Today we are going to talk about two special cases of the בִּנְיָן פָּעַל . 

  1. the case of the  פָּעַל  with a ו OR י as the SECOND LETTER  of the root. 
  • Infinitive: the infinitive of this group consists of the ל that usually indicates the infinitive followed by the 3 letters of the root (where the second letter MUST BE  a י OR ו )

Examples: 

לָשִׁיר – to sing 

לָגוּר – to live 

  • Present:  here we are going to use the example of לָגוּר but the characteristics are the same no matter if the second letter of the root is a ו or a י 

REAL/IRREAL MOOD AND WORD ORDER

In the last postI introduced the concept of real and irreal mood in Biblical Hebrew.  In  this post, we’ll take a look at real and irreal phrases and clauses in the Bible.

Recall that certain grammatical words at the beginning clauses indicate irreal mood.  These include:

  1. The negatives אַל and לֹא;
  2. Conditional clause markers (אִם and כִּי אִם)
  3. Volitional forms: Imperatives (second-person), jussives (second- or third-person), traditionally-called cohortatives (more properly, first-person jussives).
  4. Purpose clause markers, such as לְמַעַן

Both the Imperfect and Perfect forms can express irreal mood.  Continue reading “Mood and Word Order in Biblical Hebrew, pt. 3”

Or: Weingreen English-Hebrew Translation, Exercise 31, Number 6

I’ve mentioned before that we are doing English-to-Hebrew translation exercises from Weingreen’s A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew as entertainment, not as a formal study. I figured that I would post the exercise that I have just posted on B-Hebrew and give you some insight into what goes into my thinking when I produce my translations. You are free to comment and let me know if you agree or disagree with my decisions and why.

Continue reading “How I Go About My Translations”

As we have seen in the introductory article the פָּעַל is the “basic” verb pattern in Hebrew. However , this does not mean that the פָּעַל is simple. In order to cover the main regularities and irregularities of this pattern, I have decided to split the explanations for פָּעַל in two articles to enhance clarity.

Continue reading “the verb pattern פָּעַל (part I)”

When my oldest daughter was 5 years old she was supposed to start learning how to read in Hebrew in her preschool, but we were about to move to a different city so it didn’t work out. That’s how I ended up teaching her how to read in Hebrew. Our primary language is Hebrew, but we also speak in English.

From my experience, it is best to start with memorizing the letters (including the ending letters like Nun Sofit – נון סופית) again and again, until you know them 90% at least. 

Continue reading “The best way to learn to read in Hebrew”

I am working on a post on real and irreal mood.  It is really long, so I think I’m going to cut it into further parts. Besides, Jason reminded me that “No one knows what real and irreal moods are!” So, that’s what this post is for.

Real and irreal mood is more or less the same thing as the indicative and subjunctive moods in English. Real mood (indicative) is a statement grounded in reality.  Most often, this is a simple statement.

Irreal (subjunctive) mood includes sentences or statements that are one step removed from reality, i.e., something that may or may not have happened. “Irreal” is a linguistic description derived from the Latin irrealis. Irreal mood may also be called “unreal” mood.

Continue reading “Mood and Word Order in Biblical Hebrew, pt. 1”

Verbs are certainly one of the hardest parts of modern Hebrew. This article starts a series of articles on the פְּעָלִים that are the nightmare of any Hebrew learner, not only for beginners. This introductory post will discuss the basic characteristics of Hebrew verbs; while in the following articles, we will dig deeper into each one of the בִּנְיָינִים.

All verbs in Hebrew consist of two things:

  1. Pattern (בִּנְיָין): this is the “body” or the “structure” of the verb, what gives each פֹּ֫עַל (verb) its form. 
  2. Root (שׁ֫וֹרֶשׁ): this is the three- or four-letter system that gives meaning to each פֹּ֫עַל.

Continue reading “Verbs in Modern Hebrew (Introduction)”

It might surprise some to learn that I have more in common with Nehemia Gordon than not. After all, I spend a lot of time talking about why I believe he is wrong about the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. It’s truly not a feud that I have with him personally, since I would agree with the great majority of his stances on biblical issues (as far as I’ve understood them). In this post, I want to enumerate the ways in which I agree with Nehemia Gordon so that people don’t think that I oppose everything he has to say.

Continue reading “How I Agree with Nehemia Gordon”

In recent years, there has been lively discussions concerning word order in Biblical Hebrew.  For last century, and until  very recently, the consensus among most scholars has been that Hebrew exhibits VERB-SUBJECT word order.  For example:

בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֲלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָעָרֶץ׃
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.¹

At the head of the clause, we have an infinitive followed by the perfect verb ברא, followed by the subject אֲלֹהִים. The verb is first, followed by the subject.  While this is the most common word order, I argue (following John A. Cook and Robert D. Holmstedt) that it is not the “default” word order. Instead, the default word order is SUBJECT-VERB, as in English.

Continue reading “Word Order in Biblical Hebrew, Pt. 1”