root: ر-ب-ع / adjective / definition: quadriliteral
Quadriliterals… we meet again. And this time, we’re looking at how to transform form I quadriliteral verbs from active to passive.
- Quadriliteral verbs are verbs derived from four-letter roots
- Quadriliterals have their own verb form patterns, separate from those of triliteral (three-letter-root) verbs
- The reason we’re just looking at form I quadriliteral verbs in this post (and not forms II-IV) is because the others rarely form passives!
- For quadriliterals, the letters ف-ع-ل-ل represent the root
So, active form I quadriliterals look like this: فَعْلَلَ / يُفَعْلِلُ.
- تَرجَمَ / يُتَرجِمُ (to translate)
- زَعزَعَ / يُزَعزِعُ (to shake)
- عَرقَلَ / يُعَرقِلُ (to obstruct)
We actually don’t see passive form I quadriliteral verbs very much because many quadriliteral roots also have a form II verb (in the pattern تَفَعْلَلَ / يَتَفَعْلَلُ) which carries the passive meaning.
- تَزَعزَعَ / يَتَزَعزَعُ (to be shaken)—take a look at Wehr Wednesdays #55
- تَعَرقَلَ / يَتَعَرقَلُ (to be obstructed)
But other form I quadriliteral verbs, like ترجم / يترجم, don’t have a form II version, so we need to use a certain pattern to get a passive meaning.
Like for triliteral verbs, we can form passive quadriliteral verbs by simply changing the vowels of the regular (active) form:
In the past tense, we go from فَعلَلَ to فُعلِلَ (i.e. put a damma on the first root letter and a kasra on the third root letter).
And in the present tense, we go from يُفَعلِلُ to يُفَعلَلُ (i.e. put a fatha on the third root letter).
(You might have noticed that the active-to-passive vowel substitutions for form I quadriliterals are pretty much the same as for form I triliterals—there’s just an extra letter there!)
Time for some examples?
- active: تَرجَمَ / يُتَرجِمُ (to translate)
- passive: تُرجِمَ / يُتَرجَمُ (to be translated)
- active: فَهرَسَ / يُفَهرِسُ (to index)
- passive: فُهرِسَ / يُفَهرَسُ (to be indexed)
Simple as that!
Don’t forget to check out last week’s grammar post The Causative بـ and I’ll be back tomorrow with a Wehr Wednesdays post!
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