Aramaic

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Pronunciation

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Conjunction

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כי (kay)

  1. because, for

Hebrew

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Etymology 1

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From Proto-Semitic *kiyā.

Adverb

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כִּי (ki)

  1. (archaic) so, thus
    • Mishna, שבועות, ‎6:7:
      המלוה את חברו על המשכון ואבד המשכון אמר לו סלע הלויתיך עליו ושקל היה שוה והלה אומר לא כי אלא סלע הלויתני עליו וסלע היה שוה []
      One who lends to his friend against collateral and the collateral is gone: [If] he told him "I lent you a sela against it, and it was worth a shekel" and the other says "not so; rather, you lent me a sela against it and it was worth a sela" []
Synonyms
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Conjunction

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כִּי ()

  1. because, for, since
    הלכתי למכולת לקנות שקית חלב כי אמי ביקשה ממני.
    halákhti lamakólet liknót sakít khaláv 'imí bik'shá miméni.
    I went to the grocery store to buy a bag of milk because my mother asked me to.
    השמש נמצאת עכשיו במזרח, כי זוהי שעת זריחתה.
    hashémesh nimtsét 'akhsháv bamizrákh, zóhi sh'át z'rikhatáh.
    The sun is in the east now, for this is the hour of its rising.
  2. (dated or formal) that; used to introduce declarative content clauses
    המורה הודיעה כי מחר יתקיים יום ספורט בית־ספרי.
    hamorá hodí'a ki makhár yitkayém yóm spórt beit-sifrí.
    The teacher announced that tomorrow will be a school sports day.
    על השלט נכתב כי אסור להפריע את מנוחת הדיירים בין 2 ל־4 בצהריים.
    'al hashélet nikhtáv 'asúr l'hafría' 'et m'nukhát hadayarím bein 2 l'-4 batsohoráyim.
    The sign says (literally On the sign is written) that [it is] forbidden to disturb the tenants' rest between 2 and 4 in the afternoon.
  3. (archaic) when, as, at the time that
  4. (archaic) rather, but, but rather
Synonyms
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Etymology 2

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From Ancient Greek χεῖ (kheî).

Noun

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כִי (ḵīf

  1. chi (Greek letter)
    • a. 500 C.E., Babylonian Talmud, Horayot 12a:
      כֵּיצַד מוֹשְׁחִין אֶת הַמְּלָכִים? כְּמִין נֵזֶר. וְאֶת הַכֹּהֲנִים? כְּמִין כִּי. מַאי כְּמִין כִּי? אָמַר רַב מְנַשְּׁיָא בַּר גַּדָּא, כְּמִין כַּף יְוָנִי.
      Keitsad moshḥin et ha-mlakhim? K-min nézer. V-et ha-kohanim? K-min ki. Mai k-min ki? Amar Rav M'nashya bar Gadda, k-min kaf y'vani.
      In what way are kings anointed? Like a crown. And priests? Like a chi. What does "like a chi" mean? Says Rav Menashya bar Gadda, like the Greek version of kaph.

Etymology 3

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Cognate to Arabic كَيّ (kayy).

Noun

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כִּי (m

  1. cauterization, branding
    • Tanach, Isaiah 3:24, with translation of the Jewish Publication Society:
      וְהָיָה תַחַת בֹּשֶׂם מַק יִהְיֶה וְתַחַת חֲגוֹרָה נִקְפָּה וְתַחַת מַעֲשֶׂה מִקְשֶׁה קָרְחָה וְתַחַת פְּתִיגִיל מַחֲגֹרֶת שָׂק כִּי תַחַת יֹפִי
      Və–hayah táḥat bósem maq yihyeh, və-táḥat ḥagorah niqpah, və-táḥat ma’aseh miqsheh qorḥah, və-táḥat pətigil makhagóreth saq, ki táḥat yófi.
      And it shall come to pass, that Instead of sweet spices there shall be rottenness; And instead of a girdle rags; And instead of curled hair baldness; And instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; Branding instead of beauty.

Etymology 4

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Compared with Arabic كُي (kuy, ibis, pelican).

Noun

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כִּי (m

  1. (hapax, dubious interpretation) vulture
    • Tanach, Job 39:27:
      אִם־עַל־פִּ֭יךָ יַגְבִּ֣יהַּ נָ֑שֶׁר וְ֝כִ֗י יָרִ֥ים קִנֹּֽו
      Is it upon your behest that the eagle and the vulture soars and makes his nest high? Or as with the particle above: Is it upon your behest that the eagle soars, and yea, makes his nest high?

Further reading

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  • Schoors, Anton (1981) “The Particle כי”, in Remembering All the Way … – A Collection of Old Testament Studies Published on the Occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary of the Oudtestamentisch Werkgezelschap in Nederland, Leiden: Brill, pages 240–276

Mozarabic

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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Inherited from Latin quid. Compare Portuguese que and Spanish qué.

Determiner

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כי (ky)

  1. what
    • c. 1100, Kharja H16, section 1:
      כי פראיו או כי שיראד דמיבי
      ky frʔyw ʔw ky šyrʔd dmyby
      What shall I do, what will become of me?
      (literally, “What shall I do or what will be of me?”)