A: Forms VII and VIII

I will treat Forms VII and VIII together due to some important similarities between the two forms with respect to hollow and doubled verbs. Additionally, the end of the section will deal with a special feature concerning the spelling of certain Form VIII verbs.


Form VII verbs are characterized by a prefix of إنْ  placed before the triliteral root. For example إنْفتح  “to be opened” is a typical Form VII. The Form VII verb is always intransitive and often is, in effect, a passive version of the Form I. In fact, it is often used in place of the passive voice of the Form I. The hamza of the prefix is always elided (See note 1 below) if it is not the first letter in a sentence.


Some Form VII verbs are not passive, but they will not be transitive.إنصرف “to go away” is an example which is usually cited in textbooks as a Form VII verb. I believe this is so because it is one of the few Form VII’s which make sense when conjugated for all persons. This verb can also mean “to be spent,” referring to money.

The past-tense conjugations should be obvious. In the present tense, the prefix vowel is a fatha and the stem vowel is a kasra. Thus يَنْصَرفُ, is the conjugation for هو in the present tense. The jussive and the subjunctive conjugations should be evident by now.


Now, what about the command? Stop for a moment and try to produce the command for أنتَ and then continue reading. I hope you got إنْصَرِفْ The jussive is تَنْصَرِفْ When you drop the prefix, you are left with نْصرِفْ Thus you need a command prefix. Since the stem vowel is a kasra, you add a prefix of a kasra on an elidable hamza just as you do for Form I. Thus إنْصَرِفْ is the command. Note that for Forms VII through X, the commands will always have the same prefix.


The verbal noun is إنْصراف The active participle is مُنْصَرِف  . Form VII verbs do not have a passive participle.


Form VIII verbs are characterized by a prefix of إِ (the hamza is elidable, just as in Form VII) and a ت infixed between the first and second radicals. A sukuun is then placed over the first radical. For example,إِكْتَشَفَ   (“to discover”) is a Form VIII verb. Often the meaning of Form VIII verbs is reflexive. The Form I كشف means “to disclose” something to someone else. The Form VIII refers to one’s discovering something for oneself.

Not all Form VIII verbs are reflexive in meaning. Their range of meanings is broad, so you will need to learn the meaning of each one as you come to it. Many Form VIII verbs are transitive.

As usual, the past-tense conjugations should be obvious. If they are not, you know where to look.
The present tense conjugations have exactly the same pattern as Form VII. Thus, the هو conjugation of اِكتشف is يكتشفُ You should see the similarity to Form VII. The command conjugations also take the same patterns as the commands for Form VII. “Discover” is اِكتشفْ


The verbal noun pattern is also the same as for Form VII. إِكْتِشاف is “discovery.”

The active participle is مُكْتَشِف and the passive is مُكْتسَف.


Some Form VIII verbs occur in the passive vpjce. A verb commonly used in the passive is إِنْتَخَبَ which means “to elect.” “He was elected” is أنْتَخَبَ and “He is being elected” is يُنتَخَبُ. So the passive voice here follows the same patterns as those of the verbs you have studied earlier in this book. Note that in the past, every vowel before the stem vowel becomes a dhamma, and that in the present, you start with  a dhamma, but everything else is afatha until you get to the mood marker. This is the same as in Forms   V and VI, which we studied in the previous chapter and will be the case with Form X as well.



Hollow Verbs

Hollow verbs in Forms VII and VIII conjugate exactly the same way. We will look at an example of each. إنقاد is a Form VII hollow verb meaning “to be led.” In the past tense the alif is shortened to a fatha whenever shortening is required. Thus “I was led” is إِنْقَدْتُ. The rules for shortening are the same as always.


Now in the imperfect, the alif REMAINS an alif when it is long, and is shortened to a FATHA when it is short. Thus, although a sound Form VII verb has a stem vowel of kasra in the imperfect, a hollow Form VII WILL NEVER HAVE A KASRA IN THE IMPERFECT. The middle radical will be either an alif or a fatha depending on whether or not shortening is required. Thus “He is being led” is يَنقادُ. If we put يَنقادُ into the jussive, what do you think will happen? The theoretical conjugation would be يَنقادْ As you know from previous sections in this book, you now actually have two sukuuns in a row. Thus the first sukuun and its alif are dropped. A fatha is put in their place. So “He was not led” is لم يَنْقَدْ Notice that without vowels the conjugations could be for a Form I, II, or IV sound verb, among other things. So be careful.


You might wish to try to produce the jussive conjugations for the above verb and then refer to the charts at the end of the book.

The verbal noun is .إنقياد Note the يThe will always be there, even if the middle radical is in reality a و (which it is in this case).

The active participle is مُنْقاد. Note that you have an alif here. The active participle of a Form VII hollow will always have the middle radical represented by an alif. This is different from the pattern you have seen for all other active participles. Be sure to remember this.

There is no passive participle since there is no passive in Form VII at all.

Form VIII hollow verbs behave in all ways just the same as Form VII hollow verbs. For example, the Form VIII of قادَ is إِقْتادَ , which can mean the same thing as the Form VII but can also mean “to lead someone.” In the past tense, the alif is shortened to a fatha whenever shortening is required, just like Form VII. Thus “I led” is إِقْتَدْتُ.


