Thursday, August 5, 2010



Course plan
About this course
Why did we make this course at all

Course plan:

(updated as of 1.1.2011)
Week 1:
          Lesson 0
          Lesson 1
          Lesson 2
          Lesson 3
          Lesson 4
          Lesson 5
          Lesson 6
          Lesson 7
Week 2:
          Lesson 8 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 9 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 10 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 11 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 12 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 13 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 14 (temporarily - without audio)
Week 3:
          Lesson 15 (temporarily - without audio)
          Lesson 16-28 - to be available soon
           Grammar - table of verbs conjugation

About this course:

How do i begin?
Read the chapter below, and if it suits you - click on lesson 0, and off you go. If you seriuosly intend to learn here - it would be nice of you to leave a comment on this entry, introducing yourself (name, and if you want to - your age and city - for statistics only). Feedbacks in comments are more than welcome )

What's the structure of the course?
4 weeks of 7 lessons. Each lesson consists of four parts, with a grammar note, vocabulary (5-8 words) and exercise.
There are 2 recommended schedules:

  • Intensive one - a lesson every day. That makes it a 4weeks course. In that case we recommend to break a lesson into two “sessions” - a morning session (parts a&b), and an evening session (parts c&d). Each session is expected to take about 60minutes.
  • Normal one - a lesson every other day, making it an 8weeks course. Still, it's best to learn parts a&b the first day, and parts c&d the other.

Who is the target audience?
Any person willing to learn hebrew with a serious approach. Suits mostly age-group of 15-40. We would like to underline – if you're going for a week-trip and want to pick up 10 useful words - this is definitely not for you.

Where will I be by the end of the course?
You will be able to hold conversation, read and write on a decent level.

How about some learning tips?

  • Study when you're concentrated, not tired and sober. Devote yourself fully while studying and don't interrupt yourself (with phone, email, food etc.).
  • Do all exercises completely. These have been carefully suited to make the most out of learning. Skipping any would seriously hamper your progress.
  • Always check the right answer and right pronunciation, after you did the exercise. If the correct answer doesn't fit your – ask yourself why. In case you don't understand – write us / leave a comment – don't leave things unclear.
  • Try to find a couple of minutes, here and there, everyday (while walking, taking shower or anywhere else) – and repeat the new words you learned today and yesterday. Try to repeat several sentences you met in exercises (words are best remembered through their combinations in sentences).
  • When you have to write – write, don't be lazy. You can use keyboard, although we recommend to do it the good old way, with a pen and paper.

What is the vague outline of the course?
First week – alphabet, verb conjugation of main group in present&past, basic grammar, basic vocabulary.
Second and third weeks - verb conjugation of other groups, advanced grammar, lot of vocabulary.
Fourth week – yet more vocabulary, style + colloquial language.

What about modern/biblical hebrew?
This course is totally about modern hebrew. We are not teaching anything that is not commonly spoken these days.

Anything to know about IT aspects?
We're trying to make it as simple as possible. There are, however, two important features that run java script – so, if for some reason you don't have it – we suggest you go to to install it. As of the moment, the website definitely works fine with firefox, explorer and chrome.

How interactive is the website?
You can pose questions in comments (of respective lesson).You can also contact us through our email –

What about the commercial aspects?
None. There are, and will be, no “paid features”, ads or any sort of commercial activity on the site.

And our thanks go to..
to be completed

Why did we make this course at all:

(this is not very interesting)

Why do we want to do this project?
We believe in learning languages as an important social and educational tool, we see many people interested in and learning hebrew, we support self-studies, and we think the currently available tools (especially the free ones) are not of highest level.

What's wrong with the current tools?
There are 3 main categories: classical books, interactive sites and audiobooks. Interactive sites are of highest potential (nowhere near being fully realised yet); audiobooks are more convenient in certain circumstances (driving); and classic books are enjoying most experience, resulting in higher quality. Speaking of technological limitations – textbooks don't provide pronunciation, audiobooks don't provide visual texts, neither can provide video and both are awkward in navigation (especially in cross-referencing). The interactive sites, on the other hand, are (currently) of a low level from pedagogical point of view, “childish”, concentrating more on visual effects. We'd like to combine the best of all - construct a site, with quality content (effective learning methods), on a serious platform (rather than improvised flash-site), and with convenient audio (later – possibly video).

What about the methodics?
We consider the following dogmas of teaching (that prevail in books&websites) to be wrong:

