-ktib تكتبbi-tí-ktib بتكتبḥa-tí-ktib حتكتب
Plural
1stkatáb-na كتبناní-ktib نكتبbi-ní-ktib بنكتبḥá-ní-ktib حنكتب
2ndkatáb-tu كتبتواti-ktíb-u تكتبواbi-ti-ktíb-u بتكتبواḥa-ti-ktíb-u حتكتبواi-ktíb-u اكتبوا
3rdkátab-u كتبواyi-ktíb-u يكتبواbi-yi-ktíb-u بيكتبواḥa-yi-ktíb-u حيكتبوا
Example of a regular Form I verb in Moroccan Arabic, kteb/ykteb "write"
Tense/MoodPastPresent SubjunctivePresent IndicativeFutureImperative
Singular
1stkteb-t كتبتné-kteb نكتبka-né-kteb كنكتبgha-né-kteb غنكتب
2ndmasc.ktéb-ti كتبتté-kteb تكتبka-té-kteb كتكتبgha-té-kteb غتكتبkteb كتب
fem.ktéb-ti كتبتيté-ktebi تكتبيka-té-ktebi كتكتبيgha-té-ktebi غتكتبيktebi كتبي
3rdmasc.kteb كتبy-kteb يكتبka-y-kteb كيكتبgha-y-kteb غيكتب
fem.ktéb-et كتبتté-kteb تكتبka-té-kteb كتكتبgha-té-kteb غتكتب
Plural
1stktéb-na كتبناn-kétbu نكتبواka-n-kétbu كنكتبواgha-n-kétbu غنكتبوا
2ndktéb-tiw كتبتيواt-kétb-u تكتبواka-n-kétb-u كتكتبواgha-n-kétb-u غتكتبواkétb-u كتبوا
3rdktéb-u كتبواy-ktéb-u يكتبواka-y-kétb-u كيكتبواgha-y-kétb-u غيكتبوا

This paradigm shows clearly the reduction in the number of forms:
In addition, Form IV is lost entirely in most varieties, except for a few "classicizing" verbs (i.e. verbs borrowed from Modern Standard Arabic).
See varieties of Arabic for more information on grammar differences in the spoken varieties.
Negation
Main article: Negation in Arabic
The negation of Arabic verbs varies according to the tense of the verb phrase. In literary Modern Standard Arabic, present-tense verbs are negated by adding لا "not" before the verb, past-tense verbs are negated by adding the negative particle لَمْlam "not" before the verb, and putting the verb in the jussive mood; and future-tense expressions are negated by placing the negative particle لَنْlan before the verb in the subjunctive mood.[3]
References
  1. ^ When a verb in Arabic ends with a vowel, the vowel is replaced with the corresponding short vocal when converted into imperative.
  2. ^ Possibly, اعماي iʿmāya is contracted from اعميي ‎*iʿmayaya using the same process that produces hollow verbs. A dictionary of modern written Arabic (Hans Wehr, J. Milton Cowan) also lists a supposed Form IX defective verb ارعوى ‎irʿawā 'desist (from sin), repent, see the light'; however, this has both an unexpected form and meaning, so it is unclear whether the classification as Form IX is accurate.
  3. ^ Karin C. Ryding, A Reference Grammar of Modern Standard Arabic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp. 644 [§37.2.1.2], 647 [§36.2.2.1], 648 [§37.2.2.3].
Last edited on 14 April 2021, at 02:17
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