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Verbs

Imperfective Structures (continued)

 

Forms II Through QIV

Now that we have covered the imperfective of regular form I verbs, we shall continue with the rest of the verb forms.

Conjugating verb forms other than form I will require general modifications (common for all forms) and specific modifications (differ among particular groups of forms).

General Modifications

  1. If existed, removal of the 'alif and the short vowel following it from the beginning of the perfective stem. This includes both the  أ & اtypes of 'alif.

  2. Removal of the perfective pronominal suffix and the addition of an imperfective pronominal prefix and an imperfective pronominal suffix (if needed) to the stem.

  3. Addition of a mood-sign following the pronominal suffix (if existed).

prefix-perfective stem(-suffix)-mood-sign

Thus, we do not need here to remove any vowels from within the perfective verb stem like we did with form I.

Let us take the following three verb forms and transform them into the 3rd person masculine singular imperfective:

Form IV

'af"al(a)

أَفْعَلَ

Form V

tafa''"al(a)

تَفَعَّلَ

Form VII

'infa"al(a)

اِنْفَعَلَ

 

The first general step is to remove the initial 'alif  and the following vowel if existed:

Form IV

f"al(a)

فْعَلَ

Form V

tafa''"al(a)

تَفَعَّلَ

Form VII

nfa"al(a)

نْفَعَلَ

 

Then we will remove the perfective pronominal suffix and add the 3rd person masculine singular prefix (the "he" prefix). As we know, there is no suffix for the "he" conjugation.

Form IV

yaf"al

يَفْعَل

Form V

yatafa''"al

يَتَفَعَّل

Form VII

yanfa"al

يَنْفَعَل

 

The third step is to add a mood-sign. The indicative mood-sign for the "he" conjugation is a short vowel -u .

Form IV

yaf"al(u)

يَفْعَلُ

Form V

yatafa''"al(u)

يَتَفَعَّلُ

Form VII

yanfa"al(u)

يَنْفَعَلُ

By performing these three general modifications, we have done only what is common to all the verb forms, but we are not finished yet.

We will carry on with the specific modifications that differ between particular groups of the verb forms.

The specific modifications affect two elements of the verb structures:

  1. The short vowel of the pronominal prefix (i.e. the a in 'a-, ta- ya- & na-).

  2. The short vowel between the final two letters of the verb stem (the green short vowel).

Based on the specific modifications, the verb forms other than form I can be divided into three groups.

Let's continue with our three verb examples. The first specific modification regards the short vowel in the prefix. The imperfective pronominal prefixes have three varieties in Classical Arabic depending on the short vowel in them.

For example, the "he" prefix:

Prefix of the 3rd Person Masculine Singular

ya-

يـَ

yi-

يـِ

yu-

يـُ

The first version, ya-, is the one used for most of the active-voice imperfective verbs, whereas the yu- version is used for all the passive-voice imperfective verbs. Four verb forms, namely forms II, III, IV, & QI, have the yu- version in both the active and the passive voices. We are going to go through these things in detail soon.

The yi- prefix does not exist in formal Arabic. However, it existed in many of the classical dialects, and was used particularly for the imperfective of fa"il(a) verbs of form I. Today, this prefix is the prevalently used prefix in most of the spoken dialects of Arabic.

As for our three examples, they will become as follows:

Form IV

yuf"al(u)

يُفْعَلُ

Form V

yatafa''"al(u)

يَتَفَعَّلُ

Form VII

yanfa"al(u)

يَنْفَعَلُ

Form IV takes the yu- prefix. This is also the case for forms II, III, IV, & QI (all the forms with four letters). The rest of the forms will all have the ya- prefix in the active voice.

Now to the second and final one of the specific modifications. This regards the short vowel between the final two letters of the verb stem. This is similar to what we talked about for form I; there are three possible varieties for this vowel:

a

i

u

However, these vowels here will change among different forms but not among verbs of the same form like with form I. Thus, aside from form I, each verb form will have a specific short green vowel that is permanent and unchanging.

The vowel u appears only in the imperfective of form I, so we are not going to hear about it anymore. The active-voice imperfective verbs can have either a or i. The passive-voice imperfective verbs have only a.

As for our examples, they will become finally:

Form IV

yuf"il(u)

يُفْعِلُ

Form V

yatafa''"al(u)

يَتَفَعَّلُ

Form VII

yanfa"il(u)

يَنْفَعِلُ

This is the final conjugation. Each one of these three verbs represents one of the three groups of the verb forms with regard to the imperfective conjugation.

The three groups are:

  • Yu-i Verbs (forms II, III, IV, & QI)

  • Ya-a Verbs (forms V, VI & QII)

  • Ya-i Verbs (the rest of the forms)

 

 

Yu-i Verbs

Represented by form IV in the three examples above, these have the prefix yu- and the green vowel i in the active voice (and the prefix yu- and the green vowel a in the passive voice, which is like all imperfective verbs).

The Yu-i verbs are easy to identify because they are simply all the forms that are composed of four letters, namely forms II, III, IV, & QI.

Yu-i Verb Forms

 

Imperfective

(Active-Indicative)

 Perfective

(Active)

Form II

يُفَعِّلُ

فَعَّلَ

yufa''"il(u)

fa''"al(a)

Form III

يُفَاْعِلُ

فَاْعَلَ

yufaa"il(u)

faa"al(a)

Form IV

يُفْعِلُ

أَفْعَلَ

yuf"il(u)

'af"al(a)

Form QI

يُفَعْلِلُ

فَعْلَلَ

yufa"lil(u)

fa"lal(a)

 

Apart from changing the vowel of the prefix to u, adding pronominal prefixes and suffixes to these verbs happens regularly, just like form I regular verbs previously covered.

Examples:

Form II

عَلَّمَ

"allam(a)

 

(He) taught

 

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

عَلَّمَ : فَـعَّـلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) teach

'u"allim(u)

أُعَلِّمُ

(You masc.) teach

tu"allim(u)

تُعَلِّمُ

(You fem.) teach

tu"allimeen(a)

تُعَلِّمِيْنَ

(He) teaches

yu"allim(u)

يُعَلِّمُ

(She) teaches

tu"allim(u)

تُعَلِّمُ

D

U

A

L

(You) teach

tu"allimaan(i)

تُعَلِّمَاْنِ

(They masc.) teach

yu"allimaan(i)

يُعَلِّمَاْنِ

(They fem.) teach

tu"allimaan(i)

تُعَلِّمَاْنِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) teach

nu"allim(u)

نُعَلِّمُ

(You masc.) teach

tu"allimoon(a)

تُعَلِّمُوْنَ

(You fem.) teach

tu"allimn(a)

تُعَلِّمْنَ

(They masc.) teach

yu"allimoon(a)

يُعَلِّمُوْنَ

(They fem.) teach

yu"allimn(a)

يُعَلِّمْنَ

 

Form III

سَاْعَدَ

saa"ad(a)

 

(He) helped

 

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

سَاْعَدَ : فَاْعَلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) help

'usaa"id(u)

أُسَاْعِدُ

(You masc.) help

tusaa"id(u)

تُسَاْعِدُ

(You fem.) help

tusaa"ideen(a)

تُسَاْعِدِيْنَ

(He) helps

yusaa"id(u)

يُسَاْعِدُ

(She) helps

tusaa"id(u)

تُسَاْعِدُ

D

U

A

L

(You) help

tusaa"idaan(i)

تُسَاْعِدَاْنِ

(They masc.) help

yusaa"idaan(i)

يُسَاْعِدَاْنِ

(They fem.) help

tusaa"idaan(i)

تُسَاْعِدَاْنِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) help

nusaa"id(u)

نُسَاْعِدُ

(You masc.) help

tusaa"idoon(a)

