Sunday, 15 February 2015

Arabic verbs

                                                              بِسمِ اللهِ الرَّحمانِ الرَّحِيم

الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على نبينا محمد وآله وصحبه

الدرس العاشر
As-salam-alai-kum, I hope that this course is helping to get a hold on basics of arabic.

When i wanted to learn arabic i bought a book called “Learn arabic in 30 days”.  The book was very small. around 70-80 pages. I was very happy. I was thinking i would learn arabic in 30 days and start understanding quran and also be able to talk.  But when i started, it had listed lots of vocabulary for different scenarios. example going to school, train, bus etc.  I was confused and worried how to memorize so many words. leave 30 days. I could not even learn arabic in 30 months in that way. Later while going to arabic classes i understood the importance of arabic grammar.   No doubt that if you want to speak fluently in arabic or to understand word-to-word quranic arabic then you too will have to memorize lots and lots words. But for now its important for us to understand the foundation blocks of arabic grammar.  This is main objective this course.

The major share of any language learning is to learn the verbs of that language. Verbs serve several purposes: they make a statement, they ask questions, they give a command, they express action, and they express a state of being.
The dog ran home. Statement
Did he run home? Question
Run home! Command
The dog ran after the ball. Action
The dog is tired from running. State of being
I have skipped few topics in middle. Like Adjectives , and numbers i promised.  Insha-allah we will cover them all later. If we get some hold on some verbs, we will feel some kind of completeness in learning arabic sooner.  So we feel better insha-allah.

So lets start with “what the boy did” whole day.  Below is the series of actions the boy did on a day and the verb’s meaning is written in next column. You should guess the whole sentence as you have already learned other words in previous chapters.

he came out
اَلْوَلَدُ خَرَجَ  مِن  البَيتِ
he went
و ذَهَبَ  اِلَى  المَدْرَسَةِ
and he sat in row
و جَلَسَ   فِي  الصَّفِّ
and he read and he wrote
و قَرَأ و  كَتَبَ
then he returned
ثُمّ  رَجَعَ  اِلى  البَيتِ

Please memorize above sentences. As they introduce you to basic verbs used daily and also repeated in quran a lot of times. And all the verbs you have studied above were in past tense.

The way we learn arabic is through tables. Remember ?  Here is another table for verbs. for all combinations. singular, dual, plural. for 3rd person , 2nd person, 1st person etc.

Arabic verbs are generally composed of 3 radicals.
as you have studied above example:  [خ ر ج ]  ,[ ذ ه ب ] , [ ك ت ب ]

We will use a standard verb [ف ع  ل] . for the table.
فَعَلَ  means “he did”  . [ past tense, singular, 3rd person]

Below table will make you fluent in using right form for right person. You will apply same format for all the verbs in past tense.   Read it this way.

F’aala, F’aalaa, F’aalu …… F’aalat, F’aalata, F’aalana…… F’aaltha, F’aalthuma, F’aalthum….. F’aalthi, F’aalthuma, F’aalthunna…… F’aalthu,F’aalnaa


فَعَلُوا  - They did
فَعَلا -  Those 2 did
فَعَلَ -    He did
3rd person masc.
فَعَلْنَ   - They did   
فَعَلتا  -  Those 2 did
فَعَلَتْ  - She did
3rd person fem.
فَعَلْتُمْ  - You all did
فَعَلْتُما  - You both did
فَعَلْتَ  -  You did
2nd person masc.
فَعَلْتُنَّ  - You all did
فَعَلْتُما  - You both did
فَعَلْتِ  - You did
2nd person fem.

فَعَلْنا  - We did
فَعَلْتُ  -  I did
1st person
This is very important table.  Keep reading it again and again.  Please try to write it once without seeing.

As you can see in the table, if you want to say “you did” - add “ta” in the end :  فَعَلَ  +  تَ .
if you want to say “you did (f)” add “ti” at the end: فَعَلَ  +  تِ
and if you want to say “i did”  add “tu” at the end: فَعَلَ  +  تُ  

Lets read once more.

F’aala, F’aalaa, F’aalu …… F’aalat, F’aalata, F’aalana…… F’aaltha, F’aalthuma, F’aalthum….. F’aalthi, F’aalthuma, F’aalthunna…… F’aalthu,F’aalnaa

Don’t worry if you are getting confused. Insha-allah practice will make you understand application of this table.  If you want to learn arabic, then this is important.  If you get this then you get many things right. But if you don’t then you get everything wrong.

We can apply this form for any verb.  Example “I did” means “فَعَلْتُ
If you want to tell “i came out”. Just replace 3 radicals of [ف ع  ل] with  خ ر ج.  
it becomes [ خَرَجْتُ  ]
Similarly  “she went” means “ذَهَبَتْ”
Now lets write similar table for  “He ate”  -  [  اَكَلَ  ]

اَكَلُوا   -  they all ate
اَكَلَا    - they both ate
اَكَلَ  -   He ate
اَكَلْنَ    -  they all ate
اَكَلَتأ   -   they both ate
اَكَلتْ  -    She ate
اَكَلْتُم    -  You all ate
اَكَلَتُما   -  You both ate
اَكَلتَ    - you ate
اَكَلْتُنّ    - You all ate
اَكَلَتُما  - You both ate
اَكَلتِ   -   You ate

اَكَلْنا   -  We ate
اَكَلتُ   -  I ate  

Notice above the radicals getting replaced in place of  [ف ع  ل .

Excercise :

In the start of this chapter we saw actions of boy.  i.e  “what boy did”.    This was for 3rd person masc.    Now iterate the same actions for yourself. “what you did”.  Below are same sequence in english. Just translate them in arabic for your actions.

  1. I came out of the house.
  2. و ذَهَبْتُ الى المَدْرَسةِ.
  3. and sat in a row.
  4. i read and i wrote
  5. ثُمّ  رَجَعَتُ  اِلى  البَيتِ.  

Lets do the same for 2nd person feminine.

  1. You came out of the house.
  2. You went to school.
  3. and you sat in a row.
  4. you read and you wrote
  5. ثُمّ  رَجَعَتِ  اِلى  البَيتِ.  

Exercise 2:

Now tell the verb table for all the below verbs.

وَلَجَ  , خَرَجَ , ذَهَبَ ,  جَلَسَ ,  شَكَرَ  ( to thank )

After learning a bit of arabic, the daily dua’s were alhamdulillah making sense to me. Like Dua for entering the house.  
بِسْمِ اللهِ وَلَجْنَا، وَ بِسْمِ اللهِ خَرَجْنَا، وَعَلَى رَبِّنَا تَوَكَّلْنَا
In the Name of Allah we entered , in the Name of Allah we leave, and upon our Lord we depend [then say As-Salamu 'Alaykum to those present].
Abu Dawud 4/325
Verbs in the hadith/ dua above used are [  وَلَجَ - to enter ] and [ خَرَجَ - come out ].

Before closing this chapter, want to add some important point on verb.  The verbal sentence in the Arabic language consists of a verb followed by the subject or doer.

Example:   فَتَحَ زيدُ  بابُ الغُرفَةِ  ( Zaid opened the door of the room )
This is the general pattern used. i.e verbs followed by subject. Another example:
  • حَضَرَ أحْمَدُ إلىَّ     -  [ Ahmad came to me ]

You can find the the usage of the same in the hadith of Rasool Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم). He said

" مَنْ بَنَى لِلّه مَسْجِداً بَنَى اللّه لَهُ بَيْتاً في الجنَّةِ ". (رواه مسلم).

بَنَى  means “he built”.  So the above hadith means.
One who built masjid for Allah (swt) , Allah built for him a house in the paradise.

Now try to translate sentences below:
بَنَى أَبِي مَسْجِداً جَدِيداً في قَرْيَتِنا.
بَنَى إِبْراهِيمُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاةُ والسَّلام الكَعْبَةَ

   قرية    means “ village”      
جَدِيداً means “ new ”
Please memorize the new verbs learned in this chapter. And also practice its table form for every new verb learned.

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