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Biblical Hebrew: 08. Causative Verbs (Hiphil, Hophal)

In this lesson, you will learn two causative stems: hiphil and hophal. These two stems conclude the part of regular verbs.

Hiphil

Hiphil conveys an active-causative action. As well as elsewhere put, we need to note here, that the causative force of verb does not have to be employed in every instance. We need to be careful not to impose grammar form onto the meaning employed in the text. A proper translation of the stem is suggested by a lexicon. Conjugation of perfect and imperfect forms goes as follows:

Perfect

pl sg
f m f m
הִקְטִילוּ הִקְטִילָה הִקְטִיל
הִקְטַלְתֶן הִקְטַלְתֶם הִקְטַלְתְ הִקְטַלְתָ
הִקְטַלְנוּ הִקְטַלְתִי

Imperfect

תַקְטֵלְנָה יַקְטִילוּ תַקְטִיל יַקְטִיל
תַקְטֵלְנָה תַקְטִילוּ תַקְטִילִי תַקְטִיל
נַקְטִיל אַקְטִיל

As might be apparent from the first look on the table, there are two basic features to discern perfect and imperfect forms of the stem. For the perfect, we see that words are prefixed with הִ and vocalized with hireq yod, which, however, is then changed into patah. For the imperfect forms, on the other hand, vocalization is the same for the whole conjugation having hireq yod. However, the main distinguishing mark of imperfect is patah under the prefix of imperfect.

For hiphil, there are also specific forms for jussive which are different from that of imperfect (see the general table for the stem). The difference is that jussive has cere in its middle consonant instead of hireq yod.

Participle

As noted in the previous lesson, causative stems are prefixed with a letter מ (see general chart).

Hophal

The last stem in Hebrew is Hophal. This stem conveys a passive-causative action. It is quite regular in all of its forms as is apparent in the conjugation table:

Perfect

pl sg
f m f m
הָקְטְלוּ הָקְטְלָה הָקְטַל
הָקְטַלְתֶן הָקְטַלְתֶם הָקְטַלְתְ הָקְטַלְתָ
הָקְטַלְנוּ הָקְטַלְתִי

Imperfect

תָקְטַלְנָה יָקְטְלוּ תָקְטַל יָקְטַל
תָקְטַלְנָה תָקְטְלוּ תָקְטְלִי תָקְטַל
נָקְטַל אָקְטַל

One thing might be overlooked in reading hophal forms. In all of the forms, there is qamec as the first vowel. However, this qamec is not read as a but as o (qamec hatuph) because of the following sheva. In order to read it like a, the meteg mark would have to be present (see the lesson on pronunciation).


Assignments

Hebrew Verbs: Hiphil

Hifil has specific prefix Hi. In the imperfect it is always letter patah under the its prefix.

19
Hebrew
72

Hebrew Verbs: Hophal

Hofal has specific prefix Ho. Regularly has vowels o-a.

19
Hebrew
35

Summary

Hiphil

  • Conveys active-causative action
  • הִ prefix in perfect
  • Patah under imperfect prefix

Hophal

  • Conveys passive-causative action
  • הָ prefix in perfect (pronounced with o)
  • Qamec hatuph under imperfect prefix

 

Charts

Hiphil

Hebrew

Hophal

Hebrew