Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lesson 5


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

5.a: Alphabet

There we go with two more consonants:
  • כ - can be either k, just as ק, or kh, just as ח (and not h as ה). We'll learn today how to tell each time which one.

    Besides, it has a special ending-form: ך
  • ו - w, as in 'wall'. We already met this letter as an auxiliary for the 'o' and 'u' sounds, but on some circumstances it can also be a 'w' consonant in its own right (coming without the dot). When ו stands for w, it's sometimes written double: וו. Most importantly, the hebrew word for 'and' is וֵ ('we'), which, being of one letter, is attached to the following word. For example:
    יֵלֵד וֵיֵלדַה
    yeled veyelda – boy and girl

Now let's read and then listen:

חַנוּכַה listen
רַווַק listen
מַכִיר listen
חַווַה listen
כִיכַר listen
וֵרֵד listen
רַך listen

Remember, we had 3 letters – ב, כ, פ – that could represent different sounds? There are the following rules of thumb:
When the consonant has a vowel before it, usually:

  • ב is pronounced 'v' (as in אַהַבַה - ahava)
  • כ is pronounced 'kh'
  • פ is pronounced 'f' (as in סֵפֵר - sefer)
When the consonant doesn't have a vowel before it (it's preceded by a consonant, or is the first letter of the word), usually:
  • ב is pronounced 'b' (as in בַית - bayt)
  • כ is pronounced 'k'
  • פ is pronounced 'p' (as in פוֹתחִים - potkhim)
As a typical example, consider the two פ-s in the word פרוֹפֵסוֹרprofesor.

5.b Verbs

Let's have 3 more verbs:

  • the root מכר ( means 'sell'
  • the root זכר ( means 'remember' (that's the origin of Zacharia, Zac)
  • the root אכל (!.kh.l.) means 'eat'

And the last pronoun!
אַנַחנוּ - anakhnu – we

We'll get done now with past forms, demonstrating it on the verb זכר. Only 2 remain:

  • אַנִי זַכַרתִיani zakharti – i remembered (no matter what's the gender)
  • אַנַחנוּ זַכַרנוּanakhnu zakharnu – we remembered (no matter what's the gender)

To get used, read aloud, translate and then listen:

אַנִי לַבַשתִי בֵגֵד יַרוֹק listen
אַנַחנוּ מַכַרנוּ הַרבֵה דַגִים אֵתמוֹל listen
אַנִי זַכַרתִי שֵהַיוֹם אַנִי לוֹמֵד listen
אַנַחנוּ אַכַלנוּ מַנַה מַתוֹקַה בֵשַבַת listen

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

  • the root כתב (k.t.v.) means 'write'
  • the root הלכ ( means 'go'

Practice time! Write in hebrew and check your pronunciation:

Boys, you went to school today? No, we sat in home. יֵלַדִים, אַתֵם הַלַכתֵם לֵבֵית סֵפֵר הַיוֹם? לא, אַנַחנוּ יַשַבנוּ בֵבַית listen
You (fem.) wrote to Dan yesterday? No, not yesterday, but I wrote in this week. אַת כַתַבת לֵדַן אֵתמוֹל? לא, לא אֵתמוֹל, אַבַל אַנִי כַתַבתִי הַשַבוּעַ. listen
I (masc.) remember that I ate fish (sing.) yesterday, but I don't remember who sold this fish. אַנִי זוֹכֵר שֵאַכַלתִי דַג אֵתמוֹל, אַבַל אַנִי לא זוֹכֵר מִי מַכַר דַג זֵה. listen
Dina said that she went to school of son of Adam. דִינַה אַמרַה שֵהִיא הַלכַה לֵבֵית סֵפֵר שֵל בֵן שֵל אַדַם listen
Dan, the son, says that she and he went to sea and ate red fish (plural). דַן, הַבֵן, אמַר שֵהִיא וֵהוּא הַלכוּ לֵיַם וֵאַכלוּ דַגִים אַדוֹמִים listen
We wrote today less than yesterday, but we learned more. אַנַחנוּ כַתַבנוּ הַיוֹם פַחוֹת מֵאֵתמוֹל, אַבַל אַנַחנוּ לַמַדנוּ יוֹתֵר? listen

5.c Nouns & Adjectives

We need more adjectives (again – note the common pattern, this time it's XaXaX):

חַזַק khazak strong listen
חַלַש khalash weak listen
חַדַש khadash new listen
יַשַן yashan old listen
לַבַן lavan white listen

We compared adjectives last lesson, so let's learn one more way to do so:
כמוֹkmo – as, like - listen
For example:
אַנִי חַזַק כמוֹ דַן, אַַבַל אַדַם יוֹתֵר חַזַקani khazak kmo dan, aval adam yoter khazak – I'm (as) strong as Dan, but Adam is stronger

Great, we've done that, and today we start learning a new subject – numbers.
Numbers in hebrew precede nouns, as in english (three cats). Numbers have different forms for masculine and feminine, for the time being we'll only learn the feminine form. Besides, when numbers are used without nouns, (such as quoting phone number), it's always in feminine form. So:

  • 2 - שתַיִם - shtaim - listen
  • 3 - שַלוֹש - shalosh - listen
  • 5 - חַמֵש - khamesh - listen
  • 6 - שֵש - shesh - listen

And of course, we need nouns:

כַדוּר (m.) kadur ball listen
כִיתַה (f.) kita class, classroom listen
גלִידַה (f.) glida ice-cream listen
כֵלֵב (m.) kelev* (male) dog listen
(*)In the plural form first 'e' is omitted, as usual. But the second 'e' also changes – to 'a', so: 'dogs' are כלַבִים (klavim).

Exercise – write in hebrew, pronounce and compare to the recorded version (note - some nouns below are masculin and we're using feminine form for numbers. it's not very nice of us, but we'll get over it in a couple of lessons):

Three big classrooms. שַלוֹש כִיתוֹת גדוֹלוֹת listen
Five white balls חַמֵש כַדוּרִים לַבַנִים listen
Six strong dogs. שֵש כלַבִים חַזַקִים listen
Cat is weaker than dog. חַתוּל יוֹתֵר חַלַש מֵכֵלֵב listen
Three balls of ice-cream. שַלוֹש כַדוּרִים שֵל גלִידַה listen
Two new classrooms. שתֵי כִיתוֹת חַדַשוֹת listen
Note that when '2' comes before noun, it's shortened to שתֵיshtey

Pronounce, without writing (and check yourself), the following numbers (digit by digit):

325 listen
623 listen
532 listen
2533 listen
6225 listen

5.d Sentences

Another wh-question:
אֵיפהeyfo - where? (indicating location, not direction; note the difference with לֵאַן). Again, we won't explain at the moment where the 'o' sound comes from. Trust us..
By the way, from that you can construct: מֵאֵיפהmeeyfo – where from?

Two typical answers for the question are:

  • כַאן - (m.) - kan - here. listen
  • שַם - (m.) - sham - there. listen

And the last word for today, it's been a long one, is:
כִי - (m.) - ki - because. listen

Now, final exercise of the lesson – write the sentences in hebrew:

The new garden (is) less big than the old garden. הַגַן הַחַדַש פַחוֹת גַדוֹל מֵהַגַן הַיַשַן listen
This stage, here, (is) closer than the stage there. בַמַה זאת, כַאן, יוֹתֵר קרוֹבַה מֵהַבַמַה שַם listen
We went to three countries in this month, and to six countries in that year. אַנַחנוּ הַלַכנוּ לֵשַלוֹש מֵדִינוֹת בֵחוֹדֵש זֵה, וֵלֵשֵש מֵדִינוֹת בֵשַנַה זאת listen
Boys and girls, why you ate 6 ice-creams?? No, we ate 5! יֵלַדִים וֵיֵלַדוֹת, לַמַה אַכַלתֵם שֵש גלִידוֹת?? לא, אַכַלנוּ חַמֵש! listen
This (is) (a) (male) cat, and this (is) (a) (female) cat. They (are) weak because they ran away from the house. זֵה חַתוּל, וֵזאת חַתוּלַה. הֵם חַלַשִים כִי הֵם בַרחוּ מֵהַבַית listen
In room of Dan (are) 3 balls, that (is) 2 less than the room of Adam. בֵחֵדֵר שֵל דַן שַלוֹש כַדוּרִים, זֵה שתַיִם פַחוֹת מֵהַחֵדֵר שֵל אַדַם listen
Boy that eats many fish (plural) (is) stronger than boy that eats less. יֵלֵד שֵאוֹכֵל הַרבֵה דַגִים יוֹתֵר חַזַק מֵיֵלֵד שֵאוֹכֵל פַחוֹת listen
He worries and thinks that she cheated (on) in Dan, but no – she loves Dan, they (are) friends (meaning 'couple' in the context). הוּא דוֹאֵג וֵחוֹשֵב שֵהִיא בוֹגֵדֵת בֵדַן, אַבַל לא - הִיא אוֹהֵבֵת דַן, הֵם חַבֵרִים listen
I dreamed that I fell in red sea. I think that this (is) because I don't like sea – I (am) much more weak than sea.. אַנִי חַלַמתִי שֵאַנִי נַפַלתִי לֵיַם אַדוֹם. אַנִי חוֹשֵב שֵזֵה כִי אַנִי לא אוֹהֵב יַם - אַנִי הַרבֵה יוֹתֵר חַלַש מֵיַם.. listen
Many boys and girls love ice-cream, and less love fish (plural). הַרבֵה יֵלַדִים וֵיֵלַדוֹת אוֹהֵבִים גלִידַה, וֵפַחוֹת אוֹהֵבִים דַגִים listen
From where to where (did) you (masc.) go?? I went from Madrid to Barcelona because I thought that I (am) strong as superman, but no – I am weak.. מֵאֵיפה לֵאַן אַתַה הַלַכתַ?? אַנִי הַלַכתִי מֵמַדרִיד לֵבַרסֵלוֹנַה כִי חַשַבתִי שֵאַנִי חַזַק כמוֹ סוּפֵרמֵן, אַבַל לא - אַנִי חַלַש.." listen
(Do) you think that zebra (is) more white than black? No! I think that zebra (is) less white than black! אַתַה חוֹשֵב שֵזֵברַה יוֹתֵר לַבַנַה מֵשחוֹרַה? לא! אַנִי חושֵב שֵהִיא פַחוֹת לַבַנַה מֵשחוֹרַה! listen
In this ice-cream (are) 3 balls: white, red and green. She (is) very sweet (Note – there's no 'it' in hebrew, so non-humans are also referred by 'he/she'). בֵגלִידַה זאת שַלוֹש כַדוּרִים: לַבַן, אַדוֹם וֵשַחוֹר. הִיא מֵאוֹד מַתוֹקַה listen


