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Questions tagged [grammar-dikduk]

Questions about Hebrew and Aramaic grammar as related to Judaism.

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How to Lein Tehillim קלז

In the cantillation system of Tehillim, there is a type of “trope-phrase” called Oleh Veyored. It looks like one word with a flipped atnach/etnachta (called “galgal”, and the following word with a ma’...
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

What are the rules for sh'va na?

What is the full list of rules for when to pronounce a sh'va (i.e. na) during tefillah and keriat hatorah? When I was in school, I remember being taught that a sh'va was na in the following 5 cases (...
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

ידיים or ידים which is correct

Seen on a Keli with the spelling ידיים. Thinking it might be Sephardi spelling but checked on sefaria Edut Mizrachi and the word was spelled ידים. Would like to know if there is a difference between ...
1 vote
1 answer
611 views

Function of a dagesh

Occasionally Hebrew letters in Tanach have a dagesh mark. I saw one in a khaf sofit, as at the end of the second line of the Priestly Blessing and the 4th line of Ashrei, and it sparked my interest. ...
-1 votes
2 answers
148 views

Count seven weeks or seven shabbats?

Vayikra 23:15 reads the phrase: sheva shabbatot t'miymot. Why is this rendered as 'seven weeks' and not 'seven shabbats'? On basis of what is it defined, that the meaning of shabbatot in this case ...
5 votes
2 answers
678 views

Unexpected Dagesh in Reish

I learned that a rule of Dageshim is that gutteral letters (אהחע''ר) reject dageshim. My question is why do we find 17 reishs (1 Samuel 1:6, 1 Samuel 10:24, 1 Samuel 17:25, 2 Kings 6:32, Jeremiah 39:...
0 votes
1 answer
172 views

Kamatz Katan Question

Can someone kindly confirm if שׁלוֹמָךְ and אַמָךְ have a kamatz katan in them? I do not believe they do, but I’m still working on my ability to spot the kamatz katan in some words. I would pronounce ...
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Grammatical question related to SHEVA

I'll greatly appreciate it if someone can explain to me: why the sheva on first mem is sheva nach in the following word: וּמְקַיֵם
2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Vocalization of תצפה in נשמת כל-חי

In various siddurim I have seen the word תצפה—near the end of the Nishmat prayer of Shabbat and Yom Tov—vocalized as either תְצַפּה or תִצְפּה. Which is correct in this context? (Thanks to Joel K for ...
5 votes
1 answer
161 views

Why is the word "Kotveinu" not "Kotbeinu" with a dagesh?

כתבינו לחיים. The tav has a (seemingly) short vowel to close the first vowel, which sefardim pronounce as the short "kot". There is no meteg before the sh'va of the tav. Why is the bet ...
5 votes
2 answers
129 views

Re-articulate a sound repeated after a maqaf?

When the same sound is called for on both sides of a maqaf, does this call for a single, prolonged version of that sound, or a second articulation of that sound? E.g. אֶל־לִבּֽוֹ׃ in Gen 6:6. In ...
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Meaning behind אישים plural

I've seen 3 places throughout tanach that use the plural אישים for men as opposed to אנשים. Psalms 141:4 Proverbs 8:4 Isaiah 53:3 Is there any particular reason for this? Also, why isn't this the ...
1 vote
2 answers
263 views

Deuteronomy 6:7 and 8:10 - Why are the words pronounced "Milra"?

I'm relaying this question from my shul's chazzan to me, who is a Torah reader. I'm stumped... Deuteronomy 8:10: וְאָכַלְתָּ֖ וְשָׂבָ֑עְתָּ וּבֵֽרַכְתָּ֙ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ עַל־הָאָ֥רֶץ ...
2 votes
1 answer
118 views

Ambiguous cantillation notes

Today, while teaching someone the verse Genesis 2:7, I had cause to be puzzled as to the correct accentuation of its first word, וַיִּיצֶר֩. I corrected the student's milra accentuation and said it ...
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Binyan identification in Ibn Ezra on Vayikra 18:3

Vayikra 18:3, with the phrase on which Ibn Ezra elaborates bolded: כמעשה ארץ-מצרים אשר ישבתם-בה לא תעשו וכמעשה ארץ-כנען אשר אני מביא אתכם שמה לא תעשה ובחקתיהם לא תלכו Ibn Ezra: שלא ירגיל אדם ללכת ...
3 votes
2 answers
176 views

Similarity between atonement in Leviticus 4:20 & cover in Genesis 6:14 in terms of semantics, wording/phrasing, lettering/grammer, pronunciation?

