Translation of Piel (and Pual) roots

rwburks at rwburks at
Fri Dec 24 15:08:54 EST 1999


I was curious about Piel roots.  Most beginning grammars deal with Qal roots and then 
mention the other roots in passing.  Mainly teaching the form.  Some of them speak of the 
Piel root as being an intense Qal and might really best be translated with the addition of an 
adverb.  Using the Perfect Piel for example the use of Piel with the 3ms form of Piel for the 
word Q+L might be translated "he brutally killed."  Some treat it as causative almost like a 
Hifil. Other grammars indicated that the Piel root (and for that matter the Pual root, while 
being the passive) speak of the resultive or factive nature of the stem.  The same word with a 
transitive would require an object like "he killed Tom". Or if intransitive it would be with no 
object "He killed" .  The latter it seems would be difficult to distinguish from the Qal form to 
me.  (Of course I understand in Pual that the action is being done to the subject hence "He 
was brutally killed" etc.

What does the use of Piel and Pual really tell me about the nature of how it should be 


Bill Burks

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