Arabic Language Blog

Verb Effect أثر الفعل Posted by on Jul 5, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

Transitive Verbs الأفعال المتعدية  

Intransitive Verbs الأفعال اللازمة

Today, we are going to learn some more about verbs and their effect.

Verbs fall into TWO categories according to the effect they do to the subject and the object:  

1)      The Transitive Verb  الفعل المتعدى /Motad’di Verb/  

                            It is the verb that needs and object and affects this object(s).

                        Examples: – تبنى الحكومة المدارسَ  = Governments build schools.

                                                  – قرأ محمدٌ الدرسَ   = Mohammad read the lesson.

                                                  – كتبَ محمدٌ الخطابَ   = Mohammad wrote the letter.

  * Some Arabic transitive verbs do take only one object like the above mentioned verbs.

  * Some other transitive verbs do take TWO objects; (a first object and a second object):

                             Examples: – علمتُ محمداً بطلاً   = I knew Mohammad (is) a hero.

                                               – أظنُّ / أعتقدُ محمداً بطلاً   = I think Mohammad (is) a hero.

                                               – وجدَ محمدٌ الامتحانَ سهلاً   = Mohammad found the exam easy.

(خالَ = حسبَ = ظنَّ = اعتقدَ / رأى / علمَ / وجدَ / حوَّلَ / اتخذ / كسا / ألبسَ / أعطى / منحَ / سألَ )    

2)      The Intransitive Verb  الفعل اللازم /Laazim Verb/

           It is the verb that doesn’t need an object and affects only its subject.

             Examples: – نامَ محمدٌ   = Mohammad slept.

                                – ضحك الأولادُ   = The boys laughed.

                                – جلس المعلمُ   = The teacher sat down.

                                – أكلتْ القطةُ   = The cat ate.

                               – لبست الفتياتُ   = The girls dressed.

                              – خرج محمدٌ   = Mohammad went out.  

In the above examples the meaning is complete by using only the verb and its subject and the verb effect goes only to the subject.

Can we change an intransitive verb to a transitive one?

The answer is yes we can. There are some rules to do so.

* An intransitive verb can be changed into a transitive verb when : 

     1-     The Transitive Hamza is attached to the verb;

              e.g. –  نام   >>> أنام    

                      –  أنامت الأمُ أولادَها = The mother slept her children.

                    – ضحك   >>> أضحك  

                   – أضحك الفيلمُ الجمهوَر  = The movie made the audience laugh.

                    جلس   >>> أجلس            خرج  >>> أخرج          ذهبَ  >>>أذهبَ        

    2-     The second letter is doubled (has a Shadda); e.g.أكل   >>> أكّلَ /   لبَسَ   >>>  لبَّسَ

                                –  أكّلتْ القطةُ صغارها = The cat fed its young

                              –  لبَّستْ الأمُ أولادَها  = The mother dressed her kids.

                             –   عظُمَ   >>>  عظَّمَ   –          صغرَ  >>> صغَّرَ  –        فهم   >>> فهَّم

    3- Adding an Alif (ألف المُـفـَـاعـَـلة ) as a second letter of the verb; e.g. جلس >>> جالسَ

               e.g.-   جالسَ محمدٌ الأخيارَ = Mohammad accompanied/sat with the good people

    4- Adding the letters (استـ ) to the beginning of the verb;

               e.g.حسُنَ  >>> استحسن        


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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.


  1. Scheich Josef:

    مرحبا يا فيصل

    you call a verb intransitive if it doesn’t need a (direct) object and give as example the sentence

    The cat ate – أكلتْ القطةُ

    If you consider the sentence

    The cat ate the mouse – أكلتْ القطةُ الفأرَ

    then you see, that the verb أكل may have a (direct) object which also effects the object (in this example the mouse!).

    I therefore would consider a verb only as intransitive if it can not have a (direct) object. Otherwise as transitive.

    Do you think your definition of الفعل اللازم and الفعل المتعدى is correct?

    مع السلامة


    P.S. The English verb sleep is intransitive; therefore your English sentence

    The mother slept her children.

    is not possible!