Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lesson 3


         3.a Alphabet
         3.b Verbs
         3.c Nouns & Adjectives
         3.d Sentences

3.a: Alphabet

There we go with two more consonants:
  • ק - k, as in 'king'
  • ש - sh, as in 'push'

All right, let's read and then listen to get the exact pronunciation:

שֵקֵל listen
קֵשֵר listen
שוֹקוֹ listen
שוֹר listen
קַר listen
קַפֵה listen
שוֹקוֹלַד listen

And now listen and try to write down in hebrew (and check the right answer):

listen אַמֵרִיקַה
listen אַפרִיקַה
listen שוֹפִינג
listen קַפֵה
listen קִילוֹגרַם

And the geography game:
Write in hebrew and match pairs of countries and capitals, from the list:
מֵדִינוֹת: מַרוֹקוֹ, דֵנמַרק, פיִנלַנד, תַאִילַנד, קוֹרֵיַאה, אוּקרַאִינַה, רוּסִיַה, סוּרִיַה
capital cities: kopenhagen, moscow (literally-moskva), casablanca, bangkok, kiev, seoul, helsinki, damasque (lit.-damesek)

3.b Verbs

Let's have 3 more verbs:
  • the root לבש [] means 'wear'
  • the root ישב [] means 'sit'
  • the root אמר [!.m.r] means 'say' (the first consonant is not pronounced)

We add 2 more pronouns:

  • הֵם[hem] – they, masculine, or where the objects are of mixed gender
  • הֵן[hen] – they, feminine

Cool, now it's time we start learning the past:
The good news are there's only one past tense (unlike english with its abundance), and it takes no auxiliary verb. The bad news – each pronoun has its own form for past verb.
The basic for all past forms is the pattern XaXaX, or םַםַם (where the three ם / X represent 3 root letters). This basic form is also the 'he' form, for instance – 'he learned' is הוּא לַמַד ([hu lamad]).
The 'she' form, as is typical for hebrew, is created by attaching [a] to the male form (the vowel of 'a' plus the not-pronounced consonant ה). Therefore 'she learned' should have been הִיא לַמַדַה ([hi lamada]). However, to make speaking faster and easier, the second 'a' is omitted – so that 'she learned' is really הִיא לַמדַה ([hi lamda]).
Similarly, the 'they' form is the basic form + [u] (and the omission as before), so that 'they learned' is הֵם לַמדוּ ([hem lamdu]) and הֵן לַמדוּ ([hen lamdu]). Note that it's the same for masculine and feminine.
Some examples:

  • boy learned - יֵלֵד לַמַד ([yeled lamad])
  • girl learned - יַלדַה לַמדַה ([yalda lamda])
  • boys learned - יֵלַדִים לַמדוּ ([yeladim lamdu])
  • girls learned - יֵלַדוֹת לַמדוּ ([yeladot lamdu])

Great, now let's add two more verbs to practice with:

  • the root שמר [sh.m.r.] means 'keep, guard'
  • the root בדק [b.d.k.] means 'check'

Practice time! Translate the following:

הוּא שַמַר גַן listen he guarded (a) garden
הִיא לַבשַה בֵגֵד listen she wore (a) cloth
הֵם אַמרוּ: הַי listen they said: hi
הֵן בַדקוּ בֵסֵפֵר listen they checked in book

And final exercise for the part - write in hebrew, compare to the answer and listen:

they (masc.) guarded school listen הֵם שַמרוּ בֵית סֵפֵר
the girls loved fairytales listen הַבַנוֹת אַהַבוּ אַגַדוֹת
she said to Adam “shalom” (common israeli greeting) listen הִיא אַמרַה לֵאַדַם שַלוֹם
Dan loved very much Dina listen דַן אַהַב מֵאוֹד דִינַה
why they sat? listen לַמַה הֵם יַשבוּ?
Adam not stole (a) book from Dana listen אַדַם לא גַנַב סֵפֵר מֵדַנַה
they (fem.) counted million portions listen הֵן סַפרוּ מִיליוֹן מַנוֹת

3.c Nouns & Adjectives

How to say “big boy”? The opposite way - “boy big”.

Let's get 4 adjectives (note the pattern – XaXoX):

גַדוֹל [gadol] big listen
יַרוֹק [yarok] green listen
אַדוֹם [adom] red listen
מַתוֹק [matok] sweet listen
So, 'big boy' is יֵלֵד גַדוֹל ([yeled gadol])

Now, unlike english (big boy, big boys) – in hebrew adjectives do conjugate with noun. They take up the same endings as nouns do, so:

  • 'big girl' should be יַלדַה גַדוֹלַה ([yalda gadola]), but you can already guess the the first [a] is omitted for simplicity, and so
    'big girl' is יַלדַה גדוֹלַה ([yalda gdola])
  • 'big boys' is יֵלַדִים גדוֹלִים ([yeladim gdolim]) (similar omission)
  • 'big girls' is יֵלַדוֹת גדוֹלִוֹת ([yeladot gdolot])

Similarly, if we want to add definite article – we add it to both the noun and the adjective:
'the big boy' - הַיֵלֵד הַגַדוֹל ([hayeled hagadol])

And we can't go without learning new nouns:

יַם [yam] (m.) sea listen
גַל [gal] (m.) wave (also a feminine name) listen
שַנַה [shana] (f.) year listen
שַבַת [shabat] (f.) shabbat, saturday (the holiday in israel) listen

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

green sea listen יַם יַרוֹק
the big wave listen הַגַל הַגַדוֹל
sweet year! (a typical new-year congratulation) listen שַנַה מַתוֹקַה
red kindergarten listen גַן יֵלַדִים אַדוֹם
green gardens listen גַנִים יַרוֹקִים
sweet dishes (desserts) listen מַנוֹת מַתוֹקוֹת
the red sea listen הַיַם הַאַדוֹם
big love listen אַהַבַה גדוֹלַה
green school listen בֵית סֵפֵר יַרוֹק
the big stage listen הַבַמַה הַגדוֹלַה

3.d Sentences

A very useful connection word – “that” – is שֵ ([she]). Note that the word, being of just one letter, is written together with the following word. Also note - it's 'that' as in
“i say that he (is) big” - אַנִי אוֹמֵר שֵהוּא גַדוֹל ([ani omer shehu gadol]),
or as in

“the boy that learns” - הַיֵלֵד שֵלוֹמֵד ([hayeled shelomed]),
but NOT as in
“that boy”.

Another useful word is “of” - שֵל ([shel]). It shows explicit possession, as in:
“book of Dana” - סֵפֵר שֵל דַנַה ([sefer shel dana]).

And we finish the lesson with two more:

שַלוֹם [shalom] peace, also a common greeting listen
אֵתמוֹל [etmol] yesterday listen

And final exercise of the lesson – write the sentences in hebrew:

he fell to red sea listen הוּא נַפַל לֵיַם אַדוֹם
he (has) not checked the garden listen הוּא לא בַדַק הַגַן
he said that the book (is) of Dan (“Dan’s”) listen הוּא אַמַר שֵהַסֵפֵר שֵל דַן
she learned in school this year listen הִיא לַמדַה בֵבֵית סֵפֵר הַשַנַה
they (masc.) went down to sea yesterday listen הֵם יַרדוּ לֵיַם אֵתמוֹל
I worry that he (is) (a) thief listen אַנִי דוֹאֵג שֵהוּא גַנַב
the girls wore red cloth yesterday listen הַיֵלַדוֹת לַבשוּ בֵגֵד אַדוֹם אֵתמוֹל
why you keep fish (in plural) to Saturday? listen לַמַה אַתַה שוֹמֵר דַגִים לֵשַבַת?
in saturday many big boys sit in home listen בֵשַבַת הַרבֵה יֵלַדִים גדוֹלִים יוֹשבִים בֵבַית
the gardener said that Dan (is) son of Adam listen הַגַנַן אַמַר שֵדַן - בֵן שֵל אַדַם
I like very much that she wore green cloth listen אַנִי אוֹהֵב מֵאוֹד שֵהִיא לַבשַה בֵגֵד יַרוֹק
they picked up fish (plural) in sea yesterday? listen הֵם אַספוּ דַגִים בֵיַם אֵתמוֹל?


  1. It is getting more and more difficult. Especially the adjectives, when to use which adjectives. The listening is also getting very difficult.

  2. the girls loved fairytales - I don't think the girls is habanot!

    1. I have been wondering about that as well. It must be a different translation. Google translate translates "the girls" to habanot as well.

    2. Actually you may say girls in Hebrew as banot בנות and as yeladot ילדות and the girls is really habanot הבנות or hayeladot הילדות.

  3. It's getting harder...

  4. any different sound with Mivta Ashkenazim and Mivta Sephardi? are these Ashkenazim or Sephardi?

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  30. Thanks so much for making this site. I just finished this lesson and so far it has been great. Thanks again.

  31. thank you sooooo much. i'm from sri lanka. this is easy way to learn Hebrew correcly. thanks... හීබෲ ඉගෙන ගන්න හොද බ්ලොග් එකක්. සරලව පැහැදිලිව ඉගෙන ගන්න පුඵවන්. අනුන්ගේ කටවල් දිහි බලාගෙන කැඩිච්ච හීබෲ ඉගෙනගන්නවාට වඩා අමාරුවෙන් හරි හරියට භාෂාවක් ඉගෙන ගන්න එක ගොඩක් වටිනවා.....

  32. As for the past, the basic form is םָםַם, not םַםַם.

  33. Hey guys! Since this blog is kinda dead, I tried to make at least this online course on Memrise, making lessons with the vocabulary and some drills using conjugated verb forms.
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  34. Shalom Ani Mong Hei Chao

    May I ask the question that why yarok(in fem or plural form) is not yroka, yrokim and yrokot. I hope you can help me.

    Todah raba bevakashah.