Supplement to J. Seixas’ Hebrew Grammar

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction

Document Transcript

’ HEBREW GRAMMAR. [p. [1]]
[inside front cover, blank] [p. [2]]
for the
printed by west & trow, for j. smith, jun.,
, .
1836. [p. [3]]
[page [4] blank] [p. [4]]
names of the letters and vowels.
א (auleph) not heard in reading; if it have a vowel, sound the vowel; as אָ au, אִ e, אֹ o, אוּ oo, etc.
בּ b baith
ג g geemel
דּ d dauleth
ה h ha
ו v vauv
ז z zayin
ח kh khaith
ט t tait
Final letters י y yode
ךְ כּ k kaf
ל l laumed
ם מ m maim
ן נ n noon
ס s saumekh
ע gn gnayn
ף פּ p pa
פ f fa
ץ צ ts tsauda
ק k kofe
ר r raish
שׁ sh sheen
שׂ s seen
תּ t tauv
ָ Kaumets au in cause.
ֵ Tsaree a in ale.
וֹ or ֹ– Kholem o in bone.
וּ Shoorek oo in boot.
ִי– Kheerek ee in meet.
ַ Pattakh a in father.
ֶ Segole e in met.
ָ Kaumets (short) o in note.
ֻ Kibboots u in full.
ִ Kheerek (short) i in bit.
Composite Shevau.
Very Short Vowels.
By means of these two dots ( ְ ), called Simple Shevau (see § 7), three composite Shevaus are made; viz.
ֲ Shevau Pattakh a in hat.
ֱ " [Shevau] Segole e in met.
ֳ " [Shevau] Kaumets o in not.
Note, Shevau, when sounded, is a very short e; as פְּנֵי pena, or p’na. See § 7. [p. [5]]
[page [6] blank] [p. [6]]
The following lessons, being a mere abridgment of ’ Hebrew Grammar, were copied and arranged by himself, for the benefit of a class under his instruction, at the “ Theological Institution,” there being only a few copies of his grammar in the country. The progress of this class being so proficient, in acquiring a knowledge of this ancient sacred language, by the introduction of those simple lessons, without burthening the mind with a large volume, detailing the critical niceties of the same, the undersigned has been induced to arrange the whole in a book form, adding a small amount of matter from the 1st of Genesis, that young students may the better preserve their Bibles, till they are able to read and translate from any part of the same. He is confident, that, under the tuition of a proper preceptor, a student may ob [p. [7]]tain sufficient from this little abridgment, to enable him to enter the more nice parts of the language with ease and success.
As this book has been arranged for the express benefit of the institution, with which I am so immediately connected, and in the future prosperity of which I feel an uncommon interest, I cannot but hope, that it may serve to facilitate the acquisition of a perfect knowledge of one of the best of books—the Scriptures—the introduction of which has served to dispel darkness, and disperse light into every clime, where it has been permitted to enter, and remain free for the inspection of all.
. [p. 8]
איתן משׁה וכלב
מ signifies from, out of, on account of, in comparison with.
ה " [signifies] the, this, that,
ו " [signifies] and, but, yet, then, that,
כ " [signifies] as, like, according to, when,
ל " [signifies] to, as to, for, of,
בּ " [signifies] in, with, over, by.
The article the is sometimes to be supplied after some of the above prefixes.
Nouns are formed from verbs, 1 By changing their vowels.
2 By dropping one (sometimes two) letters of the root. [p. [9]]
3 By adding to a root,
ה נ י at the end,
א מ at the beginning,
ת at the beginning or end,
י ו in the middle.
Terminations of Nouns.
יִת וּת ה singular fem.
וֹת ֹת plural fem.
הֵ ֶת ַת construct fem. sing.
יִם ִם plural masc.
ֵי plural construct.
יִַם יִָם תַיִם dual.
Note. A perfect root contains three radical letters, an imperfect root contains but two or one.
Possessive Pronouns, called Suffixes.
סֵפֶר a book.
יִ ָי ַי my
ךָ כָה ךְ thy
וֺ הוּ ו his (its)
[p. 10]
הּ הָ her (its)
נוּ our
כֶם כֶּן your
ם הֶם הֶן their
Verbs with Sufformatives.
The root of all verbs contains three letters, and is pointed with a Kaumets ָ and a Pattakh ַ but if the root ends in א or ה it has two Kaumets.
פָּקַד he visited, רָאָה he saw, קָרָא he called,
ה— she
תָ תָה— thou
תִי תִ— I
נוּ— we
תֶם תֶן— ye
ֻ וּ— they; also ye imperative.
The prefix ו and, but, yet, &c., prefixed to a past tense, often changes it into the future. [p. 11]
Verbs Future Tense, with Praeformatives and Sufformatives.
פָּקַד he visited,
—י he shall, let it, let there, may he, it.
—ת she shall or will, let her; thou shalt.
—א I shall or will, let me.
—נ we shall or will, let us.
ת—וּ ye shall or will.
ת—נָה ן ye or they shall or will, fem.
ֻ י—וּ they shall or will, let them.
The prefix ו frequently changes the future into the past tense.
Names and Significations of the Conjugations.
Kal, Niphal, Piel, Pual, Hiphil, Hophal, Hithpael.
Kal is active; all roots are in Kal.
Niphal is passive; it is made by prefixing נ to the root.
Hiphil is causative; it is formed by prefixing a [p. 12] ה and inserting (not always) a י between the second and third radicals.
Hophal is passive; it prefixes הוּ הְָ or הֻ to the root.
Hithpael is either active or passive; it prefixes הִתְ to the root.
Piel is active, and Pual is passive. They have the same letters as Kal; but are differently pointed; as שִׁלַּח , דִּבֶּר , צִוָּה , פִּקֵּד and שִׁלֵּחַ, Piel; לֻקָּח , רֻחַם , פֻּקַּך, Pual.
Piel frequently takes Tsaree under the first radical, and Pual frequently has Kholem for the first radical; as בֵּרַךְ בֵּרֵךְ Piel, בֹּרַךְ Pual.
1. The present participle Kal has a Kholem וֹ –ֹ for the vowel of the first radical; as פּוֹקֵד or פֹּקֵד visiting.
מ prefixed often denotes a participle.
ה prefixed to a participle signifies who, that, which. [p. 13]
2. Niphal participle prefixes נ to the root.
3. The passive participle Kal takes the vowel Shoorek וּ or Kibbuts ֻ for the second radical.
Imperative and Infinitive Moods.
The Imperative and Infinitive take the vowel Kholem, וֹ –ֹ or short Kaumets ֳ for the second radical.
Verbs לה .
1. Verbs which have ה for a last radical, change their ה into וֹת in the infinitive of all conjugations.
2. The radical ה is changed into י when תִי I, ת thou, נוּ we, or נָה or וּ ye, is put at the end of these verbs.
3. When the servile ה (she) is put at the end, the radical ה is changed into ת.
Verbs פּי and פּנ.
Verbs which have י or נ for their first radical [p. 14] lose their י and נ in the Imperative and Infinitive moods; and in the Infinitive they postfix a ת.
Verbs עע֞ (עי֞) עו֞.
Verbs which have ו for a second radical, or have their second and third radicals alike, have only two letters in the third person, praeter, Kal; the real root is in the infinitive; as בָּא (instead of בָוָא ) he went, from קָם ;בּוֹא he arose from מֵת ;קוּם he died, from סָבַב) סַב ;מוּת ) he surrounded, from סָבַב.
Of Imperfect Verbs.
If a root loses its first radical, it is a י or נ; if it loses its second radical, it is a ו (seldom י); if it loses its last radical, it is a ה; hence, if only two letters of a root are left, you must add thereto one of the foregoing letters to make up the root.
Note 1. If one letter of a root remain, always prefix a נ and postfix a ה. [p. 15]
Note 2. The verb נָתַן he gave, frequently loses its last ן; the verb לָקַח he took, frequently drops its ל.
Note 3. Some verbs require their second radical to be repeated, in order to make up the root; as חַי from חָיַי.
Verbs ע֞ו.
Verbs which have a ו (or י) for their second radical, make their roots in the infinitive mood; as מוּת (not מָוַת) to die; בּוֹא (not בָוַא) to go, come, bring.
Nouns in Construction.
When two nouns come together, of, or of the, must be placed between them when the sense requires it.
Of Niphal Future.
In the future tense of Niphal, the נ characteristic is always left out; but a Dagesh in the first [p. 16] radical will determine the Niphal conjugation; as יִפָּקֵד for יִנְפָּקֵד; etc.
Note. When either of the letters ע ,א ,ח ,ה, or ר, is the first radical (these letters never take a dagesh), then the future letter which excludes the נ, takes a Tsaree ֵ under it; תֵּרָאֶה for תִרָּאֶה or in full יֵעָמֵד ;תִנְרָאֶה for יִעָּמֵד etc.
Niphal Imperative and Infinitive.
