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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




בְּ־ (b'-)

  1. In (a place or time).
    אני בבינין.aní babinyán. — I am in the building.
    טיילנו באמריקה.tiyálnu b'amérika. — We traveled in America.
    בבוקר דיברו.babóker dibru.In the morning they spoke.
  2. In, at the end of (a duration of time).
    נתראה בחודשיים.nitra'é b'khodsháyim. — We’ll see each other in two months.
  3. With (an abstract noun); often used to form adverbs.
    הוא היתכונן בזריזות.hu hitkonén biz'rizút. — He got ready with haste. (=He got ready hurriedly.)
    אכלתם ביחד?akháltem b'yákhad? — Did you eat with togetherness? (=Did you eat together?)
  4. (archaic, introducing a bare infinitive) While, during.
    • c. 7th century BCE, Deuteronomy 6:7,
      וְשִׁנַּנְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ בָּם בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ בְּבֵיתֶךָ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ בַדֶּרֶךְ וּבְשָׁכְבְּךָ וּבְקוּמֶךָ׃
      v'shinantam l'vanekha v'dibarta bam b'shivt'kha b'veitekha uv'lekht'kha vaderekh uv'shokhb'kha uv'kumekha.
      And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest [lit. in-sitting-of-thee] in thine house, and when thou walkest [lit. and-in-walking-of-thee] by the way, and when thou liest down [lit. and-in-lying-of-thee], and when thou risest up [lit. and-in-rising-of-thee].[1]
  5. (introducing a verbal noun) While, during.
    הוא נפל בשינה.hu nafal b'sheina. — He fell during sleep.

Usage notes

  • Unlike English in, בְּ־ cannot easily mean into; rather, לְ־ (l'-), to) is generally used for that sense.
  • Like English in, בְּ־ is a fairly weak word; when the sense is that of being in a place, the word בְּתוֹךְ (b'tókh), within, inside) may be used as a stronger variant.
  • בְּ־ is used in forming dates using the traditional Hebrew months; for example, 17 Tammuz is “‏17 בטמוז”, literally “17 in Tammuz”. However, לְ־ (l'-), to) is sometimes used with the months of the Roman calendar.
  • בְּ־ undergoes the same vowel changes as לְ־ (l'-), to) and כְּ־ (k'-), like, as), including the merger with הַ־ (ha-), the); see לְ־ (l'-), to).
  • Unlike English in, בְּ־ is strictly a preposition, and always takes an object; בִּפְנִים (bif'ním), in, inside) is used without an object.

Derived terms

  • ביחד (b'yákhad) “together”
  • בלבד (bil'vád) “alone”
  • בעזרת השם (b'ezrát hashém) “with G-d’s help”
  • בוודאי (b'vadái) “certainly, definitely”
  • בתוך (b'tókh) “inside, within”
  • בצורה (b'tzurá) “in a … form”
  • באופן (b'ófen) “in a … way”
  • בקושי (b'kóshi) “hardly”
  • באמת (b'emét) “truly”
  • בשביל (bish'víl) “for”
  • בגלל (big'lál) “because of”
  • בדיוק (bid'yúk) “exactly”
  • במקום (bim'qóm) “instead of”
  • במקום (bamaqóm) “in place”
  • ט״ו בשבט (tú bish'vat) “Tu Bishvat”


  • Notes:
  1. ^ Authorized King James translation (1611).

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