Arabic Language Blog

Weak (Sick) Verbs: The Mithaal Verb الفعل المِثال Posted by on May 25, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

  • We have previously discussed the three types of the Healthy (Sound/strong) Verbs الأفعال الصحيحة . Today, will start looking at Unhealthy (Sick/weak) Verbs الأفعال المعتلة.
  • A sick/weak verb is that which has one or two sick letters in its base (root).
  • The letters that make a verb sick/weak are: Waw (و ), Alif (ا ) and Yaa (ى ), forming the name of the English letter (Y).
  • The sick/weak verbs are divided into three types according to the position of the sick letter in the root verb.
  • The first type of sick verbs is the Mithaal Verb الفعل المثال .


            A Mithaal مِثال Verb is that whose first letter is sick in its root (base) form.

  • The Mithaal verb always starts with either a Waw or a Yaa; e.g. وَعَدَ = to promise

The table shows the different tense forms of this  type of verb;








 Three Fold

Mithaal Verbs

with Waw as a First letter

(the Waw  is omitted in the present and  imperative)

To promise وَعَدَ يَعِدُ  عِدْ
To find وَجَدَ يَجِدُ جِدْ 
To arrive وَصَلَ يَصِلُ صِلْ
To describe وَصَفَ يَصِفُ صِفْ
To arrive at   وَرَدَ يَرِدُ رِدْ
To weigh وَزَنَ يَزِنُ زِنْ
To stand وَقَـفَ يَقِـفُ قِفْ
To jump وَثـَبَ يَثِبُ ثِبْ
To trust وَثـَقَ يَثِقُ ثِقْ
To inherit وَرِثَ يَرِثُ رِثْ
To let وَدَعَ يَدَعُ دَعْ
To leave / let وَذَرَ يَذَرُ ذَرْ
To put  وَضَعَ   يَضَعُ ضَعْ
To gift/give وَهَبَ   يَهَبُ   هَبْ  
To set foot on وطِأَ   يَطَاُ طَأ
Mithaal Verbs with Waw as a First letter 

 (the Waw is not changed)

To fancy / imagine وَهِمَ يَوْهَمُ اِوهِمْ
To panic وَجِلَ يَوْجَلُ اِوْجِلْ
To flash وَمَضَ يُومِضُ اِومِضْ
To tag / label وَسَمَ يَوْسمُ اِوسِمْ  
To weaken وَهُنَ يَوهَنُ اِوهِنْ
To whisper وَسوَسَ يُوَسوِسُ وَسوِسْ
To date / meet وَاعَدَ يُواعِدُ وَاعِدْ
Mithaal Verbs Starting with Yaa which is not omitted To grow up يَفـُعَ يَيْفَعُ اِيْفَعْ
To dry يَبُسَ يَيْبَسُ اِيْبَسْ
To give up يَئِسَ يَيْأسُ اِيئَسْ


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

 (Note 2 : There are very few verbs starting with Yaa in Arabic and they are hardly used.)


Next time, we will continue looking at Unhealthy (Sick/weak) Agwaf 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.


  1. mohammad ahmad:

    what is the reason to name as ‘Mithaal’ the sick Arbic verbs with first letter as waw or ya

  2. Mouatamid:


    PLease give examples of the different “sick verbs” in Arabic.

    Many thanks


  3. Fisal:

    Hi Mouatamid,
    Try searching our blog for “Weak verbs” and you will come to this page:
    Also, try the “older entries” link at the bottom of the page for more blogs 🙂

  4. Umm Nuh:

    Assalamu alaikum,

    How do we pronounce اِوهِمْ

    Or is the imperative form هم?

    Please reply.

  5. mahmuda begum: