Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lesson 2


         2.a Alphabet
         2.b Verbs
         2.c Nouns
         2.d Sentences

2.a: Alphabet

We keep on with some new consonants:

  • ל - [l], as in 'last'.

  • ס - [s], as in 'last'.

  • ר - [r], as in 'Ricci' (hebrew 'r' is closer to french 'r', like in 'croissant' or 'citroen').

  • פ - [f], as in 'stuff', or [p], as in 'apple'. We'll learn later how to distinguish.

Now, the [p]/[f] consonant "פ" also has a final form:

  • ף - [f] final (when final, it's always pronounced [f], and not [p]).

And the last vowel:

  • וּ - [u], as in 'cool' (a vertical line, the size of a consonant, and a dot to its left).

Let’s practice a bit - first try to read the (fictional) words, then click to hear:

סִיפוּר listen
פֵסֵל listen
סַיַר listen
סַלגַד listen
פַרַס listen
יוֹתֵר listen

And now listen and try to write down in hebrew. Having done that - click 'show' button to see the right answer:

listen פַתַר
listen תַפַר
listen רֵסֵס
listen סוּרַף
listen רִיסֵס

Finally, write in hebrew the following:

london לוֹנדוֹן
paris פַרִיס
madrid מַדרִיד
barcelona בַרסֵלוֹנַה
oslo אוֹסלוֹ(*)
prague פרַאג
miami מַיַאמִי
opera אוֹפֵרַה
radio רַדִיוֹ
cellular סֵלוּלַר
million מִיליוֹן
dollar דוֹלַר
euro יוּרוֹ
februar פֵברוּאַר
april אַפרִיל
may מַאי
november נוֹבֵמבֵר
(*) When a word starts with 'o' or 'u' sound, it usually begins with the no-sound letter א

And, to exercise some more, there's a bonus game! Write in hebrew pairs of countries and capitals, from the list:

capital cities: sofia, belgrad, berlin, beirut, dublin, london

מֵדִינוֹת: בוּלגַרִיַה, אִירלַנד, אַנגלִיַה, סֵרבִיַה, לֵבַנוֹן, גֵרמַנִיַה

2.b Verbs

Let's learn 3 more verbs:

  • the root למד (l.m.d.) means 'learn, study'.
  • the root הרס (h.r.s.) means 'destroy'.
  • the root ירד (y.r.d.) means 'go down, descend'.

Now we add 2 more pronouns:

הוּא [hu] he listen
הִיא [hi] she listen
Note that in both cases א is not pronounced; it’s an archaic (aramic) form, having a never-pronounced א in the end.

We also introduce 3 prepositions:

בֵ [be] in listen
לֵ [le] to listen
מֵ [me](*) from listen
(*) [me], from, is actually [mi] (מִ). It's not a big deal though, as the pronunciation is occasionally smoothed. These, being of just one letter, are adjoined to the next noun, for example:
לֵבַרסלוֹנַה to barcelona listen
בֵמַדרִיד in madrid listen
מֵבֵרלִין from berlin listen
לֵדַנַה to Dana listen

And finally, 3 more verbs:

  • the root ספר (s.f.r.) means 'count'.
  • the root אספ (!.s.f.) means 'collect, pick up'.
  • the root נפל (n.f.l.) means 'fall'.
Note that in all these roots פ is pronounced as 'f'.

Practice time! Read the sentences aloud, then listen to audio, and translate the sentences to english:

אַנִי אוֹסֵף listen I (masc.) pick up
הוּא הוֹרֵס listen he destroys
אַתֵם יוֹרדִים listen you (plural masc.) descend
הֵן לוֹמדוֹת listen they (fem.) study
אַתַה סוֹפֵר listen you (masc.) count
היִא נוֹפֵלֵת listen she falls

And final exercise for the part - write in hebrew, read aloud, and then check your answer and pronunciation:

I (masc.) learn in berlin. אַנִי לוֹמֵד בֵבֵרלִין listen
She goes down to opera. הִיא יוֹרֵדֵת לֵאוֹפֵרַה listen
He (is) lover from prague. הוּא מֵאַהֵב מֵפרַאג listen
You (plur.masc.) count fish (plural) in april. אַתֵם סוֹפרִים דַגִים בֵאַפרִיל listen
You (plur.fem.) love in miami. אַתֵן אוֹהַבוֹת בֵמַיאַמִי listen
He picks up son from Oslo. הוּא אוֹסֵף בֵן מֵאוֹסלוֹ listen
She studies in garden. הִיא לוֹמֵדֵת בֵגַן listen

Don't forget - you can always consult our table of hebrew verbs!

2.c Nouns

How to say “the garden”? Very simple, if you want to turn an undefinite noun into a definite one, you just attach הַ ('ha') to the beginning of the noun. For example:
גַן [gan] a garden
הַגַן [hagan] the garden
מֵדִינַה [medina] a country
הַמֵדִינַה [hamedina] the country

Time for new nouns:

  • יֵלֵד [yeled] (m.) boy. However, in plural second 'e' changes into 'a': יֵלַדִימyeladim – boys, children
  • יַלדַה [yalda] (f.) girl (second 'e' has dropped, because 'yeleda' sounds too clumsy. first [e] changes into [a], that's an exception to remember..).
  • גַן יֵלַדִים [gan yeladim] (m.) kindergarten; literally – garden of children
  • בַית [bayt] (m.) home, house
  • סֵפֵר [sefer] (m.) book. Similarly to 'yeled', plural turns into 'sefarim', and since it sounds clumsy, first e drops, so that 'books' is ספַרִימ - 'sfarim'
  • בֵית סֵפֵר [beyt sefer] (m.) school; literally – house (of) book
  • סוּפֵר [super] (m.) supermarket, colloquially

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and check out the answer&pronunciation:

He loves books. הוּא אוֹהֵב ספַרִים listen
I (masc.) fall in home. אַנִי נוֹפֵל בֵבַית listen
The children (are) in school. הַיֵלַדִים בֵבֵית סֵפֵר listen
The girl is in kindergarten. הַיַלדַה בֵגַן יֵלַדִים listen
Who (is) in home?. מִי בֵבַית? listen
Girls learn in school. יֵלַדוֹת לוֹמדוֹת בֵבֵית סֵפֵר listen
(There are) many supermarkets in country. הַרבֵה סוּפֵרִים בֵמֵדִינַה listen

2.d Sentences

We can now expand our question vocabulary by combining:

מֵמִי [memi] from whom?
מֵמַה [mema] from what?
לֵמִי [lemi] to whom?
לֵמַה [lema] to what?
The last one, לֵמַה, also means 'why?'; it's sometimes pronounced also as לַמַה - [lama].

Let's add three important words:

  • מֵאוֹד [meod]very. Comes before adjective and verbs, for example: אֵנִי מֵאוֹד אוֹהֵב[ani meod ohev] – I love very much, literally – I very love.
  • לא [lo]no, not. For example: לא, אַנִי לא אוֹהֵב[lo, ani lo ohev] – no, I (do) not like. (We will explain later why it's not written as לוֹא, as one could expect).
  • הַרבֵה [harbe]many, lot of. For example: הַרבֵה יֵלַדִים[harbe yeladim] – many kids.

And finally, exercise for the day – translate the sentences, and then check out your answers and listen to the audio. As usual, brackets mean you don't need these english words in hebrew.

He picks up fish (plural) from son (of) the gardener. הוּא אוֹסֵף דַגִים מֵבֵן גַנַן listen
(There are) many books in school. הַרבֵה ספַרִים בֵבֵית סֵפֵר listen
(There are) not many books in kindergarten. לא הַרבֵה ספַרִים בֵגַן יֵלַדִים listen
Why (are) you (sing. masc.) not in school? לַמַה אַתַה לא בֵבֵית סֵפֵר? listen
Kids in school collect million dollars in may. יֵלַדִים בֵבֵית סֵפֵר אוֹספִים מִיליוֹן דוֹלַר בֵמַאי listen
Children in kindergarten fall a lot (literally – fall many). יֵלַדִים בֵגַן יֵלַדִים נוֹפלִים הַרבֵה listen
Why (do) you (masc.) destroy school? לַמַה אַתַה הוֹרֵס בֵית סֵפֵר? listen
I count million fish (in plural). אַנִי סוֹפֵר מִיליוֹן דַגִים listen
Children, to whom many books? (meaning – who has many books?) יֵלַדִים, לֵמִי הַרבֵה ספַרִים? listen
From whom did she pick up the portion? מֵמִי הִיא אַספַה הַמַנַה? listen
He falls from the stage. הוּא נוֹפֵל מֵהַבַמַה listen


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  10. Find it difficult reading Hebrew left to right.

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  12. hebrew looks easy with this lessons. thx!!!!

  13. in 2 C nouns , in the word "sfarim" the final "m" is a mistake? it should be a different "m"...the final one...

  14. Good lessons!!
    Only thing I struggle with is with the י. I see nowhere explained what it means or how its pronounced, it seems different in different words, like in סַיַר sounds as sayaar, but in רִיסֵס you dont hear it at all

    1. Nvm, seems I was going to fast and skipped lesson 1 :O

  15. Why is there a change in how the characters are written from lesson 2 to lesson 3.

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  22. in the last exercise. Why is the word "the" in "son of the gardener" (Ha ganan)?

  23. why "the" is not included in the "son of the gardener(ha ganan)"?

  24. Your site gives hope one's self study can bring forth fruit in due time! I share the comments that it's rare to find a satisfactory good source on the internet dealing with this material. Please, continue along this plan to supply the site with more and more grammar and vocabulary to improve our Hebrew study.
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  25. Thanks for this site - great work!

    There is probably a small typo above: לֵבַרסלוֹנַה
    It should be: לֵבַרסֵלוֹנַה


  26. Just in one day i am able to even read Hebrew. I m very much thankful to u. It is so easy to understand and even more easier to study. Atheist i will be able to start reading the original Hebrew bible

  27. THese lessons are great, but i'm struggling to remember itall.any tips?

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Thanks for these helpful lessons. I am very tuned with all of them. Remembering is the challenging part but I know with practice, practice, practice it can be done

  30. Hello! Andrei (from Romania) again. I have 2 questions regarding the last exercise of the day:
    1. First sentence: "He picks up fish from son of the gardener" shouldn't be: "... meben haganan? (the gardener)" - in the exercise is "meben ganan"
    2. Second last sentence: "From whom did she pick up the portion?" shouldn't be: "... osefet hamana"? (the verb form because of she) - in the exercise is "osfa hamana".
    Thanks in advance for your answer!

  31. you are a gifted person. you share your knowledge well. wish you success and greatness.

  32. Thank you so much .. this is very helpful

  33. Hey guys, I wanted to ask you, do the audio buttons work? Yesterday they seemed so, but today neither of them is playing...

    1. The audio buttons works with Internet Explorer. Try it

    2. The audio buttons work with Internet Explorer. Try it***

    3. The audio buttons work with Internet Explorer. Try it***
      -Franklin Guerrero.

  34. 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.
    Check it out, especially if you have trouble like me quickly remembering the vocab and conjugating verbs:

  35. Im learning so much and faaast! :D thanx!!

  36. Thank you soooo much for the website! Have started today and easily learned the alphabet! It's highly motivating! Thanks a lot for all the work you've dedicated to this!

  37. I've been following along steadily, but I must say, I'm incredibly upset that you used a word in an exercise that you hadn't taught yet!!!!! MANY!!!