- 1 Derived stems (sound verbs)
- 2 Exceptions
- 3 References
- 4 See also
Derived stems (sound verbs)
Arabic verbs are noted for an unusual system of derivation. From any particular root various verb stems may be formed. Western scholars usually refer to these derivations as “form I”, “form II”, ... up through “form XV,” though these designations are not used indigenously, where they are referred to by derivations of the verb فعل (“to do”). Accordingly, form I would be فَعَلَ (faʿala), form II would be فَعّلَ (faʿʿala), etc. These forms refer to triliteral roots (those made of three consonants). There are also quadriliteral roots, made up of four consonants, which come in four forms, “form Iq”, “form IIq”, “form IIIq” and “form IVq”. Triliteral forms XI through XV and quadriliteral forms IIIq and IVq are rare and tend to be intransitive, often stative, verbs (having the meaning “to be or become X” where X is an adjective).
These forms and their associated participles and verbal nouns are the primary means of forming vocabulary in Arabic. All of the examples shown here are the citation forms, which in Arabic means the 3rd-person masculine singular perfect (e.g., “he did”, “he wrote”).
Perfective فَعَلَ (fáʿala, fáʿila), imperfective يفعل (yafʿalu, yafʿilu, yafʿulu)
See also: Category:Arabic form-I verbs
Perfective فَعّلَ (fáʿʿala), imperfective يُفَعِّلُ (yufaʿʿilu), verbal noun تفعيل (tafʿīl), active participle مفعل (mufaʿʿil), passive participle مفعل (mufaʿʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) فعل (faʿʿil)
See also: Category:Arabic form-II verbs
Perfective فَاعَلَ (fāʿala), imperfective يُفَاعِلُ (yufāʿilu), verbal noun مفاعلة (mufāʿala), active participle مفاعل (mufāʿil), passive participle مفاعل (mufāʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) فاعل (fāʿil)
See also: Category:Arabic form-III verbs
Perfective أفْعَلَ (ʼáfʿala), imperfective يُفْعِلُ (yufʿilu), verbal noun إفعال (ʾifʿāl), active participle مفعل (mufʿil), passive participle مفعل (mufʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) أفعل (ʾafʿil)
This stem is formed by prefixing أ (ʾ) (ʼa-) and dropping the vowel of the first radical. In the imperfect, the أ (ʾ) disappears and the regular imperfect prefix takes the vowel u, and the characteristic is i: يكتب, yuktíbu. The meaning this form imparts is causative.
See also: Category:Arabic form-IV verbs
Perfective تَفَعَّلَ (tafáʿʿala), imperfective يَتَفَعَّلُ (yatafaʿʿalu), verbal noun تفعل (tafáʿʿul), active participle متفعل (mutafaʿʿil), passive participle متفعل (mutafaʿʿal), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) تفعل (tafáʿʿil)
This stem is formed by prefixing ت (t) (ta-) to form II. The meaning this form imparts is the reflexive or passive of form II. Out of the reflexive also arises the effective. This differs from the passive in that the latter indicates that the person is the object of, or experiences the effect of, the action of a another; whereas the effective implies that an act is done to a person, or a state produced in him, whether it is caused by another or himself. 
See also: Category:Arabic form-V verbs
Perfective تَفَاعَلَ (tafāʿala), imperfective يَتَفَاعَلُ (yatafāʿalu)
This stem is formed by prefixing ت (t) (ta-) to form III. The imperfect has the vowel a throughout, except for the last: يتكاتب, yatakātabu. The meaning this form imparts is reciprocal or one of pretence.
See also: Category:Arabic form-VI verbs
Perfective اِنْفَعَلَ (infáʿala), imperfective يَنْفَعِلُ (yanfaʿilu)
This stem is formed by prefixing ن (n) with liaison (ا) where necessary (in-). The meaning this form imparts is reflexive or passive. Note: this form should not be made from roots whose first radical is ر (r), ل (l), ي (y), و (w), أ (ʾ), or ن (n), although some people do it.
See also: Category:Arabic form-VII verbs
Perfective اِفْتَعَلَ (iftáʿala), imperfective يَفْتَعِلُ (yaftaʿilu)
This stem is formed by infixing ت (t) (-ta-) after the first radical, and with liaison (ا) where necessary. The meaning this form imparts is the reflexive or sometimes passive, of the first form. Partial or complete assimilation of the infixed ت (t) occurs in this form when the first radical of the root is: ط (ṭ) , ض (ḍ) , ص (ṣ) , ز (z) , ذ (ḏ) , د (d) , ث (ṯ) , ت (t) , or ظ (ẓ): e.g., اضطرب = ت (t) + ضرب ; ازدحم = ت (t) + زحم ; ادّرك = ت (t) + درك.
See also: Category:Arabic form-VIII verbs
Perfective اِفْعَلَّ (ifʿálla), imperfective يَفْعَلُّ (yafʿallu)
This stem is formed by dropping the vowel of the first radical, adding liaison (ا) as necessary, and doubling the final radical. This form is used by only a small number of verbs denoting color or bodily defect.
See also: Category:Arabic form-IX verbs
Perfective اِسْتَفْعَلَ (istáfʿala), imperfective يَسْتَفْعِلُ (yastafʿilu)
This stem is formed by prefixing ست (-sta-), with liaison (ا) where necessary, and dropping the vowel of the first radical. The meaning this form imparts is to ask or think that the sense of form I should be done.
See also: Category:Arabic form-X verbs
Perfective فَعْلقَ (fáʿlaqa), imperfective يُفَعْلِقُ (yufaʿliqu), verbal noun فَعْلَقَة (faʿlaqah), active participle مُفَْلِق (mufaʿliq), passive participle مُفَعْلَق (mufaʿlaq), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) فَعْلِقْ (faʿliq)
This is the simplest basic form of a quadriliteral verb. Most verbs are transitive, although a subset with reduplicated roots often are not. This form is similar to form II of triliteral roots.
See also: Category:Arabic form-Iq verbs
Perfective تَفَعْلقَ (tafáʿlaqa), imperfective يَتَفَعْلَقُ (yatafaʿlaqu), verbal noun تَفَعْلُقَ (tafaʿluq), active participle مُتَفَْلِق (mutafaʿliq), passive participle مُتَفَعْلَق (mutafaʿlaq), imperative (2nd person, m, sg) تَفَعْلَقْ (tafaʿlaq)
See also: Category:Arabic form-IIq verbs
These forms were already rare in Classical Arabic, and are even more so in Modern Standard Arabic.
- ʼifʿālla (Form XI) اِفْعَالّ
This stem is formed from form IX by lengthening the vowel after the second radical. This form is very rare and it is usually used only for metrical purposes in poetry as an alternative to form IX. Some scholars   suggest the XI form may have a more volatile meaning than form IX, as well as one slightly more intensive.
See also: Category:Arabic form-XI verbs
- ʼifʿawʿala (Form XII) اِفْعَوْعَلَ
- Example: احدودب (iḥdáwdaba) — to be or become humpbacked.
See also: Category:Arabic form-XII verbs
- ʼifʿawwala (Form XIII) اِفْعَوّلَ
- Example: اعلوط (iʿláwwaṭa) — to ride or mount a camel without a saddle.
See also: Category:Arabic form-XIII verbs
- ʼifʿanlala (Form XIV) إفْعَنْلَلَ
- Example: اسحنكك (isḥánkaka) — to be or become caliginous.
See also: Category:Arabic form-XIV verbs
- ʼifʿanlā (Form XV) اِفْعَنْلَى
- Example: اسرندى (isrándā) — to vanquish.
See also: Category:Arabic form-XV verbs
See also: Category:Arabic form-IIIq verbs
TODO. Fairly rare.
See also: Category:Arabic form-IVq verbs
Verbs are called hamzated if ء (hamza) is one of the root consonants (radicals). The phonetical pattern of the conjugation of these verbs doesn't differ from other verbs in all forms but because of the rules of positioning of hamza, the spelling is affected in some forms, e.g. the verb أكل (ʾákala - "to eat") (ʾ-k-l) has the form يأكل (yaʾkulu) in the imperfect masculine singular and the verb قرأ (qáraʾa- "to read") (q-r-ʾ) has the form تقرئين (taqraʾīna) in the imperfect feminine singular.
See also: Category:Arabic hamzated verbs
TO DO Weak verbs are verbs that have one of the radicals و or ي.
- Assimilated verbs (R1 = و or ي)
- Hollow verbs (R2 = و or ي)
- Final-weak verbs (R3 = و or ي), e.g. مشى (mašā) - "to walk", رمى (ramā) - "to throw", حظي (ḥaẓiya) - "to be in the good graces of, to enjoy", بقي (baqiya) - "to stay, to remain", دعا (daʿā) - "to call sb., to summon sb."., لقي (laqiya) - "to meet sb.".
