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Grammar:Tutorial/Irregular verbs

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Grammar:Tutorial
Positions of words in a sentence Irregular verbs Conjunction of nouns

Perfect of 3-weak verbs

The verbs, whose dictionary form (3rd, sing., masc.) ends with ה, are called 3-weak. That ה is not a part of the root, thus the root has two letters.

These verbs are declined as shown in the following example with the verb בנה:

person gender singular plural
3rd masculine בנה בנו
feminine בנתה
2nd masculine בנית בניתם
feminine בניתן
1st בניתי בנינו

Imperfect of 3-weak verbs

These verbs are declined as shown in the following example with the verb בנה:

person gender singular plural
3rd masculine יבנה יבנו
feminine תבנה תבנינה
2nd masculine תבנה תבנו
feminine תבני תבנינה
1st אבנה נבנה

Note however that in Gen. 1:4 imperfect, 3rd person, sing., masc. of the word ירא (from ראה) doesn't end with ה but the ה is omitted.

Active participle of 3-weak verbs

3-weak participles are declined like this:

singular plural
masculine בנה בנים
feminine בנה or בניה בנות

Perfect of empty verbs

The verbs having ו or י as the second letter in the three-letter root are called empty verbs, because this ו or י is omitted in certain grammatical forms. (Some grammarians consider these as having two letter roots. According to Victor Porton, it is more convenient to consider them as three-letter roots because we need to distinguish between ו and י.)

The perfect of empty words is formed similar to perfect of regular verbs but with two letters (the first and the last letter of the root) instead of the full root.

In imperfect the second letter of the root is not omitted. Before the suffix נה in imperfect of empty verbs sometimes is added the letter י. (WRONG: Sometimes it is omitted in imperfect: Gen. 4:8, word ויקם.

In participles of empty verbs the second letter of the root is omitted.

Perfect and imperfect of double verbs

The verbs whose two last letters of the root are identical are called double verbs. In some forms of perfect the last letter is replaced with ו. An example with perfect of the word סבב (encircled):

person gender singular plural
3rd masculine סבב סבבו
feminine סבבה
2nd masculine סבות סבותם
feminine סבותן
1st סבותי סבונו

Some of double verbs follow the regular declension.

In imperfect of double verbs one of the double letters is omitted.

Imperfect of 1-נ

For 1-נ verbs the letter נ is omitted after prefixes in imperfect (not always).

נ is also sometimes omitted in imperative of 1-נ verbs.

In infinitive or these verbs the first נ in the root is omitted and added ת after the root.

Some of the verbs 1-י are declined in the same way as 1-נ.

Imperfect of 1-א verbs

In the first person, singular of 1-א (having א as the first letter of the root) verbs that א is omitted (so leaving only one א instead of two consecutive אא).

Sometimes א is omitted in other imperfect forms (see Gesenius), specifially after letter Yod.

Imperfect of 1-י verbs

The Yod is omitted in some forms for some of these verbs. (TODO: Specify exactly.)

Other irregular verbs

Aleph on both second and third position is sometimes omitted in verbs and participles (Gesenius).