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Patterns Reference

What is this Tutorial About?

This is designed to be a reference for all the patterns in the Arabic language. We approach this by first dividing all possible words into nouns, verbs, and particles. We then go through each of these categories and give all common patterns. Of particular interest is the category of nouns, where we discuss the patterns for static nouns, gerunds, plurals, and so forth.

 

Note that this is a reference and should be treated as such; in particular, it is quite futile to study this tutorial and attempt to memorize the contents herein.

Particles

Particles do not follow the templatic system and hence they do not have patterns. They are what they are and they must be memorized as they are. But, on the bright side, there are under 80 particles in the entire language. The following charts briefly list all of these (note, some are repeated under different categories).

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Prepositions

إلى

12

بِـ

1

خَلا

13

تَـ

2

عَدا

14

كَـ

3

عَلى

15

لِـ

4

مَتى (بني هذيل)

16

وَ

5

مُنْذُ

17

رُبَّ

6

حاشا

18

عَنْ

7

حَتّى ("عَتّى" بني هذيل)

19

فِيْ

8

لَعَلَّ / لَعَلِّ / عَلَّ / عَلِّ (بني عقيل)

20

كَيْ

9

لولا (سيبويه وأخفش)

21

مُذْ

10

 

 

مِنْ

11

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Particles that Resemble Verbs

لـكِنَّ

4

إنَّ

1

لَيْتَ

5

أَنَّ

2

لَعَلَّ / لَعَلِّ / عَلَّ / عَلِّ

6

كَأَنَّ

3

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Conjunctions

لا

6

وَ

1

إمّا

7

فَـ

2

ثُمَّ

8

أَوْ

3

حَتّى

9

أَمْ

4

لـكِنْ

10

بَلْ

5

 

Particle

#

Interjections

ها

1

أَلا

2

أَما

3

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Particles of Vocation

يا

4

أَ

1

أَيا

5

آ

2

هَيا

6

أَيْ

3

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Particles of Affirmation

بَلى

4

إيْ

1

جَيْرِ

5

أَجَلْ

2

نَعَمْ

6

إِنَّ

3

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Particles that can be Extra

لا

5

بِـ

1

ما

6

لِـ

2

مِنْ

7

إنْ

3

 

 

أَنْ

4

 

Particle

#

Particles Used for Clarification

أَنْ

1

أَيْ

2

 

Particle

#

Particles for the Infinitive

أَنْ

1

ما

2

أَنَّ

3

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Particles for Prodding

لَوْلا

4

أَلا

1

لَوْما

5

أَلاّ

2

 

 

هَلاّ

3

 

Particle

#

Particle of Nearness

قَدْ

1

Particles of Interrogation

أَ

1

هَلْ

2

Particle of Denial

كَلاّ

1

 

Particle

#

Particles of Condition

إنْ

1

لَوْ

2

أَمّا

3

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Miscellaneous Particles

(تنوين)

4

ـتْ

1

الـ

5

ـنْ (توكيد)

2

 

 

ـنَّ (توكيد)

3

 


 

Verbs

The study of verb patterns is essentially the purpose behind Arabic morphology. The science discusses the patterns by first looking at verb endings (conjugation), then at verb paradigms, and finally at irregularities. The combination of these three aspects covers all possible patterns of verbs.

 

All of these aspects are readily available for study by visiting the Introduction to Arabic Morphology page.


 

Nouns

Frozen Nouns

The following is a list of the possible patterns for frozen nouns (جامد). These patterns are all simple patterns and do not cover any words that have extra letters. For example, one will find that the word غضنفر (roaring lion) does not fit onto any of the patterns. This is because the نون in غضنفر is extra. In order to understand absolutely all the patterns for frozen nouns, one would have to study extra letters.

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

3-Lettered (all combinations exist)

فَعِل

12

فُعُل

1

فَعْل

13

فُعَل

2

فِعُل (نادر)

14

فُعِل (نادر)

3

فِعَل

15

فُعْل

4

فِعِل

16

فَعُل

5

فِعْل

17

فَعَل

6

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

4- or 5-Lettered

فِعَلْل

6

فُعْلُل

1

فُعَلْـلِل

7

فُعْلَل

2

فَعَلْـلَل

8

فَعْلَل

3

فَعَلْـلِل

9

فِعْلَل

4

فَعْلَـلِل

10

فِعْلِل

5

 

Gerunds

The following is a list of gerund patterns for simple verbs. However, these patterns are only those that can be analogized upon. Those that are heard from the Arabs and are taken as is have not been mentioned here. Furthermore, the gerund patterns for advanced verbs have been covered in the tutorial entitled Verb Paradigms.

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

 

فَعيل

6

فَعْل

1

فَعَلان

7

فَعَل

2

فُعُوْلة

8

فُعال

3

فَعالة

9

فِعال

4

 

 

فُعول

5

 

Derived Nouns

The patterns for the various derived nouns have been covered in great detail in the tutorial aptly entitled Derived Nouns.

 

Plurals

Particle

#

Particle

#

Minor Plurals

أَفْعال

3

أَفْعُل

1

فِعْلة

4

أَفْعِلة

2

 

Particle

#

Particle

#

Major Plurals

فِعْلان

13

فُعْل

1

فُعْلان

14

فُعُل

2

فُعَلاء

15

فُعَل

3

أَفْعِلاء

16

فِعَل

4

فَواعِل

17

فُعَلة

5

فَعائِل

18

فَعَلة

6

فَعالِل

19

فِعَلة

7

فَعالِيْ

20

فَعْلى

8

فَعالى

21

فُعَّل

9

فَعالِيّ

22

فُعّال

10

فَعاليل

23

فَعال

11

 

 

فُعُوْل

12

 

Conclusion

This has been a reference of the most popular patterns in the language across the different categories of words. Less common patterns have not been mentioned. And patterns that require deeper study, such as verbal templates and extra letters in frozen nouns, have been left for other tutorials. The patterns that have been mentioned here, however, cover the vast majority in the language and one can safely read libraries of books relying solely on this set of patterns for assistance.

 



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