Arabic Language Blog

Weak Verbs: The Naaqis (Defective) Verb الفعل الناقص Posted by on Jun 1, 2011 in Arabic Language, Grammar, Vocabulary

  • We said before that a weak verb is that which has one or two sick letters in its base (root).
  • The letters that make a verb 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.
  • Today, we will look at the third type of weak verbs; the Defective or Naaqis Verb الفعل الناقص.      


      A Naaqis (Defective) ناقص Verb is that whose third (last) letter is sick in its root form.

  • Naaqis verbs have an Alif (ا ), a Yaa (ى ) or a Waw (و )  as its last letter.
  • The final Alif is often turned into a Waw (و ) or a Yaa (ى ).
  • To know the origin of the Alif, get the noun form of the root verb.

             Examples: – غَزا = to invade (v.) ► غَزْو = invasion (n.)  ► غَزَوَ (original verb)

                               – رَمَى = to throw (v.) ► رَمْىْ = throwing (n.)   ► رَمَىَ (original verb)

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

  Past الماضي Present المضارع Imperative الأمر   Noun الاسم


Three Fold


(Defective)  Verbs




Yaa as origin of the



To invite / call دَعَا يَدْعُو/ يَدْعُ  اِدعُ  دَعْوَة 
To seem بَدَا يَبْدُو / يَبْدُ   اِبْدُ  صَوْمٌ
To invade غَزَا يَغْزُو / يَغْزُ اِغْزُ غَزْوْ
To tower / soar سَمَا يَسْمو / يَسْمُ  اِسمُ  سُمُو 
To tower / overlie عَلا يَعْلُو / يَعْلُ اِعْـلُ عُلـُو
To look at   رَنـَا يَرْنـُو / يَرنُ اِرنُ رُنُو
To beg رَجَي يَرْجُو / يَرْجُ اِرْجُ  رَجَاء
To get strong قَوِىَ يَقْوَى / يَقْوَ اِقْوَ قُوَّة
To run جَرَى يَجْرِى / يَجْرِ اِجْرِ جَرْىْ
To prohibit نَهَىَ يَنْهـِىِ / يَنْهِ اِنْهِ نَهْىْ
To build بَنـَي يَبْنـِى / يَبْنِ اِبْنِ بِنَاء
To throw رَمَى يَرْمـِى / يَرْمِ اِرْمِ رَمْىْ
To refuse أبَى يَأبَى / يَأبَ اِئبَ إبَاء
To walk مَشَى يَمْشـِى / يَمْشِ اِمْشِ مَشْىْ
To forget نَسِىَ يَنْسَى / يَنْسَ اِنْسَ نِسْيَانْ
To go blind عَمِىَ يَعْمَى / يَعْمَ اِعْمَ عَمَىَ
To accept رَضِيَ يَرْضَى / يَرْضَ اِرْضَ رِضَيَ
To stay / remain بَقِىَ يَبْقَى / يَبْقَ اِبْقَ بَقَاء
To seek / pursue سَعَى يَسْعَى / يَسْعَ اِسْعَ سَعْىْ
To fear خَشِيَ يَخْشَى / يَخْشَ اِخْشَ خِشْيَة
Other Naaqis verbsWith more than three letters To sing غَنَّىَ يُغَنّى غَنِّ غِنَاء
To accept اِرْتَضَى يَرْتَضِى اِرْتَضِِ اِرْتِضَاء
To seize / capture اِسْتَوْلَى يَسْتَولِِى اِسْتَوْلِ اِسْتِيلاء
To get arrogant اِسْتَعْلَى يَسْتَعْلِى اِسْتَعْلِ   اِسْتِعْلاء
To lie down اِسْتَلْقَى يَسْتَلْقِى اِسْتَلقِ اِسْتِلقَاء
To summon اِسْتَدْعَى يَسْتَدْعِى اِسْتَدْعِ اِسْتِدْعَاء

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

(Note 2 : The final sick letter in Naaqis/Defective verbs is deleted in Imperative and Present Majzoom verb forms.)

(Note 3: The final sick letter in the Past Naaqis verb is deleted if the verb is attached to the Taa of Address or the Waw of the Masculine Plural; e.g. دَعُوا = They invited , لا تَدعِى = Don’t invite , جَرَوْا = They ran ..)

(Note 4 : The final sick letter in the Past Naaqis verb is turned to its origin (Yaa or Waw) if the verb is attached to a subject pronoun except for the Yaa of Address and the Waw of the Masculine Plural; e.g. دَعَوْتُ = I invited , دَعَوْتَ = You invited , دَعَوْنا = We invited , جَرَيْتُ = I ran , جَرَيْتَ = You ran , جَرَينَا = We ran .. etc.)


Next time, we will continue looking at Weak Lafeef 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. Junaid Shamim:

    I think the sentence ‘The final Alif is often turned into a Waw (و ) or a Yaa (ى ) should be ‘ The final Waw or a Yass is often turned into Alif’

    Thank you

  2. Mehmood Ali:

    Good and effective lessions .