8.1 – Active Voice Imperfect Verb


Section 8.1 – Active Voice Imperfect Verb
الْفِعْلُ المُضَارِعُ الْمَعْرُوْفُ al-feil-ul mu-daa-ri-'ul ma’roof

 

As mentioned earlier, the English language has three types of Verbs, past, present, and future, and their subcategories such as present continuous.

In the Arabic language, there are only two types of Verbs, past tense فِعْلُ الْمَاضِيْ (feil-ul maa-di) and imperfect tense فِعْلُ الْمُضَارِعِ(feil-ul mu-daa-ri-'e).  Feil-ul Mu-daa-ri-yeecovers both present and future tenses. Usually, حَرْفٌ (harf-un) Particles are used to imply present and future tenses, and also the context of the sentence makes it apparent if present or future is implied.

Four different alphabets are used in the beginning to change a past tense to an imperfect tense. These are (ي yaa) (ت taa) (ا alif) and (ن noon). For example:

 

فَعَلَ (fa-'a-la) meaning he did becomes يَفْعَلُ (yaf-'a-lu) meaning he does or will do, تَفْعَلُ meaning she does/you do or will do (taf-'a-lu) أَفْعَلُ(af-'alu) I do or will do and نَفْعَلُ(naf-'a-lu) we do or will do.

 

As in past tense, each imperfect Verb is different for male/female, single/plural/dual, and absent/present/speaker. It also has 14 inflections as in the past tense.

 

Following table 42 shows all the inflections for the imperfect tense.

 

Table 42 يَفَعَلُ (Yaf-'alu) Inflections

 

 

 

 

single

 

dual

 

plural

Absent

3rd

person

Male

1

يَفْعَلُ

 

Yaf-

'alu

 

He did

6

يَفْعَلَانِ

 

Yaf-'alaa-

ni

 

They

both

(males)

do

or will do

10

يَفْعَلُوْنَ

 

Yaf-'aloo-

na

 

They all 

 (males)

do or

will do

Female

2

تَفْعَلُ

 

Taf-

'alu

 

she

 did

 

7

تَفْعَلَانِ

 

Taf-'alaa-

ni

 

 

they

(both) females

do or

will do

11

يَفْعَلْنَ

 

Yaf-'al-

na

 

They (all females)

Do or will

do

Present

2nd

 person

Male

3

تَفْعَلُ

 

Taf-

'alu

 

 

you 

(male)

 did

8

تَفْعَلَانِ

 

Taf-'alaa-

ni

 

You (two

males)

do or

will do

12

تَفْعَلْوْنَ

 

Taf-'aloo-

na

 

You (all males)

do or

will do

female

14

تَفْعَلِينَ

 

Taf-

'alee-

na

 

you

(female)

 did

 

 

9

تَفْعَلَانِ

 

Taf-'alaa-

ni

 

You

(both females)

do or

will do

 

13

تَفْعَلْنَ

 

Taf-'al-na

 

You (all females)

do or

will do

Speaker

1st

person

Male/

female

4

أَفْعَلُ

 

Af-'alu

 

I (male/

female)

did

 

5

نَفْعَلُ

 

Naf-'a-lu

 

 

We all do (dual,

plural, male, female)

 

 

 

As before, please note the numbers given in bold for each of the inflections. This numbering system is different from that used in the past tense. This was used by Sheikh Aamir Sohail and I thought this is an easier way to memorize.

 

The reason for this way of memorizing is that these inflections have been divided into 3 groups.

1)     The first group ends with (لُ lu).

2)     The second group ends with (انِ aa-ni)

3)     The third group with (نَ naa).

 

This is useful when you need to create an imperfect tense with light خَفِيْفٌ Khafeef emphasis or ثَقِيْلٌ strong akhaf emphasis. In a later section, this topic will be discussed when we deal with an order Verb called فِعْلُ الأَمَرِfeil-ulama-ree. Ultimately, it does not matter in which order you memorize these inflections, so long as you do.

 

It is highly recommended that you memorize these inflections in this order (1 through 14).  

 

Again, this is the way Sarfis use it. In the Nahvi scheme, sometimes the order is reversed from 3rd person first to 1st person last. It does not matter if you want to memorize these any other way.

 

1) Translations of each of the inflections are given below in Table 43.

 

2) You may have noticed that some inflections have been repeated. These are تَفْعَلُ taf-a-lu for both female third person and male 2ndperson, تَفْعَلَانِ taf-alaa-nifor female 3rd person, male second person, and female second person. The usage and context of the sentence will make it obvious which one it is in a given sentence. For example, مَا ذَا تَفْعَلُ زَيْدٌ maa zataf-alu Zai-dun meaning “what are you doing Zaid” obviously is using male 3rd person, and مَا ذَا تَفْعَلُ فَاطِمَةُ maa zataf-alu faa-ti-ma-tu meaning “What is Fatima doing” is using 3rd person female.

