15 August 2014

Arabic Verb Form I (a) فَعَلَ يَفْعُلُ يَفْعِلُ يَفْعَلُ fa'ala yaf'ulu yaf'ilu yaf'alu fa3ala

Meaning shades of Arabic Verbal Form I (a)
Also see posts on Other Arabic Verb Forms
This post is on The Meanings of Arabic Verb Form I (a) فَعَلَ . Usually one or multiple (more than one) of the following meaning shades are applicable in a form I (a) verb and applicable meaning shades may differ from verb to verb.
Last edited on : 15-August-2014 and planned to be edited and improved further.

 فَعَلَ
a-u = فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ
a-i = فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ
a-a = فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ

1 (w) .  Mostly transitive, sometimes intransitive.

2 (t) . Generally a dynamic or active structure. It usually indicates a real action on the part of the subject that occurs over a period of time.

3 (h) . Generally the imperfect of فَعَلَ is يَفْعِلُ (a-i) or يَفْعُلُ (a-u) unless ع or ل of root is a guttural letter i.e. 1 of  أ ، ه ، ع ، ح ، غ ، خ in which case the imperfect can also come on يَفْعَلُ (a-a). Various فَعَلَ verbs have both imperfects i.e. يَفْعِلُ (a-i) or يَفْعُلُ (a-u) .

4 (h) . The verb indicative of superiority usually has فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ , but not all verbs of a-u are indicative of superiority and have other meaning shades also.

5 (h). The form فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ comes when ف of root is و or ي . Damma is discarded because a ي followed by a و or ي before a damma is deemed heavy. If it is و then it is usually dropped since it is deemed heavy when it is quiescent and is between a ي pronounced with fatha and inseparable kasra. (This can be originally a-i or a-u. )

6 (h) . The form فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ comes when ع or ل of root is ي , but if one of  ع or ل is ي and other one of ع or ل is a guttural letter, then in such cases it can also come on the form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ  . (This can be originally a-i or a-u)

7 (h) . For roots with same letter as  ع and ل of root i.e. reduplicated verbs ,  فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ mostly comes for intransitive verbs e.g. خَرَّ يَخِرُّ and very rarely for transitive verbs.

8 (h) . For roots with same letter as  ع and ل of root i.e. reduplicated verbs ,  فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ mostly comes for transitive verbs , and sometimes for intransitive verbs .

9 (h) . The form فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ comes when ع or ل of root is و , but if ل of root is و and ع of root is a guttural letter in which case it can also come on the form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ  . (This can be originally a-u or a-i)

10 (h) .  The form فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ comes when the verb is indicative of superiority to the competitor but if ف of root is a و or if ع or ل of root is ي , then the form is  فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ . (Such verbs are originally a-u)

11 (h) . The form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ usually comes when the verb in not indicative of superiority to the competitor and ع or ل of root is a guttural letter , and root is not with same letter as  ع and ل i.e. it is not a reduplicated verb and verb is not a verb which is well known for its usage in form فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ or فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ .The guttural letter makes form a-a allowable, but not necessary.
Extremely few exceptions exist in which form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ is used even when ع or ل of root is not a guttural letter e.g. أَبَىٰ يَأْبَىٰ etc. Some possible reasons can be there via which some of the exceptions can be shown to still follow the rule. Some say that بَقَىٰ يَبْقىٰ is originally بَقِىَ يَبْقىٰ because every final ى pronounced with uninflectional fatha and preceded by kasra, can be converted into ا or ى (which is is written ى but spoken like ا and is called ألف مقصورة .) and then kasra on its previous letter is also converted to fatha. Very rarely, perfect of 1 form is used while imperfect of other form is used. Also very rarely, an inter-mixture of 2 dialectic variants is used in which perfect is taken from 1 form while imperfect is taken from the other form.

Important Note: 
Below, I give meaning shades of the sub forms a-u, a-i mostly based on (k) and since other books I have didn't contain much information , I couldn't cross check and re-verify the suggested meaning shades using other books. Moreover, the book has quoted 1 example with most of the shades and it can't be ascertained without an exhaustive study into many such verbs from each sub form the number of verbs on which each of the given meaning shades apply. So just read them few times and if you can keep in mind easily you can, but no need to memorize below meaning shades of form I (a).  

ن The form فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ also known as form  نَصَرَ
In such verbs, one or multiple from the following meaning shades may be applicable.

Important meaning shades:
1 (h)(k)(a) . Indicative of superiority to the competitor . Showing the superiority, surpassing, overpowering, predominating, gaining of ascendancy, victory, overcoming, prevailing of 1 competitor over the other. After form III verb indicating reciprocity or mutual effort or competition, form I (a-u) is usually used to show the gaining of superiority of 1 over the other. An important point to note is that we can't choose any verb we like in a-u and use it to show superiority to the competitor, but this is only for those verbs which are used in Arabic in this sense . 
If ف of root is a و or ي OR if ع or ل of root is ي , then the form used is  فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ . It appears that such verbs are originally a-u but due to 1 of these 2 reasons the form is converted to a-i . Specially form I forms indicative of superiority appear to be originally a-u, which are sometimes converted to form a-i when one of these conditions is met. Note: This quality won't be discussed again in a-i even if it comes from a-i when 1 of above mentioned conditions is met, because it appears that in such cases also it is originally a-u which is converted to a-i. 
 كَبَرْتُهُI became bigger than him.

2 (a-u, a-i) (k) . To indicate the subject or فَاعِل making the object or مَفْعُول to become possessed of the meaning indicated by the root or word from the same root.
 ثَلَثَ الْمَالَHe made 3 portions of the wealth. (derived from the word ثُلُث from the same root  ث ل ث .)

3 (a-u, a-i) (k) . To indicate the subject or فَاعِل reaching the place or time indicated by the word from the same root.

Other meaning shades:
4 (k) . Possessing the meaning indicated by the root or thing indicated by the word from the same root.
 بَابَ لَهُHe was or became a keeper of بَاب i.e. door keeper for him.

5 (k) . Doing something in the time indicated by the word from the same root.
 غَدَاHe went or went away in the time called غُدْوَة (the early part of the morning).  

6 (k) . Making the thing indicated by the word from the same root.
 جَدَرَHe made a جِدَار i.e. wall.

7 (k) . Using the thing indicated by the word from the same root. Doing with the thing indicated by the word from the same root, the function it is made for. 
 عَصَاهُHe struck or beat him with a عَصَا i.e. staff. (He used a عَصَا i.e. staff. to strike him.)

8 (k) . Taking from something what is indicated by its root or indicated by a word from its root.
 ثَلَثَ الْمَالَHe took 3rd portion of the wealth.

9 (k)(a) .  Thrusting, propelling, pushing or repelling the thing indicated by the word from the same root, to remove it from its place .
 بَصَقَHe spat. (بُصَاق means spittle or saliva that has gone forth from the mouth)

10 (k) . Subject or فَاعِل joining or mixing something with the object or مَفْعُول .
مَشَجَ بَيْنَهُمَا He made a mix up or confusion between them 2. 
مَزَجَهُ بِالْمَآء He mixed, mingled, blended it with water.

11 (k) . Subject or فَاعِل veiling, covering the object or مَفْعُول .
حَجَبَهُ He veiled it. 

12 (k) . Verbs indicating gathering together or collecting together or assembling together often come on form a-u.
حَشَرَهُم He assembled them together.

13 (q) . This form has verbs indicating the act of advancing or expansion, spreading etc.  and related meaning shades.

14 (a-u, a-i) (k) . Preventing something from the meaning indicated by the root of the verb or word from the same root as the verb.

15 (a-i, a-u) (k) .Giving the thing indicated in the word from the same root.
 أَجَرَهُHe gave him أَجْر (a recompense, compensation or reward for what one has done).

16 (a-i, a-u) (k) . Feeding someone with the thing indicated in the word from the same root.
تَمَرَهُ (a-i, a-u) he fed him تَمْر (dates.)
17 (a-i, a-u) (k)(a) .Subject or فَاعِل Removing from the object or مَفْعُول the meaning indicated by the root or thing indicated by the word from the same root .
(This appears to be more common in a-i as compared to a-u based on (k). In examples like below one, both a-i and a-u forms can be used.)
 قَشَرَهُ(a-i) & (a-u) both used in similar meaning. He removed or stripped off from it (e.g. branch or some other thing) the قِشْر (outer covering, superficial part, outer integument, peal, rind, bark, coat, covering, skin, crust etc.)


ض The form فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ also known as form  ضَرَبَ
In such verbs, one or multiple from the following meaning shades may be applicable.

Important meaning shades:
1 (a-i, a-u) (k)(a) .Subject or فَاعِل Removing from the object or مَفْعُول the meaning indicated by the root or thing indicated by the word from the same root .
(This appears to be more common in a-i as compared to a-u based on (k). In examples like below one, both a-i and a-u forms can be used.)
 قَشَرَهُ(a-i) & (a-u) both used in similar meaning. He removed or stripped off from it (e.g. branch or some other thing) the قِشْر (outer covering, superficial part, outer integument, peal, rind, bark, coat, covering, skin, crust etc.)

2 (k) . To shorten a sentence into 1 verb by making the verb from root of 1 word of the sentence.

3 (q) . Movement from above to below.

Other Meaning Shades:
4 (k) . Becoming the thing indicated in the word from the same root or becoming like the thing indicated in the word from the same root.

5 (k) . Making something reach the thing indicated by the word from the same root as that of the verb.
 جَلَدَهُ بِالسَّوْطHe hit his جِلْد i.e. skin with a whip. (He caused the whip to reach his skin.)

6 (k) . Subject or فَاعِل making separations or divisions or distinctions in the object or مَفْعُول .
قَسَمَهُ He made divisions of it.
فَصَلَهُ He made separations or distinctions in it.

7 (k) . Cutting the thing indicated by the word from the same root.
خَلَى He cut the  خَلًى (fresh, green or juicy herbage) .

8 (k) .  Settling or staying in some place.
ثَوَى فِيهِ He stayed or dwelt in it.
قَرَّ فِيهِ He settled or remained in it. 

9 (k) . Correcting or mending something.

10 (k) . Verbs having sense of throwing.
رَمَى He threw.

11 (k) . Verbs related to sound or speaking.
نَطَقَ He spoke.

12 (k) . Clothing or covering with the thing indicated in the word from the same root. 

13 (k) . Joining or plastering or coating something with the thing indicated in the word from the same root.
طَانَهُ he plastered or coated it with طِين (clay or mud, soil that has been mixed with water.)

14 (a-u, a-i) (k) . To indicate the subject or فَاعِل reaching the place or time indicated by the word from the same root.
(This appears to be more common in a-u as compared to a-i based on (k) and example provided in (k) for a-i has  ف of root as ي and it can also be a reason of converting form to a-i or it may also be originally a-i.)
يَمَنَ He came on right side.

15 (a-u, a-i) (k) .  Preventing something from the meaning indicated by the root of the verb or word from the same root as the verb.

16 (a-u, a-i) (k) . Collecting together or gathering together something. Appears to be more common in a-u as compared to a-i.

17 (a-i, a-u) (k)  .Giving the thing indicated in the word from the same root.

18 (a-i, a-u) (k) . Feeding someone with the thing indicated in the word from the same root.
خَبَزَهُ (a-i) he fed him خُبْز (bread.)
تَمَرَهُ (a-i, a-u) he fed him تَمْر (dates.)

19 (a-u, a-i) (k) . To indicate the subject or فَاعِل making the object or مَفْعُول to become possessed of the meaning indicated by the root or word from the same root.

20 (k)(n) . To indicate a place becoming grassy or herby. (k) discusses this point as muchness of the thing indicated in the source word or root, but both examples quoted in form I in it relate to grass or herbs only. To me it seems to indicate the possessing or being possessed of the thing indicated in the root or word from the same root, as muchness is not a quality of form I.


Some other Possible meaning shades of form I (a)
1 (k) . Subject or فَاعِل  becoming the thing indicated in the word from the same root.

2 (k) . Subject or فَاعِل making the object or مَفْعُول to become the thing indicated in the word from the same root. 

3 (k) . Subject or فَاعِل  breaking the thing indicated in the word from the same root.    

4 (k) . Verbs having sense of giving pain.

5 (k) . Giving something in return for another.

6 (k) . Going or traveling.


ف The form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ also known as form  فَتَحَ
1 . This form is mostly derived from a-i or a-u because of occurrence of a guttural letter i.e. any of the following letters أ ، ه ، ع ، ح ، غ ، خ as  ع or ل of root and may have any of the meaning shades discussed above for a-i or a-u.

2 (h) . The form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ usually comes when the verb in not indicative of superiority to the competitor and ع or ل of root is a guttural letter , and root is not with same letter as  ع and ل i.e. it is not a reduplicated verb and verb is not a verb which is well known for its usage in form فَعَلَ a-i يَفْعِلُ or فَعَلَ a-u يَفْعُلُ .The guttural letter makes form a-a allowable, but not necessary.
Extremely few exceptions exist in which form فَعَلَ a-a يَفْعَلُ is used even when ع or ل of root is not a guttural letter e.g. أَبَىٰ يَأْبَىٰ etc. Some possible reasons can be there via which some of the exceptions can be shown to still follow the rule. Some say that بَقَىٰ يَبْقىٰ is originally بَقِىَ يَبْقىٰ because every final ى pronounced with uninflectional fatha and preceded by kasra, can be converted into ا or ى (which is is written ى but spoken like ا and is called ألف مقصورة .) and then kasra on its previous letter is also converted to fatha. Very rarely, perfect of 1 form is used while imperfect of other form is used. Also very rarely, an inter-mixture of 2 dialectic variants is used in which perfect is taken from 1 form while imperfect is taken from the other form.

3 (q) .  This has not been accepted as a baab or form in the real sense and has been made for convenience for roots in which letters أ ، ه ، ع ، ح ، غ ، خ come as  ع or ل of root. But is not necessary that each verb meeting this condition comes on form a-a and may come on other forms also.

4 (k)(h) . Fatha is lighter than kasra and kasra is lighter than damma. So fatha is the lightest of the short vowels. The guttural letters are pronounced from throat and are heavy. Also, the more the number of letters in a word, the heavier the word. Putting fatha instead of damma or kasra lightens the word to some extent.

5 (h)(k) . When same guttural letter comes as  ع or ل of root and the verb is reduplicated, almost always it comes on form a-u or a-i and not a-a.


Important Note: 
Various meaning shades overlap exists between a-u , a-i and a-a i.e. some meaning shades are common for more than 1 form, though the meaning shade may be more common or more applicable in 1 form as compared to the other. Also, the possible meaning shades for form I are many due to which many books don't explain them at all or just touch some meaning shade. All 3 i.e. a-u, a-i and a-a have perfect on pattern فَعَلَ . And as discussed at the beginning, some letters coming in various positions of root also cause certain form of imperfect to come and certain form of imperfect to not come. In addition to that sometimes there are more than one dialectic variants for same verb, as a significant number of verbs are assigned form a-u and a-i at the same time. This implies that a number of meaning shades may be common in both forms. And a-a also is a form just because of a guttural letter coming and is originally a-u or a-i and has meaning shade of a-u or a-i or some meaning shade common between a-u and a-i. In short, all meaning shades discussed in this post are meaning shades when perfect comes on pattern فَعَلَ and should be kept in mind for simplicity. Also since this is form I this also helps us understand in what shades an Arabic verb can be used, as it is not only doing the thing indicated in root but there are various kinds and ways of doing and this can broaden our perspective on Arabic verbs.    

Important Note: 
Best examples for analyzing and verifying the level of applicability or non-applicability of above mentioned meaning shades and for finding additional meaning shades is by studying all occurrences of the form in The Qur'an and for that you can check relevant examples for this form in Pattern Wise Concordance PDF by visiting the post:
Pattern wise, Root wise & Letter wise Concordance of The Qur'an
& downloading the concordance documents freely. You can check relevant examples of most of the patterns used in the Qur'an by using concordance documents.

References: When multiple references mentioned for a point, it means material selected from all quoted references more from some and less from others and all quoted references do not necessarily agree on everything. Material is not exactly copied but based on the reference quoted and I have made additions, editions & changes where required :   
k = Aasaan Khaasiyyaat e abwaab Urdu
h = Howell Arabic Grammar English
w = Wright Arabic Grammar English
t = arabic.tripod.com
q = Qawaid Zaban e Qur'an Urdu
n = new indication by me.
a = Derived from other tools like arabic almanac or some other book.