A HOME FOR ANYONE ADDICTED TO ARABIC.

JOIN ARABIC FOR NERDS➕

Support this site with a membership: For only $1.99 a month or $19.99 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.

Donate with PayPal


Buy Me A Coffee

Donate

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: November 10, 2021

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).

3 comments
    1. Hi Teresa, do you mean the present tense (يَقْتُلُ)? This article only talks about the stem vowel of the past tense, which is “a” in قَتَلَ. Regarding the present tense, there are other rules.

Any thoughts or ideas about this? Leave a comment!

Previous Article
superman

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

Next Article
protection

كَتَبُوا - what is the function of the Aleph here?

Do you like this article?

If you can afford it, any contribution is highly appreciated. Your support will help to keep this site growing.

You can also become a member of Arabic for Nerds+ and enjoy this website AD-FREE.

Thank you very much !
Related Posts
egypt man
Read More

How do you spell لكن in Arabic?

Many students are confused why words like هذا, ذلك or لكن are written with a dash (dagger Aleph). Should they be pronounced with a long vowel ("aa")? Yes.
black friday

Black Friday Week

Get 15% off in the Arabic for Nerds shop with this coupon code: blackfriday21

%d bloggers like this: