Quick Tip: Identical Forms

The Hithpael conjugation has four identical forms. In one sense, this is good news – a few less things to memorise. In another sense, it makes things a little confusing.

The form in question is: הִתְפַטֵּל.

This could be:

  1. 3ms perfect – this is simply the basic Hithpael form.
  2. 2ms imperative – the Hithpael imperative is formed by taking the imperfect conjugation, removing the prefixed yod/taw and adding a prefixed he. So the form is derived: תִּתְקַטֵּל > תְקַטֵּל > הִתְקַטֵּל.
  3. infinitive construct – as in all conjugations (apart form Hiphil) the infinitive construct is identical to the 2ms imperative.
  4. infinitive absolute – in (only) the Hithpael, it just so happens that the infinitive absolute is also identical to the 2ms imperative

Thus, there are four identical forms in the strong verb.

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