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20. Qal Infinitive Construct

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There are three important emphases that must be understood before you study this grammar concept seriously. Firstly, the Infinitive Construct is not inflected for person, gender or number. There is not paradigm to be memorized for this conjugation. The Infinitive Construct has one basic form (20.2), though it may be augmented with prepositional prefixes or pronominal suffixes. Secondly, the Infinitive Construct derives its temporal value from contextual considerations. This observation will be explained in 20.12. Thirdly, the Infinitive Construct is a verbal noun and, as such, has features in common with both verbs and nouns.

Chapter Overview

Listen to Miles' Chapter Overview


Overheads (PowerPointPDF)

Biblical examples (PDF)

Chapter Material

  1. Read pages 86-90 in English Grammar to Ace Biblical Hebrew.

  2. Read this chapter from beginning to end, but do not study it carefully until you have listened to the lecture. Although you must know and be able to produce in Hebrew the basic vowel pattern of the Infinitive Constructs (20.2), the content of this chapter is for recognition only with respect to quizzes and examinations. This is especially true for the spelling of Infinitive Construct forms for the weak verb classes studied in 20.4-7. You will never be asked to write in Hebrew one of these weak verb forms nor will you be required to produce in Hebrew an Infinitive with a pronominal suffix (20.9) or with a prepositional prefix (20.10). You must be diligent in your study of the form of the Infinitive Construct. Your quizzes and examinations will reflect the importance of this conjugation. 

  3. Listen to Gary's full lecture

  4. Section 20.12 (The Use of the Infinitive Construct) is the heart of Chapter 20. Study each of the five major uses and be certain that you have undetood each example for each of these uses, especially the temporal use at the end of the section. For this chapter, you will find the summary section (20.13) to be particularly helpful.

  5. Listen to the vocabulary


Please complete the following exercises:

  1. Parsing: 1-30 on pp. 163-164

  2. Translations: 3-6,13,14 on pp. 165-166

  3. Bible Translations: 5,8,15 on pp. 167-169

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the significance of the Infinitive Construct in translation?

  2. How can I recognize the changes III-ה verbs undergo?


  1. Exercise 3 (page 165)

  2. Exercise 13 (page 166)

  3. Exercise 1 (page 167)

Correct your homework with the answer key


  1. What do בִּלְתִּי and לְבִלְתִּי  signify?
  2. True or False. The Infinitive Construct like every other conjugation is inflected for person, gender and number.
  3. What do the three inseparable prepositions   לְ   בְּ   and   כְּ   on the Infinitive Construct signify?
  4. What spelling variations occur with the Infinitive Construct of III-ה , I-נ , and I-י verbs?
  5. Have you mastered the formative vowel pattern (shewa or Hateph Vowel-Holem) for the Qal Infinitive Construct as illustrated with several strong verb and six weak verb categories in 20.2?
  6. Are you able to recognize the Infinitive Constructs of the weak verbs studied in 20.4-7? This is important. These are high frequency forms in the Hebrew Scriptures?
  7. Are you able to easily recognize the negative particle for the Infinitive Construct (20.11)? This will appear on your quizzes and examinations.
  8. Did you give enough time to the study of the five basic uses of the Infinitive Construct (20.12.1-5), especially the temporal use?
  9. Are you keeping up with vocabulary memorization?


The quiz for this chapter is included in Chapter 21.

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