Grammar: الأوزان

Arabic Awzaan Conjugations

I’m deviating from the usual Levantine Arabic lesson with a grammar lesson which might be very useful for those who are starting to learn Arabic. The list above is a list of the most frequent وزن/أوزان (wazan/awzaan) that you will encounter when studying Modern Standard Arabic. It was actually provided to me a couple years ago by Nathan Miller, a terrific Arabic teacher who I had the pleasure of learning from when I had studied in Chicago.

So, what exactly is a wazan? Well, most Arabic words are derived from three root letters. For example, مكتب (office), كتب (he wrote), مكتبة (library), كاتب (writer), كتاب (book) are all derived from the root كتب, comprising of the kaaf, taa, and baa. Every 3 letter root can be transformed into one of up to fifteen different forms or ‘wazan’s though forms 1-8 and 10 are the ones that you’ll be exposed to most frequently.

If you’re taking MSA classes then this is something that you will have already learned (or will learn in due time). This list is more of a guideline to help those with spelling or pronunciation. I used to refer to this all the time, especially if I wasn’t sure about where a short vowel was supposed to be when pronouncing a certain word. I hope you guys might find this helpful as well!


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