Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Arabic verbs and how it change forms

Arabic verbs is based on only three letters fa ain lam فَعَلَ. The unique thing is Arabic verb it is original form is masculine and past tense. For example he sat which is Ja la sa, I  was told that 95 percent of Arabic verbs have the same pattern and what pattern is that.
Alright Fa a’ la فَعَلَ notice all the letters have fataah as vowel sound. Virtually all Arabic verbs have only three letters, and the first and last letter is always and always fataah.
Some example are ka ta ba he wrote كَتَبَ, da kha la which means he enter دَخَلَ or sa ja da which means he prostrated سَجَدَ. If you notice that all of them have sound aaa in the beginning and in the end of the syllable. This is the wonder of Arabic, 95 percent of its verb has only 3 syllable and the first and last syllable has the same vowel sound.
One more thing is that the pronoun he in Arabic is huwa but when it come to verbs it disappear, so instead of saying  huwa sajada هُوَ سَجَدَ (he prostrated) you just  say sajada. The verb in its original form is understood to be male and singular.
The fun begins when the verb changes is form and sound by adding prefixes and suffixes to represent either plural ,singular, first person , second person, third person plural.
There are for letters that will change a verb that is alif, nun, ya, and ta but in this article we only deal with alif nun and ya.
Lets deal with Alif ا ن first, alif is added at the beginning of the word to signify that the speaker is talking about himself.
By adding alif the verb is change from its original form which is past tense and to present tense. For example if your teacher call you and ask you what you are doing. If you writing, so the verb is kataba كَتَبَ which means he wrote. He is third person and wrote is past tense.
  To change it into first person and present tense, you simply ad an alif ا at the beginning of kataba, when you do this two things happen. You ad Alif which is sounds aa to kataba. It becomes ak tu bu اَكْتُبُ. Which means I am writing.
That’s it you just ad an alif ا at the front change the fataah on the vowel sound on the first letter of the verb into sukun ْ and change the second and third vowel sound into dumma which is the sound uuu. So from kataba it becomes aktubu. The same rules apply when the speaker is male and female.
What about if the speaker is more than one person, like instead of I am writing you want to say we are writing. You just change the letter alif  into nun. So the kataba becomes nak tubu which means we are writing.
Now before you go on any further find ten Arabic verbs and change it from third person male singular  to first person singular ( I )  and first person plural (we)Third person male singular may sound a mouthful but it simply means he or Ali or Abu.
 Next we go to the letter Ya ي when we add it as prefix sometime we need to ad suffixes at the end of the verb. This may sound confusing but if you practice with just three verbs everyday and conjugate which is the process of adding other letters so as to change the verbs form and manner in just three months you will build a vast amount of vocabulary.
Now lets get back to the letter YA ي. It is use in for instances to refer to different category of people.
By adding a ي infront of a verb you will be change the time of the verb. As we know that Arabic verbs in its original form is singular masculine (he) and referring to and action done in the past.
Having a ي in the beginning of the verb, it still refer to singular masculine but the time has change, it is now referring to the present.
Lets take for example Ka ta ba which is understood as he wrote, if you ad the letter ya,in the beginning as the previous rule you have to change the vowel sign on the first letter from a fataah  َ into a sukun and change the vowel sound on the third and second letter into a dumma ُ. So the word kataba now becomes yaktubu  يَكْتُبُ which means he is writing. So from kataba which is he wrote when you add a ya three things happen the first letter of the verb received a sukun  ْ. The vowel signs which is on the second and third letter which is fataah change into a dumma ُ . So kataba becomes yaktubu يَكْتُبُ.
This is for third person singular and present tense.
Ya alif nun for 3rd person dual masculine (They (two people male)
What if there is more than one person, as we know that in Arabic there is singular, dual (two person or object) and plural (more than two person or object).
For example if you want to say Ali and Usman are writing. So what should be done is to add a يَ ya in the beginning of  kataba and ad an alif after the last letter and followed by nun. So the verb kataba will become yaktubaani. This is for masculine third person dual
What about the vowel sound on the verbs and the letter added. Alright يَ will have fataah on it , the first letter of the verb will have sukun, the second letter will have dumma and the third letter will remain with fataah but slightly prolonged when pronounce because there is an alif followed by it and the nun which is the last letter will have a kasrah as a vowel sign.  

So kataba will become yaktubaani  يَكْتُبَانِ. What if there is more than two then it becomes yaktubuuna (masculine third person plural) . Another instance when ya is used at the beginning is for female third person plural. Here there are three letters added ya in the beginning wau after the third letter and nun
Instead of saying yaktubuuna, you would say yaktubna, when it comes to female the last letter of the verb kataba which is ba the vowel sound will be drop and replace with a sukun. So it will become yaktub and add a nun with a fathah.
Here only two letters is added which is ya and nun. The rest is changes in the vowel sound
Now here is  ten Arabic verbs that you can play around with. Change it from its original form which is third person singular masculine (past tense) to
This is what I studied today with my ustaz. I notice one thing understanding Arabic is much easier than to explain it.