Arabic – Starting Out with the Verbs fa’ala (Did) and yaf’alu (To Do) İn Arabic

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Starting Out with the Verbs fa’ala (Did)
and yaf’alu (To Do)
One of the most frequently used verbs in the Arabic language is fa’ala (fah-ahlah;
did). In the maaDii (mah-dee; past tense), use the fa’ala form; for the
muDaari’ (moo-dah-reeh; present tense), use yaf’alu (yah-feh-ah-loo; to
do/doing). Use the verb fa’ala to describe activities or riyaaDa (ree-yah-dah;
sports) you’re taking part in.
Here’s the verb fa’ala conjugated in the maaDii form:
Form Pronunciation Translation
‘anaa fa’altu ah-nah fah-all-too I did
‘anta fa’alta ahn-tah fah-all-tah You did (MS)
‘anti fa’alti ahn-tee fah-all-tee You did (FS)
huwa fa’ala hoo-wah fah-ah-lah He did
hiya fa’alat hee-yah fah-ah-laht She did
144 Part II: Arabic in Action
Form Pronunciation Translation
naHnu fa’alnaa nah-noo fah-ahl-naa We did
‘antum fa’altum ahn-toom fah-ahl-toom You did (MP)
‘antunna fa’altunna ahn-too-nah fah-all-too-nah You did (FP)
hum faa’aluu hoom fah-ah-loo They did (MP)
hunna faa’alna hoo-nah fah-all-nah They did (FP)
antumaa faa’altumaa ahn-too-mah fah-all-too-mah You did (dual/
MP/FP)
humaa faa’alaa hoo-mah fah-ah-lah They did (dual/
MP)
humaa faa’alataa hoo-mah fah-ah-lah-tah They did (dual/
FP)
Here are a few examples of the verb fa’ala in action:
 al-walad dhahaba ‘ilaa al-maktaba wa fa’ala waajibuhu. (al-wah-lad
zah-hah-bah ee-lah al-mak-tah-bah wah fah-ah-lah wah-jee-boo-hoo; The
boy went to the library and did his homework.)
 fa’alat al-‘amal ‘alaa aT-Taawila. (fah-ah-lat al-ah-mal ah-lah ah-tah-weelah;
She did the work on the table.)
 fa’altu at-tamriinaat fii al-manzil. (fah-all-too ah-tam-ree-nat fee al-manzeel;
I did the exercises at home.)
Then use the form yaf’alu to conjugate “to do” in the muDaari’:
Form Pronunciation Translation
‘anaa ‘af’alu ah-nah ah-fah-loo I am doing
‘anta taf’alu ahn-tah tah-fah-loo You are doing
(MS)
‘anti taf’aliina ahn-tee tah-fah-lee-nah You are doing
(FS)
huwa yaf’alu hoo-wah yah-fah-loo He is doing
hiya taf’alu hee-yah tah-fah-loo She is doing
naHnu naf’alu nah-noo nah-fah-loo We are doing
‘antum taf’aluuna ahn-toom tah-fah-loo-nah You are doing
(MP)
‘antunna taf’alna ahn-too-nah tah-fal-nah You are doing
(FP)
Form Pronunciation Translation
hum yaf’aluuna hoom yah-fah-loo-nah They are doing
(MP)
hunna yaf’alna hoom yah-fal-nah They are doing
(FP)
antumaa taf’alaani ahn-too-mah tah-fah-lah-nee You are doing
(dual/MP/FP)
humaa yaf’alaani hoo-mah yah-fah-lah-nee They are doing
(dual/MP)
humaa taf’alaani hoo-mah tah-fah-lah-nee They are doing
(dual/FP)
Here are some examples that include the verb yaf’alu:
 naf’alu al-‘awraaq al-’aan. (nah-fah-loo al-aw-rak al-an; We are doing the
paperwork right now.)
 taf’alu at-tajriibaat fii al-Hadiiqa. (tah-fah-loo ah-taj-ree-bat fee al-hahdee-
kah; She is doing the experiments in the garden.)
 hal taf’aluuna al-‘amal li al-ghad? (hal tah-fah-loo-nah