The Infinitive and Imperative Niphal, prefixes הִ׀ָּ or הֵ׀ָ to the root.
Hiphil Infinitive and Imperative.
הַ prefixed to the verb is the sign of the Infinitive and Imperative Hiphil.
הָ is prefixed when the verb has lost its middle radical ו.
הוֹ or הֹ is prefixed when the root has a י for the first radical; See § 51. [p. 17]
The Sign of The Objective Case.
All the suffixes are found joined to the end of אֵת; as אֹתָם them, אֹתוֹ him, אוֹתָךְ אוֹתְךָ thee, אָֹתִי me, אֹתָהּ her, it, etc.
Note. אֶת אֵת sometimes signifies with; and, in this case, the א has Kheerek under it; as אִתָּם with them, אִתְּוֹ with him, אתָךְ אִתְּךָ with thee, etc.
Verbs whose first Radical is א.
These verbs often drop their א in the first pers. sing. future; as אֹכֵל אֹכַל I shall eat, instead of אֹמַר ;אֹאכַל for אֹאמַר.
Epenthetic נ.
When a dagesh’d נ comes before the suffixes ו him, ה her, etc. it is merely for Euphony, and adds nothing to the sense.
Note. Sometimes the Dagesh is omitted.
טֶרֶם before, and אָז then. [p. 18]
When these particles come before a future, they generally change the future into the past tense.
ה Interrogative.
הֲ prefixed often asks a question; as הֲמִן whether from? הֲלֹא is not?
הַ is prefixed, before a Shevau, a Gutteral (§ 4), or a Dagesh.
Note. Sometimes הֶ is interrogative; seldom הָ.
The Characteristic ה of the Hiphal, Hophal, and Hithpael Conjugations dropped in the Future, and after מ Participle.
In the future tense, and in all the participles which have מ, the ה of Hiphil, Hophal, and Hithpael is always omitted.
The Verb לַקַח (he took).
This verb, like roots beginning with נ drops its ל [p. 19] in the Imperative and Infinitive; and in the Infinitive it postfixes ת; as קַח take thou, לָקַחַת) קַחַת ) to take.
Of ה Local.
ה suffixed to a noun of place, signifies to or towards, as אַרְצָה and אָרְצָה to the land.
Of Nouns.
1. When the letter י comes between a suffix and a noun, it shows that the noun is plural; as אַפָּיו his nostrils; the plural ם of יִם being dropped.
2. Nouns which end in ה change their ה into ת when suffixes are added to the noun; as אִשָּׁה a wife, אִשְׁתּוֹ his wife.
1 A few roots are pointed with ָ and ֵ ; as יָרֵא he feared, מָלֵא he filled. [p. 20]
2. A very few roots are pointed with ָ and וֹ ; as יָכֹל he was able.
Infinitive and Imperative Piel.
The Infinitive and Imperative Piel has a Pattakh ( ַ ) or Kaumets ( ָ ) under the first radical, and a Dagesh generally (but not always) in the second radical.
Imperatives of Verbs ending in ה.
The following examples will show the forms of the Imperative mood of roots whose last radical is רְאֵה ;ה see thou, look thou, from הֱיֵה ,הֱוֵה .רָאָה be thou, from עֲשֵׂה ;הָיָה make, do thou, from עָשָׂה.
Note 1. יִ at the end is thou fem. ; וּ is ye masc. ; and ן ,נָה, or ןָ is ye feminine.
Note 2. Sometimes ה is changed into י ; as אֵתָיוּ from אָתָה. [p. 21]
Paragogic Letters.
The letters א ו ה ן are frequently placed at the end of verbs, nouns, particles, etc. for euphony: for example; חַיְתוֺ ,תְּמֻתוּן, etc.
1. ה paragogic is very common at the end of the Imperative mood; and the first pers. sing. and plural of the future; as קְחָה fetch, take thou, from קוּמָה ;לָקַח arise thou, from אֳבֶרְכָה ;קוּם I will bless, for נֵלְכָה ;אֲבָרֵךְ we will go, for נֵלֵךְ, from יָלַךְ.
Note 1. ה paragogic never occurs in Pual or Hophal.
Note 2. It is frequently found at the end of ת thou; as נָתַתָּה.
Note 3. It occurs twice at the end of the 3rd. pers. future י he shall; and twice at the end of the 2nd pers. future ת thou shalt.
2. ן paragogic is very common after וּ ye or [p. 22] they; but uncommon after ת י thou shalt, fem. ; as תְּמֻתוּן ye shall die, from תִּדְבָּקִין ;מוּת thou (fem) shalt cleave.
3. ה יִ וֹ paragogic are found in such forms as the following:
חַיְתו a beast, for יְשׁוּעָתָה ;חַיָּה deliverance, יוֹשְׁבִי inhabiting, בְּנִי and בְנוֹ a son.
Epenthetic י.
An epenthetic י is rarely found in verbs; as תּוֹמִיךְ for תּוֹמֵךְ sustaining.
The termination יִם added to the numbers from 3 to 9 inclusive, makes ten times the number.
When יִם is added to עָשָׂר or עֶשֶׂר ten, it doubles it.
Two is expressed by שְׁנַיִם and שְׁתַּיִם.
Of Hithpael.
When a root begins with one of the Sibilants [p. 23] (hissing letters) שׁׂ שׁ ס, the ת characteristic of Hithpael is transposed; as הִשְׁתַּמֵּר for הִתְשַׁמֵּר.
Note 1. The verb שָׁחָה he bowed down, worshipped, becomes שַׁחֲוָה in Hithpael.
Note 2. Sometimes ת of Hithpael is omitted; as הִדַּבֵּר.
Verbs ע֞ו and ע֞ע.
These verbs are formed in Piel, Pual, and Hithpael, thus:
קוֹמֵם (Piel) קוֹמַם (Pual) הִתְקוֹמֵם (Hithpael) from סוֹבֵב ;קוּם (Piel) סוֹבַב (Pual) הִסְּתּוֹבֵב.
Note 1. Some roots repeat their radicals, as כִּלְכֵּל from יְעוֹפֵף ;כּוּל from עוּף, etc.
Note 2. Some roots have four radicals; as פַרְשֵׁז ,כִּרְסֵם, etc.
General Remarks.
1. The short Kaumets of the Infinitive and Im [p. 24]perative is sometimes placed under the first radical.
2. When מ is prefixed to an Infinitive, it frequently denotes not, so as not, so that not.
3. Roots ending in ת drop their ת when a sufformative ת follows it.
4. Roots ending in ן drop their י when another נ follows it.
Additional Observations for discovering the Root.
It usually happens that when a Tsaree ֵ or Kholem וֹ –ֹ is the vowel of the Praeformative letter, the radical י (seldom ה) has been dropped; as תֵּדַע ,יֵדַע from תֹּסֵף ;יָדַע from וַתֵּרֶא ;יָסַף from רָאָה.
2. When the Praeformative has a Kaumets ָ under it, ו or the doubled radical has been dropped; as וַיָּקָם from וַיָּסָב ;קוּם from סָבַב. [p. 25]
3. When a Dagesh follows the Praeformative, נ has been dropped; (but see § 30.)
4. In other cases, the radical ה has been dropped.
Note 1. In a very few cases a Dagesh following the Praeformative, shows a י (seldom) dropped.
Note 2. A Dagesh in the first, sometimes in the second, radical, frequently shows the absence of the doubled radical; as יִסֹּב and יָסֹבּוּ from יָשֹׁכּוּ יִשֹׁךְ ;סָבַב from שָׁכַךְ.
Note 3. A few verbs, whose second and third radicals are alike, have a Tsaree under the Praeformative; as וַיֵּקַל ,וָאֵקַל ,וַּתֵקַל from קָלַל.
N. B. The verbs אֵבוֹשָׁה ,אֵבוֹשׁ ,יֵבשׁוּ ,יֵבוֹשׁ, etc., come from בּוֹשׁ, not יָבֵשׁ.
Note 4. Verbs beginning with הוֹ ,מוֹ ,אוֹ ,תּוֹ ,(נֹ) נוֹ ,(יֹ) יוֹ or מוֹ ( הֻ ) הוּ ,אוּ ,נוּ ,תּוּ ,יוּ ,הֹ etc., are verbs whose first radical is י See § 51. [p. 26]
No. 5. Some roots lose their א at the beginning; and some lose their א at the end; as הָכִיל from תֹּסֵף ,יוֹסֵף ;אָכַל from מָלוּ ;אָסַף from מָצָתִי ;מָלֵא from מָצָא. [p. 27]
[Pages 28–[32] reproduce the Hebrew text for the first chapter of Genesis; as Hebrew is read from right to left, the beginning of the chapter is on page [32] and the end on page 28.] [p. 28]
[bottom third of page torn off] [p. 29]
[bottom third of page torn off] [p. 30]
[p. 31]
[p. [32]]


  1. 1

    TEXT: The printer incorrectly placed the dot for the o vowel before the auleph (right side) instead of after.  

  2. 2

    TEXT: “§ 7” refers to a longer discussion of Shevau in Joshua Seixas’s Manual Hebrew Grammar for the Use of Beginners; that section is not reproduced in this supplement.  

  3. 3

    TEXT: The pamphlet has pages out of order: after page 16, the pages are presented as 19, 20, 17, 18, 21, 22, etc. This website presents them in the correct order for ease of reading.  

  4. 4

    TEXT: “§ 51” refers to a section in Joshua Seixas’s Manual Hebrew Grammar for the Use of Beginners; that section is not reproduced in this supplement.  

  5. 5

    TEXT: “§ 4” refers to a section in Joshua Seixas’s Manual Hebrew Grammar for the Use of Beginners; that section is not reproduced in this supplement.  

  6. 6

    TEXT: “§ 30” refers to a section in Joshua Seixas’s Manual Hebrew Grammar for the Use of Beginners; that section is not reproduced in this supplement.  

  7. 7

    TEXT: “§ 51” refers to a section in Joshua Seixas’s Manual Hebrew Grammar for the Use of Beginners; that section is not reproduced in this supplement.