Weak lam verbs (perfect active)

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Bilbo Baggins

Senior Member
American English
In the MSA perfect active tense, why are they called weak lam verbs? I understand why hollow verbs are called hollow verbs (because the wa or ya is in the middle) and I understand why doubled verbs are called doubled but why are weak lam verbs called weak lam? There isn´t a lam anywhere in the equation.

  • Abu Bishr

    Senior Member
    Afrikaans, South Africa
    Hi Bilbo

    Arabic linguists as a matter of convention refer to the first root letter of the verb as the faa (from the letter faa), the second root as the 3ayn, and the third root letter as the lam, so it gives you fa3ala. The latter is then used as a scale for subsequent patterns. So you say for example that the verb حَسِبَ (hasiba) is on the pattern فَعِلَ (fa3ila) where the ح of حسب corresponds to the faa of فعل , the س corresponds to the 3ayn and the ب corresponds to the lam.

    So, the expression "weak lam verbs" simply means verbs with a weak third root letter, since the lam in fa3ala (or فعل ) represents the third root letter, e.g. دعا , رمى , خفي , etc. So in each of these verbs it is the third root letter or lam of the verb that is a weak letter, and not the first root letter (i.e. the faa of the verb) or the second root letter (i.e. the 3ayn of the verb).
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