Getting to Know נִפְעַל Verbs

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A brief introduction to the נִפְעַל stem in Biblical Hebrew.

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Getting to Know נִפְעַל Verbs

  1. 1. Biblical HebrewGetting to Know ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Verbs by Chris Heard
  2. 2. Table of Contents Abbreviations .............................. 3 Getting Ready .............................. 4 Using ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Verbs ..................... 10 The Basic Patterns .................... 14 Recognizing ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Verbs .......... 16 Credits ........................................ 39
  3. 3. Abbreviations 1, 2, 3 indicate grammatical person m, f, c indicate grammatical gender s, p indicate grammatical number R1, R2, R3 indicate root letters 3
  4. 4. Getting Ready Before we start getting to know the ‫ ,נ&פְעַל בִּנ+י)ן‬let’s run a few preflight checks. 4
  5. 5. Do you remember how a Hebrewverb changes to form the variouscombinations of person, gender,and number? 5
  6. 6. Do you remember the spellingchange that happens when youform a ‫ /ל‬imperfect from a rootwhere R1 is ‫?נ‬ 6
  7. 7. If you answered “yes” tothose questions, you’reready for the ‫!נ&פְעַל בִּנ+י)ן‬ 7
  8. 8. Remember that certain patternscan create predictable variations.This slideshow focuses on corepatterns. It does not illustrate everypossible variation. 8
  9. 9. Furthermore, this slideshowis intended to supplement,not replace, classroominstruction and practice. 9
  10. 10. Using ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Verbs The ‫ נ&פְעַל‬is the fourth most frequently used ‫ בִּנ+י)ן‬in the 0‫.תַּנ2״‬ The 0‫ תַּנ2״‬contains over 4,000 instances of verbs in ‫.נ&פְעַל‬ 10
  11. 11. Verbs in ‫ נ&פְעַל‬are normallyintransitive (they don’t take directobjects). They describe somethingthat happens to the subject. 11
  12. 12. As such, ‫ נ&פְעַל‬verbs are quiteoften passive, as in “he wasaffected,” or reflexive, as in“she affected herself.” 12
  13. 13. However, there also some ‫נ&פְעַל‬verbs that come across as activebut intransitive in English, suchas ‫“( נ&שְׁבַע‬he swore”) or ‫“( נ&בָּא‬heprophesied”). 13
  14. 14. The Basic Patterns Memorize the following basic patterns first, and then we’ll go through the specifics. 14
  15. 15. ‫נ&מְלַט‬ He escaped (3ms perfect)‫י&מָּלֵט‬ He will escape (3ms imperfect)‫הִמָּלֵט‬ Escape! (ms imperative)‫הִמָּלֵט‬ To escape (infinitive)‫נ&מְלָט‬ Escaping (ms participle) 15
  16. 16. Recognizing ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Verbs You can tell from the name “‫ ”נ&פְעַל‬that the most noticeable sign of this ‫ בִּנ+י)ן‬is a prefixed –&‫.נ‬ 16
  17. 17. As you saw in the basic patterns,that –&‫ נ‬is very easy to recognizein the perfect and participle. 17
  18. 18. However, you also saw that the –&‫נ‬undergoes aphaeresis (disappears)in the imperfect, imperative, andinfinitive. Fortunately, the “missing”–&‫ נ‬leaves behind a distinctive ‫.דָּגֵשׁ‬ 18
  19. 19. Recognizing the ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Perfect If you see a verb with a perfect suffix and a –&‫נ‬ prefix, it’s probably a ‫ נ&פְעַל‬perfect. 19
  20. 20. ‫נ&שְׁבַּע‬The suffix ‫נ&פְל ְג ָ ה‬ The prefixindicates –&‫ נ‬indicatesa perfect. ‫נ&שְׁבַּעְתִּי‬ a ‫.נ&פְעַל‬ ‫נ&שְׁאַ?תֶּם‬ 20
  21. 21. Alert! The 3ms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬perfect and the1cp ‫ /ל‬imperfect can look very similar.Use R2’s vowel to tell the difference: ‫טל‬B&‫נ‬ ַ   3ms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬perfect ‫טל‬B&‫נ‬ ֹ   1cp ‫ /ל‬imperfect 21
