February 5, 2020 0

Arabic Grammar: Wazn IV

Arabic Grammar: Wazn IV

SabaaH al-kheir! Right now, we’re going to talk about derived Arabic verb Form IV, or what we would call in Arabic وزن أفعل in terms of how we put together a Form IV verb, we take the meaningful جذر, And then we add a couple of things to it. In the past tense, we would add an ‘alif’ with a ‘hamza’ and a ‘fatHa’ on it, and then a ‘sukuun’ on the first letter of the جذر and then two ‘fathas’ over the remaining letters of the root. So the جذر ‘Saad-baa-Haa’ which has to do with mornings actually turns into a verb for ‘becoming’. A very normal word for ‘become’ is a Form IV verb, أصبَحَ in the past tense, and then in the present tense, We add a ‘Damma’ to that first letter that’s helping us conjugate, and Then a ‘kasra’ to the middle letter of the root, so أصبَحَ, ‘he became’, in the present tense, يُصبِح Remember that like all the other derived Forms II-X, this pattern is very very very regular. We aren’t really going to encounter much in the way of strange exceptions. All Form IV verbs are going to have this vowel pattern. Form IV in terms of the meaning, the nuance of meaning that It gives our جذر, it overlaps a little bit with Form II, if you read about Form II, وزن فعّل, or if you watched the video about that form, it at its most basic usually has the core meaning of making someone or something do Form I. أصبح يُصبِح is a particularly tenuous example, I’m not sure. ‘Making someone morning–making someone become’, sometimes the logic is a little more poetic than solid. But, a couple of examples that might be relevant: we have a جذر ‘kaaf-miim-laam’, that has to do with ‘being finished or complete,’ and in Form IV we have a very handy verb, in the past tense أَكمَلَ present tense يُكمِل, which means ‘finish’ So in formal Arabic i might say ‘Wow, I really need to finish my homework.’ يجب أن أُكمِل واجبي Before I go to the party or whatever. Another example that might come in handy: We have a جذر, ‘Saad-laam-Haa,’ which has to do with being correct, or proper, or suitable, and in Form IV, It’s a verb that means ‘repair.’ In the past tense, أَصلَحَ following that same exact vowel pattern. In the present tense, يُصلِح. All of these verbs are conjugated for هو, because that’s just convention in Arabic. So I could say in formal Arabic, “My aunt fixed my father’s car.” هي… أصلحَتْ خالتي سيارة والدي. In formal Arabic we tend to put the verb first, so أصلحَتْ خالتي ‘My aunt fixed the car of my father.’ أصلحَتْ خالتي سيارة والدي. You tend to see Form IV verbs more in formal contexts, often written contexts, and very frequently in speech people will instead use fairly synonymous Form II verbs. Verbs that mean pretty much the same thing, but follow that Form II pattern instead. In both of these cases أكمَلَ, أصلَحَ perfectly good Form IV verbs, we could use them in writing, we could use them in speech, but It would be a little bit formal, and it would be more common in, say, Levantine or Egyptian Arabic to use a synonymous Form II verb. If I wanted to rephrase this same sentence, I would probably play with the word order a little bit, but I could say خالتي صَلَّحَتْ سيارة أبي or something like that. so we put the خالة first, because word order tends to work that way in Egyptian or Levantine colloquial, and instead of أصلَحَتْ with that ‘alif’ at the beginning in the past tense, we’ve changed it to a Form II verb, صَلَّحَت. Or i could say, ‘Wow, I have to finish my homework,’ لازم أكَمِّل واجبي And in these cases, our sentences in فصحى, formal Arabic, and a more vernacular spoken kind of register would be pretty much synonymous. Even though I was using أُكَمِّل instead of أُكمِل, or .أصلَحَتْ instead of صلَّحَتْ We do have to watch out though–there are some circumstances where it doesn’t work. For example, we have the verb يُعَلِّم in the present tense, يُعَلِّم, Form II, which means ‘to teach,’ ‘to educate,’ ‘to instruct,’ like what a teacher does at a school or a college, and in Form IV, it has a more specific shade of meaning. If i said يُعْلِم, following that same Form IV vowel pattern, right? يُعلِم, ‘Damma’ here, ‘kasra’ there, يُعَلِّم is more like ‘educate,’ Whereas يُعْلِم would be more like ‘inform.’ It’s a subtle distinction, but one that is potentially important, and could change the meaning of what you’re trying to say. As always in a case like that, If you encounter a verb that’s in a particular form, if you hear it or if you read it, context Is going to be the best guide.

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