Tag Archives: forms

Arabic Forms Chart (Verb Forms I-X) Poster

At the very heart of Arabic grammar are the ten forms, or “measures”, on which the vast majority of verbs are based. These essential forms work as a master key for unlocking the Arabic language. Below is a brand new poster providing these 10 forms in a clear and easy-to-use grammar table.


Available as a high-quality poster at the official Nigel of Arabia store!

The Arabic Forms Chart poster lists the three main “tenses” in each of the 10 forms, both in the active and passive:

  • perfect (used for the past tense)
  • imperfect (used for the present tense)
  • future (a modified form of the imperfect used for the future tense).

The active and passive participles are also given, as well as the imperative (used for issuing an order or giving directions), along with the verbal nouns for each form.

The verbal noun for Form I verbs varies significantly, with at least a dozen different patterns found among Form I verbs, including:

فِعْل ، فَعْل ، فُعْل ، فَعَل ، فُعُول ، فُعْلَان ، فَعَالَة ، فَعَال ، فِعْلَة …etc.

Further notes:

  • Although Form VII is already primarily passive in meaning, some Form VII verbs are able to be conjugated in the passive form. Therefore, the chart provides both the active and passive for Form VII, when other posters may choose to omit the passive entirely.
  • Form IX, mainly used to describe colors or defects, does not have a passive form, and therefore n/a is written in the relevant parts of the table.

For more Arabic learning materials and posters, visit the official Nigel of Arabia store at Zazzle.com.


Your New Go-To Arabic Bookmarks!

Anyone that has studied Arabic will know that looking up words in an Arabic dictionary can be tricky… Firstly, the standard format for Arabic dictionaries is to list words in order by root. This makes being able to recognise the root of a word essential. On top of that, you are expected to know how to construct the verb forms derived from the root. What does that mean? Well, let’s say you come across the following entry:

Arabic Dictionary Entry Example

In this example, taken from the widely used Hans Wehr dictionary, it states that form IV of the given root برد (b-r-d) has the meaning “to send by mail”. This means that you are expected to know how to arrange the root letters to create form IV. This would be done using form IV’s pattern, أَفْعَلَ (af’ala), producing the verb أَبْرَدَ (abrada). So, without knowing the patterns for each of the verb forms you will be lost!

In an effort to make life a whole lot easier for you while reading, studying or translating Arabic, I came up with these new designs… two fantastic quick-reference bookmarks!

Available now at Nigel of Arabia’s Store! 

High-quality wooden bookmarks:

  • The Arabic Verb Forms (I-X). As highlighted in the example above, this bookmark will help you produce the various derived verb forms with ease!
  • The Arabic Alphabet. So when you forget, for example, where the letter ظ is found in the dictionary – one quick glance at this bookmark and you’re good to go!

As an added bonus, the Arabic alphabet bookmark also gives the initial, medial and final forms of each letter – providing you with a quick and handy guide to handwriting in Arabic. These bookmarks will quickly become your go-to reference while looking up words in the dictionary. They also serve as a great way to revise these essential parts of Arabic!

Get yours today at: www.Zazzle.com/NigelofArabia

– Thanks!

An Arabic clock… like you’ve never seen before!

Inspired by the unusual and creative clocks that you often see shared on Facebook, like the handful below, I wondered how I might apply the same kind of creativity to an Arabic-themed clock face…

I knew it wouldn’t be anything new or novel simply to use Arabic numbers, or to write out the numbers as words in Arabic (…although that’s not a terrible idea). So, I came up with something infinitely more original, as well as practical for those learning Arabic… a clock made from the Arabic “verb forms”!

Arabic Verb Forms Clock by Nigel of Arabia

The Arabic “Verb Forms” (I-XII)

Click here to view the clock for sale on Zazzle.com!

For those unfamiliar with the Arabic verb forms or “awzaan” of the verb, they are a set of different verb forms (or patterns) derived from a single root, and each verb form carries its own distinct meaning, which is a slight variation on the base meaning of the root.

There are actually up to fifteen verb forms, but Arabic textbooks normally focus on only forms 1-10, as the others are extremely rare.

In the case of this clock, the verb forms I have used are based on the trilateral root “f-ع-l” (ف – ع – ل), which carries the meaning “to do”. This root is the root that is most commonly used in Arabic grammar references and textbooks to present all of the different word forms possible in Arabic.

Another example of a root in Arabic is the three consonants ك – ت – ب (ktb), written in that order, which carries the meaning of “writing” and produces various words, such as كتاب (kitaab) = “book”, مكتبة (maktaba) = “library”, and أكتب (aktub) = “I write”. For a fully comprehensive and user-friendly map of this root, see my post: The Arabic Verb Map …Revamped!

It is important to note that if the order of the root letters is changed then the meaning will also change completely. When the “verb forms” are generated, the order of the root letters never changes. Instead, there may be a doubling of a root letter, as in form numbers 2, 5, 9 & 11, or the addition of other letters, such as ت (), ا (alif), س (sīn), and even و (wāw), as in the rare verb form number 12. Whether used as a clever way to revise Arabic grammar, or used as a unique conversation piece, this novel design for a clock is sure to draw attention.

For more designs available by Nigel of Arabia, visit: www.Zazzle.com/NigelofArabia


Arabic Verb Forms Clock