; An English Guide to Classic Qur'anic Arabic: 9/11.2 - Defective & Irregular Verbs


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9/11.2 - Defective & Irregular Verbs


Section 11.2 – Defective and Irregular Verbs اَلْفْعْلُ الْغَيْرُ الْصَحيْحُ


If a three-alphabeted Verb in Arabic ends with a long vowel alif, that Verb is called a Defective verbاَلْفْعْلُ الْغَيْرُ الْصَّحيْحُ al-feil-ulghai-rus sahee-hu. Then, there are two other situations:


If the Verb has doubling of alphabets anywhere, it is called مُضَعَّفٌ mu-da-af, an irregular doubled Verb.


If the Verb has any of the weak alphabets (ي or و) then it is called an irregularly behaving weak Verb.


When any of these three situations occur (defective Verb, doubled Verb or weak Verb).as you will note later, situations are created in the inflections where the Verb is difficult to pronounce and is modified by native speakers for ease of pronouncing the Verb.


Defective Verb مَهمُوْزٌ mah-mooz-un

 In mah-mooz, a trilateral root مُجَرَّدُ الثُلَاثِيْ mu-jar-ra-dul thu-laa-thihas hamzah (ا) in any of the three locations. These Verbs are called a مَهمُوْزٌ Mah-mooz. In addition, depending upon the alphabet location based on our فعل die (first location is Fa ف location, second location is Ain ع location and third location is laam ل location.


1) Alif in the beginning is called مَهمُوْزُ الْفَاءِ (mahmooz-ul-fa)

2) Alif in the middle is called مَهمُوْزُ الْعَيْنِ(mahmooz-ul-Ain)

3) Alif in the end is called مَهمُوْزُ الَّامِ(mahmooz-ul-laam)


Rules and Examples for Mahmooz


In general, mahmooz-ul-fa encounters more of the situations where changes have to be made in the Verb. Following Rules apply:


1)     If two hamzahsare next to each other, which can happen in speaker imperfect tense of a mahmooz and the first hamzah has a harakah on it (َ,ُ ِ,) and the second one is saakin/jazm (ْ) then, second hamzah is forced to change to the alphabet matching the alphabet. for first hamzah harakah(Alif for fathah, yaa for kasrah and waaw for dammah). For example:


-        Let us take the words أَمَرَ/يَأْمُرُ aa-ma-ra/ ya-mu-ru meaning he ordered/he is ordering or he will order. The speaker for يَأْمُرُ yaa-mu-ru would be اَأْمُرُ. The two hamzahs together according to the rule would be:

اَ+أْمُرُ = اٰمُرُ aa-mu-ru


-        Another example would be aa-ka-la/yaa-kulu أَكَلَ/يَأْكُلُ. The speaker (1stperson) inflection for يَأْكُلُwould be اَأْكُلُ. According to the rule, this would be:

اَ+أْكُلُ = اٰكُلُ aa-ku-lu


2)     If there is a hamzah which is a saakin/jazm(ْ) and there is another alphabet other than a hamzah and has a harakah on it, then, the saakin/jazm hamzah is converted to an alphabet matching the that harakah. For example,


-        دَعَوَ da-aa-wa àbecomes da-aaدَعَاْ

-        رَمَيَ ra-ma-ya à becomes ra-maa رَمِى


-        رَأْسٌ ra-a-sun àbecomes raa-sun رَاسٌ

-        ذَئِبٌ za-i-bun àbecomes Zai-bun ذَيْبٌ

-        مُؤْمِنٌ mu’mi-nun àbecomes mu’mi-nun مُوْمِنٌ


For mahmooz, this change happens only in the speaker (1st person) inflection.


As mentioned before for a Noun, if you see a long vowel alif (ا) at the end of a Verb, it is not the original alphabet of the trilateral Verb. It has been substituted for either a و or a ي as shown in examples below:


-        دَعَاْ da-aa à was originally دَعَوَ da-aa-wa meaning call/ask

-        رَمَىْ ra-maa à was originally رَمَيَ rama-yaa meaning to throw


3)     All Particles ending in vowel alif will also end with the form ا except for the following four Particles:


إِلٰى        i-laa meaning toward/to

عَلٰى      alaa meaning over/on

بَلٰى       balaa meaning Yes

حَتّٰى      hat-taa meaning Until

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