  • The course must be 100% right. So, in order to avoid mistakes – books are often going way into details, overwhelming the reader with exceptions and minor rules. Instead – we prefer the reader to make “deliberate” mistakes and to fix those a bit later, as long as that makes the learning process easier, and the mistakes will be fixed fairly soon.
  • Things should be learned by topics, themes or grammatic chapters. For instance – one lesson teaches 10 colors, one lesson deals with numbers 1-10, and one – with all forms of conjugating verbs. We think this is wrong – it's known that people struggle remembering more than 5-6 items of the same category, but can easily remember 3 items from each of 3 different categories. So, in that example – it's much more efficient to give 3 colors, 3 numbers and few verb forms every lesson.
  • Exceptions are important, and should be taught right with the rule. We think people should first get used to the standard model, and only then there's a point talking about exceptions. Otherwise – student won't understand the centrality of standard model, will be overwhelmed at once with abundance of options, and will be discouraged by complexity of grammar.
  • All grammar is (equally) important. No, we think the importance of a grammar topic is proportional to its relevance in language, especially – in colloquial speech, and that should dictate the order of studies. For example, the imperative verb form is dying – it can hardly be heard on streets; that means this topic can be postponed towards the end.
  • Names of grammatic structures are important. We think these bear no importance at all. There's little use (and lots of redundancy) learning the official names of tenses, verb groups and so on. Generally speaking, attitude should be as simple as possible: instead of saying “third person singular feminine” we'd rather say “the 'she'-form”.
  • Analyzing grammar is not at all important, teaching should be comparative. We think the importance of grammar lies in its ability, for student, to put huge vocabulary into structures, and declaring these structures explicitly makes the process faster. Of course, the structures are of no importance per se, only in its assistance with vocabulary.
  • People should learn both typed and hand-written alphabet. We believe it's the typed alphabet only that should be learned (during this 4weeks course). Since the student will have no access to anything hand-written, and therefore no practice, we'd rather see him mastering writing (in hand!) the typed alphabet (even though few israelis can do that..). Getting used, later, to handwritten is very easy. Besides, in computer era, hand-written alphabet is becoming evermore obsolete.
  • Student should get grammar and vocabulary, the rest will come. We believe a more important skill is to be able to form sentences from words, and to decompose a heard sentence back to basic units. We devote significant part of lessons to translating phrases, underlining the differences in sentence-wise thinking between english and hebrew, and then the student hears the translated sentence he just created himself, learning to decompose fluent hebrew speech.
  • Words should be learned according to their importance in hebrew. True, but not only that: complexity of the word should be taken into consideration (relative to the native language of the student), as well as its normality vs. exceptionness, and its subjective link to the student. For example, word like 'super' (colloquial of supermarket) may not be most urgent to learn, neither is it most simple – but:
    since it takes no effort to remember,
    and since it actually encourages the student (giving him the illusion other words are just as easy),
    and since it's a convenient word in fabricating practicing-sentences,
    and since it can demonstrate and support grammatical rules (whereas most important words tend to be exceptions, only confusing student) -
    to summarize, we believe much thought should be put into order of vocabulary to be taught.
  • Exercises should be exercicing last lesson' material. We believe it should equally use the material of last 2-3 lessons, to keep it alive, and sampling bits of material from long ago – to renew the forgotten (so that every word will be exercised at much later stage, as well). Besides, student gets encouraged combining the new material with something he already firmly knows.
  • Language is sacred, teaching should be objective and serious. We think that everything student can relate to – works. Fun always helps. If there's a mnemonic trick – why not to show it?

What, then, we think a lesson should look like?
Each lesson of ours contains little bit of all – several verbs, several nouns, several useful words of no category, a bit of standard grammar, some corrections to the standard grammar that was taught 2-3 lessons earlier, tips on daily use and cultural references and so on. Structure of every atomic part is: grammar, vocabulary, exercise (ideally – practicing the just-learned-grammar upon the just-learned-vocabulary). The final part of every lesson contains many exercises on sentence-level.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lesson 15


         15.a Verbs and nouns
         15.b Adjectives and numbers
         15.c More verbs and nouns
         15.d Final practice

15.a: Verbs and nouns

Back to regular verbs, here are two more:

  • the root רדף [r.d.f] means 'to chase'
  • the root פתר [f.t.r] means 'to solve'

Today we'll learn the passive form of verbs. It's characterized by the נִ appearing ahead of the root, and certain changes in root vowels. Let's compare it with the active form we're used to:

דַן רוֹדֵף [dan rodef]
Dan chases (or - is chasing)
דַנַה רוֹדֵפֵת [dana rodefet]
Dana chases
דַן וֵלִיאוֹר רוֹדפִים [dan velior rodfim]
Dan and Lior chase
דַנַה וֵאוֹרנַה רוֹדפוֹת [dana veorna rodfot]
Dana and Orna chase

And in passive:

דַן נִרדַף [dan nirdaf]
Dan is chased (or - is being chased)
דַנַה נִרדֵפֵת [dana nirdefet]
Dana is chased
דַן וֵלִיאוֹר נִרדַפִים [dan velior nirdafim]
Dan and Lior are chased
דַנַה וֵאוֹרנַה נִרדַפוֹת [dana veorna nirdafot]
Dana and Orna are chased

And some new nouns:

מֵחִיר price
מַתַנַה gift
קוּפַה cash desk

Exercise – write the following in hebrew:

I'm (masc.) chasing after my dog; my dog is chased. אַנִי רוֹדֵף אַחרֵי הכֵלֵב שֵלִי. הַכֵלֵב שֵלִי נִרדַף
He's opening the door. The door is being opened. הוּא פוֹתֵחַ אֵת הַדֵלֵת. הַדֵלֵת נִפתַחַת
They (masc.) are checking the airplane. The airplane is being checked. הֵם בוֹדקִים אֵת הַמַטוֹס. הַמַטוֹס נִבדַק
What is heard? (typical israeli greeting) מַה נִשמַע?
The cash-desk is being closed every day. הַקוּפַה נִסגֵרֵת כל יוֹם
It's over (lit. - finished). זֵה נִגמַר
I bougt you (fem.) a gift. The gift is found in your room קַנִיתִי לַך מַתַנַה. הַמַתַנַה נִמצֵאת בֵחֵדֵר שֵלַך.

15.b Adjectives and numbers

Let's learn some more adjectives:

יַקַר expensive, dear
זוֹל cheap
שַווֵה worth, worthwhile
חַכַם smart,intelligent

We know to count until 100, so let's learn the word:

מֵאַה 100
מַאתַייִם 200
And it goes like this:
מֵאַה שלוֹשִים וֵאַחַת 131 (lit. hundred thirty and one)
מַאתַייִם אַרבַעִים וֵשלוֹש 243 (lit. two hundred fourty and three)
חַמֵש מֵאוֹת שִישִים 560 (lit. five hundred sixty)
שמוֹנֵה מֵאוֹת תִשעִים וֵשֵבַע 897 (lit. eight hundred ninety and seven)

Great, it's practice time:

How much costs the book, please? כַמַה עוֹלֵה הַסֵפֵר, בֵבַקַשַה?
He's worth 150 shekels. הוּא שַווֵה מֵאַה חַמִישִים שקַלִים
Oh, that's very expensive! אוֹ, זֵה מֵאוֹד יַקַר!
The green book, over there, is cheaper. הסֵפֵר הַיַרוֹק, שַם, יוֹתֵר זוֹל.
In a year there are 365 days. בֵשַנַה יֵש שלוֹש מֵאוֹת שִישִים וֵחַמִישַה יַמִים
She's a smart girl; she's always busy. הִיא יַלדַה חַכַמַה; הִיא תַמִיד עַסוּקַה

15.c More nouns and verbs

Some more verbs:

  • the root דרש [] means 'to demand, require'
  • the root שתק [sh.t.k] means 'to shut up, keep quiet'
  • the root קשר [] means 'to tie, attach'

And more nouns:

חַנוּת store
שַעוֹן watch (usually hand-watch)
שַׂקִית bag
קוּפסַא box

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and compare to the recorded version:

In a store there are always many bags. בֵחַנוּת תַמִיד יֵש הַרבֵה שַׂקִיוֹת
My watch is quiet, not going (any)more. הַשַעוֹן שֵלִי שוֹתֵק, לא הוֹלֵך יוֹתֵר
There are 450 stores in tel-aviv. יֵש אַרבַע מֵאוֹת חַמִישִים חַנוּיוֹת בֵתֵל אַבִיב
When i (masc.) don't have something important to say, i keep quiet. כשֵאֵין לִי מַשֵהוּ חַשוּב לוֹמַר - אַנִי שוֹתֵק
Children, you're required to pick up all the bags in garden. יֵלַדִים, אַתֵם נִדרַשִים לֵאֵסוֹף אֵת כל הַשׂקִיוֹת בֵגַן
With every day he's more and more attached to his girlfriend. עִם כל יוֹם הוּא יוֹתֵר וֵיוֹתֵר נִקשַר לֵחַבֵרַה שֵלוֹ

15.d Sentences

All right, let's finish the lesson with several useful words:

לִפעַמִים sometimes
אַף פַעַם never
מַהֵר fast, rapidly
לֵאַט slowly

Final exercise of the day!! Translate the dialogues without writing, and listen:

- Good morning. I (fem.) want to buy a present, for my boyfriend. listen
- All right. How old is he? listen
- He's 27. listen
- Do you know what he likes? listen
But i think that he already has many. listen
- Do you want to buy him clothes? Maybe - a pair of trousers, or shoes? listen
- Noo, that's really not what i want.. listen
- Mmm.. maybe a watch? A watch is always nice for a man. listen
- Yes, watch is good. Here, i like this watch. listen
- It costs 230. listen
- It's a bit expensive.. All right, i take it. What's the price? listen
Do you have a nice little box? A black one? listen
- Yes, i'm sure there is. Please, the gift waits for you in cash-desk. listen
- Thank you! listen
And the hebrew text:

חנות מתנות:
- בוקר טוב. אני רוצה לקנות מתנה לחבר שלי.
- טוב. בן כמה הוא?
- הוא בן עשרים ושבע.
- את יודעת מה הוא אוהב?
- אני יודעת שהוא אוהב לקרוא ספרים ולראות סרטים.
אבל אני חושבת שיש לו כבר הרבה.
- את רוצה לקנות לו בגדים? אולי - זוג מכנסיים, או נעליים?
- לא, זה ממש לא מה שאני רוצה..
- ממ.. אולי שעון? שעון זה תמיד יפה לגבר.
- כן, שעון זה טוב. הנה, אני אוהבת את השעון הזה.
- הוא עולה מאתיים שלושים.
- זה קצת יקר.. טוב, אני לוקחת אותו. מה המחיר?
יש לך קופסא קטנה יפה? אחת שחורה?
- כן, אני בטוח שיש. בבקשה, המתנה מחכה לך בקופה.
- תודה לך!

Lesson 13


         13.a Verbs
         13.b Adjectives
         13.c Nouns
         13.d Sentences

13.a: Verbs

Today we stay on with 2-consonants group of verbs:

  • the root טס [t.s.] means 'to fly (passively, like on airplane)'
  • the root נח [] means 'to have a rest'
  • the root דן [d.n.] means 'to discuss'. Note this verb is followed by the preposition בֵ ('in')

Verbs of this group behave the same in past tense as standard verbs do (except that they have a shorter root); for example:

אַנִי טַסתִי [ani tasti]
i flew
הֵם דַנוּ [hem danu]
they discussed
אַתַה נַחתַ [ata nahkta]
you (masc.) had a rest

Let's learn 2 more verbs and start practicing:

  • the root עף [!.f.] means 'to fly (actively, like a bird)'
  • the root בא [b.!.] means 'to come'

Exercise – write the following in hebrew:

Every evening, when i (masc.) return from university, i have a rest. כל עֵרֵב, כשֵאַנִי חוֹזֵר מֵאוּנִיבֵרסִיטַה, אַנִי נַח. listen
Yesterday, in bank, they discussed inflation of this year. אֵתמוֹל, בֵבַנק, הֵם דַנוּ בֵאִינפלַצִיַה שֵל הַשַנַה. listen
They flew to Italy this year, for two weeks. הֵם טַסוּ לֵאִיטַלִיַה הַשַנַה, לֵשבוּעַיִים. listen
Before that you (masc.) came - we were studying. לִפנֵי שֵאַתַה בַאתַ - אַנַחנוּ לַמַדנוּ. listen
When i run - i have a rest every 5 kilometers. כשֵאַנִי רַץ, אַנִי נַח כל חַמִישַה קִילוֹמֵטרִים. listen

13.b Adjectives

Let's learn some more adjectives:

שַׂמֵחַ [sameakh] happy
עַצוּב [atzuv] sad
נַכוֹן [nakhon] correct
עַייֵף [ayef] tired

All right, let's learn a new preposition - עַל, [al]; it means on, as in הַסֵפֵר עַל הַשוּלחַן, or about, as in אַנִי חוֹשֵב עַל דַנַה. It goes like this:

עַלַי alay on me, about me
עַלֵיךַ aleykha on you, about you (masc.)
עַלַיך alaykh on you, about you (fem.)
עַלַיו alav on him, about him
עַלֵיַה aleya on her, about her
עַלֵינוּ aleynu on us, about us
עַלֵיכֵם/ן aleykhem/n on you, about you (plural masc./fem.)
עַלֵיהֵם/ן aleyhem/n on them, about them (masc./fem.)

Great, it's practice time:

She's tired, she worked a lot yesterday, and then worked even more today. הִיא עַייֵפַה, הִיא עַבדַה הַרבֵה אֵתמוֹל, וֵאַז עַבדַה אַפִילוּ יוֹתֵר הַיוֹם listen
I'm happy (masc.) that you (fem.) found what you wanted. אַנִי שַמֵחַ שֵאַת מַצַאת אֵת מַה שֵרַצִית listen
This week i saw a movie; it's a sad comedy about love, that all men are always cheating. הַשַבוּעַ רַאִיתִי סֵרֵט; זאת קוֹמֵדִיַה עַצוּבַה עַל אַהבַה, שֵכל הַגבַרִים תַמִיד בוֹגדִים listen
When i returned from school, i sat in my chair and had a rest. כשֵאַנִי חַזַרתִי מִבֵית סֵפֵר, יַשַבתִי עַל הַכִיסֵא שֵלִי וֵנַחתִי listen

13.c Nouns

Let's learn some nouns; try to recognise some roots:
טִיסַה [tisa] flight
מַטוֹס [matos] airplane
דִירַה [dira] appartment
צִיפוֹר (*) [tzipor] bird
(*) The word 'bird' in hebrew is fem., even though its plural form is constructed as masc. - צִיפוֹרִים.

All right, today we'll learn a new grammatic construction, that in some cases replace future tense. It's just as in english - "going to do smth.", "thinking to do smth." etc. Note that the second verb is always in its infinitive form. A few examples:

אַנִי הוֹלֵך לִלמוֹד מַחַר listen i'm (masc.) going to learn tomorrow
הֵם חוֹשבִים לִנסוֹעַ לֵיַפַן listen they think to go to Japan
הִיא יוֹדַעַת לִרקוֹד יַפֵה listen she knows to dance beautifully
הוּא עוֹמֵד לִמכוֹר אֵת הַדִירַה שֵלוֹ listen he is about to (lit.-standing to) sell his appartment

And back to some more nouns:

בַחוּר/בַחוּרַה [bakhur/bakhura] guy/girl
שַכֵן/שכֵנַה [shakhen/shkhena] neighbour (masc./fem.)
אַח/אַחוֹת [akh/akhot] brother/sister

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and compare to the recorded version:

I have a flight to London next week. יֵש לִי טִיסַה לֵלוֹנדוֹן בֵשַבוּעַ הַבַא listen
A plane to Paris flies three times a day. מַטוֹס לֵפַרִיס טַס שַלוֹש פַעַמִים בֵיוֹם listen
We have really good neighbours! And they dance tango at home every night, we see them in window. יֵש לַנוּ שכֵנִים מַמַש טוֹבִים! וֵהֵם רוֹקדִים טַנגוֹ כל לַילַה, אַנַחנוּ רוֹאִים אוֹתַם בֵחַלוֹן listen
Birds fly, and planes fly. But both these and these fall.. צִיפוֹרִים עַפוֹת, וֵמַטוֹסִים טַסִים. אַבַל גַם אֵלֵה וֵגַם אֵלֵה נוֹפלִים.. listen
This night i dreamed about my neighbours; they were flying, like birds. הַלַילַה אַנִי חַלַמתִי עַל שכֵנִים שֵלִי; הֵם עַפוּ כמוֹ צִיפוֹרִים. listen

13.d Sentences

It was a long lesson, so let's finish it with several useful words:

בֵין [beyn] between
כִמעַט [kimat] almost
בלִי [bli] without

And let's introduce a lovely group of words in hebrew - how does one say "someone", "somewhere", "somehow" and so on?
One takes the appropriate wh-word, adds to it שֵ and הוּא (usually dropping the last letter א), and there you go:

מִישֵהוּ [mishehu] someone, somebody
מַתַישֵהוּ [matayshehu] some time
אֵיפשֵהוּ [eyfoshehu] somewhere
אֵיכשֵהוּ [eykhshehu] somehow
לַמַשֵהוּ [lamashehu] for some reason

Final exercise of the day!! Translate the dialogues without writing, and listen:

- Hey Noa, i heard that you're flying to Madrid! That's true? listen
- Yes, Nir, i'm flying! I'm really happy! listen
- Good! For a week? listen
- No no, for two weeks! listen
- Wow, nice! With whom are you flying? listen
- I'm flying with my boyfriend, Lior. You already were in Madrid? listen
- Yes, i were there, four or five years ago. But only for three days. listen
I think that now it's really cold there. You took warm clothes? listen
- Yes, of course. listen
- What are you going to do there two weeks? listen
- I want to learn a bit spanish ('sfaradit'), and i also want to take course of flamenco. listen
- Very good! Ok, when's your flight? listen
- I'm going to fly tomorrow! listen

Lesson 12


         12.a Verbs
         12.b Adjectives
         12.c Nouns
         12.d Sentences

12.a: Verbs

Today we'll learn a new, exceptional, group of verbs; these have only 2 consonants as their root, and they motsly stand for action-verbs:

  • the root גר [g.r.] means 'to live'
  • the root זז [z.z.] means 'to move'
  • the root שב [sh.v.] means 'to come back, return'

Their behaviour in present tense:

sing. masc.: XaX הוּא גַר he lives
sing. fem.: XaXa הִיא גַרַה she lives
plural masc.: XaXim הֵם גַרִים they (masc.) live
plural fem.: XaXot הֵן גַרוֹת they (fem.) live

Let's learn 2 more verbs and start practicing:

  • the root קם [k.m.] means 'to get up'
  • the root רץ [r.ts.] means 'to run'

Exercise – write the following in hebrew:

Every morning i'm (masc.) swimming, and every evening i'm running. כל בוֹקֵר אַנִי שׂוֹחֵה, וֵכל עֵרֵב אַנִי רַץ. listen
Every day i (masc.) get up at (lit. in) seven. כל יוֹם אַנִי קַם בֵשֵבַע. listen
She returned to her country after 3 years in England. הִיא שַבַה לֵמֵדִינַה שֵלַה אַחַרֵי שַלוֹש שַנִים בֵאַנגלִיַה. listen
My dog moves a lot at night, he dreams he's running after a cat. הַכֵלֵב שֵלִי זַז הַרבֵה בֵלַילַה, הוּא חוֹלֵם שֵהוּא רַץ אַחרֵי חַתוּל. listen
I have 2 close friends, and they live in Germany. יֵש לִי שנֵי חַבֵרִים קרוֹבִים, וֵהֵם גַרִים בֵגֵרמַנִיַה. listen
When he's laughing, his ears are moving. כשֵהוּא צוֹחֵק, הַאוֹזנַיִים שֵלוֹ זַזות. listen

12.b Adjectives

Let's learn some more adjectives, keeping the pattern from previous lesson:

בַרוּר [barur] clear, obvious
פַשוּט [pashut] simple
בַטוּחַ [batuakh] sure
חַשוּב [khashuv] (*) important
(*) Do you recognise the root?

All right, we learned almost all shortened forms of בֵ,לֵ,שֵל,אֵת (like בוֹ, שֵלִי..), let's learn the last one – the 'plural you' form. For that, one adds [khem] or [khen], depending on gender:

בַכֵם/בַכֵן bakhem/bakhen in you (plural)
לַכֵם/לַכֵן lakhem/lakhen to you
שֵלַכֵם/שֵלַכֵן shelakhem/shelakhen your
אוֹתכֵם/אוֹתכֵן otkhem/otkhen you (as subject)
אִיתכֵם/אִיתכֵן itkhem/itkhen with you

There are two important, and easy to use words - 'forbidden' and 'allowed'. Both are followed by verbs in infinitive form, and are not subject to declension:

מוּתַר [mutar] allowed
אַסוּר [asur] forbidden
For example:
(It's) forbidden to steal and cheat. אַסוּר לִגנוֹב וֵלִבגוֹד listen
I'm allowed (lit. - allowed to me) to think what(ever) that i want (fem.). מוּתַר לִי לַחשוֹב מַה שֵאַנִי רוֹצַה listen

It's practice time:

I (masc.) think that it's important to be simple and clear. אַנִי חוֹשֵב שֵזֵה חַשוּב, לִהיוֹת פַשוּט וֵבַרוּר listen
I told you (plural) - it's forbidden to drink alcohol before you are 20! אַמַרתִי לַכֵם - אַסוּר לִשתוֹת אַלכוֹהוֹל לִפנֵי שֵאַתֵם בנֵי עֵשׂרִים! listen
Yesterday was a difficult lesson, but today the lesson (is) very simple. אֵתמוֹל הַיַה שִיעוּר קַשֵה, אַבַל הַיוֹם הַשִיעוּר מֵאוֹד פַשוּט listen
Already a week that he's not running, not swimming, not doing sports; maybe he's sick? כבַר שַבוּעַ שֵהוּא לא רַץ, לא שׂוֹחֵה, לא עוֹשֵה ספוֹרט; אוּלַי הוּא חוֹלֵה? listen

12.c Nouns

Let's learn some furniture names:
קִיר [kir] wall
אַרוֹן [aron] closet
לוּחַ [luakh] blackboard

All right, today we'll learn a new grammatic construction - a pair of nouns, usually chained by posession link. The new idiom often has a somewhat different meaning. We already saw several examples of these:

בֵית סֵפֵר [beyt sefer] school, lit. - house (of) book, bookhouse
גַן יֵלַדִים [gan yeladim] kindergarten, lit. - garden (of) children
מִיץ תַפוּחִים [mitz tapukhim] apple juice, lit. - juice (of) apples

Here are some more examples:

לוּחַ שַנַה [luakh shana] calendar, lit. - blackboard (of) year
אַרוֹן קִיר [aron kir] built-in closet, lit. - closet (of) wall
אוֹפנֵי עִיר [ofney ir] city bike, lit. - bike (of) city
סִיפוּר אַהַבַה [sipur ahava] love story, lit. - story (of) love
שִׂמלַת עֵרֵב [simlat erev] evening dress

Now, as part of the construction, the first of the two nouns may alter its ending. Typically, when the first noun is sing.masc. - it stays as it is; if it's sing.fem., ending with ה, that changes into ת. When it's plural masc., the ִים ending becomes ֵי. For example:

And back to some more furniture items:

שוּלחַן [shulkhan] table, desk
חַלוֹן [khalon] window
כִיסֵא [kise] chair

A special thing about the 6 furniture nouns we learned now is that, although they seem to be, and indeed are masculin - the plural is formed by a fem. pattern - adding וֹת, such as:

קִירוֹת [kirot]
חַלוֹנוֹת [khalonot]

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and compare to the recorded version:

In my room, i have one table, three chairs and two closets. בֵחֵדֵר שֵלִי, יֵש לִי שוּלחַן אֵחַד, שלוֹשַה כִיסַאוֹת וֵשנֵי אַרוֹנוֹת listen
It's important to me that i have a big built-in closet, because i have many clothes. זֵה חַשוּב לִי שֵיֵש לִי אַרוֹן קִיר גַדוֹל, כִי יֵש לִי הַרבֵה בגַדִים listen
I'm running with my dog twice a week, but my cat is even not moving when i'm going out of home! אַנִי רַץ עִם הַכֵלֵב שֵלִי פַעַמַיִים בֵשַבוּעַ, אַבַל הַחַתוּל שֵלִי אַפִילוּ לא זז כשֵאַנִי יוֹצֵא מֵהַבַית! listen
"To be or not to be?", asked Hamlet. It's really not obvious! "לִהיוֹת אוֹ לא לִהיוֹת?" שַאַל הַמלֵט. זֵה מַמַש לא בַרוּר! listen
They live in Jerusalem, and their children live in Tel Aviv. הֵם גַרִים בֵיֵרוּשַלַיִם, וֵהַיֵלַדִים שֵלַהֵם גַרִים בֵתֵל אַבִיב. listen

12.d Sentences

It was a long lesson, so let's finish it with several useful words:

כל, הַכל (*) [kol, hakol] all
כלוּם [klum] nothing
סלִיחַה [slikha] sorry
אֵיזֵה [eyze] which (masc.)
אֵיזוֹ [eyzo] which (fem.)
(*) we already learned this word means "every"; it can also mean "all" - it's usually evident by context whiever is the case.

Final exercise of the day!! Translate the dialogues without writing, and listen:
In class

- Hello children, today we're learning lesson (of) history. listen
Who knows who was Julius? listen
- I know (fem.)! listen
- Yes Tamar, please. listen
- He was king of empire (of) Rome. listen
- Yes. But i think Dan didn't hear you. Dan, what did Tamar say? listen
- Ahh.. Sorry.. I didn't hear her.. I'm sitting very far.. listen
- Obviously! You're not with us. Well, Tamar, please, again. listen
- He was king of empire (of) Rome. And his best friend, Brutus, betrayed in him. listen

Lesson 11


         11.a Verbs
         11.b Adjectives
         11.c Nouns
         11.d Sentences

11.a: Verbs

Let's learn 3 more verbs:

  • the root ענה [a.n.h.] means 'answer'.
  • the root עשׂה [a.s.h.] means 'do'
  • the root עלה [a.l.h.] has two meanings - 'to go up, ascend', and also - 'to cost'.

Today we'll learn more past tense of the verbs ending with 'ה'. It goes like this:

  • הוּא קַנַה [hu kana] - 'he bought'
  • הִיא קַנתַה [hi kanta] - 'she bought'
  • הֵם/הֵן קַנוּ [hem/hen kanu] - 'they bought'

Let's learn 2 more verbs and start practicing:

  • the root חלה [kh.l.h.] means 'to be sick'
  • the root היה [h.y.h.] means 'to be'. This verb is not used in present.

Exercise – write the following in hebrew:

He was here yesterday, i don't know (masc.) what he was doing. הוּא הַיַה כַאן אֵתמוֹל, אַנִי לא יוֹדֵעַ מַה הוּא עַשַה. listen
I asked them, and they answered me. (note the prepositions) אַנִי שַאַלתִי אוֹתַם, וֵהֵם עַנוּ לִי. listen
He was in tel aviv, many times, and she wasn't. הוּא הַיַה בֵתֵל אַבִיב, הַרבֵה פַעַמִים, וֵהִיא לא הַיתַה. listen
Yesterday the coffee cost 6 shekels, today it costs 7 shekels. אֵתמוֹל הַקַפֵה עַלַה שִישַה שקַלִים, הַיוֹם הוּא עוֹלֵה שִבעַה שקַלִים listen

11.b Adjectives

Remember we told you the same root can appear in many patterns, bearing the vague meaning of verb into specific structure? Today we'll introduce the XaXuX structure. It typically represents adjectives, depicting a situation when the action has been already taken, or has been taking place:

גַנוּב [ganuv] stolen
סַגוּר [sagur] closed
פַתוּחַ [patuakh] (*) open
כַתוּב [katuv] written
יַדוּעַ [yadua] (*) known
פַנוּי [panuy] (**) available, free
(*) Note the [a] before ח and ע, when these are last root-letter.
(**) When the root ends with ה, it changes into י.

Exercise - translate, and then check your answer:

loved אַהוּב
eaten אַכוּל
guarded שַמוּר
checked בַדוּק
finished גַמוּר
wanted, wished רַצוּי
built בַנוּי
taken לַקוּחַ
forgotten שַכוּחַ

We know how to compare adjectives - more and less - but how to say "most"? The most common way is to put :

  • הַכִי - [akhi]
before the adjective, as in:
הַשִמלַה שֵלַה - הַכִי יַפַה - hasimla shela - akhi yafa - her dress - (is) the most beautiful

It's practice time:

(It's) already 5 days that he is sick. כבַר חַמִישַה יַמִים שֵהוּא חוֹלֵה listen
(It's better) wanted not to swim here, the waves here (are) the biggest. רַצוּי לא לִשחוֹת כַאן, הַגַלִים כַאן - הַכִי גדוֹלִים listen
Her house (is) built 20 years ago. הַבַית שֵלַה בַנוּי לִפנֵי עֵשׂרִים שַנַה listen
He wanted to buy oranges, but the supermarket was closed. הוּא רַצַה לִקנוֹת תַפוּזִים, אַבַל הַסוּפֵר הַיַה סַגוּר listen

11.c Nouns

Let's learn several nouns of the XeXeX pattern:
לֵחֵם [lekhem] bread
סֵרֵט [seret] movie
גֵבֵר [gever] man, male
גֵזֵר [gezer] carrot
Note that in plural, as we've already seen with other nouns of this pattern, both [e] drop and the word becomes 'XXaXim', as in:
  • גבַרִים - [gvarim] - men

All right, we learned now all shortened forms of בֵ,לֵ,שֵל,אֵת, let's do the same with עִם ([im], meaning "with"). The endings are the same, but the preposition itself changes into אִית ( it):

אִיתִי iti with me
אִיתךַ itkha with you (sing.masc.)
אִיתַך itakh with you (sing.fem.)
אִיתוֹ ito with him
אִיתַה ita with her
אִיתַנוּ itanu with us
אִיתַם/אִיתַן (*) itam/itan with them (masc./fem.)
(*) note the ה in the ending has been absorbed

Let's learn some more nouns of the XeXeX pattern:

עֵרֵב [erev] evening
חֵלֵק [khelek] part
מֵלֵך [melekh] king

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and compare to the recorded version:

Once (upon a time), there were many kings - there was one king in every country. פַעַם, הַיוּ הַרבֵה מלַכִים - הַיַה מֵלֵך אֵחַד בֵכל מֵדִינַה listen
I saw a movie today, and also yesterday. This week i saw 3 movies. אַנִי רַאִיתִי סֵרֵט הַיוֹם, וֵגַם אֵתמוֹל. הַשַבוּעַ רַאִיתִי שלוֹשַה סרַטִים listen
We ate carrot salad with bread, and drank tea and coffee. I wanted coffee, and my girlfriend wanted tea. אַנַחנוּ אַכַלנוּ סַלַט גֵזֵר עִם לֵחֵם, וֵשַתִינוּ תֵה וֵקַפֵה. אַנִי רַצִיתִי קַפֵה, וֵהַחַבֵרַה שֵלִי רַצתַה תֵה. listen
This street is the longest in city. הַרֵחוֹב הַזֵה - הַכִי אַרוֹך בֵעִיר listen
He only wrote open stories, and did many unfinished movies. הוּא כַתַב רַק סִיפוּרִים פתוּחִים, וֵעַשַה הַרבֵה סרַטִים לא גמוּרִים listen
He is well built - he has very strong hands and legs. הוּא בַנוּי טוֹב - יֵש לוֹ יַדַיִים וֵרַגלַיִים מֵאוֹד חַזַקוֹת listen
Stolen apple is sweetest! תַפוּחַ גַנוּב - הַכִי מַתוֹק! listen

11.d Sentences

It was a long lesson, so let's finish it with four useful words:

אַפִילוּ [afilu] even
אֵלֵה [ele] these
תַמִיד [tamid] always
מַמַש [mamash] very, really

Final exercise of the day!! Translate the dialogues without writing, and listen:

- Uri, i read in newspaper yesterday that they stole 30 millions from bank! listen
- Who is "they"? listen
- I don't know.. Thieves?? (It's) written that there were 3 men. listen
- Did they find them? listen
- Noo, it always takes many weeks to find them. listen
And if they ran away from the country - even more.. listen
The bank is very well guarded, so if they did it - they are really good. listen
- Maybe.. listen
- Yes, they knew what they are doing. listen

In a bakery

- Hello listen
- Hello listen
- How much does white bread cost? listen
- The small (one) costs 5 shekels, and the bigger (ones), there, cost 8 shekels. listen
- Good, then i want two small (ones). And - yesterday i bought here black bread, it was really good. listen
- These? Yes, they're the best i have. I also eat them, with my family, every evening. listen
- Ok, then i want two parts of this bread. listen
- Very good, it's twenty shekels. Thanks that you bought here. listen

Lesson 9


         9.a Verbs
         9.b Numbers
         9.c Nouns & Adjectives
         9.d Sentences

9.a: Verbs

Let's learn 3 more verbs:

  • the root קנה [k.n.h.] means 'buy'.
  • the root רצה [] means 'want'
  • the root שתה [sh.t.h.] means 'drink'.

Today we'll start learning an important group of verbs – the ones that have 'ה' as their 3rd root letter. There are a few minor differences in conjugation, as the ה sometimes changes into י or ת. Let's start with present forms:

  • הוּא קוֹנֵה [hu kone] - 'he buys', according to the standard XoXeX pattern
  • הִיא קוֹנַה [hi kona] - 'she buys', not the XoXeXet pattern we're used to
  • הֵם קוֹנִים [hem konim] - 'they (masc.) buy', almost the XoXXim – but the 3rd root letter ה drops
  • הֵן קוֹנוֹת [hen konot] - 'they (fem.) buy', almost the XoXXot – but the 3rd root letter ה drops
(Note that is only applies to roots ending in ה, not to those ending in ע or א)

Now let's learn 2 more verbs:

  • the root בנה [b.n.h.] means 'build'
  • the root פנה [p.n.h.] means 'turn'.

The infinitive form is also a bit different - 'ה' turns into ת, so that:

  • "to buy" is לִקנוֹת - liknot
  • "to want" is לִרצוֹת - lirtzot
  • "to drink" is לִשתוֹת - lishtot
  • "to build" is לִבנוֹת - livnot
  • "to turn" is לִפנוֹת - lifnot

Exercise – write the following in hebrew:

They (fem.) turn to street Ben Yehuda. הֵן פוֹנוֹת לֵרֵחוֹב בֵן יֵהוּדַה listen
We (mixed) want to learn to dance in school. אַנַחנוּ רוֹצִים לִלמוֹד לִרקוֹד בֵבֵית סֵפֵר listen
You (sing. fem.) buy many apples, and he buys a bit of oranges. אַת קוֹנַה הַרבֵה תַפוּחִים, וֵהוּא קוֹנֵה קצַת תַפוּזִים listen
They (mixed) build a new house. הֵם בוֹנִים בַית חַדַש listen
He drinks tea ([te]), and she drinks coffee ([cafe]) הוּא שוֹתֵה תֵה, וֵהִיא שוֹתַה קַפֵה listen

9.b Numbers

We kept using feminine numbers for a while, now it's time to learn masculine as well. They are mostly formed by attaching [a], occasionally with a minor vowel change:

  • 3 - שלוֹשַה - [shlosha] (cf. fem. [shalosh])
  • 4 - אַרבַעַה - [arbaa] (fem. [arba])
  • 5 - חַמִישַה - [khamisha] (fem. [khamesh])
  • 6 - שִישַה - [shisha] (fem. [shesh])
  • 7 - שִבעַה - [shiva] (fem. [sheva])
  • 8 - שמוֹנַה - [shmona] (fem. [shmone])
  • 9 - תִשעַה - [tisha] (fem. [tesha])

Today we'll also learn the adjectives:

