A: Form V and Form VI Verbs

In this chapter we will treat Forms V and VI together because of the similarities in their structures.


تَعَلَّمَ is a Form V verb meaning “to learn.” Form V is characterized by a prefix of تَ added to the Form II stem, in this case عَلَّمَ Often the Form V has a meaning related to the subject, a sort of reflexive quality. For example, the Form II عَلَّمَ means “to teach.” The Form V تَعَلَّمَ means “to learn” (to teach oneself). Sometimes the meaning is passive. حَقَّقَ means “to realize” in the sense of “to attain.” The Form V تَحَقَّقَ means “to be realized.” However, as with the other forms, you cannot be absolutely certain of the meaning of the word from the form. Therefore you should use the form as a guide to the meaning, but not as a gospel.


Please be aware that Form V verbs always begin (in the past tense) with تَ and always keep the shadda over the middle radical. The shadda will not usually be written. The vowel on the shadda in the past tense is also always a fatha.


Form V verbs are often transitive but not always, as is the case with تحقّق. Transitive Form V verbs can also be put in the passive, just like the previous forms.

In the past tense, Form V verbs conjugate like all other verbs you have seen. I know this is a great surprise to you, so take a minute to calm down before you go on.

Now that you have calmed down, I want you to know that the past-tense conjugations for Form V are in the charts at the end of this book. We move on to the imperfect.


The imperfect will always have a fatha for the stem vowel and for the prefix vowel. تَعلّم conjugated for هو is يَتَعلمُ You can see that the stem vowel is indeed a fatha and that the prefix vowel is also a fatha. As far as the prefix vowel is concerned, you should know that for Forms V through X the prefix vowel is always a fatha. (Except late on Thursday nights, when it is changed to something else for a brief period which is lengthened during the sacred month of Ramadan.) Thus, you now know that the prefix vowel for Form I and Forms V through X is a fatha. The imperfect prefix vowel for Forms II, III, IV is always a dhamma.


As I said above, the imperfect stem vowel in Form V is always a fatha. This will also be the case for Form VI. Thus, you have now seen that in Form I, the stem vowel can be either a fatha, a kasra, or a dhamma. In Forms II, III, and IV the imperfect stem vowel is always a kasra. In Forms V and VI it will always be a fatha. We will worry about the other forms when we come to them.

Needless to say, the suffixes added to Forms V and VI in the imperfect are the same as for all other verbs. Below are the present tense conjugations for يَتَعَلّمُ , تَعَلّمَ













هما (m)






هما (f)
















The jussive and the subjunctive for Form V are in the charts. Now try your hand at the command conjugations. Remember the rules we learned for the other forms. Produce the command conjugations on a separate sheet of paper and then look below.



















As you can see from the conjugations above, there is no prefix added to Form V commands. When we drop the imperfect prefix, we are left with a consonant followed by a vowel, as I am sure you can see. Note that the command conjugations look exactly like past tense conjugations when they are unvoweled. They even sound very much like (and sometimes just like) past-tense conjugations, even when they are fully vocalized. How do you think you will be able to tell the difference? Do you think that maybe, just maybe, it will be the context?


In the passive voice for the past tense, the pattern is تُعُلِّمَ The stem vowel is a kasra, just like all other verbs. The first vowel is a dhamma, just like all other verbs. Form V verbs have an extra syllable compared to previous forms of the verb. In the passive voice in the past tense, all vowels before the stem vowel are changed to a dhamma. Thus, you have two dhammas in the verb conjugated above. The suffixes are the same as always.

In the passive voice for the imperfect our model verb is يُتَعلَّم . The stem vowel is, as always for the passive in the imperfect, a fatha. The prefix vowel is, as always for the passive in the imperfect, a dhamma. However, in the imperfect passive, any other vowel before the stem vowel is also a FATHA. So you only will have one dhamma in the imperfect passive.

Some passive conjugations for Form V are in the charts.

The verbal noun for Form V is of the pattern تَعلُّم. The stem vowel is always a dhamma. Notice that the verbal noun looks just like the verb when it is unvocalized.

The active participle is مُتَعلِّم and the passive participle is مُتَعلَّم These should be obvious by now. But note that the active participle does take a kasra for the stem vowel even though the imperfect indicative does not.



Hollow Verbs

Hollow verbs in Form V are completely regular, just like their Form II counterparts. The identity of the middle radical will show up in the verb itself تَكَوَّنَ and تَعَيَّنَ are examples.



Assimilated Verbs

Assimilated verbs are also completely regular in Form V. تَوَفَّرَ is a good example.



Doubled Verbs

Doubled verbs in Form V are completely regular.تَحَقَّقَ which you have already seen above, is a good example.



Defective Verbs

Of course, I cannot let you get through Form V without some problems. Defective verbs in Form V are no more difficult than they are in Forms II-IV, but they tend to cause the unwary student some problems.

تَحدَّى means “to challenge” and is a good example of a very commonly used Form V defective verb.


First of all, regardless of the identity of the last radical, it will always appear as an alif maqsuura in the past tense. This is just like Forms II through IV. “I challenged” is تَحَدَّيْتُ. So the past tense is no big deal and offers nothing new.