تُسَاْعِدُوْنَ

(You fem.) help

tusaa"idn(a)

تُسَاْعِدْنَ

(They masc.) help

yusaa"idoon(a)

يُسَاْعِدُوْنَ

(They fem.) help

yusaa"idn(a)

يُسَاْعِدْنَ

 

Form IV

أَكْرَمَ

'akram(a)

 

(He) dignified/was generous to

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

أَكْرَمَ : أَفْعَلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) dignify

'ukrim(u)

أُكْرِمُ

(You masc.) dignify

tukrim(u)

تُكْرِمُ

(You fem.) dignify

tukrimeen(a)

تُكْرِمِيْنَ

(He) dignifies

yukrim(u)

يُكْرِمُ

(She) dignifies

tukrim(u)

تُكْرِمُ

D

U

A

L

(You) dignify

tukrimaan(i)

تُكْرِمَاْنِ

(They masc.) dignify

yukrimaan(i)

يُكْرِمَاْنِ

(They fem.) dignify

tukrimaan(i)

تُكْرِمَاْنِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) dignify

nukrim(u)

نُكْرِمُ

(You masc.) dignify

tukrimoon(a)

تُكْرِِمُوْنَ

(You fem.) dignify

tukrimn(a)

تُكْرِمْنَ

(They masc.) dignify

yukrimoon(a)

يُكْرِمُوْنَ

(They fem.) dignify

yukrimn(a)

يُكْرِمْنَ

 

Form QI

طَمْأَنَ

tam'an(a)

 

(He) reassured

 

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

طَمأَنَ : فَعْلَلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) reassure

'utam'in(u)

أُطَمْئِنُ

(You masc.) reassure

tutam'in(u)

تُطَمْئِنُ

(You fem.) reassure

tutam'ineen(a)

تُطَمْئِنِيْنَ

(He) reassures

yutam'in(u)

يُطَمْئِنُ

(She) reassures

tutam'in(u)

تُطَمْئِنُ

D

U

A

L

(You) reassure

tutam'inaan(i)

تُطَمْئِنانِ

(They masc.) reassure

yutam'inaan(i)

يُطَمْئِنانِ

(They fem.) reassure

tutam'inaan(i)

تُطَمْئِنانِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) reassure

nutam'in(u)

نُطَمْئِنُ

(You masc.) reassure

tutam'inoon(a)

تُطَمْئِنُوْنَ

(You fem.) reassure

tutam'inn(a)

تُطَمْئِنَّ

(They masc.) reassure

yutam'inoon(a)

يُطَمْئِنُوْنَ

(They fem.) reassure

yutam'inn(a)

يُطَمْئِنَّ

 

Ya-a Verbs

Represented by form V in the three introductory examples, these verbs have the prefix ya- and the green vowel a in the active voice, so they really do not need any specific modification more than the three general steps. In the passive voice, these verbs will have the prefix yu- and the green vowel a, like all imperfective verbs.

Identifying Ya-a verbs is easy; they are simply the forms that begin with a reflexive prefix ta-, namely forms V, VI & QII.

Ya-a Verb Forms

 

Imperfective

(Active-Indicative)

 Perfective

(Active)

Form V

يَتَفَعَّلُ

تَفَعَّلَ

yatafa''"al(u)

tafa''"al(a)

Form VI

يَتَفَاْعَلُ

تَفَاْعَلَ

yatafaa"al(u)

tafaa"al(a)

Form QII

يَتَفَعْلَلُ

تَفَعْلَلَ

yatafa"lal(u)

tafa"lal(a)

 

These three verb forms are generally very neat and simple, both in structure and meaning, which is probably because they are more recent and less messed with than other forms like forms VII and VIII.

