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How do you conjugate a past tense from a sound verb in Arabic grammar?

In Arabic grammar, the conjugation of the past tense (also known as the perfect tense) from a sound verb typically involves the following steps:

  • Identify the three-letter root of the verb: Sound verbs in Arabic consist of three consonants, which are known as the root letters.
  • For example, the root letters of the verb "to write" (كَتَبَ) are k-t-b.
  • Add the appropriate vowel markings to the root letters: The vowel markings that are added to the root letters depend on the tense, person, and gender of the subject. For the past tense, the vowel markings for the root letters are usually a short "a" (َ) for the first letter, a short "a" or a short "u" (ُ) for the second letter, and a short "a" (َ) for the third letter.
  • Add the appropriate prefixes and suffixes: The past tense in Arabic also includes prefixes and suffixes that indicate the subject and other information about the action.
  • For example, the prefix "k-" is used to indicate that the subject is masculine singular, while the suffix "-na" is used to indicate that the subject is first-person plural.
  • Here is an example of conjugating the past tense from the verb "to write" (كَتَبَ):
    Root letters: k-t-b
    Vowel markings: ka-ta-ba
    Prefixes and suffixes: kataba (he wrote), katabat (she wrote), katabtu (I wrote), katabtum (you [plural] wrote), katabna (we wrote), katabtumaa (you [dual] wrote), katabtunna (you [feminine plural] wrote).
    Note that some sound verbs may have irregular conjugations in the past tense, and there are also other factors that can affect the conjugation, such as the verb form (e.g. Form II, Form III, etc.).

  • Conjugate an imperfect tense from a sound verb

    To conjugate an imperfect tense from a sound verb in Arabic grammar, follow these steps:

    Identify the root letters of the verb. These are usually three consonants that form the core of the verb's meaning.

  • Add the appropriate imperfect prefix to the root letters. There are several prefixes depending on the person and number of the subject.
  • For example, the prefix "ya-" is used for a singular subject, "ta-" for a dual subject, and "ya-" with a suffix for a plural subject.
  • Add the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters. There are ten basic patterns, or "moods", in Arabic grammar, and each has a specific set of vowels that are added to the root letters to form the imperfect tense.
  • For example, the "fathah" vowel pattern is used for the first person singular ("ana") and third person feminine singular ("hiya"), while the "kasrah" pattern is used for the second person masculine singular ("anta") and second person feminine singular ("anti").
  • Add any necessary diacritical marks to the vowel pattern to indicate tense and other grammatical features.
  • For example, to conjugate the sound verb "kataba" (to write) in the imperfect tense:
  • The root letters are "k-t-b".
    For a singular subject, add the prefix "ya-": "yaktubu".
    For the first person singular ("ana") and third person feminine singular ("hiya"), use the "fathah" pattern: "aktubu", "taktubu", "taktubina", etc. For the second person masculine singular ("anta") and second person feminine singular ("anti"), use the "kasrah" pattern: "taktubu", "taktubina", etc.
    Add the appropriate diacritical marks to indicate tense and other grammatical features: "yaktubu" (present tense), "kataba" (past tense), "saktubu" (future tense), etc.

  • Subjunctive imperfect tense from a sound verb

    To conjugate a subjunctive imperfect tense from a sound verb in Arabic grammar, follow these steps:

  • Identify the root letters of the verb.
  • Add the prefix "ya-" to the root letters for a singular subject, "ta-" for a dual subject, and "ya-" with a suffix for a plural subject.
  • Add the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters. There are several vowel patterns for the subjunctive imperfect tense, but the most common pattern is the "fathah" pattern, which is formed by adding a "fathah" vowel to the second radical, a "kasrah" vowel to the third radical, and a "sukun" consonant to the first radical.
  • Add any necessary diacritical marks to the vowel pattern to indicate tense and other grammatical features.
  • For example, to conjugate the sound verb "kataba" (to write) in the subjunctive imperfect tense:
    The root letters are "k-t-b".
    For a singular subject, add the prefix "ya-": "yaktub".
    Use the "fathah" pattern: "yaktuba", "taktuba", "taktubaa", etc.
    Add the appropriate diacritical marks to indicate tense and other grammatical features: "yaktuba" (present tense), "kataba" (past tense), "saktuba" (future tense), etc.
    Note that the subjunctive imperfect tense is used to express hypothetical or doubtful situations, as well as desires or wishes.

  • Conjugate a jussive imperfect tense from a sound verb

    To conjugate a jussive imperfect tense from a sound verb in Arabic grammar, follow these steps:

  • Identify the root letters of the verb.
  • Add the appropriate jussive prefix to the root letters. The prefix "ya-" is used for a singular subject, "na-" for a first person plural subject, and "ta-" with a suffix for a dual or feminine plural subject.
  • Add the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters. There are several vowel patterns for the jussive imperfect tense, but one common pattern is the "fathah" pattern, which is formed by adding a "fathah" vowel to the first radical, a "kasrah" vowel to the second radical, and a "sukun" consonant to the third radical.
  • Add any necessary diacritical marks to the vowel pattern to indicate tense and other grammatical features.
  • For example, to conjugate the sound verb "kataba" (to write) in the jussive imperfect tense:
    The root letters are "k-t-b".
    For a singular subject, add the prefix "ya-": "yaktub".
    Use the "fathah" pattern: "yaktub", "taktub", "taktubaa", etc.
    Add the appropriate diacritical marks to indicate tense and other grammatical features: "yaktub" (present tense), "kataba" (past tense), "saktub" (future tense), etc.

