A HOME FOR ANYONE ADDICTED TO ARABIC. 
JOIN ARABIC FOR NERDS➕

Support this site with a membership: For only $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year, you can have a true AD-FREE experience. You also get a 15% discount in my shop and a monthly premium newsletter. Find out more here.

HELP THIS SITE

Passion doesn't need money. Unfortunately, my web provider does. Your contribution ensures that this site will grow and grow.

Buy Me A Coffee

Get your dose of Arabic

Subscribe to my FREE newsletter and get 10% off in my store!

thinking

What does the vowel on the second root letter of an Arabic verb tell us?

The vowel on the second root letter of an Arabic verb reveals many things about the character and personality of the verb.

Last updated: July 14, 2022

The second radical is the most important component of the past tense. Only the second root letter can have any of the three vowels (a, i, u) in the past tense whereas the first and third must have فَتْحةٌ.

The second vowel can help us understand verbs better and may tell us more about the character and meaning of the verb. Let’s see why.

2nd vowelpatternWhat does it denote?
a”فَعَلَan act; someone initiates something
i”فَعِلَa transitory state;
uفَعُلَa permanent state;

Some examples:

a”قَتَلَto kill
a”فَعَلَto do; to act
i”لَبِسَto dress
i”عَلِمَto know
uحَسُنَto be beautiful
uكَبُرَto be big

This is generally but not universally true. There are exceptions be­cause neighboring consonants have influenced the vowels (or the other way round). There is a rule of thumb for verbs of cate­gory 3 (فَعُلَ):

They usually don’t form an active participle – but a pseudo, quasi participle that describes the state of things (صِفةٌ مُشَبَّهةٌ). For example: big (ٌكَبِير), nice (لَطِيفٌ).

Please note that we are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

3 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
thearabicpages
November 10, 2021 20:52

Amazing! I had no idea about this 😅

Teresa
Teresa
November 10, 2021 15:39

قَتَلَ (u)?

Previous Article
superman

Why do many superheros and villains have Arabic or Hebrew names?

Next Article
protection

The word كَتَبُوا - What is the function of the Aleph at the end of an Arabic verb?

Related Posts