Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lesson 7


         7.a Alphabet
         7.b Verbs
         7.c Numbers, Nouns & Adjectives
         7.d Sentences

7.a: Alphabet

And the last letters!
  • שׂ - [s], as in 'summer'. We learned this letter as 'sh' sound, and almost always it is, but on very few occasions it also serves as 's', and is pronounced same as ס. Whenever the letter sounds as [s] - it's denoted by a dot above it, on its left side.
  • ט - [t], as in 'to'. Pronounced same as ת. Almost always 't' is written using ת, however – words of foreign origin, like 'television, internet' and so on, use ט.

Read the following words: אִינטֵרנֵט, טַאבוּ, טַניַה, טרוֹמבוֹן, ווֹקִי-טוֹקִי, קוֹנצֵרט, אוֹטוֹבוּס (bus), אוֹטוֹ (car), אוּנִיבֵרסִיטַה, טֵקסט,

7.b Verbs

Let's learn 2 more verbs:

  • the root נסע [n.g.?.] means 'go in a vehicle'.
  • the root נגע [n.s.?.] means 'touch'

Now we'll learn a very useful expression:

  • יֵש [yesh]there is, there are.
  • אֵין [eyn]there isn't, there is no, there aren't.
These are special words, not subject to any conjugation (these are not verbs!); they are analogous to spanish “hay” or french “il y'a”, and they indicate the existence (or absence) of some object, as in: יֵש כַאן כַדוּר[yesh kan kadur] – there is here (a) ball Of particular use are the expressions [yesh le..], literally meaning “there is to..”, and meaning posession:
  • יֵש לֵאַדַם כַדוּר [yesh leadam kadur] – lit. "there is to Adam ball", meaning “Adam has a ball”.
  • יֵש לִי סֵפֵר [yesh li sefer] – lit. there is to me book – I have a book.
  • אֵין לוֹ חַתוּל [eyn lo hatul] – lit. there isn't to him cat – he has no cat.
As awkward as it may sound literally – that's the only way to say something like “i have” in hebrew, and it's actually very short and convenient one.

Great, now let's add two more verbs:

  • the root ידע [y.d.?.] means 'know'.
  • the root שמע [sh.m.?.] means 'hear'

There is a slight exception in singular present form of all verbs that have either 'ע' or 'ח' as their third root-consonant (like all 4 of this lesson): instead of the expected

  • יוֹדֵע[yode] – knows, in masc.
  • יוֹדֵעֵת[yodeet] – knows, in fem.
we have
  • יוֹדֵעַ[yodea] – knows, in masc.
  • יוֹדַעַת[yodaat] – knows, in fem.
and similarly
  • בוֹרֵחַ[boreakh](*) – runs away, in masc.
  • בוֹרַחַת[borakhat] – runs away, in fem.
(*) Note that [a] comes before [kh], and not the way it's written. The vague reason for that is that ע and ח require the [a] sound for easier pronunciation. That's an important phenomenon, and it occurs whenever ע or ח are found at the end of the word, preceded by the [a] vowel.

All right, and the last bit for the part: We learned already how to say 'my,his,her'. To say 'your' (or 'to you', 'in you') – you add [kha] if it belongs to masculine noun, and [akh] if it' belongs to feminine noun:

  • סֵפֵר שֵלךַ [sefer shelha] – your (masc.) book.
  • כֵלֵב שֵלַך [kelev shelah] – your (fem.) dog.
  • יֵש לֵךַ [yesh leha] – you (masc.) have.
  • אֵין לַך [yesh leha] – you (fem.) don't have.
  • אַנִי נוֹגֵעַ בַך [eyn lah] – I (masc.) touch in you (fem.) (in hebrew you say 'touch in').

Exercise time - translate and listen:

I (fem.) go in autobus to your (masc.) city. אַנִי נוֹסַעַת בֵאוֹטוֹבוּס לֵעִיר שֵלךַ listen
(Do) you (fem.) know that I (masc.) know 6 fairytales? אַת יוֹדַעַת שֵאַנִי יוֹדֵעַ שֵש אַגַדוֹת? listen
I have 3 ice-creams, and you (masc.) have 4 ice-creams. לִי יֵש שַלוֹש גלִידוֹת, וֵלֵךַ יֵש אַרבַע גלִידוֹת listen
But you (fem.) said that you have 2 lovers! No, I (did) not say, and I don't have 2 lovers. אַבַל אַת אַמַרת שֵיֵש לַך שתֵי מֵאַהֵבִים! לא, לא אַמַרתִי, וֵאֵין לִי שתֵי מֵאַהֵבִים. listen
I (masc.) say to you (fem.) and you hear. No, I (fem.) say to you (masc.) and you hear! אַנִי אוֹמֵר לַך וֵאַת שוֹמַעַת. לא, אַנִי אוֹמֵרֵת לֵךַ וֵאַתַה שוֹמֵעַ! listen

7.c Numbers, Nouns & Adjectives

We'll learn more adjectives today:
טוֹב [tov] good
רַע [ra] bad
יַפֵה [yafe] nice, beautiful, pretty
קַטַן [katan] small, little (opposite of גַדוֹל)

Today we'll speak a lot about numbers. So, first of all, we have to learn:

  • 10 - עֵשׂר - [eser]
(Note that ש here is pronounced 's')

Now, how do we construct tens? We add the plural ending of [im], like one adds 'ty' in english:

  • 30 - שלוֹשִים - [shloshim]([a] is omitted, because [shaloshim] sounds too clumsy)
  • 40 - אַרבַעִים - [arbaim]
And 20? you add [im] to 10 (rather than to 2):
  • 20 - עֵשׂרִים - [esrim]

It's natural to speak about age now. This couldn't be any easier: “I am 8 years old” is in hebrew, literally: “I son 8”: אַנִי בֵן שמוֹנֵה [ani ben shmone]. And how to ask one's age? We need to learn the word:

  • כַמַה - [kama] - how much
So, “how old are you?” is literally “son how much you?”: בֵן כַמַה אַתַה [ben kama ata?]