I apologize but I do not know any Old Testament Hebrew so I'll have to rely on the responders to this post when it comes to analyzing the Old Testament Hebrew. Leviticus 4:20 (NASB 1995) 20 He shall ...
0 votes
1 answer
53 views

What is function of בו?

A grammar question הן עבדי אתמך בו בחירי רצתה נפשי נתתי רוחי עליו משפט לגוים יוציא Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall ...
5 votes
1 answer
527 views

Why are Hebrew cardinal numbers switched to the other gender after the first two?

When counting in Hebrew, the first two cardinal numbers are in the correct gender, but all subsequent numbers seem to be in the opposite gender? For example: Feminine Numbers are: אַחַתֹ-שְתַּיִםֹ-...
3 votes
2 answers
212 views

Hei in front of His name

What is the grammatical reason for the "Hei" bolded in the pasuk below? Is there a spot in the Torah where there is a "Hei" in front of the Tetragrammaton name? ( Is there a spot ...
0 votes
0 answers
55 views

שמך vocalization before Shema

In Shakharit, the last word of אהבת עולם before the Bracha, is ״שמך״. In all the Siddurim I usually use, that word is vocalized as שִמְךָ. However, I have often heard people read it as שְמֶךָ. As far ...
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

Segol pausal form

When a word ends in two Seggols (or a Seggol and Patach, depending on if the final letter is guttural), and the word is in pausal form, the first Seggol is lengthened to a Kamatz. Why is it not ...
3 votes
2 answers
210 views

Why are there varying vowels on proper nouns in Megillas Ester?

In Megillas Ester, several proper nouns (such as Mordechai, and Shushan) use komatz and patach interchangeably. In sefardi pronunciation this does not make much of a difference, but in ashkenazi ...
8 votes
6 answers
554 views

רָקִיאַע or רָקִיַע

The Minchas Shay at the beginning of B'reshis cites a dispute whether the word 'רָקִיעַ' (and likewise for other words with a furtive patach) is pronounced as רָקִיאַע or as רָקִיַע, that is, with a ...
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

Hei hayedia on second word of a smichut pair

I recently corrected someone's use of beit hamidrash to beit-midrash, explaining that it is a smichut pair like the similar pairs, beit-knesset and beit-sefer, and that the added hei is only ...
2 votes
2 answers
488 views

Why is it a sheva na in ha-leviyim?

Before the Psalm for the day at the end of Shacharis each day, we say a sentence, "Today is the Xth day of the week..." In that sentence is a word for Levites, and that word in Hebrew has a sheva ...
1 vote
1 answer
63 views

Dagesh in שישלם

In Tehillim קלז, should I read the Yud in שישלם with or without a dagesh? I’ve seen it both ways. The “without” option makes sense according to an exception in the grammatical rules of Dagesh ...
2 votes
2 answers
196 views

Talking to other people inside a bracha

A bracha always starts and/or ends with ברוך אתה ה'. However, in a few selected brachos, we also talk to other people in the second person in the middle of the bracha. Examples: The bracha in a ...
2 votes
0 answers
43 views

Switching from בוֹ to בָהּ in Shabbat blessing

During Shabbat, it is a common Ashkenazi practice to say three different versions of the Retzei blessing – vah, vo and vam (Magein Avraham to Orach Chayim 268:3 citing Sheyarei Keneset haGedolah). But ...
15 votes
3 answers
639 views

וינוחו בה\בו\בם ישראל in Shabbat shemoneh esrei -- why the change?

I've noticed that the Friday night shemoneh esrei (nusach Ashkenaz) uses the line "בה", shacharit and musaf use "בו", and mincha uses "בם" in the phrase "וינוחו _ ישראל מקדשי שמך..." What is the ...
10 votes
4 answers
292 views

Why is future tense used in Esther 3:2?

In Megillas Esther 3:2 we are told: וּמָרְדֳּכַי--לֹא יִכְרַע, וְלֹא יִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה. Why is this sentence in future tense? Why does it not it say לא כרע ולא השתחוה, in the past tense?
2 votes
3 answers
555 views

Mishloach Manos or Shalach Manos?

