The Hebrew script used in these lessons are the internet Hebrew Unicodes and are best viewed with the David.ttf font uploaded to your fonts folder.
Before learning the structure of Biblical Hebrew verbs we need to understand a few grammatical terms used to describe parts of a sentence. In the phrase "Jacob cut a tree" the verb is "cut." A verb describes action. The word "Jacob" is the subject of the verb, or the one who is performing the action. The word "tree" is the object of the verb, or the one the action is being imparted upon.
Hebrew verbs work much in the same manner. The Hebrew translation of "Jacob cut a tree" would be קצר יעקב עץ (qatsar ya'aqov ets). The word קצר (qatsar) is the verb meaning to "cut" (more literally "to cut short" such as cutting off a branch or to harvest). The word יעקב (ya'aqov) is Jacob and is the subject of the verb. Also notice that in Hebrew the subject of the verb follows the verb rather than precedes it like in English. The word עץ (ets) is the object of the verb and means "a tree" (there is no Hebrew word for "a," instead it is implied).
Each Hebrew verb identifies;
- Person (first, second or third) of the subject of the verb
- Gender (masculine or feminine) of the subject of the verb
- Number (singular or plural) of the subject of the verb
- Tense (perfect or imperfect) of the verb
- And sometimes the gender and number of the object of the verb
This PDF file is a list of the 100 most frequent Biblical Hebrew verb roots. You will notice that no vowel pointings are associated with these verbs. This is because the vowel pointings of a verb will depend on its conjugation (subject, tense, mood and voice). For pronuncing these unconjugated verbs simply use the "ah" vowel between each consonant. For instance, the verb קצר (Q-Ts-R) would be qatsar. I recommend making flash cards for each of these. Write the Hebrew on one side and the English on the other. Take them with you everywhere and when you have time pull them out and go through them to build your Hebrew vocabulary.
In the following lessons we will explore these various forms of Hebrew verbs.