Arabic Language Blog

Healthy Verbs: The Doubled Verb الفعل المضعّـف Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

Today, we will look at the third and last type of Healthy (Sound) Verbs; The Doubled Verb الفعل المضعّـف . Now what is meant by that name?


            A Doubled Verb is that which has a two repeated or doubled letters in its root (base).

* This type of verb can be divided into two sub types: 

1) The Three Fold Verb الفعل الثلاثي  / Thulaathy Verb

  • It is that verb that has the second and third letters the same; e.g. شَدَّ = pulled.
  • Here the verb looks as if it has only two letters in its stem, but actually there are three   letters as the second and third letters are duplicated. The second letter of the verb has  a Shaddah on it so it is duplicated (stressed) in pronunciation.
  • When using the verb in different tenses, the duplicated letters can sometimes be unfolded to two similar letters.    

      2) The Four Fold Verbs الفعل الرباعى  / Ruba’ie Verb /  

  • It is the verb that consist of four letters in its stem and has its first and third letters the Same and the second and fourth letters similar; e.g. زَلزَلَ = rocked.

This table shows the different tense forms of these two categories of doubled verbs;  









Three fold Verbs with the second and third letters duplicated

To pull شّدَّ يَشُدّ / يشدُدُ شُدَّ / اِشْدُد
To extend مَدَّ يَمُـدّ / يمدُدُ  اِمدُد 
To release / to untie فَكَّ يَفُـكُّ / يفكُك فُكَّ / اِفكُـك
To count عَـدَّ يَـعُـدّ / يعدُدُ عُدّ / اِعدُد   
To reply / to give back رَدَّ يرُدُّ / يردُد رُدّ / اِردُد
To pass by  مَرَّ   يمُرُّ / يمرُر مُرّ / امرُر  
To like وَدَّ   يَوَدُّ   وُدّ  
To love حبَّ   يُحِبُّ / يُحبِب حِبّ / أحبِبْ 
To work hard جَدَّ يَجِدُّ   جِدَ  
To blow هَبَّ يَهُبُّ هُبّ
To push back صَدَّ يَصُدُّ صُدّ
To bite عَضَّ يَعُضُّ / يَعضُض عُضَّ / اِعضُض
To run away فَرَّ يَفِرُّ فِرّ
To block سَدَّ يَسُدُّ / يَسْدُد  سُدّ / اِسْدُد

Four Fold Verbs with the First and third letters the same

To rock زَلزَلَ يُزَلزِل زَلزِل
To whisper وَسوَسَ يُوَسوِسُ وَسوِسْ
To giggle قَهقهَ يُقَهقِهُ قهقِهْ
To jingle جَلجَلَ يُجَلجِلُ جَلجِلْ  
To rattle صلصَلَ يُصلصِلُ صلصِلْ
To pull جَرجَرَ   يُجرجِرُ جَرجِرْ
To chain سَلسَلَ يُسلسِلُ سَلسِلْ
To gossip ثَرثرَ يُثرثِرُ ثَرثِر
To squeak زقزقَ يُزقزِقُ


 (Note 1: The rules of gender and number we studied earlier apply to these verb tenses.)

(Note 2: If the three fold doubled past verb is connected to one of these inseparable subject pronouns “Taa of the subject / Naa of the plural speakers / Noon of the plural feminine”, then the duplicated letter is unfolded and written as two letters; e.g. شدَدتُ / شددنا / شددن )

(Note 3:If the three fold doubled present or Imperative verb is attached to the Noon of the Feminine, then the duplicated letter is unfolded to two letters; e.g. يشددن / اِشدُدن )

(Note 4: If the three fold present or imperative verb has a Sukoon, then it can either be duplicated or unfolded.)

(Note 5: To get the Imperative from the four fold doubled Verbs, you just change the Fatha above the third letter of the stem to a Kasrah underneath and apply a Sukoon on the fourth letter.)


Next time, we will look at Unhealthy (Sick) Verbs.  

Check us back soon

Peace سلام   / Salam/

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About the Author: Fisal

Well, I was born near the city of Rasheed or Rosetta, Egypt. Yes, the city where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. It is a small city on the north of Egypt where the Nile meets the Mediterranean. I am a Teacher of EFL.