Tag Archives: Map

The Arabic Verb Map… Revamped!

Encouraged by the success of my last Arabic verb map (which has made it to 1st place in Google search results and has been viewed in over 80 countries), I decided to build on the valuable feedback you gave me and take the time to perfect an even bigger, more comprehensive and accessible infographic for you. So, I am proud to present to you the new Arabic Verb Map… 2.0!

This time I chose the more frequently used verb “to write” and rearranged the design, packing in lots of new content, including:

  • Transliteration of the Arabic – allowing even beginners to read the Arabic script. Colour-coded to highlight the conjugation around the root.
  • English translation – providing the meanings of the words, including the different “Forms” derived from the root.
  • Negation of verbs – a handy guide on how to make verbs negative.
  • Nouns – providing the most relevant examples of nouns derived from the verb and their meanings.
  • The future tense – something that was not included in the last map.
  • A key – a quick guide to the colour-coding used.

I have made an effort to make this map relevant and accessible to both advanced learners of Arabic and beginners. If you have any questions about the map or about Arabic language in general, just send me a message and I will respond as soon as I can – I look forward to helping you out!

Please note that this image of my verb map is only a preview of the high-quality map for sale as a poster (see below for details).

Arabic Verb Map 2.0 by Nigel NaumannNOW AVAILABLE AS A HIGH-QUALITY POSTER! 

…Whether for home, or posted on the classroom wall, this unique Arabic verb map poster will prove to be an invaluable resource, worthy of the incredible effort and time that has gone into its research and creation.

Click here to view the poster on sale in my official Zazzle store.



An Arabic “Word Tree”: Quarrelling Like a Forest?

One of the best ways to grasp the complex yet elegant structure of Arabic is to unlock its system of roots. To illustrate this system I have created an Arabic “word tree” – another kind of word map – to demonstrate how a single root in Arabic produces many distinct yet related words. In this case I have presented a tree made from the triliteral root ش – ج – ر (shjr).

These three Arabic consonants (“sh”, “j” and “r”), when they appear in that sequence, carry with them a particular meaning and can produce different words related to that meaning. If the order of the root letters is changed then the meaning will also change completely.

I thought it would be fun to use the root ش – ج – ر (shjr) in particular for a word tree since this root actually produces the Arabic word for “tree”.

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”. There is also the root د – ر – س  (drs), which carries the meaning of “studying” and produces words like درس (dars) = “lesson”, مدرسة (madrasa) = “school”, and أدرس (adrus) = “I study”.

Interestingly, as well as words to do with trees, the root ش – ج – ر (sh – j – r) also produces words associated with quarrelling and unrest. I have coloured the words associated with trees in green and those about quarrelling in dark red.

One might speculate that the two seemingly unrelated offshoots of the same root are in fact connected. Perhaps the breaking out of unrest or a quarrel erupting and spreading is analogous to the growth of a forest that begins with only a few trees and expands outwards, getting ever bigger and more tangled. I would be very interested to hear other theories or explanations anyone else might have about the possible link between the two groups of words produced from this single root.

The Arabic words presented in this tree, along with their English translations, have been taken from A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic by Hans Wehr. These are not the only words that I could have included, but are the ones that I felt were most relevant for the purposes of this illustration.

It was great to see so many people interested in my last infographic of an Arabic Verb Map, which has received over 4,700 views and counting, from over 80 different countries, since its posting on January 21st! So I hope you enjoy this one too. Feel free to share with others and please do let me know if you have any feedback. Thanks!

An Arabic Word Tree by Nigel of Arabia


This creatively designed and detailed word tree is now available as a poster – perfect for use as a resource in the classroom or at home, or simply used as decoration – also making an intriguing conversation piece!

Click here to view the poster on sale in my official Zazzle store.


Map: What an Arabic Verb Looks Like!

This verb map (available at the official Nigel of Arabia Store) I created in order to demonstrate both the complexity and elegance of the Arabic verb. In this case, I have illustrated the verb ‘to do; to affect’ (فَعَلَ), which is a “Form I” verb (derived from the triliteral root ف-ع-ل).

I chose to illustrate this root in particular as it 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.

Although very detailed, this map is by no means exhaustive, as I have not included all of the various verb conjugations and words derived from Forms II-XIV. I have also not given the different forms of the active and passive participles.

To make the most of the map, I recommend you begin from the root, which is given in the large red box and is the heart of the verb map. From there the map provides a quick glimpse of Forms II-XIV of the root (next to the grey boxes), before proceeding to the main subject of the map – the Form I verb فَعَلَ (given in the blue box).

It is important to note that not all Form I verbs in Arabic have the same voweling as the verb فَعَلَ. For example, many Form I verbs are voweled using the pattern فَعِلَ such as the verb شَرِبَ (‘to drink’), and a relatively rare number of Arabic verbs use the pattern فَعُلَ , such as the verb كَثُرَ (“to be numerous”).

In order to conserve space I have omitted the terms ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’. Instead, I have colour-coded words where relevant; blue for ‘masculine‘ and red for ‘feminine‘. The ordinal numbers refer to the person (e.g. 2nd = second person, “you”). For those unfamiliar with the “dual” – it is a form used in Arabic when addressing or referring to two people or things.

The grammatical terms I have chosen to use in my map are not the only ones used to describe those parts of the verbs. For example, the “imperfect” form of the verb in many contexts could be described as the “present” tense; the “perfect” is sometimes called the “aorist”; and the “verbal noun” is sometimes referred to as the “infinitive” or “gerund”. Therefore, I have included the corresponding Arabic terms to avoid possible confusion.

I hope you enjoy the map and also find it to be a useful resource. To get your own copy, visit the official Nigel of Arabia store!  – Thanks!

Arabic Verb Map To Do by Nigel of Arabia Nigel Naumann


…Whether for home, or posted on the classroom wall, this unique Arabic verb map poster will prove to be an invaluable resource, worthy of the incredible effort and time that has gone into its research and creation.

Click here to view the poster on sale in my official Zazzle store.