Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics

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Comparative Clause: Biblical Hebrew
(251 words)

Subordinate clauses may have the function of making a comparison with the action or situation of the main clause. In most such cases the protasis, introduced by כַּאֲשֶׁר ka-ʾăšεr, denotes the compared situation in the subordinate clause, followed by the apodosis in the main clause, introduced by כֵּן kēn, which provides the standard of comparison, e.g., וַיְהִ֛י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר פָּֽתַר־לָ֖נוּ כֵּ֣ן הָיָ֑ה wa-yhī ka-ʾăšεr på̄ṯar-lå̄nū kēn hå̄yå̄ ‘And just as he interpreted for us, so it happened’ (Gen. 41.13). The reverse order is also possible, e.g., כֵּ֥ן תַּעֲשֶׂ֖ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּבַּֽרְתָּ kēn taʿăśε …

Cite this page
Arnold, Bill T., “Comparative Clause: Biblical Hebrew”, in: Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics, Edited by: Geoffrey Khan. Consulted online on 24 February 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2212-4241_ehll_EHLL_COM_00000030>
First published online: 2013
First print edition: 9789004176423

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