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It turns out there are at least 28 kinds of Form 1 verbs in Arabic, and what better way to visualize them than a colorful Venn diagram!
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A little background information… Arabic verbs fall under two main categories, which also have their own subcategories:
- Sound الفعل الصحيح (the verb does not have a و or ي as one of the root letters)
- Doubled الفعل المضعف (the verb’s second and third root letters are the same)
- Hamzated الفعل المهموز (one of verb’s root letters is a ء “hamza“)
- Weak الفعل المعتل (the verb has a و or ي as one of the root letters)
- Assimilated الفعل المثال (the verb begins with و or ي)
- Hollow الفعل الأجوف (the verb’s second root letter is either a و or ي and in the perfect it is replaced by an ا “alif”)
- Defective الفعل الناقص (the verb’s final root letter is either و or ي)
So what does this mean exactly? Well, this means that each type of Form 1 verb will have slight variations in how they are conjugated, both in the perfect and imperfect. So it’s important to be aware of these differences so that you vowel verbs correctly, and also omit, change, or double certain letters where applicable.
This can make things rather complicated, but fortunately there are resources available that lay out all of these conjugations in full, including the book “501 Arabic Verbs”, available on Amazon.
501 Arabic Verbs: Fully Conjugated in All Forms (paid link) by Raymond Scheindlin (Barron’s Educational Series, 2007)
For more recommendations on useful books for Arabic learners, see my other post: