vav conversive

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Wed Sep 1 17:50:57 EDT 1999

> What is wrong with the following statement?
> A vav conversive indicates:

This is the first thing wrong with it.

> 1. The word is a verb.
> 2. The subject of the verb, a pronoun, is indicated by the consonant 
> following the vav. When such a **pronoun subject** precedes the root, this 
> pronoun is called a prefix, and we say that the verb has prefix form.
> 3. The verb should be translated in the past tense.

This is the second thing wrong.  

> I am primarily concerned about the "pronoun subject" verses "pronominal 
> element" understanding. Is this distinction important enough to make an 
> issue over?

I think it depends on whether one is translating or doing exegesis.  
If translating into a language like English that requires either a 
nominal or pronominal subject, probably not.  Exegetically, there's 
a difference between a clause that includes an explicit pronoun and 
one that simply has the subject's person gender and number built 
into the verb form.

> Insignificant questions...
> 1. Where did the tetra in tetragrammaton come from? Just the Greek?

Jim answered this...

> 2. If there was a miscontruing of the divine name, why was there not a 
> misconstruing of elohim?


> 3. What constitutes a word in hebrew?

A word can be given a "meaning" in the lexical sense.  Thus the 
definite article is a "word" whereas the preformatives of the yiqtol, 
for example, are grammatical formatives without any true lexical or 
semantic meaning of their own.  They exist to modify the verb and 
are not words in their own right.

> 4. What is the best way to describe the difference between a root and a 
> stem?

Depends on what you mean by "stem."  If you mean binyan, 
there's an obvious difference.  If you're using it in another way, I 
don't know.

Dave Washburn
"Ich veranlassenarbeitenworken mein Mojo."

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