chapter  25
11 Pages


This chapter discusses the Arabic verbs. Apart from its meaning, an Arabic verb has attributes carried in seven bits of information which are contained in seven inflections. In morphological terms, there are three verb tenses in Arabic. They are perfect tense, imperfect tense, and imperative tense. An Arabic verb cannot exist without a subject marker. In this respect, subject marking of Arabic differs from English verbs; where for example the verb played is the same word for all subjects, with subject marking being by independent subject pronouns. Arabic verbs are changed from the active to the passive by internal vowel changes. The majority of Arabic verbs are called tri-literal because they are derived from three consonants, called a root. Some verbs are derived from four consonants; such verbs are called quadric-literal. Deriving verbs from their roots follows set patterns. In Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) there are 10 common tri-literal verb forms.