Arabic Verbs 2

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Arabic Verbs  2

Perfective Structures (continued)

 

Conjugation of Irregular Verbs

 

For description of irregular verb types, you may go here

1) Doubled Verbs

Doubled verbs are triliteral verbs that have identical second and third root-letters; or any verb that ends with a shadda(t) (doubled consonants with no vowel in between). The short vowel that is lacking from between the two final letters is the green short vowel of verbs.

Theshadda(t)of the doubled verbs must be “untied” when adding certain pronominal suffixes to them. Untying means inserting a short vowel between the two identical letters under theshadda(t) (-CC → -CvC). For perfective verbs, the inserted vowel will be always a, regardless of what the original green vowel was.

Example, the verb:

مَرَّ

marr(a)

(He) passed

 

(He) passed

marr(a)

مَرَّ

(I) passed

marrt(u)

مَرّْتُ

(I) passed

marart(u)

مَرَرْتُ

 

The omitted green vowel from this verb is a, but we would have inserted a anyway and without needing to know that.

 

Untying will happen with all pronominal suffixes that start with a consonant (the 1st & 2nd person conjugations plus the 3rd person feminine plural). The reason behind this change is to prevent the formation of a three-consonant-cluster (CCC). In Arabic terms, to prevent two still letters form directly following each other (the two r‘s). This is an important law in the Arabic language (“stills don’t meet”).

The full conjugation of the verb:

 

الْمَاْضِيْ Perfective // مَرَّ : فَـعَـلَ

(Form I, Active Voice)

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) passed

marart(u)

مَرَرْتُ

(You masc.) passed

marart(a)

مَرَرْتَ

(You fem.) passed

mararti

مَرَرْتِ

(He) passed

marr(a)

مَرَّ

(She) passed

marrat

مَرَّتْ

D

U

A

L

(You) passed

marartumaa

مَرَرْتُمَاْ

(They masc.) passed

marraa

مَرَّاْ

(They fem.) passed

marrataa

مَرَّتَاْ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) passed

mararnaa

مَرَرْنَاْ

(You masc.) passed

marartum

مَرَرْتُمْ

(You fem.) passed

marartunn(a)

مَرَرْتُنَّ

(They masc.) passed

marroo

مَرُّوْا

(They fem.) passed

mararn(a)

مَرَرْنَ

 

 

The omitted green vowel of most perfective doubled verbs is a; very few doubled verbs have an omitted i or u vowels. Examples of these are:

 

Original Form

Doubled Verb

ظَلِلَ

zall(a)

ظَلَّ

zalil(a)

(he) remained, stayed

مَلِلَ

mall(a)

مَلَّ

malil(a)

(he) became bored

كَلِلَ

kall(a)

كَلَّ

kalil(a)

(he) became worn out

لَبُبَ

labb(a)

لَبَّ

labub(a)

(he) was/became sane

 

However, these verbs will untie just like verbs with omitted a .

Examples:

(I) stayed

zalalt(u)

ظَلَلْتُ

(I) became bored

malalt(u)

مَلَلْتُ

(I) became worn out

kalalt(u)

كَلَلْتُ

(I) was/became sane

lababt(u)

لَبَبْتُ

 

Conjugation of Doubled Verbs

1st person

untie

2nd person

untie

3rd person

untie only with the feminine plural

 

Form IV, X & QIV

Although conjugating most of the verb forms will take only untying theshadda(t),the forms with a displaced-back vowel, namely forms IV, X & QIV, will require another step in addition to that, which is to remove the short A preceding the doubled consonant.

 

Conjugation of Doubled Verbs

 

(He) did

(I) did

Form IV

‘afa“l(a)

‘af”alt(u)

Form X

‘istafa“l(a)

‘istaf”alt(u)

Form QIV

‘if”alall(a)

‘if”allalt(u)

 

Examples:

Form IV Doubled Verbs

أَحَبَّ

أَحْبَبْتُ

‘ahabb(a)

‘ahbabt(u)

(He) loved, liked

(I) loved, liked

أَعَدَّ

أَعْدَدْتُ

‘aadd(a)

‘a“dadt(u)

(He) prepared (tr.)

(I) prepared (tr.)

 

Form X Doubled Verbs

اِسْتَمَرَّ

اِسْتَمْرَرْتُ

‘istamarr(a)

‘istamrart(u)

(He) continued (intr.) (I) continued (intr.)

اِسْتَعَدَّ

اِسْتَعْدَدْتُ

‘istaadd(a)

‘ista“dadt(u)

(He) prepared (intr.)

(I) prepared (intr.)

 

Form QIV

اِطْمَأَنَّ

اِطْمَأْنَنْتُ

‘itmaann(a)

‘itma<nant(u)

(He) became reassured

(I) became reassured

 

Conjugation of Doubled Verbs

Forms I, VII, VIII, IX & XI

just untie

(-CvCC → -CvCvC)

Forms IV, X & QIV

untie + remove the short A preceding the doubled letter

(-CvCC → -CCvC)

 

Note

It is very common for form X and form QIV doubled verbs to be conjugated in the following manner by modern speakers of Arabic:

Erroneous Conjugation of Form X and Form QIV Doubled Verbs

اِسْتَمَرَّ

اِسْتَمَرَّيْتُ

‘istamarr(a)

‘istamarrayt(u)

(He) continued (intr.)

(I) continued (intr.)

اِطْمَأَنَّ

اِطْمَأْنَّيْتُ

‘itmaann(a)

‘itmaannayt(u)

(He) became reassured

(I) became reassured

 

This way of conjugation is extremely common among modern speakers of Arabic, thanks to influence from the modern spoken dialects. If you asked 100 native speakers to conjugate these verbs for you, probably more than 95 of them will conjugate in this last way.

 

2) Mithaal Verbs

Mithaalverbs are verbs whose first original letter is a weak letter. Perfective Mithaalverbs conjugate regularly, except that in form VIII, the first original letter will become a t as explained in this page.

 

3) Hollow Verbs

Hollow verbs are verbs whose second original letter is a weak letter.

For transformed hollow verbs whose weak letter is ا(a fake‘alif), the middle long vowel aa will be replaced by a short vowel when adding any pronominal suffix that starts with a consonant, that is, any suffix other than the 3rd person suffixes, not counting the 3rd person feminine plural declension.

 

Form I

Example:

قَاْلَ

qaal(a)

 

(He) said

The root is : ق و لQ W L

 

(He) said

qaal(a)

قَاْلَ

(I) said

qaalt(u)

قَاْلْتُ

(I) said

qalt(u)

قَلْتُ

(I) said

qult(u)

قُلْتُ

 

The reason behind this change is to prevent the formation of a three-consonant-cluster (alt). In Arabic terms, to prevent two still letters form directly following each other (the اand the ل). This is the important rule of “stills don’t meet.”

The middle long A of hollow verbs is composed of a weak ‘alif a preceded by a short vowel a (aa). The weak ‘alif here was deleted and the a was changed to u . A simpler way of saying this is that the middle long A (aa) was replaced by a short vowel u.

The full conjugation:

 

الْمَاْضِيْ Perfective // قَاْلَ : فَـعَـلَ

(Form I, Active Voice)

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) said

qult(u)

قُلْتُ

(You masc.) said

qult(a)

قُلْتَ

(You fem.) said

qulti

قُلْتِ

(He) said

qaal(a)

قَاْلَ

(She) said

qaalat

قَاْلَتْ

D

U

A

L

(You) said

qultumaa

قُلْتُمَاْ

(They masc.) said

qaalaa

قَاْلا

(They fem.) said

qaalataa

قَاْلَتَاْ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) said

qulnaa

قُلْنَاْ

(You masc.) said

qultum

قُلْتُمْ

(You fem.) said

qultunn(a)

قُلْتُنَّ

(They masc.) said

qaaloo

قَاْلُوْا

(They fem.) said

quln(a)

قُلْنَ

 

The a was changed to u because the original weak letter of the verb (the middle root-letter) is w . The short vowel u corresponds to w . Similarly, if the original weak letter were y, the preceding short vowel a would be changed to i , the corresponding short vowel.

 

Example:

 

بَاْعَ

baa(a)

 

(He) sold

 

The root is: B Y “ بي ع

 

(He) sold

baa(a)

بَاْعَ

(I) sold

baat(u)

بَاْعْتُ

(I) sold

bat(u)

بَعْتُ

(I) sold

bit(u)

بِعْتُ

 

The full conjugation:

 

الْمَاْضِيْ Perfective // بَاْعَ : فَـعَـلَ

(Form I, Active Voice)

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) sold

bit(u)

بِعْتُ

(You masc.) sold (masc.)

bit(a)

بِعْتَ

(You masc.) sold (fem.)

biti

بِعْتِ

(He) sold

baa(a)

بَاْعَ

(She) sold

baaat

بَاْعَتْ

D

U

A

L

(You) sold

bitumaa

بِعْتُمَاْ

(They masc.) sold

baaaa

بَاْعَاْ

(They fem.) sold

baaataa

بَاْعَتَاْ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) sold

binaa

بِعْنَاْ

(You masc.) sold

bitum

بِعْتُمْ

(You fem.) sold

bitunn(a)

بِعْتُنَّ

(They masc.) sold

baaoo

بَاْعُوْا

(They fem.) sold

bin(a)

بِعْنَ

 

However, it is quite important to note that there is an exception to what have been mentioned so far. If the hollow verb were stative, that is to say, if the original, unseen, weak letter of the verb were followed by a short vowel i instead of a, the middle long A of the hollow verb will be always replaced by an i regardless of the original weak letter of the verb.

 

Example:

مَاْتَ

maat(a)

(He) died

 

The original form is:

مَوِتَ

mawit(a)

(He) died

 

The root is: M W T م و ت

 

(He) died

maat(a)

مَاْتَ

(I) died

maatt(u)

مَاْتُّ

(I) died

matt(u)

مَتُّ

(I) died

mitt(u)

مِتُّ

 

The a was changed to i even though the middle root-letter wasw, because the verb is of the stative structure fail(a). Other verbs of this kind include:

 

Original Form

(not used)

Hollow Verb

نَوِمَ

naam(a)

نَاْمَ

nawim(a)

(he) slept

خَوِفَ

khaaf(a)

خَاْفَ

khawif(a)

(he) feared

كَوِدَ

kaad(a)

كَاْدَ

kawid(a)

(he) almost (did)

verb of approach

 

 

Here is a general rule for form I hollow verbs:

 

Hollow Verb Conjugation

(Form I)

Original Form

Actual Form

3rd person singular

(He) did

3rd person singular

(He) did

1st person singular

(I) did

fawal(a) faal(a) fult(u)
fayal(a) faal(a) filt(u)
fawil(a) faal(a) filt(u)
fayil(a) faal(a) filt(u)

 

Of course, this information will not be much useful in real life. The more practical thing for learning the conjugation of these verbs is to simply familiarize oneself with them.

 

———————————————

Extra Note

The mentioned information regards the standard, formal, Arabic, which was primarily derived from the dialect of ancient western Arabia (Hijaaz). However, the conjugation of fawil(a) verbs appears to be different in other classical dialects:

fawil(a) (he) faal(a) (I) fult(u)

For example, the verb mitt(u)= “(I) died” becomes mutt(u) in those dialects. This way of conjugation appears today in several spoken dialects of Arabic (e.g. spoken Egyptian Arabic).