What is the proper grammar of giving/receiving mishloach manos/shalach manos? I've heard people use both terms as in, "I'm preparing mishloach manos for tomorrow" and "I hope to bring the shalach ...
15 votes
2 answers
289 views

Leshabeichacha and loseis/latet shevach

Towards the beginning of the נוסח אשכנז version of davening, in the section beginning לעולם יהא אדם ירא שמים, we say as follows: לפיכך אנחנו חייבים להודות לך ולשבחך ולפארך ולברך ולקדש ולתת שבח ...
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Meaning of animal names examples

We always say that animals were named by Adam based on their tasks or essence in life. The famous example is that the word for dog, כלב, comes from כ-לב, meaning “like a heart.” So the drash is that ...
1 vote
0 answers
41 views

Always a Lamed with a Dagesh

I'm looking for the sources that the Minchat Shai uses here in his comment in Shemot 6:10 which is the very first time the Torah records the famous verse וַיְדַבֵּ֥ר יְהֹוָ֖ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֥ה לֵּאמֹֽר׃ אל ...
0 votes
0 answers
17 views

Is it כשב or כבש [duplicate]

Do both כבש and כשב mean sheep? One pasuk for example is כל חלב שור וכשב while a different example is את הכבש אחד. Translations seem to render both as sheep. So why the difference in spelling? Why the ...
1 vote
2 answers
153 views

Dagesh in pe lefufah

If you were writing pointed text with a pe lefufah (or doubled/spiral pe, or pe kefulah) for pedagogical purposes, and the pe had a dagesh, would you write the dagesh inside the inner spiral, or ...
4 votes
2 answers
149 views

Translating Genesis 1:1 "בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית" to "in the beginning"

Apologies if this is a stupid question (or belongs in a different group). Since I'm not Jewish & only beginning to learn Hebrew I lack the background to pose an intelligent question. English uses ...
7 votes
0 answers
97 views

Shva na after dalet prefix

I noticed that in a few siddurim, in Akdamut (line 30), the shva in סִיּוּמָא דִלְעָלַם is marked as a shva na (vocal shva). And I saw in a single siddur (Artscroll) that in Uva letzion, the shva ...
3 votes
1 answer
77 views

Kriyat haTorah helper materials

I'm looking for a resource where I could find notes for my Bar Mitzvah parsha (Tazria) along the lines of: in 4th it's always "hee" and never "huu" it's always noga in the middle ...
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

What does tzir mean?

In Ovadiah 1:1 we see the word tzir. Ovadiah 1:1 On Sefaria it is translated envoy. In the ArtScroll as messenger. When I asked an Israeli friend of mine he didn’t seem to be familiar with the word or ...
1 vote
1 answer
46 views

Gav vs. Gabei (ha)Mizbei'ach

In morning davening, we say "שֶׁנֶּעֱקַד עַל גַּבֵּי הַמִּזְבֵּחַ" (the only English I could find online, at Chabad.org, translates as "bound on the altar"). There are, though, 2 formulations of the ...
17 votes
4 answers
1k views

Yisgadal or Yisgadel?

I've noticed that some people, when reciting kaddish, pronounce the first words as "yisgadal v'yiskadash" with a patach under the dalet of both words, while others say "yisgadel v'yisgadesh" with a ...
4 votes
1 answer
172 views

What is the difference in meaning between the words עֵ֭דֹתֶיךָ and עֵדְוֺתֶ֥יךָ

The word for “Your decrees” (Sefaria) appears in Tehillim 119 (& elsewhere) in two forms with and without the letter “vav”. The meanings seem to be identical but the pronunciation is different. ...
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

Text differences between Torah and Siddur [duplicate]

This question is based on 'Az Yashir', that we say everyday during Shacharit. In the first picture below, inside the word circled in red, the first 'mem' has a 'Chataf patach'. It was retrieved from ...
3 votes
1 answer
148 views

What is the difference between the פְּעַל and פְּעֵל in Aramaic?

[As a preface I recognize this could be seen as an off-topic language question, but the question came up in the context of Gemara study using a book explaining the Grammar of the Bavli specifically ...
0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Aramaic dictionary online [duplicate]

I'm looking for a good easy to use online aramaic dictionary that is free to use. Anyone know of one? Aside from jastrow and cal
11 votes
3 answers
645 views

When do we read a vav prefix as "or" rather than "and"?

This answer cites the Ralbag as interpreting a (critical-to-the-question) vav prefix on a verb as "or". I've heard before that a vav prefix is not always "and" and can be "or" or even "but". Is ...
3 votes
1 answer
121 views

Online Hebrew Lexicon for learning Tanakh

Shalom, it is my goal to significantly improve my Hebrew this year. It was recommended to me that an online Hebrew Lexicon, which allows you to analyze each word of Tanakh, including grammar, ...
1 vote
1 answer
76 views

Question on the Grammar in Genesis 27:15 and Exodus 12:16

I am curious regarding the phrase "bigdei Esav, b’nah hagadol, hachamudos" (Genesis (Toldot) Chapter 27, Verse 15). Beged is masculine, referring to clothing, and chamudos, seemingly related ...
3 votes
1 answer
87 views

Is there an online source for clipped verb forms?

It is wonderful to have pealim.com to look up verb forms, but as far as I know, it does not include clipped forms. Is there any online source that allows looking up clipped forms, or at least a site ...

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