In the imperfect, Form VIII hollow verbs also behave exactly as their Form VII counterparts. Thus, “I am leading” is أَقتادُ and “I did not lead” is لم أَقتدْ. The middle radical is always represented by an alif or  by a fatha.


The verbal noun also has the same pattern as Form VII. Thus, the verbal noun for our model verb is  إِقْتِياد


Now hear, read, and note this. Form VIII verbs have both active and passive participles. I showed you this above using the verb اكتشف . Form VIII hollow verbs, however, have active and passive participles which look exactly the same. The active participle of اقتاد is مُقتاد . This is just like Form VII hollow verbs. The passive participle of the same verb is مُقتاد, the same word. It is context that will tell you which one is being used.


Form VIII hollow verbs can occur in the passive. The pattern in the past tense is أقْتيدَ  and in the imperfect is يُقتادُ. The passive voice in the past tense follows the same pattern as the other verbs we have seen. Note also that the passive in the imperfect looks just like the active when it is not voweled.



Assimilated Verbs

Form VII assimilated verbs are extremely rare and will not be taught in this book. They are regular in all ways.


Form VIII assimilated verbs are very common. A typical such verb is إِتَّفَقَ “to agree.” Hey, what happened to the و ? The و assimilates into the infixed ت This assimilation is indicated by the shadda written on the ت Other than that, Form VIII assimilated verbs are completely regular in every respect. The imperfect is يَتَّفِقُ

The passive voice pattern in the past tense is أُتُّفِقَ It the resent tense it is يُتَّفَقُ The verbal noun is إِتِّفاق . The active participle is مُتّفق and the passive is مُتّفَق



Doubled Verbs

إنْضمَّ الى “to join” is a typical Form VII doubled verb. In the past tense, the verb is conjugated just like any other doubled verb you have seen in Form I. Thus “I joined” is  إنْضَمَمْتُ  Do not forget when to break up the doubled second and third radicals.


Now pay attention to the imperfect. “He joins” is يَنْضمُّ Note that the “stem vowel” comes before the doubled consonant, just as would be the case with any Form I doubled verb. For example, يَرُدُّ Note that in the Form I verb, the stem vowel is a dhamma for this verb and that it too is written before the doubled consonant. Now, in Form I, if the doubled consonant in broken up, what happens to the stem vowel? Remember that the stem vowel is moved to its proper place between the second and third radicals. So “they (fem. Plural) are answering” is يَرْدُدْنَ The dhamma is merely moved over to its proper place.

Now we come back to Form VII. The doubled radical will be broken up for the same conjugations and for the same reasons as in Form I. However, WHENEVER THE DOUBLED RADICAL IS BROKEN UP IN FORM VII, THE STEM VOWEL IS CONVERTED TO A KASRA. Thus, to say “They (fem. plural) are joining the Army” you recite melodiously يَنْضَمِمْنَ الى الجيش The doubled radical is separated and the stem vowel is now a kasra.


In the jussive, Form VII doubled verbs are conjugated the way Form I and Form IV doubled verbs are. You will recall that Form I and Form IV verbs take the endings for the subjunctive when these verbs are conjugated with لم for any of the “big five” pronouns. So, for example, our model verb, إنْضَمَّ conjugated with لم for the third person masculine singular, is لم يَنْضَمَّ

The verbal noun is إنْضِمام


The active participle always will have a fatha for the stem vowel. The active participle of our model verb is مُنْضَمّ


Form VIII doubled verbs work exactly the same way as Form VII doubled verbs. إِحْتَلَّ  (to occupy) is a good and a very common example. For انا in the past tense, the conjugation is إِحْتَلَلْتُ . In the imperfect for هو it is يَحْتَلُّ and for هن it is يَحْتَلِلْنَ In the jussive for هو the conjugation is لم يَحْتَلَّ

The verbal noun is إِحتلال


Form VIII doubled active and passive participles both have fatha for the stem vowel. So the word مُحْتَلّ can mean both “occupier” and “occupied.”

Some Form VIII doubled verbs occur in the passive voice. إِحتَلَّ is itself a good example. “It (fern) was gccupied” is أُحتُلت Note that the stem vowel is not indicated. “They (fem. plural) were occupied” is أحتُلِلْنَ Here you see the usual stem vowel of kasra in the passive past tense. The imperfect counterparts are يُحتَلُّ and يُحتَلَلْنَ respectively. See the charts if you have questions.


You should now be able to see that Form VII doubled and hollow verbs and Form VIII doubled and hollow verbs parallel each other closely. That is, Form VII and Form VIII doubled verbs tend to work the same way in terms of their conjugations and the patterns for their participles and verbal nouns. Also, Form VII and Form VIII hollow verbs also work the same way with respect to conjugations and the production of participles and verbal nouns. I have found it convenient to group them together in my own mind as an aid in remembering how to derive the conjugations, participles, and verbal nouns.



Defective Verbs

These are easy. Our Form VII example in إنقَضى and our Form VIII example is إنتَهى (Note that the ن is part of the root in our Form VIII example and does not represent a Form VII prefix)


These defectives work just like defectives in Forms II, III, and IV. That is, in both tenses they conjugate just like the verb يَجري , جرى Thus, for انا in the past tense, the verbs are إنْقَضيتُ and إنْتَهيتُ

For هو in the present they are ينقضي and ينتهي You should be able to predict the subjunctive, jussive, and command forms. Check the charts at the end.


You should also be able to predict the passive voice conjugations for Form VIII defectives (the Form VII’s don’t have a passive voice). You know where to look.


The verbal nouns are ;.إِنْقِضاء and إِنْتِهاء  .

The active participles are مُنْقَضٍ and مُنْتَهٍ

The Form VIII passive participle is مُنْتَهي


This is a lot of material. You should take a pencil and some paper and see if you can produce the correct conjugations of various Form VII and Form VIII verbs. Then, read the next section and do the drills dealing with Forms VII and VIII.



Assimilation Of The Infixed ت In Form VIII


Since you have had Arabic before, you have probably seen verbs like إتَّبَعَ , إضْطَرَّ , إزْدادَ , and إصْطَدَمَ These are all examples of Form VIII verbs that have assimilated the infixed ت Students are usually not pleased when they first see this phenomenon. I am sure you are not any more pleased now than you were then. At least this time around, I hope, you are less intimidated by the language and realize that many things are no where near as difficult as they seem.


What is happening with the above verbs is that the first radical of each of them is affecting the ت which is infixed in order to form Form VIII. There are actually nine offending letters which cause changes to the ت. You do not need to memorize them, although I will list them below. All you need to be aware of is the kind of changes they make to the ت so that you will be able to identify the roots of words which incorporate these changes. For example, you see the word إدَّعى (which will not have the shadda in most texts) and wonder what the hell it is. Well, IF you know that the letter د assimilates the ت completely (I know that it is a big “if’), you will be able to guess that the word you are looking at is the Form VIII of the verb يَدْعو , دعا with which you fell in love some chapters ago.

The offending letters are all produced near the front of the mouth. They are either dental or emphatic. They are:

ت ث د ذ ز ص ض ط ظ


Whenever any of these letters is the first radical in a Form VIII verb, the ت will undergo some kind of change. Volume I of EMSA gives good examples. I will use them here.


The ث , ت and د all completely assimilate the infixed ت . For example, the Form I تَبِعَ is إِتَّبَعَ in Form VIII. Thus, this type of Form VIII resembles the assimilated Form VIII verbs mentioned above.


The Form I ثأَرَ becomes إثأرَ in Form VIII and the Form I دعا becomes إدَّعى in Form VIII. When these Form VIII words are written without the shaddas (do you think that will happen very often?) they look just like Form IV verbs in the past tense. In the imperfect, they look just like Forms I, II, and IV. I wonder if context will help you decide?


The ط and the ظ also completely assimilate the infixed ت . For example طَلَعَ is a Form I meaning,  among other things, “to appear.” The Form IV of this verb is أَطْلَعَ meaning “to inform (someone of  something).” The Form VIII is إطَّلَعَ meaning “to inform oneself’ or “to be informed.” All three verbs in the imperfect look like this: يطلع


The ظ works just like the ط . Fortunately, there is only one word in the language that I know of that has ظ for its first radical and also exists in Form VIII. That verb is إظلمَ Look it up. I hope its meaning does not describe the way you feel.


The ص and the ض convert the infixed ت into a ط. For example, the Form VIII of صدم is إصطَدَمَ and the Form VIII of ضرَّ is إضْطَرَّ


The ذ combines with the infixed ت to form a د with a shadda. Thus, the Form VIII of ذكر “to remember” is إِذَّكر “to remember.” Why bother to make the Form VIII for this verb?

The ز turns the infixed ت into a د also. The Form VIII of زاد is إِزْدادَ . This is a verb which you may have seen many times.

If you wish, you may memorize the changes I have just outlined above. That is, if you have nothing else better to do. I recommend, instead, that you simply be aware of a د or ط appearing in a word where a ت should be, and that you keep in mind the Form VIII potential of roots that start with ط , ظ    ت , ث ,د and ذ. Experience with the language will familiarize you with the very limited number of verbs in Form VIII which pull this sort of thing on you. The more common ones are included in your drills on Form VIII.




Note 1 – The elidable hamza with a kasra is used as part of the prefix for Forms VII-X. Often, the elidability of the hamza is indicated in text books by writing the prefix using only the alif and the kasra like this -إِ instead of writing out the whole thing – إِ You will see both renderings in this text.




3 responses to “A: Forms VII and VIII”

  1. Bobby Thomas Avatar
    Bobby Thomas

    “The ذ combines with the infixed ت to form a د with a shadda. Thus, the Form VIII of ذكر “to remember” is إِذَّكر “to remember.” Why bother to make the Form VIII for this verb?”

    On this example اذكر should be ادكر
    Do you agree?

  2. - Avatar

    جزاك الله خيرا كثيرا for this detailed explanation fused with humour. Allah knows we need humour to get through these studies at times
    Stay blessed!

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