In Biblical Hebrew, what is the "internal passive with characteristic u vowel"?


It sounds like you are referring to the adjectival form "qatul", in which the u vowel is inserted between the second and third letters of the root. It denotes the passive of a pa'al verb, usually functioning to modify a noun. For example, etz shatul (Psalms 1).

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    Meaning "a tree planted" – Shalom May 11 '11 at 2:12
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    Another good one is Genesis 30:33, ganuv (from the root gnb), "any such sheep are stolen" – Shalom May 11 '11 at 2:13
  • Where gnb is the root for "steal" – Shalom May 11 '11 at 2:14
  • Isn't that a passive participle rather than an adjective? – Andrew J. Brehm May 11 '11 at 8:38
  • @Andrew J. Brehm - Yes, it is the passive participle. Biblical Hebrew didn't have much in the way of actual adjectives. However, it functionally serves what English speakers would consider an adjectival role and in later Hebrews came to be used as such. – WAF May 11 '11 at 11:11

It refers to forms like

  • huf'al, passive of hif'il: hukhtav הוכתב
  • pu'al, passive of pi'el: dubar דובר

And also to the extinct qal internal passive, found only rarely and in altered form in Hebrew, e.g. yullad ילד ) יולד), Ruth 4:17.

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  • Welcome to judaism.SE and thanks very much for contributing your grammatical expertise! – Isaac Moses May 11 '11 at 14:25

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