See also: Category:Arabic final-weak verbs
Other examples of weak verbs:
- علا (ʿalā) - "to rise"
- على (ʿalā) - "to raise"
- ولي (waliya) - "to follow" (assimilated and final-weak)
- سرو (saruwa) - "to become honourable"
- غنى (ġannā) - "to sing" (form II)
- غطى (ġáṭṭā) - "to cover, to wrap" (form II)
- آمن (ʾāmana) - "to have faith" (form IV, assimilated)
- آوى (ʾāwā) - "to shelter" (form IV, hollow and final-weak (and initially-hamzated))
- تغير (taġayyara) - "to change" (form V)
- تطوع (taṭawwaʿa) - "to volunteer" (form V)
- اتهم (ittahama) - "to accuse" (form VIII, root w-h-m)
- احتاج (iḥtāja) - "to wear" (form VIII)
- ازدوج (izdawaja) - "to be doubled" (form VIII)
- استورد (istawrada) - "to import" (form X)
TOThe Arabic verb forms
Most Arabic words are derived from a three-letter (trilateral) root. And each trilateral Arabic root can theoretically be transformed into one of fifteen possible verb forms (الأوزان, al-awzaan). (Forms 11 through 15 are very rare, so people usually just focus on forms 1 through 10, although 9 is also pretty rare). Each form has a basic meaning associated with the general meaning of the root being used. Here's a more detailed breakdown, using فعل (fa3ala, to do) as an example. (This is all taken from old handouts I got at the AUC, so it's not my original work.) Form 1 - فعل (fa3ala) Expresses the general verbal meaning of the root in question
Root Form 1 verb خ ر ج (x-r-j) - leaving, departing خرج (xaraja) - to leave, go out ج م ع (j-m-3) - joining, uniting جمع (jama3a) - to gather, collect ع م ل (3-m-l) - doing, making عمل (3amala) - to work, to do, to make ق ط ع (q-T-3) - cutting قطع (qaTa3a) - to cut, cut off ب ع د (b-3-d) - separating, distance بعد (ba3ada) - to be far from
Form 2 - فعّل (fa33ala) Built on form 1 by doubling the middle radical of the form 1 verb (adding a shadda to it) Often is a causative version of the form 1 verb خرج (xaraja) means "to go out"; خرّج (xarraja) means "to make (s.o.) go out; to graduate (s.o.)"
Often an intensive version of the form 1 verb (especially if the form 1 verb is transitive) جمع (jama3a) means "to collect, gather"; جمّع (jamma3a) means "to amass, to accummulate"
Form 3 - فاعل (faa3ala) Built on form 1 by adding an alif between the first and second radicals of the form 1 verb Usually gives an associative meaning to the form 1 verb; describes someone doing the act in question to or with someone else عمل (3amala) means "to work"; عامل (3aamala) means "to treat or deal with (s.o.)"
Form 4 - أفعل (af3ala) Built on form 1 by prefixing an alif to the form 1 verb and putting a sukuun over the first radical Similar to form 2 in that it is usually a causative version of the form 1 verb خرج (xaraja) means "to go out"; خرّج (xarraja) means "to graduate (s.o.)"; أخرج (axraja) means "to expel, to evict; to produce"
Form 5 - تفعّل (tafa33ala) Built on form 2 by adding the prefix تـ to the form 2 verb Often a reflexive version of the form 2 verb خرّج (xarraja) means "to graduate (s.o.)"; تخرج (taxarraja) means "to graduate" (Note: form 5 is usually intransitive)
Sometimes an intensive version of a form 1 verb جمع (jama3a) means "to collect, gather"; تجمّع (tajamma3a) means "to congregate, to flock together"
Form 6 - تفاعل (tafaa3ala) Built on form 3 by adding the prefix تـ to the form 3 verb Usually a reflexive version of the form 3 verb عامل (3aamala) means "to treat or deal with (s.o.)"; تعامل (ta3aamala) means "to deal with each other" (Form 6 is usually intransitive)
Form 7 - انفعل (infa3ala) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix انـ to the form 1 verb Usually a reflexive and/or passive version of the form 1 verb قطع (qaTa3a) means "to cut, to cut off"; انقطع (inqaTa3a) means "to be cut off (from); to abstain (from)"
Form 8 - افتعل (ifta3ala) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix ا to the form 1 verb and placing a sukuun must be placed over its first radical Often a reflexive version of the form 1 verb جمع (jama3a) means "to collect, gather"; اجتمع (ijtama3a) means "to meet; to agree (on)"
Sometimes has a specially derived meaning relative to a form 1 verb بعد (ba3ada) means "to be far away"; ابتعد (ibta3ada) means "to avoid"
Form 9 - افعلّ (if3alla) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix ا to the form 1 verb, placing a sukuun over its first radical, and adding a shadda to the last radical Relates to colors ح م ر (H-m-r) relates to "redness"; احمرّ (iHmarra) means "to become or turn red"
Form 10 - استفعل (istaf3ala) Built on form 1 by adding the prefix استـ to the form 1 verb and inserting a ت between the first and second radicals; a sukuun must be placed over the first radical Often a considerative version of the form 1 verb; means "to DO Quadriliteral verbs are made from roots having four radicals, e.g. ترجم (tarjama) (t-r-j-m) - "to translate"; هندس (handasa) (h-n-d-s) - "to engineer"; قهقه (qahqaha) (q-h-q-h) - "to laugh loudly"; اطمأن (iṭma’anna) (ṭ-m-’-n) - "to be calm"; or تبلور (tabalwara) (b-l-w-r) - "to be crystalized".
TO DO Geminate verbs are verbs that have the second and the third radicals the same, e.g. مَدّ (mádda) (m-d-d) - "to stretch"; دَلّ (dálla) (d-l-l) - "to indicate"; ظَنَّ (Zánna) (Z-n-n) - "to think"; أحَبّ (ʔaħábba) (ħ-b-b) - "to love" (form IV); انشقّ (inšáqqa) (š-q-q) - "to split" (form VII); احتلّ (iḥtálla) (ḥ-l-l) - "to occupy" (form VII).