 

3)Also, as for past tense, each entry is a complete sentence by itself. This means that each Verb has an Actor/Subject hidden in it.

4) These Actor/Subject pronouns are given in column 4 with its meaning in column 5. It is very important to understand this.

 

Table 43 – Meaning of Imperfect Verbs using يَفَعَلُ (yaf-a-lu) die

 

Inflection number

Verb

Meaning

the pronoun is hidden

 in the Verb

GROUP 1

1

يَفْعَلُ

 

Yaf-'alu

He does or 

will do

هُوَ

 

Hu-a

He

2

تَفْعَلُ

 

Taf-'alu

She does 

or will do

هِيَ

 

Hee-ya

She

3

تَفْعَلُ

 

Taf-'alu

You (male) does or will

do

اَنْتَ

 

an-ta

You (male)

4

أَفْعَلُ

 

Af-alu

I (male/female)

 do or will do

اَنَا

 

anaa

I (male/female)

5

نَفْعَلُ

 

Naf-'alu

We (male/

female/, dual/plural)

do or

will do

نَحْنُ

 

Nah-nu

We (male/female, dual/plural)

 

GROUP 2

 

6

يَفْعَلَانِ

 

Yaf-

'alaa-

ni

They both 

(males) do or 

will do

هُمَا

 

Hu-maa

They both (males)

7

تَفْعَلَانِ

 

Taf-

'alaa-

ni

They both (females)

does or will do

هُمَا

 

Hu-maa

They both (females)

8

تَفْعَلَانِ

 

Taf-

'alaa-

ni

You both (males) does

or will do

اَنْتُمَا

 

An-tu-maa

You both 

(male)

9

تَفْعَلَانِ

 

Taf-

'alaa-

ni

You two 

(females) do

or will do

اَنْتُمَا

 

An-tu-maa

You both (female)

 

GROUP 3

 

10

يَفْعَلُوْنَ

 

Yaf-

'aloo

-na

They all (males) does or will do

هُم

 

hum

They all 

(males)

11

يَفْعَلْنَ

 

Yaf-al

-'na

They all (females) does

or will do

هُنَّ

 

Hun-na

They all (females)

12

تَفْعَلُوْنَ

 

Taf-'aloo

-na'

You all (males) does or

will do

اَنْتُمْ

 

An-tum

You all (male)

13

تَفْعَلْنَ

 

Taf-'al

-na

You all (females) do

or will do

اَنْتُمْ

 

An-tum

You all 

(females)

14

تَفْعَلِيْنَ

 

Taf-a

-lee-na

You (female)

does or

will do

اَنْتِ

 

An-tee

You (female)

 

Similar to the past tense, imperfect tense also comes in three different forms with fathah, kasrah, and dammah on ع alphabet. These are 1) يَفْعَلُ yaf-'a-lu, 2) يَفْعِلُ yaf-'i-lu, 3) يَفْعُلُ yaf-'u-lu

Previous table was for form يَفْعَلُ yaf-'u-lu. The following two tables are for the remaining two forms. Meaning is the same for this die but will change if the alphabets are different.

 

Table 44 يَفَعِلُ (yaf-'i-lu) Inflections

 

Single

Dual

Plural

Absent

3rd

person

Male

1

يَفْعِلُ

 

Yaf-'ilu

6

يَفْعِلَانِ

 

Yaf-‘ilaa

-ni

10

يَفْعِلُوْنَ

 

Yaf-'iloo-

na

Female

2

تَفْعِلُ

 

Taf-'ilu

7

تَفْعِلَانِ

 

Taf-'ilaa

-ni

11

يَفْعِلْنَ

 

Yaf-'il-na

Present

2nd

person

Male

3

تَفْعِلُ

 

Taf-'ilu

 

8

تَفْعِلَانِ

 

Taf-'ilaa

-ni

12

تَفْعِلْوْنَ

 

Taf-'i-loo-

na

female

14

تَفْعِلِينَ

 

Taf-'i-lee'

-na

9

تَفْعِلَانِ

 

Taf-

‘ilaa-ni

13

تَفْعِلْنَ

 

Taf-'il-

na

Speaker

1st

person

Male/

female

4

أَفْعِلُ

 

Af-'ilu

5

نَفْعِلُ

 

Naf-'ilu


 

Table 45 يَفَعُلُ (yaf-'u-lo) Inflections

 

Single

Dual

Plural

Absent

3rd

person

Male

1

يَفْعُلُ

 

Yaf-'u-

lu

6

يَفْعُلَانِ

 

Yaf-

'ulaa-ni

10

يَفْعُلُوْنَ

 

Yaf-'uloo-na

Female

2

تَفْعُلُ

 

Taf-'ulu

7

تَفْعُلَانِ

 

Taf-

'ulaa-ni

11

يَفْعُلْنَ

 

Yaf-'ul-na

Present

2nd

person

Male

3

تَفْعُلُ

 

Taf-'ulu

8

تَفْعُلَانِ

 

Taf-

'ulaa-ni

12

تَفْعُلْوْنَ

 

Taf-'uloo-

na

female

14

تَفْعُلِينَ

 

Taf-

'ulee-na

9

تَفْعُلَانِ

 

Taf-

'ulaa-ni

13

تَفْعُلْنَ

 

Taf-'ul-na

Speaker

1st person

Male/

female

4

أَفْعُلُ

 

Af-'ulu

5

نَفْعُلُ

 

Naf-'ulu



As in past tense, there are Verbs in Arabic which use one of these three forms for imperfect tense.

Please note that a past tense which has (عَ) does not necessarily have (عَ) in imperfect tense. It can be from any of the three (عَ،عِ،عُ) forms.

 

 

Table 46 - Examples of Verbs that use فَعَلَ fa-'a-la die

 

Past

tense

Pronunciation

Meaning

Imperfect

tense

Pronunciation

Meaning

ذَهَبَ

Za-ha-ba

He went

يَذهَبُ

Yaz-ha-bu

He is going

 or will go

خَرَجَ

Kha-ra-ja

He went out

يَخْرُجُ

Ya-kh-ru-ju

He is going

out or will

 go out

دَخَلَ

Da-kha-la

He entered

يَدْخُلُ

Yad-khu-lu

He is

entering or

will enter

ضَرَبَ

Za-ra-ba

He hit

يَضْرِبُ

Yad-ri-bu

He is hitting

or will hit

جَلَسَ

Ja-la-sa

He sat

يَجْلِسُ

Yaj-li-su

He is sitting or will sit

سَجَدَ

Sa-ja-da

He prostrated

يَسْجُدُ

Yas-ji-doo

He is

prostrating

or will

prostrate

عَقَلَ

'A-qa-la

He

Compre-

hended

يَعْقِلُ

Ya’-qi-lu

He is comprehend-

ing or will comprehend

غَفَلَ

Gha-fa-la

He was

not paying

attention

يَغْفِلُ

Yagh-fi-lu

He is not or

will not pay attention

حَشَرَ

Ha-sha-ra

He was

gathered

يَحْشُرُ

Yah-shu-roo

He is

gathering or

will gather

رَفَعَ

Ra-fa-'a

He was

raised

يَرْفَعُ

Yar-fa-'u

He is or will

 be raised

عَبَدَ

'A-ba-da

He

worshipped

يَعْبُدُ

Ya'-bu-du

He is

worshipping

or will

worship

فَتَحَ

Fa-ta-ha

He

opened

يَفْتَحُ

Yaf-ta-hu

He is

opening

or will open

صَبَرَ

Sa-ba-ra

He was

patient

يَصْبِرُ

Yas-bi-ru

He is or will

be patient

غَفَرَ

Gha-fa-ra

He forgave

يَغْفِرُ

Yagh-fi-ru

He forgives

or

will forgive

جَعَلَ

Ja-'a-la

He made

يَجْعَلُ

Yaj-'a-lu

He is making

or will make

خَلَقَ

Kha-la-qa

He created

يَخْلُقُ

Yaq-lu-qu

He creates

or

will create

نَفَعَ

Na-fa-'a

He profited

يَنْفَعُ

Yan-fa-'u

He is

profiting

or will profit

جَهَدَ

Ja-ha-da

He

endeavored

يَجْهَدُ

Yaj-ha-du

He is

endeavoring

or will

endeavor

بَلَغَ

Ba-la-gha

He reached

يَبْلُغُ

Yab-la-ghu

He is

reaching or

will reach

رَجَعَ

Ra-ja-'a

He went

back

يَرْجِعٌ

Yar-ji-'u

He is going

back or will

go back

نَجَحَ

Na-ja-ha

He

succeeded

يَنجَحُ

Yan-ha-ju

He is

succeeding

or will

succeed

رَزَقَ

Ra-za-qa

He gave sustenance

يَرْزُقُ

Yar-zu-qu

He is giving

or will give sustenance

نَظَرَ

Na-za-ra

He looked

يَنْظُرُ

Yan-zu-ru

He is looking

or will look

نَزَلَ

Na-za-la

He came

down

يَنْزِلُ

Yan-zi-lu

He is coming down or will come down

صَدَقَ

Sa-da-qa

He was

truthful

يَصْدُقُ

Yas-du-qu

He is or will

be truthful

كَذَبَ

Ka-za-ba

He lied

يَكْذِبُ

Yak-zi-bu

He is lying

or will lie

شَكَرَ

Sha-ka-ra

He was

thankful

يَشْكُرُ

Yash-ku-ru

He is or will

be thankful

نَقَصَ

Na-qa-sa

He decreased

يَنْقُصُ

Yan-qu-su

He is

decreasing

or will

decrease

تَرَكَ

Ta-ra-ka

He quit

يَتْرُكُ

Yath-ru-ku

He is

quitting or

will quit


 

Table 47- Examples of Imperfect Verbs that use فَعِلَ fa-ila die

 

Past

tense

Pronunciation

Meaning

Imperfect

tense

Pronunciation

Meaning

قَدِمَ

Qa-di-ma

He brought

يَقْدِمُ

Yaq-di

-mu

He brings

 or will

 bring

ضَحِكَ

da-hi-ka

He laughed

يَضْحِكُ

Yad-hi

-kou

He is

laughing

or will laugh

عَلِمَ

'a-li-ma

He knew

يَعلَمُ

Ya'-la

-mu

He knows or

will know

عَمِلَ

'a-mi-la

He acted

يَعْمَلُ

Ya'-ma

-lou

He is acting

 or

will act

فَرِحَ

Fa-ri-ha

He was happy

يَفْرَحُ

Yaf-ra-hou

He is or will

 be happy

سَمِعَ

Sa-mi-'a

He listened

يَسْمَعُ

Yas-ma

-'u

He is listening

or will listen

حَمِدَ

Ha-mi-da

He praised

يَحمَدُ

Yah-ma-dou

He is praising or

Will praise

حَسِبَ

Ha-si-ba

He assumed

يحْسِبُ

Yah-si

-bou

He is

 assuming

or will

assume

شَرِبَ

Sha-ri-ba

He drank

يَشرَبُ

Yash-ra-bou

He is drinking

or will drink

حَفِظَ

Ha-fi-za

He memorized

يَحفَظُ

Yah-fa

-zou

He is

memorizing

or will

memorize

رَحِمَ

Ra-hi-ma

He was

merciful

يَرْحَمُ

Yar-ha

-mu

He is merciful

or will be merciful

رَكِبَ

Ra-ki-ba

He was riding

يَرْكَبُ

Yar-ka

-bou

He is riding or

Will ride

شَهِدَ

Sha-hi-da

He

witnessed

يشْهَدُ

Yash-ha-dou

He is

witnessing

Or will

witness

قَبِلَ

Qa-bi-la

He

accepted

يَقْبَلُ

Yaq-ba

-lou

He is

 accepting

or will accept

مَرِضَ

Ma-ri-da

He was ill

يَمْرَضُ

Yam-ra

-dou

He is ill or

will be ill


 

Table 48 - Examples of Imperfect Verbs that use فَعُلَ fa-ula die

 

Past

tense

Pronunciation

Meaning

Imperfect

tense

Pronunciation

Meaning

كَرُمَ

Ka-ru-ma

He was

generous

يَكْرُمُ

Yak-ru-moo

He is or will

be generous

بَعُدَ

Ba-'u-da

He got away

يَبْعُدُ

Yab-'u-doo

He has 

gotten away

or will
get

away

قَرُبَ

Qa-ru-ba

He got near

يَقْرُبُ

Yaq-ru-boo

He is near or

will be near

ضَعُفَ

Da-'u-fa

He became

weak

يَضْعُفُ

Yad-'u-foo

He is
becoming
or will

become 

weak

ثَقُلَ

Tha-qou-la

He became

heavy

يَثْقُلُ

Yath-qu-lou

He is
becoming
or will

become 

heavy


 

Sentence Examples:

 

شَرِبُوْا الْمَاءَ الْبَارِدَ sha-ri-bul- maa-albaa-ri-du- They drank cold water

 

نَعْبُدُ اللهَ سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعٰالٰى na'-bu-dul lahasub-haa-nahu wa ta-aa’la - We worship Allah (SWT)

 

ضَعُفَ الطَّالِبُ za'u-fat taa-li-bu – (so) weak are the seekers

 

اللهُ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوْبَ Allaa-hu- yagh-fi-ruddhu-noo-ba - Allah (SWT) forgives sins

 

اللهُ يَعْطِيْنَا رِزْقًا Allaa-hu ya’tee-naariz-qan - Allah (SWT) gives us sustenance

 

 

 

***

 

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