Verbs of quadriliteral roots are relatively
few. Quadriliteral roots usually denote periodic sounds (e.g. jangle),
periodic movements (e.g. quake), are extracted from foreign loanwords, or
are altered from previous triliteral roots by adding a letter to them.
There is only one structure for verbs of
quadriliteral roots with no additional letters:
Basic Structure of Quadriliteral-Rooted Verbs
*Note: this structure is written this way in
Arabic grammar, but the third and fourth letters of the root do not have
to be the same.
(He) made quake
(He) dressed (somebody)
from Persian etymology
(He) put a cap on (somebody)
(He) rolled (something)
(He) scattered (something)
Arabs used, and use, the structure
to carve verbs from nouns that have more than
three consonants in them. We explained in this
page, at length, how the verb form II is used to derive verbs from
nouns with triliteral roots. There are other verb forms that can also be
derived from three-letter-rooted nouns. However, to derive verbs from
nouns with more than three letters to their roots, quadriliteral-rooted structure such as
In modern times,
has been used as well to derive verbs from three-letter-rooted nouns with
more than three letters. This is why we said that this structure is used
to derive verbs from nouns with more than three consonants, regardless of
Form QI Verb
(he) made American
→ Americanized (tr.)
(he) made Saudi
→ Saudized (tr.)
a bud (masc.)
a telephone (masc.)
There were many quadriliteral roots that Arab
grammarians recognized as altered from triliteral roots by the addition of
one letter to them. They worked out 8 standard patterns for the addition
of the fourth letter and called the patterns or the structures the
"annexed" quadriliteral-rooted structures without additional letters.
Here are the 8 structures:
(He) put a djellaba
(He) hurried up
(He) treated (an
(He, a plant) eared
(He) put a cap on
(He) laid down
Those are structures of four-letter-rooted
verbs without additional letters.
The purple letters are identified as
additional to the roots not to the structures.
In the first structure, the third and fourth
letter have to be identical. This is different from the general
structure mentioned above, albeit they are written the same way.
I don't think all the examples are correct
(the last one isn't),
but those are the ones I have.
was mentioned because classical Arab grammarians didn't know it was from
Latin etymology and thought it was altered from the root
ق ل س
, although the truth is the other way
around. I had to put it here because I don't have other examples.
Those structures are rare and knowing them
is of very little importance, if any.
An example on the conjugation of a simple
Perfective// ط م أ نRoot
(You fem.) reassured
Roots with Additional Letters
With the additional letters, three
more structures of quadriliteral roots are obtained.
Structures of Perfective Verbs with Quadriliteral Roots
No additional letters
1 additional letter
2 additional letters
Forms QIV is an irregular
doubled verb. The green short vowel in
certain conjugations of this verbs is displaced backward (original form
Examples on the
conjugation of the quadriliteral-rooted forms: