Et (Genesis 1:1)

Lisbeth S. Fried lizfried at
Wed May 22 10:49:46 EDT 2002

The et indicates the accusative only when the accusative
is also marked by the definite "the" "he".
When the accusative is not definite, the et is not used.
It is a really strange particle tho, does anyone know
how or where it originated?
I took a linguistics course (from a CHomsky clone)
who had us diagraming sentences in our chosen language.
Mine was BH. I learned a lot, but I could never figure out
where to put the )et.
I thought finally that it might act like a preposition,
and put the DO further down on the tree. Lowering the
DO makes the S and DO equal.
What do you linguistic mavens think?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Dave Washburn [mailto:dwashbur at]
> Sent: Wed, May 22, 2002 10:20 AM
> To: Biblical Hebrew
> Subject: Re: Et (Genesis 1:1)
> > Although I have been endeavoring to learn Biblical Hebrew
> in my spare
> > time, I have as yet had no formal instruction beyond
> interacting with my
> > computer program (this will hopefully change when I leave
> for college) and
> > so this question may be simplistic.  Forgive me, the
> program I am using
> > seems to be good for vocabulary but not so great on
> teaching me grammar.
> >
> > I recently purchased a Hebrew Bible and began to peruse it,
> starting at
> > the beginning.  I recognized most of the words in Genesis
> 1:1 and I now
> > understand each except for the word "et" that appears to be
> used twice,
> > once by itself and the second time with a vav prefix, I
> assume indicating
> > the "and."  My question is this:  what is the function of
> this word?  It
> > doesn't seem to me to have any word-for-word correspondence with the
> > English translations, so what is the idea behind it?
> >
> It's a grammatical marker indicating that the next word is the direct
> object of the verb.
> Dave Washburn
> You know you're a lousy artist when you can't
> draw a straight line on an Etch-a-Sketch.
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