In our previous lesson we focused on vav’s primary meaning of “and.” However, as we will now see, “and” is not always the correct translation of the Hebrew word vav. Vav is used to convey other meanings, as well.
Although the literal English translation of vav is “and,” it leads a more varied life than its English counterpart. While in English “and” can mean “also,” or can be used like a comma to connect words, phrases and sentences, vav can do the work of “but,” “or,” “so,” “then,” “with,” “when,” “who,” “that,” “on the contrary,” and much more. Hebrew frequently uses a vav where in English no word would be used at all, and in such cases the best translation is simply to drop the “and” entirely.
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. For the transliteration system used in this series, click here