Appendix:Hebrew verbs

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Hebrew-language appendices

In Hebrew, like in other Semitic languages, verbs are formed by applying one of several patterns or binyanim (בניינים / בִּנְיָנִים (binyaním, buildings)) to an underlying root (שׁוֹרֶשׁ (shóresh, root)). For example, the verbs הִסְפִּיק (hispík, to be enough, to suffice), סיפק / סִפֵּק (sipék, to supply, to satisfy), and הִסְתַּפֵּק (histapék, to have enough, to be satisfied) are all formed from the root ס־פ־ק (s-p-k), which forms words (among others) with meanings related to "enough". Verbs formed from the same root usually have meanings that are related, often in systematic ways.

Lemma form


Each Hebrew verb has a large number of different forms, depending on tense or aspect and mood, as well as on the gender, number, and/or person of its subject (and sometimes object).

Traditionally, the form of a verb that is listed in dictionaries — the lemma form — is the third-person masculine singular past-tense form, and this dictionary follows that tradition. For example, it is mentioned above that the verb הִסְפִּיק (hispík) means “to be enough”. That specific verb form, however, actually means “(he/it) was enough”. The verb form that specifically means “to be enough” is the infinitive form, לְהַסְפִּיק (l'haspík).

The binyanim


As noted above, there are several different patterns or binyanim according to which a verb may be formed. In the traditional reckoning, there are seven binyanim, known as: pa'ál or kál; nif'ál; pi'él; pu'ál; hif'íl; huf'ál; and hitpa'él. With the exception of the name kál, each name is the lemma form (explained above) of a verb formed with that binyan from the root פ־ע־ל (p-'-l), which forms words related to action. The name kál, which is another name for pa'ál, is the Hebrew word for “light (not heavy)”, and refers to the fact that kál verbs do not have any prefix in the present tense.



Pa'ál or kál is the most common binyan. Pa'al verbs are in the active voice, and can be either transitive or intransitive. This means that they may or may not take direct objects. Pa'al verbs are never formed from four-letter roots.



Verbs in binyan nif'al are always intransitive, but beyond that there is little restriction on their range of meanings. The nif'al is the passive-voice counterpart of pa'al. In principle, any transitive pa'al verb can be rendered passive by taking its root and casting it into nif'al. Nonetheless, this is not nif'al's main use, as the passive voice is fairly rare in ordinary Modern Hebrew.



Binyan pi'el, like binyan pa'al, consists of transitive and intransitive verbs in the active voice, though there is perhaps a greater tendency for pi'el verbs to be transitive.



Binyan pu'al is the passive-voice counterpart of binyan pi'el. Unlike binyan nif'al, it is used only for the passive voice. It is therefore not very commonly used in ordinary speech, except that the present participles of a number of pu'al verbs are used as ordinary adjectives.



Binyan hif'il is another active binyan. Hif'il verbs are often causative counterparts of verbs in other binyanim.



Binyan huf'al is much like binyan pu'al, except that it corresponds to hif'il instead of to pi'el. Like pu'al, it is not commonly used in ordinary speech, except in present participles that have become adjectives.



Binyan hitpa'el is rather like binyan nif'al, in that all hitpa'el verbs are intransitive, and most have a reflexive sense. Indeed, many hitpa'el verbs are reflexive counterparts to other verbs with the same root.



The informal binyan hitpu'al is a passive voice and appears in a few coinages that combine meanings of the pu'al and hitpa'el verbs of the same root.

Suffixed object pronouns


Although it is fairly rare in Modern Hebrew, Hebrew verbs can have object pronouns suffixed directly onto them instead of onto the direct object preposition אֶת or the indirect object preposition לְ־. This affects the morphology of the verb itself. Here is an example of the verb פָּקַד (to command) conjugated with attached object pronouns:

Conjugation of פָּקַד (pakád)
with suffixed object pronouns.
sg m sg f sg m sg f sg pl m pl f pl m pl f pl
־נִי (-ni, me) ־ךָ (-kha, you) ־ךְ (-kh, you) ־וֹ (, him)
־ו (-v, him)
־הוּ (-hu, him)
־וּ (-u, him)
־ָהּ (-áh, her)
־הָ (-ha, her)
־ָה (-a, her)
־נוּ (-nu, us) ־כֶם (-khém, you) ־כֶן (-khén, you) ־ם (-m, them)
־הֶם (-hém, them)
־ן (-n, them)
־הֶן (-hén, them)
Infinitive לפקוד / לְפְקֹד (lifkód, to command) לְפָקְדֵנִי (l'fok'déni) לִפְקָדְךָ (lifkod'khá) לְפָקְדֵךְ (l'fok'dékh) לְפָקְדוֹ (l'fok'dó)
לְפָקְדֵהוּ (l'fok'déhu)
לְפָקְדָהּ (l'fok'dáh) לְפָקְדֵנוּ (l'fok'dénu) לִפְקָדְכֶם (lifkod'khém) לִפְקָדְכֶן (lifkod'khén) לְפָקְדָם (l'fok'dám) לְפָקְדָן (l'fok'dán)
Past sg פָּקַדְתִּי (pakádti, I commanded) פְּקַדְתִּיךָ (p'kadtíkha) פְּקַדְתִּיךְ (p'kadtíkh) פְּקַדְתִּיו (p'kadtív)
פְּקַדְתִּיהוּ (p'kadtíhu)
פְּקַדְתִּיהָ (p'kadtíha) פְּקַדְתִּינוּ (p'kadtínu) פְּקַדְתִּיכֶם (p'kadtikhém) פְּקַדְתִּיכֶן (p'kadtikhén) פְּקַדְתִּים (p'kadtím) פְּקַדְתִּין (p'kadtín)
m sg פָּקַדְתָּ (pakádta, you commanded) פְּקַדְתַּנִי (p'kadtáni) פְּקַדְתּוֹ (p'kadtó)
פְּקַדְתָּהוּ (p'kadtáhu)
פְּקַדְתָּהּ (p'kadtáh) פְּקַדְתָּנוּ (p'kadtánu) פְּקַדְתָּם (p'kadtám) פְּקַדְתָּן (p'kadtán)
f sg פָּקַדְתְּ (pakádt, you commanded) פְּקַדְתִּינִי (p'kadtíni) פְּקַדְתִּיו (p'kadtív)
פְּקַדְתִּיהוּ (p'kadtíhu)
פְּקַדְתִּיהָ (p'kadtíha) פְּקַדְתִּינוּ (p'kadtínu) פְּקַדְתִּים (p'kadtím) פְּקַדְתִּין (p'kadtín)
m sg פָּקַד (pakád, he commanded) פְּקָדַנִי (p'kadáni) פְּקָדְךָ (p'kad'khá) פְּקָדֵךְ (p'kadékh) פְּקָדוֹ (p'kadó)
פְּקָדָהוּ (p'kadáhu)
פְּקָדָהּ (p'kadáh) פְּקָדָנוּ (p'kadánu) פְּקַדְכֶם (p'kad'khém) פְּקַדְכֶן (p'kad'khén) פְּקָדָם (p'kadám) פְּקָדָן (p'kadán)
f sg פָּקְדָה (pak'dá, she commanded) פְּקָדַתְנִי (p'kadátni) פְּקָדַתְךָ (p'kadát'kha) פְּקָדָתֶךְ (p'kadátekh) פְּקָדַתּוּ (p'kadátu)
פְּקָדַתְהוּ (p'kadáthu)
פְּקָדַתָּה (p'kadáta) פְּקָדַתְנוּ (p'kadátnu) פְּקָדַתְכֶם (p'kadat'khém)
פִּקְדַתְכֶם (pik'dat'khém)
פְּקָדַתְכֶן (p'kadat'khén)
פִּקְדַתְכֶן (pik'dat'khén)
פְּקָדָתַם (p'kadátam) פְּקָדָתַן (p'kadátan)
pl פָּקַדְנוּ (pakádnu, we commanded) פְּקַדְנוּךָ (p'kadnúkha) פְּקַדְנוּךְ (p'kadnúkh) פְּקַדְנוּהוּ (p'kadnúhu) פְּקַדְנוּהָ (p'kadnúha) פְּקַדְנוּכֶם (p'kadnukhém) פְּקַדְנוּכֶן (p'kadnukhén) פְּקַדְנוּם (p'kadnúm) פְּקַדְנוּן (p'kadnún)
m pl פְּקַדְתֶּם (p'kadtém, you commanded) פְּקַדְתּוּנִי (p'kadtúni) פְּקַדְתּוּהוּ (p'kadtúhu) פְּקַדְתּוּהָ (p'kadtúha) פְּקַדְתּוּנוּ (p'kadtúnu) פְּקַדְתּוּם (p'kadtúm) פְּקַדְתּוּן (p'kadtún)
f pl פְּקַדְתֶּן (p'kadtén, you commanded)
pl פָּקְדוּ (pak'dú, they commanded) פְּקָדוּנִי (p'kadúni) פְּקָדוּךָ (p'kadúkha) פְּקָדוּךְ (p'kadúkh) פְּקָדוּהוּ (p'kadúhu) פְּקָדוּהָ (p'kadúha) פְּקָדוּנוּ (p'kadúnu) פְּקָדוּכֶם (p'kadukhém)
פִּקְדוּכֶם (pik'dukhém)
פְּקָדוּכֶן (p'kadukhén)
פִּקְדוּכֶן (pik'dukhén)
פְּקָדוּם (p'kadúm) פְּקָדוּן (p'kadún)
Present m sg פּוֹקֵד (pokéd, (I/you/he) command(s)) פּוֹקְדֵנִי (pok'déni) פּוֹקֶדְךָ (poked'khá) פּוֹקְדֵךְ (pok'dékh) פּוֹקְדוֹ (pok'dó)
פּוֹקְדֵהוּ (pok'déhu)
פּוֹקְדָהּ (pok'dáh) פּוֹקְדֵנוּ (pok'dénu) פּוֹקֶדְכֶם (poked'khém) פּוֹקֶדְכֶן (poked'khén) פּוֹקְדָם (pok'dám) פּוֹקְדָן (pok'dán)
f sg פּוֹקֶדֶת (pokédet, (I/you/she) command(s)) פּוֹקַדְתֵּנִי (pokadténi) פּוֹקַדְתְּךָ (pokadt'khá) פּוֹקַדְתֵּךְ (pokadtékh) פּוֹקַדְתּוֹ (pokadtó) פּוֹקַדְתָּהּ (pokadtáh) פּוֹקַדְתֵּנוּ (pokadténu) פּוֹקַדְתְּכֶם (pokadt'khém) פּוֹקַדְתְּכֶן (pokadt'khén) פּוֹקַדְתָּם (pokadtám) פּוֹקַדְתָּן (pokadtán)
m pl פּוֹקְדִים (pok'dím, (we/you/they) command) פּוֹקְדַי (pok'dái) פּוֹקְדֶיךָ (pok'dékha) פּוֹקְדַיִךְ (pok'dáyikh) פּוֹקְדָיו (pok'dáv) פּוֹקְדֶיהָ (pok'déha) פּוֹקְדֵינוּ (pok'déinu) פּוֹקְדֵיכֶם (pok'deikhém) פּוֹקְדֵיכֶן (pok'deikhén) פּוֹקְדֵיהֶם (pok'deihém) פּוֹקְדֵיהֶן (pok'deihén)
f pl פּוֹקְדוֹת (pok'dót, (we/you/they) command) פּוֹקְדוֹתַי (pok'dotái) פּוֹקְדוֹתֶיךָ (pok'dotékha) פּוֹקְדוֹתַיִךְ (pok'dotáyikh) פּוֹקְדוֹתָיו (pok'dotáv) פּוֹקְדוֹתֶיהָ (pok'dotéha) פּוֹקְדוֹתֵינוּ (pok'dotéinu) פּוֹקְדוֹתֵיכֶם (pok'doteikhém) פּוֹקְדוֹתֵיכֶן (pok'doteikhén) פּוֹקְדוֹתֵיהֶם (pok'doteihém) פּוֹקְדוֹתֵיהֶן (pok'doteihén)
Future sg אפקוד / אֶפְקֹד ('efkód, I will command) אֶפְקָדְךָ ('efkod'khá) אֶפְקְדֵךְ ('efk'dékh) אֶפְקְדֵהוּ ('efk'déhu)
אֶפְקְדֶנּוּ ('efk'dénu)
אֶפְקְדֶהָ ('efk'déha)
אֶפְקְדֶנָּה ('efk'déna)
אֶפְקְדֵנוּ ('efk'dénu) אֶפְקָדְכֶם ('efkod'khém) אֶפְקָדְכֶן ('efkod'khén) אֶפְקְדֵם ('efk'dém) אֶפְקְדֵן ('efk'dén)
m sg תפקוד / תִּפְקֹד (tifkód, you will command) תִּפְקְדֵנִי (tifk'déni) תִּפְקְדֵהוּ (tifk'déhu)
תִּפְקְדֶנּוּ (tifk'dénu)
תִּפְקְדֶהָ (tifk'déha)
תִּפְקְדֶנָּה (tifk'déna)
תִּפְקְדֵנוּ (tifk'dénu) תִּפְקְדֵם (tifk'dém) תִּפְקְדֵן (tifk'dén)
