بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِِ

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful


فَعَلَ: Verb patterns

Verbs in the Arabic language usually have three letter roots, and reflect the actor(s) gender, plurality, and state. Besides a verbs root meaning, verbs may indicate further meanings depending on their pattern. Sarf concerns the changing of verbs, tasrifu af’aal, to form different meanings.

Most verbs are munsarif, or allow change, and they can be either mujarrad or mazid. Mujarrad is a verb in its original form without change. For example, daraba, meaning to hit. Mazid is when a verb gets an additional letter(s), one, two, or three letters which alters its meaning.

Below are the awzan, or patterns, for changing three, four, and five letter verbs (thulathi, ruba’i, and khumasi). The forms are in the past and present tense or madi and mudari’u.

Thulathi: Three letter verbs

Present | Past

فَعَلَ يَفعُلُ: Fa’ala Yaf’ulu

فَعَلَ يَفعَلُ: Fa’ala Yaf’alu

فَعَلَ يَفعِلُ: Fa’ala Yaf’ilu

فَعِلَ يَفعَلُ: Fa’ila Yaf’alu

فَعِلَ يَفعِلُ: Fa’ila Yaf’ilu

فَعُلَ يَفعُلُ: Fa’ula Yaf’ulu

Ruba’i: Four letter verbs

Present | Past

فَعَّلَ يُفَعِّلُ: Fa’ala Yufa’ilu

فَاعَلَ يُفَاعِلُ: Faa’ala Yufaa’ilu

اَفعَلَ يُفعِلُ: Af’ala Yuf’ilu

Khumasi: Five letter verbs

Present | Past

تَفَعَّلَ يَتَفَعَّلُ: Tafa’ala Yatafa’alu

تَفَاعَلَ يَتَفاعَلُ: Tafaa’ala Yatafaa’alu

اِفتَعَلَ يَفتَعِلُ: Ifta’ala Yafta’ilu

اِنفَعَلَ يَنفَعِلُ: Infa’ala Yanfa’ilu

اِفعَلَّ يَفعَلُّ: If’alla Yaf’allu

اِستَفعَلَ يَستَفعِلُ: Istafala Yastaf’ilu

Explanation: Three letter verbs

Three letter verbs have different meanings depending on the pattern. Three letter verbs can be both muta’addi, meaning it takes an object (muf’ul bihi), or lazim, meaning the verb sticks to the doer (fa’il) and takes a preposition or becomes majrur. The vouls remain the same for all patterns for both past and present tense, except for the عwhich changes depending on the pattern

Past Tense: فعل

– The ف and ل always has a fathah
– The عchanges*

Present Tense: يفعل

– The ي always has a fathah
– The ف always has a sukun
– The ع always changes*
– The ل always has a dhammah


1. فَعَلَ يَفعُلُ: Fa’ala Yaf’ulu

  • Meaning: This wazan has no particular meaning.
  • Muta’addi or Ta’diyya
  • Lazim or Luzum
  • Rest of the letters are the same
  • Past tense ع has a fathah
  • Present tense عhas a dhammahExamples: Nasara Yansuru


2. فَعَلَ يَفعَلُ: Fa’ala Yaf’alu

  • Meaning:
  • Muta’addi
  • Lazim
  • Examples: Waqa’a Yaqa’u, Laja’a Yalja´u, Qara´a Yaqra´u, Sa´ala Yas´alu


3. فَعِلَ يَفعَلُ: Fa’ila Yaf’alu

  • Meaning
  • Muta’addi
  • Lazim
  • Examples: Daraba YadribuTo be continued …

* Needs editing