Languages

Hebrew

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Introduction

Hebrew (עברית, ‘Ivrit) is a Semitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language family spoken by more than seven million people in Israel and by an unknown number of people in Jewish communities around the world. In Israel, it is the de facto language of the state and the people, as well as being one of the three official languages (together with Arabic and English), and it is spoken by the majority of the population.

The verb

In Hebrew, verbs are conjugated to reflect their tense and mood, as well as to agree with their subjects in gender, number, and person. Each verb has an inherent voice, though a verb in one voice typically has counterparts in other voices.

The Hebrew verb serves essentially the same functions as the English verb, but is constructed very differently: Hebrew verbs have much more internal structure. Every Hebrew verb is formed by casting a three- or sometimes four-consonant root into one of seven binyanim (בניינים, meaning buildings or constructions; the singular is binyan).

Most roots can be cast into more than one binyan; that is, more than one verb can be formed from the typical root. When this is the case, the different verbs are usually related in meaning, typically differing in voice, in valency, in semantic intensity, in aspect, or in more than one of these.

Sample verb: קרא (root)

This root has 3-4 more or less common binyanim.

Binyan: פָּעַל

read; call, name; call out; summon, invite

PresentPastFutureImperative
קוֹרֵאקָרָאתִיאֶקְרָא 
קוֹרֵאת   
קוֹרֵאקָרָאתָתִּקְרָאקְרָא
קוֹרֵאתקָרָאתתִּקְרְאִיקִרְאִי
קוֹרֵאקָרָאיִקְרָא 
קוֹרֵאתקָרְאָהתִּקְרָא 
קוֹרְאִיםקָרָאנוּנִקְרָא 
קוֹרְאוֹת   
קוֹרְאִיםקְרָאתֶםתִּקְרְאוּקִרְאוּ
קוֹרְאוֹתקְרָאתֶןתִּקְרֶאנָהקְרֶאנָה
קוֹרְאִיםקָרְאוּיִקְרְאוּ 
קוֹרְאוֹתקָרְאוּתִּקְרֶאנָה 

Binyan: נִפְעַל

to be read; to be called, named

PresentPastFutureImperative
נִקְרָאנִקְרֵאתִיאֶקָּרֵא 
נִקְרֵאת   
נִקְרָאנִקְרֵאתָתִּקָּרֵאהִקָּרֵא
נִקְרֵאתנִקְרֵאתְתִּקָּרְאִיהִקָּרְאִי
נִקְרָאנִקְרָאיִקָּרֵא 
נִקְרֵאתנִקְרְאָהתִּקָּרֵא 
נִקְרָאִיםנִקְרֵאנוּנִקָּרֵא 
נִקְרָאוֹת   
נִקְרָאִיםנִקְרֵאתֶּםתִּקָּרְאוּהִקָּרְאוּ
נִקְרָאוֹתנִקְרֵאתֶּןתִּקָּרֶאנָההִקָּרֶאנָה
נִקְרָאִיםנִקְרְאוּיִקָּרְאוּ 
נִקְרָאוֹתנִקְרְאוּתִּקָּרֶאנָה 

Binyan: הִפְעִל

to read aloud, recite

PresentPastFutureImperative
מַמְצִיאהִמְצֵאתִיאַמְצִיא 
מַמְצִיאָה   
מַמְצִיאהִמְצֵאתָתַּמְצִיאהַמְצֵיא
מַמְצִיאָההִמְצֵאתְתַּמְצִיאִיהַמְצִיאִי
מַמְצִיאהִמְצִיאיַמְצִיא 
מַמְצִיאָההִמְצִיאָהתַּמְצִיא 
מַמְצִיאִיםהִמְצֵאנוּנַמְצִיא 
מַמְצִיאוֹת   
מַמְצִיאִיםהִמְצֵאתֶםתַּמְצִיאוּהַמְצִיאוּ
מַמְצִיאוֹתהִמְצֵאתֶןתַּמְצֶאנָההַמְצִיאוּ
מַמְצִיאִיםהִמְצִיאוּיַמְצִיאוּ 
מַמְצִיאוֹתהִמְצִיאוּתַּמְצֶאנָה 

Binyan: הִתְפַּעֵל

to be called, named

PresentPastFutureImperative
מִתְנַשֵּׂאהִתְנַשֵּׂאתִיאֶתְנַשֵּׂא 
מִתְנַשֵּׂאת   
מִתְנַשֵּׂאהִתְנַשֵּׂאתָתִּתְנַשֵּׂאהִתְנַשֵּׂא
מִתְנַשֵּׂאתהִתְנַשֵּׂאתְתִּתְנַשְּׂאִיהִתְנַשְּׂאִי
מִתְנַשֵּׂאהִתְנַשֵּׂאיִתְנַשֵּׂא 
מִתְנַשֵּׂאתהִתְנַשְּׂאָהתִּתְנַשֵּׂא 
מִתְנַשְּׂאִיםהִתְנַשֵּׂאנוּנִתְנַשֵּׂא 
מִתְנַשְּׂאוֹת   
מִתְנַשְּׂאִיםהִתְנַשֵּׂאתֶםתִּתְנַשְּׂאוּהִתְנַשְּׂאוּ
מִתְנַשְּׂאוֹתהִתְנַשֵּׂאתֶםתִּתְנַשֶּׂאנָההִתְנַשֵּׂאנָה
מִתְנַשְּׂאִיםהִתְנַשְּׂאוּיִתְנַשְּׂאוּּ 
מִתְנַשְּׂאוֹתהִתְנַשְּׂאוּתִּתְנַשֶּׂאנָה 

Binyanim

There are 7 basic binyanim:

פעלpa'alsimple active
נפעלnif'alsimple passive
פיעלpi'elintensive active
פועלpu'alintensive passive
הפעילhif'ilcausative active
הופעלhuf'alcausative passive
התפעלhitpa'elreflexive

References

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