הַבַא [haba] next
קוֹדֵם, הַקוֹדֵם [kodem, hakodem]* previous
These go especially well with the noun:
רֵגַע (m.) [rega] moment

To practice:

He was standing in a supermarket, and in next moment – he was running away! הוּא עַמַד בֵסוּפֵר, וֵבֵרֵגַע הַבַא - הוּא בַרַח! listen
In this room (it's) very hot, 34, I (masc.) drink every minute, every moment. בֵחֵדֵר הַזֵה חַם מֵאוֹד, שלוֹשִים וֵאַַרבַע, אַנִי שוֹתֵה כל דַקַה, כל רֵגַע. listen
Seven apples and eight oranges – (are) heavier than watermelon. שִבעַה תַפוּחִים וֵשמוֹנַה תַפוּזים - יוֹתר כבֵדִים מֵאַבַטִיחַ. listen

9.c Nouns & Adjectives

Today we'll learn 3 adjectives of XaXiX structure:
טַעִים [taim] tasty
מַהִיר [mahir] fast
בַרִיא [bari] healthy

And 3 drinks:

מַיִם (m. plural) [maim] water
חַלַב (m.) [khalav] milk
מִיץ (m.) [mitz] juice

All right, we learned some shortened forms of בֵ, לֵ, שֵל, אֵת (like – בוֹ, שֵלִי..), let's learn one more – the 'we' form. For that, one adds [anu] (regardless of gender):

בַנוּ banu in us
לַנוּ lanu to us
שֵלַנוּ shelanu our, ours, of us
אוֹתַנוּ otanu us (as object pronoun, for transitive verbs)

Finally, let's learn 3 nouns of the XiXuX pattern:

שִיעוּר (m.) [shiur] lesson
סִיפוּר (m.) [sipur] story
קִיצוּר (m.) [kitzur] shortcut*
(*)A useful expression: 'בֵקִיצוּר' [bekitzur]'in short'

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and compare to the recorded version:

I (fem.) drink tea, but I don't drink coffee. I eat watermelon 3 times in week, I like him a lot. אַנִי שוֹתַה תֵה, אַבַל אַנִי לא שוֹתַה קַפֵה. אַנִי אוֹכֵלֵת אַבַטִיחַ שלוֹשַה פַעַמִים בֵשַבוּעַ, אַנִי אוֹהֵבֵת אוֹתוֹ מֵאוֹד listen
Son, today you have a fast lesson. Did you learn well in the previous week? בֵן, הַיוֹם יֵש לֵךַ שִיעוּר מַהִיר. אַתַה לַמַדתַ טוֹב בֵשִיעוּר הַקוֹדֵם?. listen
I know to create a fast dish - but she is healthy and very tasty! אַנִי יוֹדֵעַ לִיצוֹר מַנַה מַהִירַה - אַבַל הִיא ברִיאַה וֵמֵאוֹד טַעִימַה! listen
I (fem.) buy in this super 3 times in week, but in the next week we (mixed) buy less. אַנִי קוֹנַה בֵסוּפֵר הַזֵה שלוֹשַה פַעַמִים בֵשַבוּע, אַבַל בֵשַבוּעַ הַבַא אַנַחנוּ קוֹנִים פַחוֹת. listen
Then.. yesterday in morning, I (masc.) wore my shirt, I sit in my room.. I drink my coffee, and I think to myself.. In short – I love you (fem.)! אַז.. אֵתמוֹל בֵבוקֵר, אַנִי לַבַשתִי אֵת הַחוּלצַה שֵלִי, אַנִי יוֹשֵב בֵחֵדֵר שֵלִי.. אַנִי שוֹתֵה אֵת הַקַפֵה שֵלִי, וֵאַנִי חוֹשֵב לִי.. בֵקִיצוּר - אַנִי אוֹהֵב אוֹתַך!. listen
Milk (is) white, tea is black or green, coffee is black (or white, when there's in him some milk). חַלַב לַבַן, תֵה שַחוֹר אוֹ יַרוֹק, קַפֵה שַחוֹר (אוֹ לַבַן, כשֵיֵש בוֹ קצַת חַלַב). listen
Apples juice (in hebrew it's literally 'juice apples') is green, oranges juice is yellow, water (are) white. מִיץ תַפוּחִים יַרוֹק, מִיץ תַפוּזִים צַהוֹב, מַיִם לַבַנִים. listen

9.d Sentences

As always, we need a wh-question:

אֵיך [eykh] how

Great, let's have three useful words – the last for the day:

אוּלַי [ulay] maybe
אַחַרֵי [akharey] after
גַם [gam] too, also

Final exercise of the day!! Translate the dialogues without writing, and listen:
On street

- You (masc.) want to buy milk? listen
- But you (fem.) know that i don't drink milk! listen
- I know, i know, you drink your gin and tonic, every day.. listen
And what, you think that it's good to you, it's healthy?? listen
- I know that it's not, but.. All right, how much to buy? listen
- Not a lot, a little. Only to us - to me and to our son. listen
- Good. Do you (fem.) know where is here a supermarket, nearby? listen
- Yes. You walk in this street, and in next street you turn - and it (is) there. listen
- Ok. Where are you going now? listen
- I'm taking the boy to school, he has (a) lesson (of) music. And after it - i'm going to our home. listen
- Very good. Bye! listen

In super

- Shalom. listen
- Shalom to you (fem.) too! listen
- I want to buy 3 apples and 4 oranges. (*note the masc.) listen
- Very good. One minute. Here they (are). 6 shekels. Only this? listen
- Emm.. no, i want also (a) watermelon. listen
- How (do) you want him? Big or small? listen
- Small. listen
- Ok, 7 shekels. And?.. listen
- And..Maybe.. Liter (of) milk. listen
- 5 shekels. And..? listen
- And.. Do you have a newspaper, of today? listen
- Yes. 8 shekels. And?.. listen
- No, thanks, that's already good. listen