  1. In the sentence "you wrote to Dan yesterday..." you use the word week without first introducing it. There was also a new letter that hadn't been introduced yet.
    The swedish fan.

  2. in the last example:..... ... lavan,adom veshakor?.. it should be "yarok" not "shakor", right?
    great lessons why did you stop? =(

  3. This is a great tutorial and I am really benefiting, in English we do not say "Boy that eats fish@ you have to say "A boy that eats fish" it uses the indefinite article which does not exist in Hebrew

  4. Ok, this time it took me about 3 hours to learn everything. It gets harder with every lesson hence more challeging and interesting :) Thank you!

  5. I want to add that the letter "ב" has to have a dot inside it ("בּ") to sound like "B", because without the dot it will sound like "V".
    Same for the letter "כ":
    "כּ" = K
    "כ" = KH

    1. Does it always have to be like that?

    2. No modern hebrew doesn't use dots (nikkud) very often so you have to know, if at the start of a word, it is always pronounced hard 'b' as in the middle of a word or syllable, 'v' at the end of a word always 'v'
      Same goes for the other letters כ פ

  6. I love the lessons, thank you soooo much.

  7. Shalom,
    Ifeel really to make progression, since I've found Your course!
    Thank You so much!

  8. the ice cream is black, not green.. I think :-)

  9. I have a question forpast tense, when the persons gender is not clear as in "i dont remember who sold fish" do we use XaXaX pattern like in example? Ani lo zokher mi MAKHAR dag ze??

  10. Does anyone knows what is the idfference between hine and khan, bothmean here as far as it is explained

    1. I think הינה is used more to present something as in "הינה הדג" "Here's the fish" (Вот рыба). Whereas כאן is more to locate something "הדג כאן" "the fish is here" (рыба здесь), please correct me if im wrong.

  11. Thank you very much! This Course is so helpful and quite challenging, but on a comfortable level.

  12. Thanks so much for these lessons! I really appreciate the variety of ways you present information so that it is interactive.
    A struggle for me: The speakers sometimes go too fast for me. I understand that I need to speed up. So I try over and over to speak with them and the few times when I can, it feels like a big success. On this lesson, though, some phrases went by so fast that, to my slow ears, they sounded like a blur looks. Great speakers, but at only lesson five, my ears are still walking, not running :-).
    Again, thanks.
    Still a beginner here,

  13. Thank you. Good good job! So useful till now. xoxo

  14. Hi - just wondering why "she cheated" is "HI BOGDET" (present tense) not past tense "HI BAGDAH?"

    Thanks again for the lessons they are fantastic.

  15. Thanks................. a lot...

  16. thanks for this course..

  17. About the letters, you tell whether it is B/V, K/KH, P/F by using a dagesh. For instance:


    And also:

  18. “ו” does not sound like "w", you can't make that sound in Hebrew. It sounds like "v", just like "ב".

  19. 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:

  20. why cant i hear the sounds

  21. The last sentence to be translated. In english it says green and in hebrew it says black(שחור).

  22. doing it for the second time, and the result is amazing. Now ready for new verbs and nouns :-)

  23. Now I even know why you say "liftoakh" but "poteakh", and "lewaker" but "biker" - I love your site, for now I'm learning with a book, but I often come to see how verbs are conjugated in the past (with punctuation!) and take a little journey here - your site is really unique, very helpful and a real treasure! Thank you so much!

  24. Great site - you hit the spot in terms of mixing vocab and grammar in an understandable yet stimulating way that makes it easy to INTERNALIZE.

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