  • Imperative tense from a sound verb.

    To conjugate an imperative tense from a sound verb in Arabic grammar, follow these steps:

  • Identify the root letters of the verb.
  • Add the appropriate imperative prefix to the root letters. The prefix "fa-" is used for a singular masculine subject, "fa-i" for a singular feminine subject, "fa-w" for a dual subject, and "fa-u" for a plural subject.
  • Add any necessary diacritical marks to the root letters to indicate tense and other grammatical features.
  • For example, to conjugate the sound verb "kataba" (to write) in the imperative tense:
  • The root letters are "k-t-b".
    For a singular masculine subject, add the prefix "fa-": "faktub".
    Add the appropriate diacritical marks to indicate tense and other grammatical features: "faktub" (present tense), "katab" (past tense), "saktub" (future tense), etc.
    For a singular feminine subject, the prefix "fa-i" is used, resulting in "fa-ktubi".
    For a dual subject, the prefix "fa-w" is used, resulting in "fa-ktubaa".
    For a plural subject, the prefix "fa-u" is used, resulting in "fa-ktubuu".
  • Note that the imperative tense is used to give commands or make requests. It is important to note that in Arabic, the subject of an imperative verb is typically left implied rather than explicitly stated.

  • Conjugation of verbs that have hamza, waw, or ya in first, second, and third positions.

    Verbs with Hamza:

  • Past Tense:
  • If the hamza is in the first position, the past tense is formed by replacing it with an alif and adding the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "hamza" (to be angry) is "kaana hamza" (he was angry).
  • If the hamza is in the second or third position, the past tense is formed by replacing it with a "sukun" and adding the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "yahtazz" (to be proud) is "htazza" (he was proud).
  • Imperfect Tense:
  • If the hamza is in the first position, the imperfect tense is formed by adding a "kasrah" vowel to the first radical, a "fathah" vowel to the second radical, and a "damma" vowel to the third radical.
  • For example, the imperfect tense of the verb "hamza" (to be angry) is "yahmizu" (he is angry).
  • If the hamza is in the second or third position, the imperfect tense is formed by adding a "sukun" consonant to the hamza, followed by the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters.
  • For example, the imperfect tense of the verb "yahtazz" (to be proud) is "yahtazzu" (he is proud).
  • Verbs with Waw:
  • Past Tense:
  • If the waw is in the first position, the past tense is formed by replacing it with a "sukun" and adding the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "wakafa" (to suffice) is "kafaa" (it sufficed).
  • If the waw is in the second or third position, the past tense is formed by adding a "fathah" vowel to the first radical, a "sukun" consonant to the waw, and the appropriate vowel pattern to the remaining radicals.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "nawara" (to illuminate) is "anwara" (it illuminated).
  • Imperfect Tense:
  • If the waw is in the first position, the imperfect tense is formed by adding a "fathah" vowel to the first radical, a "damma" vowel to the second radical, and a "kasrah" vowel to the third radical.
  • For example, the imperfect tense of the verb "wakafa" (to suffice) is "yakfi" (it suffices).
  • If the waw is in the second or third position, the imperfect tense is formed by adding a "sukun" consonant to the waw, followed by the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters.
  • For example, the imperfect tense of the verb "nawara" (to illuminate) is "yanwiru" (it illuminates).
  • Verbs with Ya:
  • Past Tense:
  • If the ya is in the first or second position, the past tense is formed by replacing it with a "sukun" and adding the appropriate vowel pattern to the root letters.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "yaqtul" (to kill) is "qatala" (he killed).
  • Past Tense:
  • If the ya is in the first position, the past tense is formed by replacing the ya with a "fathah" vowel and adding the appropriate vowel pattern to the remaining radicals.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "yadhab" (to go) is "dhahaba" (he went).
  • If the ya is in the second position, the past tense is formed by adding a "fathah" vowel to the second radical, and the appropriate vowel pattern to the remaining radicals.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "yaktub" (to write) is "kataba" (he wrote).
  • If the ya is in the third position, the past tense is formed by adding a "fathah" vowel to the third radical, and the appropriate vowel pattern to the remaining radicals.
  • For example, the past tense of the verb "yanshur" (to support) is "nashara" (he supported).

  • Conjugation of derived formsForm II (mufa'ala)

    Form III (fa'ala)

    Form IV (af'ala)

    Form V - Imperfect Tense (المضارع):

    Sure, here are the conjugation patterns for Form VI (مُفَاعَلَة), Form VII (افْتَعَلَ), Form VIII (اِسْتَفْعَلَ), Form IX (تَفَاعَلَ), and Form X (اِسْتَفْعِلَال) verbs in the past and imperfect tenses:

    Form VI - Past Tense (الماضي):

    Form VI - Imperfect Tense (المضارع):

    Form VII: