From “Why Arabic Is Terrific”:
Nearly all Arabic words consist of a three-consonant root slotted into a pattern of vowels and helper consonants. The root gives the word its base meaning, while the pattern modifies this meaning in a systematic and predictable way. This idea is so cool that you’d think it came from a constructed language, and yet Arabic has actual native speakers who live completely normal lives and will not try to talk to you about Runescape.
For example, the pattern
ma--a-, where the hyphens are placeholders for three root consonants, is nearly always a place name in Arabic. The pattern
i-a-a-agenerates a verb meaning “to cause someone to do X”, where the meaning of X is determined by that three-consonant root.