GR 1210          LI-, LA-

H 0527          - ל

Concept of root : tendency, direction

Hebrew word


English meanings


le, li

to, toward

Related English words


Comparison between European words and Hebrew




English meanings

Similarity in roots


- ל

le, li

to, toward

l .


λι-, λα-, λαι-

. là, lay

tending to

l .



Proto-Semitic *L-I --- *L-I Greek



In both Greek and Hebrew we have here prefixes that indicate physical or mental tendency. In Greek a "λαμαχος , lamakhos" is one who likes to and tends to go to fight. A "λαιψηρος , laypsèros" tends to be fast. And a "λακαταρατος , lakataratos" is dedicated to execrations. The use of this Greek prefix is very rare, but that of the Hebrew one is very frequent.


  • English and Hebrew. As shown, the prefix L- in Hebrew means "to". And it is interesting to see that modern language uses this prefix to shape the infinite form of verbs, just like English uses the preposition "to". Some dictionaries give all verbs under the letter "lamed". We disagree with this practice, but it is striking.


  • Proto-Semitic. This or a similar prefix can be seen in Aramaic and Syriac , Ugaritic, Arabic, Ethiopian and Akkadian. It was probably used in Proto-Semitic.





Created: Tuesday 6 November 2007 at 22.30.54 Updated: 03/11/2012 at 9.52.07