However, in the imperfect, Form V defective verbs do not conjugate like the verb يقضي , قضي or like the defectives in Forms II through IV. Instead of having the last radical become a ي, as is the case with the aforementioned verbs, Form V verbs keep it as an alif maqsuura so that their present tense conjugations are like those of the verb ينسى , نسى This is because the stem vowel in the imperfect in Form V is always a fatha and the fatha takes control over the last radical, changing it from a ي to instead appearing as an alif maqsuura, ى . Thus, our model verb in the imperfect is يَتَحدّى and will conjugate in the imperfect just like verbs belonging to the category of ينسى , نسى

For the complete conjugations for Form V defectives, go to the charts at the end of the book. But you should be able to produce them completely on your own. You have all of the principles you need.

In fact, try to produce the command conjugations for تَحدّى on another sheet of paper and then look below.


















Man, this is fun. Let’s go through the steps. First, we need the jussive for the pronoun أنتَ . The present tense would be تَتَحدّى , but in the jussive we must shorten the final radical. Since the final radical is now an alif maqsuura, its short counterpart is a fatha. So we get تَتَحَدَّ for the jussive.

Now we drop off the prefix تَ, which leaves us with تَحَدَّ. Since we now have a word beginning with a consonant followed by a vowel, we have the command.

All of the suffixes on these commands are the same as for the command conjugations of the verb نَسِيَ ,يَنسى and are so for the same reasons. If you have problems, go back to the section of Chapter One in Part II which deals with verbs like يَنْسى , نَسِيَ


Notice that some of the unvoweled command forms can be interpreted in more than one way.

The verbal noun is a defective noun. For our model verb it is تَحَدَّ Like other defective nouns, it will show a ي if it is made definite or if it is the first term of any idaafa. Thus “the challenge” is التحدّي. The plural is a feminine sound plural and is therefore regular تَحَدِيات Defective nouns are all alike, so you may wish to review the section in Chapter One, Part II, which deals with them, or look at Part A of Chapter Two, Part III.

The verbal nouns of Form V defectives sometimes appear without the definite article or are not in an idaafa and cause lots of trouble for students. So if you see anything that looks like تحد, beware.

The active and passive participles for Form V defectives are exactly like the active and passive participles of their counterparts in Forms II through IV. The active participle of our model verb is مُتَحَدٍّ and the passive is مُتَحَدًى Needless to say, all defective participles cause trouble for the unwary student.


Form VI works in a fashion very similar to Form V. A common Form VI verb is تَعَاونَ. Form VI is marked by a prefixed تَ just as in Form V. However, in Form VI the تَ prefix is added to Form III instead of Form II. Note that تَعَاونَ. with the تَ removed is عَاوَنَ, a Form III verb.

Usually, a Form VI is a reflexive of Form III. For example, عاون , a Form III verb, means “to help (someone).” The Form VI means “to help each other” and is almost always translated as “to cooperate.” Look at the two sentences below.


١. عاونت مصر الفلسطينيين

٢. تعاونت مصر والفلسطينيون


The Form III verb takes a direct object, the Form VI verb (usually) does not. The second sentence could be written simply as تعاونوا if we were to drop out the subjects. Often the preposition مع is used as in تعاونت مصر مع الفلسطينيون . “Egypt cooperated with the Palestinians.”


You will see all of these uses and should be able to recognize them easily. Sometimes a Form VI verb can be transitive. For example, تناول means “to deal with” or “to treat” as in a subject or an idea.

The past tense conjugations should be obvious. They are in the charts.

The imperfect conjugations are exactly like those in Form V. The prefix vowel is a fatha and so is the stem vowel. So the third person singular in the present tense for our model verb is يَتعاوَنُ . The remaining conjugations are in the charts.

Now produce the command for the pronoun انتَ. The correct answer is تَعاوَنْ. If you have a problem, look at the charts and at the explanation for Form V above.

The verbal noun is تَعاوُن, just as in Form V.

The active participle is مُتَعاوِن and the passive participle is مُتَعاوَن The passive participle is not used with most Form VI verbs, but it is used with some.

The passive voice in Form VI is extremely rare. Its conjugations should be obvious to you. They are not in the charts. Just kidding, examples are in the charts. But do not worry about the passive voice for Form VI.


Hollow Verbs

The same situation as for Form V applies. تَعاوَنَ is itself a hollow verb.


Assimilated Verbs

Again, no problem. These are regular. تَوافَقَ is an example.


Cancoctated Verbs

There is no such thing as cancoctated verbs in Arabic or in any other language that I know of.


Doubled Verbs

These are very rare in Form VI and will not be taught. تشادَّ is an example and the conjugations are in the charts.


Defective Verbs

These work exactly like Form V defective verbs. تَقاضى (“to charge”) is an example., In both tenses it conjugates just like a Form V defective. The participles work the same way also. مُتقاضٍ is the active participle and مُتقاضًى is the passive participle. The verbal noun is تَقاضٍ and it works just like the verbal noun for a Form V defective verb.



2 responses to “A: Form V and Form VI Verbs”

  1. […] from which the participle is derived is combined with an appropriate elative.متقدم is from Form V. The verbal noun is تَقَدُّم. “More” in Arabic is أكثر . So we will use […]

  2. roohi Avatar

    Thank you for teaching this. I want to learn some more, can you help.

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