Verbal Patterns In Hebrew

Every Hebrew verb (פועל) is formed by casting a three- or four-consonant root (שורש) into one of seven binyanim (בינינים, meaning buildings or constructions; the singular is binyan. Most roots can be cast into more than one binyan, meaning 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, valency, semantic intensity, aspect, or a combination of these features. The concept of the Hebrew verb’s meaning is defined by the identity of the triliteral root. The concept of the Hebrew verb assumes verbal meaning by taking on vowel-structure as dictated by the binyan’s rules.

There are seven major verbal patterns in Hebrew.

  1. Qal (also called pa’al)
  2. Niphal
  3. Piel
  4. Pual
  5. Hiphil
  6. Hophal
  7. Hithpael

There are twelve minor verbal patterns in Hebrew

  1. Polel
  2. Polal
  3. Hithpolel
  4. Pilpel
  5. Polpal
  6. Hithpalpel
  7. Poel
  8. Poal
  9. Hithpoel
  10. Palal
  11. Pulal
  12. Pealal
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