 

It is possible that they conjugated the verb this way because there were two original versions of the verb:

mawit(a)/ mawat(a)

 

These two original versions gave rise to the two later versions mitt(u) & mutt(u). This may also explain why there are two different conjugations in the imperfective as well. However, these varieties occur only in Classical Arabic but not in the Modern Standard Arabic, which follows exactly the above mentioned rules.

———————————————

 

Forms IV, X & QIV

 

The verb forms other than form I have a simpler rule; the middle long A will be always replaced by a short vowel a.

 

Example, a form IV hollow verb:

 

أَرَاْدَ

 

‘araad(a)

(He) wanted

 

The root is : ر و دR W DI

 

 

(He) wanted

‘araad(a)

أَرَاْدَ

(I) wanted

‘araadt(u)

أَرَاْدْتُ

(I) wanted

‘aradt(u)

أَرَدْتُ

 

The full conjugation:

 

الْمَاْضِيْ Perfective // أَرَاْدَ : أَفْـعَـلَ

(Form IV, Active Voice)

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) wanted

‘aradt(u)

أَرَدْتُ

(You masc.) wanted

‘aradt(a)

أَرَدْتَ

(You fem.) wanted

‘aradti

أَرَدْتِ

(He) wanted

‘araad(a)

أَرَاْدَ

(She) wanted

‘araadat

أَرَاْدَتْ

D

U

A

L

(You) wanted

‘aradtumaa

أَرَدْتُمَاْ

(They masc.) wanted

‘araadaa

أَرَاْدَا

(They fem.) wanted

‘araadataa

أَرَاْدَتَاْ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) wanted

‘aradnaa

أَرَدْنَاْ

(You masc.) wanted

‘aradtum

أَرَدْتُمْ

(You fem.) wanted

‘aradtunn(a)

أَرَدْتُنَّ

(They masc.) wanted

‘araadoo

أَرَاْدُوْا

(They fem.) wanted

‘aradn(a)

أَرَدْنَ

 

Conjugation of Hollow Verbs

1st person

middle long vowel aa → short vowel

2nd person

middle long vowel aa → short vowel

3rd person

middle long vowel aa intact

 

except with the feminine plural :

 

middle long vowel aa → short vowel

 

Conjugation of Hollow Verbs

Form I

fawal(a)

aa u

fayal(a)

aa i

fail(a)

Other Forms

aa a

 

aa u

دَاْخَ

خَاْنَ

جَاْلَ

ثَاْرَ

تَاْقَ

تَاْبَ

رَاْحَ

ذَاْقَ

ذَاْبَ

دَاْمَ

دَاْسَ

دَاْرَ

سَاْقَ

سَاْدَ

سَاْءَ

زَاْلَ

زَاْرَ

رَاْمَ

غَاْرَ

عَاْدَ

طَاْلَ

طَاْفَ

صَاْنَ

صَاْمَ

قَاْدَ

فَاْقَ

فَاْزَ

فَاْرَ

فَاْتَ

غَاْصَ

مَاْتَ

لامَ

لاذَ

لاحَ

قَاْمَ

قَاْلَ

     

هَاْنَ

نَاْحَ

نَاْبَ

 

 

aa i

خَاْفَ

حَاْرَ

جَاْءَ

تَاْهَ

بَاْتَ

سَاْلَ

سَاْرَ

سَاْحَ

زَاْنَ

ذَاْعَ

صَاْحَ

شَاْعَ

شَاْخَ

شَاْبَ

شَاْءَ

طَاْبَ

ضَاْقَ

ضَاْعَ

صَاْرَ

صَاْدَ

غَاْرَ

غَاْبَ

عَاْشَ

عَاْبَ

طَاْرَ

نَاْلَ

مَاْلَ

مَاْعَ

كَاْدَ

فَاْضَ

     

هَاْجَ

هَاْبَ

 

Verbs

Perfective Structures

 

Conjugation of Irregular Verbs (continued)