Arabic Language Blog

Weak Verbs: The Lafeef Verb الفعل اللفيف Posted by on Jun 4, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

  • Today we are going to learn the last type of the weak verbs which is the Lafeef verb الفعل اللفيف .
  • We said before that a weak verb is that which has one or two sick or vowel letters in its root form.
  • The letters that make a verb sick/weak are: Waw (و ), Alif (ا ) and Yaa (ى ).
  • The position of the sick letter in the root verb determines the type of the weak verb.


      A Lafeef (Enfolding) لفيف Verb is that which has two weak (vowel) letters in its root form.

  • Lafeef verbs consist of two types according to the position of the two weak letters in the root :
  1. Lafeef Mafrooq اللفيف المفروق : Here the root verb has the first and third (final) letters weak (vowels); e.g. وعى = to understand and وقى = to protect.  
  2. Lafeef Maqroon اللفيف المقرون : Here the root verb has the second (middle) and third (final) letters weak (vowels); e.g. روى  = to narrate / to irrigate and طوي = to fold 

The table below shows the different tense forms of this  type of verbs;

  Past الماضي Present المضارع Imperative الأمر  

Three Fold Lafeef Mafrooq Verbs with Two  Vowels as (first and third)

To honour / be loyal وَفى  يَفِي / يَفِ   فِ / فِهِ 
To protect وَقى يَقِي / يَقِ   قِ / قِهِ 
To understand وَعَى يَعِي / يَعِ عِ / عِهِ
To tattle / tell وَشَى يَشِي / يَشِ  شِ / شِهِ 
To follow / succeed وَلِىَ يَلِي / يَلِ لِ / لِهِ
To weaken   وَهِى يَهِى / يَهِ هـِ / هِهِ

Threefold Lafeef Maqroon verbs With two vowels as (second and third)

To love هَوَى يَهوَى / يَهوَ اِهوَ
To fall down هَوِىَ يَهوِى / يَهوِ اِهوِ
To fold طوَي يَطوِى / يَطوِ   اِطوِ  
To iron كوَى   يَكوِى / يَكوِ اِكوِ  
To shelter أوَى يُؤوِى / يُؤوِ   اِئوِ  
To intend نَوَى يَنوِى / يَنوِ اِنوِ
To contain حَوَي يَحوِى / يَحوِ اِحوِ
To be empty خَوَي يَخوَى / يَخوَ اِخوَ
To decay / fade ذوَى يَذوِى / يَذوِ اِذوِ
To narrate / irrigate رَوَى يَروِى / يَروِ اِروِ
To roast / barbecue شَوَي يَشوِى / يَشوِ اِشوِ
To bark عَوَى يَعوِى / يَعوِ اِعوِ
To seduce غَوَى يَغوِى اِغوِ
To bend / twist لوَي يَلوِى / يَلوِ اِلوِ
To lie down ثَوَى يَثوِى / يَثوِ اِثوِ

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

(Note 2 : Lafeef Mafrooq verbs are treated like Mithaal and Naaqis verbs we studied earlier.)

(Note 3: Lafeef Maqroon verbs are treated only like Naaqis verbs. )


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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.