The Hyperbolic Participle

The Hyberbolic Participle


The hyperbolic participle is that noun derived from a gerund which is used to indicate upon the one who has/is/will enact the meaning expressed by the root letters to a very high degree or to a very large extent. For example, we can create a hyperbolic participle for “traveling” which gives us the meaning “one who travels a lot” or “one who travels by profession”, in other words “a globetrotter”.


Some points to note about the exaggerated participle have already been detailed in our discussion on the active participle:


  • it can occupy any grammatical positioning in a sentence
  • the meaning might not always be obvious
  • it can be used as both an adjective and a noun
  • not all gerunds have an associated hyperbolic participle; in fact, most don’t


One of the patterns in the inventory of this participle is especially useful for occupations. The list below gives some examples of this:


Translation Meaning from Root Letters Arabic Word
barber to shave حَلاَّق
mason, builder to build بَنَّاء
executioner to whip, be tough جَلاَّد
lethal, pernicious to kill قَتَّال
winegrower also has to do with vines كَرَّام
carpenter to carve نَجَّار



The hyperbolic participle exists only for trilateral roots with no extra letters. Constructing the participle is a simple matter of placing the root letters on one of the following patterns. Given a set of three root letters, however, it is unpredictable which one of these patterns will be used, or if the root letters even have an associated hyperbolic participle at all.

  • فَعِل
  • فَعُوْل
  • فَعِيْل
  • فَعَّال
  • فُعَّال
  • فُعُّوْل
  • فِعِّيْل
  • فَيْعُول
  • مِفْعَال
  • مِفْعِيْل
  • فَعَّالَة

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