A State/Process is the most basic type of Event in biblical Hebrew. Even though in many other languages there is a clear distinction between States and Processes, this is not the case in biblical Hebrew. In most cases only the verb tense that is used or the wider context determines whether we should translate a particular verb as a State (to be ...) or a Process (to become ...). The main characteristic of a State/Process is that its main semantic argument has no semantic function. If, for example, we say "the man is dead" (= State) or "the man is dying" (= Process) the argument "the man" has no control over the Event.


An Action differs from a State/Process in that its main semantic argument is in control of the Event. It plays the semantic role of Agent. It is related to a State/Process in that the Agent either brings him/herself into a particular State (e.g. "to kill oneself", derives from the State "to be dead" ) or displays a type of behavior that is the immediate consequence of a certain State (e.g. "to stagger" derives from the State "to be drunk"). A considerable number or hitpa'el verbs denote Action events.


A Causative is an Event in which one entity causes another entity to be in a particular State or undergo a certain Process event. A large number of hif'il verbs depict Causative events.