Examples on conjugation for different subjects:

Form V

تَعَلَّمَ

ta"allam(a)

 

(He) learned

 

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

تَعَلَّمَ : تَفَعَّلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) learn

'ata"allam(u)

أَتَعَلَّمُ

(You masc.) learn

tata"allam(u)

تَتَعَلَّمُ

(You fem.) learn

tata"allameen(a)

تَتَعَلَّمِيْنَ

(He) learns

yata"allam(u)

يَتَعَلَّمُ

(She) learns

tata"allam(u)

تَتَعَلَّمُ

D

U

A

L

(You) learn

tata"allamaan(i)

تَتَعَلَّمَاْنِ

(They masc.) learn

yata"allamaan(i)

يَتَعَلَّمَاْنِ

(They fem.) learn

tata"allamaan(i)

تَتَعَلَّمَاْنِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) learn

nata"allam(u)

نَتَعَلَّمُ

(You masc.) learn

tata"allamoon(a)

تَتَعَلَّمُوْنَ

(You fem.) learn

tata"allamn(a)

تَتَعَلَّمْنَ

(They masc.) learn

yata"allamoon(a)

يَتَعَلَّمُوْنَ

(They fem.) learn

yata"allamn(a)

يَتَعَلَّمْنَ

 

Form VI

تَسَاْءَلَ

tasaa'al(a)

 

(He) wondered

 

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

تَساءَلَ : تَفاْعَلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) wonder

'atasaa'al(u)

أَتَسَاْءَلُ

(You masc.) wonder

tatasaa'al(u)

تَتَسَاءَْلُ

(You fem.) wonder

tatasaa'aleen(a)

تَتَسَاْءَلِيْنَ

(He) wonders

yatasaa'al(u)

يَتَسَاْءَلُ

(She) wonders

tatasaa'al(u)

تَتَسَاْءَلُ

D

U

A

L

(You) wonder

tatasaa'alaan(i)

تَتَسَاْْءَلانِ

(They masc.) wonder

yatasaa'alaan(i)

يَتَسَاْءَلانِ

(They fem.) wonder

tatasaa'alaan(i)

تَتَسَاْْءَلانِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) wonder

natasaa'al(u)

نَتَساءَلُ

(You masc.) wonder

tatasaa'aloon(a)

تَتَساءَلُوْنَ

(You fem.) wonder

tatasaa'aln(a)

تَتَساءَلْنَ

(They masc.) wonder

yatasaa'aloon(a)

يَتَساءَلُوْنَ

(They fem.) wonder

yatasaa'aln(a)

يَتَساءَلْنَ

 

Form QII

تَدَحْرَجَ

tadahraj(a)

 

(He) rolled (intr.)

 

 

المُضَاْرِعُ الْمَرْفُوْعُ Indicative Imperfective

(Active Voice)

تَدَحْرَجَ : تَفَعْلَلَ

S

I

N

G

U

L

A

R

(I) roll

'atadahraj(u)

أَتَدَحْرَجُ

(You masc.) roll

tatadahraj(u)

تَتَدَحْرَجُ

(You fem.) roll

tatadahrajeen(a)

تَتَدَحْرَجِيْنَ

(He) rolls

yatadahraj(u)

يَتَدَحْرَجُ

(She) rolls

tatadahraj(u)

تَتَدَحْرَجُ

D

U

A

L

(You) roll

tatadahrajaan(i)

تَتَدَحْرَجَاْنِ

(They masc.) roll

yatadahrajaan(i)

يَتَدَحْرَجَاْنِ

(They fem.) roll

tatadahrajaan(i)

تَتَدَحْرَجَاْنِ

P

L

U

R

A

L

(We dual/plu.) roll

natadahraj(u)

نَتَدَحْرَجُ

(You masc.) roll

tatadahrajoon(a)

تَتَدَحْرَجُوْنََ

(You fem.) roll

tatadahrajn(a)

تَتَدَحْرَجْنَ

(They masc.) roll

yatadahrajoon(a)

يَتَدَحْرَجُوْنَ

(They fem.) roll

yatadahrajn(a)

يَتَدَحْرَجْنَ

 

 

 

 

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