[b-hebrew] Past tense with gutterals

pporta at oham.net pporta at oham.net
Thu Jun 5 01:43:59 EDT 2008

> I've been looking at the past tense with gutterals recently, and have some 
> questions concerning pronuciation.
> Take for example nata' נטע  [with an ayin at the end]; 'she' form  of the 
> verb would be  נטעה  but my problem is, when spoken aloud, in MODERN 
> ISRAELI HEBREW  would it be 'notea' with the schwa pronounced as 'e', or 
> simply 'nota' [the same as the masc. form]?


Why would it be 'notea'? ------- 'notea', the same as 'shomea' (1S 3:9), is 
Present masculine, not Past feminine!
And why would it be pronounced 'nota'?
The right form for the Past feminine singular is a-shewa-a. Look for samples 
at Gn 3:12; Ex 10:7 and Jr 3:8.

> Another question is also, ח [chet] seems to be treated as a non-gutteral 
> in some places, take for example, 'bachar' בחר  it is supposed to be 
> pronounced 'bacharah' in biblical hebrew with an extra- 'a' because of the 
> gutteral, but I am assuming in modern israeli hebrew many speakers would 
> simply say 'bachrah', is this correct?


It is quite possible that many people in Israel today say 'bachrah'. But I 
see no reason to say that the right way to pronounce it is not with an 'a': 
'bacharah'. As a model look at Gn 18:13: 'tsaHaqah', she laughed.  (Look at 


Pere Porta

> Thanks for the help
> David
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