f sg תִּפְקְדִי (tifk'dí, you will command) תִּפְקְדִינִי (tifk'díni) תִּפְקְדִיהוּ (tifk'díhu) תִּפְקְדִיהָ (tifk'díha) תִּפְקְדִינוּ (tifk'dínu) תִּפְקְדִים (tifk'dím) תִּפְקְדִין (tifk'dín)
m sg יפקוד / יִפְקֹד (yifkód, he will command) יִפְקְדֵנִי (yifk'déni) יִפְקָדְךָ (yifkod'khá) יִפְקְדֵךְ (yifk'dékh) יִפְקְדֵהוּ (yifk'déhu)
יִפְקְדֶנּוּ (yifk'dénu)
יִפְקְדֶהָ (yifk'déha)
יִפְקְדֶנָּה (yifk'déna)
יִפְקְדֵנוּ (yifk'dénu) יִפְקָדְכֶם (yifkod'khém) יִפְקָדְכֶן (yifkod'khén) יִפְקְדֵם (yifk'dém) יִפְקְדֵן (yifk'dén)
f sg תפקוד / תִּפְקֹד (tifkód, she will command) תִּפְקְדֵנִי (tifk'déni) תִּפְקָדְךָ (tifkod'khá) תִּפְקְדֵךְ (tifk'dékh) תִּפְקְדֵהוּ (tifk'déhu)
תִּפְקְדֶנּוּ (tifk'dénu)
תִּפְקְדֶהָ (tifk'déha)
תִּפְקְדֶנָּה (tifk'déna)
תִּפְקְדֵנוּ (tifk'dénu) תִּפְקָדְכֶם (tifkod'khém) תִּפְקָדְכֶן (tifkod'khén) תִּפְקְדֵם (tifk'dém) תִּפְקְדֵן (tifk'dén)
pl נפקוד / נִפְקֹד (nifkód, we will command) נִפְקָדְךָ (nifkod'khá) נִפְקְדֵךְ (nifk'dékh) נִפְקְדֵהוּ (nifk'déhu)
נִפְקְדֶנּוּ (nifk'dénu)
נִפְקְדֶהָ (nifk'déha)
נִפְקְדֶנָּה (nifk'déna)
נִפְקָדְכֶם (nifkod'khém) נִפְקָדְכֶן (nifkod'khén) נִפְקְדֵם (nifk'dém) נִפְקְדֵן (nifk'dén)
m pl תִּפְקְדוּ (tifk'dú, you will command) תִּפְקְדוּנִי (tifk'dúni) תִּפְקְדוּהוּ (tifk'dúhu) תִּפְקְדוּהָ (tifk'dúha) תִּפְקְדוּנוּ (tifk'dúnu) תִּפְקְדוּם (tifk'dúm) תִּפְקְדוּן (tifk'dún)
f pl תִּפְקֹדְנָה (tifkódna, you will command)
m pl יִפְקְדוּ (yifk'dú, they will command) יִפְקְדוּנִי (yifk'dúni) יִפְקְדוּךָ (yifk'dúkha) יִפְקְדוּךְ (yifk'dúkh) יִפְקְדוּהוּ (yifk'dúhu) יִפְקְדוּהָ (yifk'dúha) יִפְקְדוּנוּ (yifk'dúnu) יִפְקְדוּכֶם (yifk'dukhém) יִפְקְדוּכֶן (yifk'dukhén) יִפְקְדוּם (yifk'dúm) יִפְקְדוּן (yifk'dún)
f pl תִּפְקֹדְנָה (tifkódna, they will command)
Imperative m sg פקוד / פְּקֹד (p'kód, command!) פָּקְדֵנִי (pok'déni) פָּקְדֵהוּ (pok'déhu) פָּקְדֶהָ (pok'déha) פָּקְדֵנוּ (pok'dénu) פָּקְדֵם (pok'dém) פָּקְדֵן (pok'dén)
f sg פִּקְדִי (pik'dí, command!) פִּקְדִינִי (pik'díni) פִּקְדִיהוּ (pik'díhu) פִּקְדִיהָ (pik'díha) פִּקְדִינוּ (pik'dínu) פִּקְדִים (pik'dím) פִּקְדִין (pik'dín)
m pl פִּקְדוּ (pik'dú, command!) פִּקְדוּנִי (pik'dúni) פִּקְדוּהוּ (pik'dúhu) פִּקְדוּהָ (pik'dúha) פִּקְדוּנוּ (pik'dúnu) פִּקְדוּם (pik'dúm) פִּקְדוּן (pik'dún)
f pl פְּקֹדְנָה (p'kódna, command!)

See also