  22. 22. Recognizing the ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Imperfect If a verb has an imperfect prefix, check R1 for a ‫דָּגֵשׁ‬ and a ‫מֵץ‬E. If you see those, you have a ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperfect. 22
  23. 23. ‫י&בצֵר‬ ָּ  The affixes ‫תִּקבֵר‬ָּ   The ‫ דָּגֵשׁ‬andindicate an ‫מֵץ‬E indicateimperfect. ‫ תִּשׁאַ?נ)ה‬a ‫.נ&פְעַל‬ ָּ   ‫דוּ‬J‫י& פ‬ ָּ   23
  24. 24. The ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperfect’scharacteristic ‫ דָּגֵשׁ‬is thetrace of the –&‫ נ‬prefix, whichhas undergone aphaeresis(as often happens with ‫.)נ‬ 24
  25. 25. Recognizing the ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Imperative If a verb starts with –ִ‫ ה‬but otherwise looks like a 2fs, 2mp, or 2fp ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperfect, it’s a ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperative with the same gender and number. 25
  26. 26. If a verb starts with –ִ‫ ה‬butotherwise looks like a 2ms‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperfect, it’s either anms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperative or a ‫נ&פְעַל‬infinitive. You’ll have to tellthe difference contextually. 26
  27. 27. Remember the pattern: –ִ‫ ה‬beforean R1 with a ‫ דָּגֵשׁ‬and ‫מֵץ‬E. ‫הִקטֵל‬ ָּ   ‫הִמצֵא‬ָּ   ‫חִנ צֵל‬ ָּ 27
  28. 28. Alert! The ‫ הִפְעִיל‬perfect also startswith a prefixed ִ‫ .ה‬Use the ‫ דָּגֵשׁ‬and‫מֵץ‬E to tell these forms apart. ‫הִקטֵל‬ ָּ   ms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperative ‫ט ל‬Bִ‫ה‬ ‫ ִי‬ 3ms ‫ הִפְעִיל‬perfect 28
  29. 29. Recognizing the ‫ נ&פְעַל‬Infinitives The ‫ נ&פְעַל‬infinitive* looks just like the ms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬imperative, unless R3 is ‫.ה‬ * Or “infinitive construct.” 29
  30. 30. ‫הִקטֵל‬ ָּ   ms imperative‫הִקטֵל‬ ָּ   infinitive ‫ה‬N‫הִבנ‬ ָּ   ms imperative‫הִבנוֹת‬ ָּ   infinitive 30
  31. 31. The ‫ נ&פְעַל‬adverbial infinitive* has twoversions. One starts with –&‫ נ‬andstrongly resembles the 3ms perfect.The other starts with –ִ‫ ה‬plus ‫ ,דָּגֵשׁ‬andstrongly resembles the 3ms imperfect. * Or “infinitive absolute.” 31
  32. 32. Typically, the R2 in a ‫ נ&פְעַל‬adverbialinfinitive takes a ‫:*חוֹלֶם‬ Strong R1 Guttural R1 ֹ ְ    ‫נ&קטל‬ ‫נ2עזב‬ ֲֹ    ‫הִקטל‬ ֹ ָּ    ‫הֵעזב‬ ָֹ    * Often a ‫.חוֹלֶם מָלֵא‬ 32
  33. 33. In practice, however, some ‫נ&פְעַל‬adverbial infinitives in the 0‫תַּנ2״‬are vocalized exactly like theinfinitive, with R2 receiving a ‫י‬Jֵ‫.צ‬ 33
  34. 34. Since only 37 ‫ נ&פְעַל‬adverbialinfinitives appear in the entire0‫ ,תַּנ2״‬you will encounter veryfew difficulties with them. 34
  35. 35. Recognizing the ‫ נ&פְעַל‬ParticipleThe ms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬participle looks like the3ms ‫ נ&פְעַל‬perfect, except that R2 takes a‫מֵץ‬E (instead of ‫ח‬S‫ )פַּת‬in the participle. ‫טל‬B&‫נ‬ ַ   3ms perfect ‫טל‬B&‫נ‬ ָ   ms participle 35
  36. 36. The mp, fs, and fpparticiples are inflectedjust like adjectives. 36
  37. 37. Summary‫טל‬B&‫נ‬ ַ   3ms perfect (prefix, R2’s ‫ח‬S‫)פַּת‬‫י&קטֵל‬ָּ   3ms imperfect (R1’s ‫ דָּגֵשׁ‬and ‫מֵץ‬E)‫הִקטֵל‬ ָּ   ms imperative (prefixed ‫ ,ה‬R1’s ‫ דָּגֵשׁ‬and ‫מֵץ‬E) or infinitive 37
  38. 38. ‫טל‬B&‫נ‬ ֹ adverbial inf. (prefix, R2’s ‫)חוֹלֶם‬‫הִקטל‬ ֹ   ָּ‫טל‬B &‫נ‬ ָ   ms participle (prefix, R2’s ‫מֵץ‬E) 38
  39. 39. Credits Dead Sea photo by Wikimedia Commons contributor Xta11. Used under a CC-SA license. All other content by Dr. Chris Heard, Associate Professor of Religion, Pepperdine University. Released under a CC-BY license. 39

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