Well, i'm 27, so how do I say that? All the composed numbers, starting from 20, are of same format: 'tens and ones'. That is:

  • 27 - עֵשׂרִים וֵשֵבַע [esrim vesheva] – twenty and seven
  • 33 - שלוֹשִים וֵשַלוֹש [shloshim veshalosh] – thirty and three
  • 46 - אַַרבַעִים וֵשֵש [arbaim veshesh] – forty and six

Fantastic, let's get some nouns, and be back to numbers:

שַבוּעַ (m.) [shavua] week listen
לַילַה (f.) [layla] night listen
בוֹקֵר (m.) [boker] morning listen
דַקַה (f.) [daka] minute listen
חֵצִי (m.) [khetzi] half listen

How do you ask “what time is it?” Simply “what (is) the hour?” - מַה הַשַעַה[ma hashaa?] And the answer? As in english:

3:20 שַלוֹש עֵשׂרִים [esrim vesheva] listen
5:45 חַמֵש אַַרבַעִים וֵחַמֵש [khamesh arbaim vekhamesh] listen
4:30 אַַרבַע וֵחֵצִי [arba vekhetzi] listen

And by the way - if you got your answer, it's nice to reply:

  • תוֹדַה - [toda] - thanks

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

My dog is little and beautiful, but strong. And his? הַכֵלֵב שֵלִי קַטַן וֵיַפֵה, אַבַל חַזַק. וֵשֵלוֹ? listen
Mine – big and beautiful, but weak. שֵלִי - גַדוֹל וֵיַפֵה, אַבַל חַלַש. listen
What time is it? It's 3:25. מַה הַשַעַה? שַלוֹש עֵשׂרִים וֵחַמֵש listen
How old is he? I don't know, but I think that he is 28. בֵן כַמַה הוּא? אַנִי לא יוֹדֵעַ, אַבַל אַנִי חוֹשֵב שֵהוּא בֵן עֵשׂרִים וֵשמוֹנהֵTO CORRECT. listen
I know that more than twenty five, but less than thirty. אַנִי יוֹדֵעַ שֵיוֹתֵר מֵעֵשׂרִים וֵחַמֵש, אַבַל פַחוֹת מֵשלוֹשִים listen
My house is 40 years old; he is older than her house. בַית שֵלִי בֵן אַרבַעִים; הוּא יוֹתֵר יַשַן מֵבַית שֵלַה listen
He is good, very strong and beautiful. He is white, and her is red. הוּא טוֹב, מֵאוֹד יַפֵה וֵחַזַק. הוּא לַבַן, וֵשֵלַה אַדוֹם. listen
But my street is newer than her, and her street is bad – he (is) very small. אַבַל הַרֵחוֹב שֵלִי יוֹתֵר חַדַש מֵשֵלַה, וֵרֵחוֹב שֵלַה רַע - הוּא מֵאוֹד קַטַן. listen

Pronounce, without writing (and check yourself), the following time:

7:34 listen
9:26 listen
10:33 listen
2:41 listen
11:30 listen

7.d Sentences

It's about time for a wh-question:

  • מַתַי - [matay] - when?

And three useful words to finish the day:

אוֹ [o] or
כבַר [kvar] already
לִפנֵי [lifney] before(*)
(*)It also means “ago”, and unlike english – comes before the time: אַנִי לַמַדתִי עִברִית לִפנֵי שַנַה[ani lamadti ivrit lifney shana] – I learned hebrew a year ago (lit. - before a year)

Final exercise of the week!! Translate the dialogues without writing, and listen:
- I (masc.) drive from Tel Aviv to Haifa in my car, and you (fem.)?
- Hey, Dan, that (is) not good! I go in bus.
- How many hours this (is)?
- Hour and half in morning, hour and ten in night.
- But Dana, that (is) a lot!
- Ok, but when I (am) in bus, I read book.
- What (do) you read?
- It's new book, of Dan Brown.
- Hey, and (do) you think that its good book?
- Emm.. it's not very good, but it's not very bad.. (Did) you already read the book?
- A month ago. But I didn't like the book.

- Hey, Adam!
- Dina?? (Is) this you??
- This (is) me. How many years (of not seeing..)?! Where (are) you, where (is) your home?
- I'm in Tel-Aviv, in street Allenby. And you?
- I'm in Yaffo. I study in university Tel-Aviv.
- Nice! It's not far from me. What do you study?
- Well, I study arabic (עַרַבִית - [aravit]) and english (אַנגלִית - [anglit]), and you?
- I study music (מוּזִיקַה[muzica]). Hey, I like this red cloth that you wear! Where (is) he from?
- My friend created this cloth, and sold me.
- He's very pretty. It sits well.
- Thanks. What time is it, Adam?
- Emm.. 8:20.
- Already?? I'm going.. Bye, Adam!
- Bye Dina.

- Michael, (are) we going to concert?
- Why, what time is it, Helen?
- It's already 7:40!
- But Helen, it's 4 streets (blocks) from here..
- No Michael, it's not 4 streets, it's half city!
- Well.. (are) we riding in auto or going (in this context – walking)?
- Going, it's beautiful night today
- Ok..
- What ok..? You told me “ok” 5 minutes ago! And 10 minutes ago you said “ok”!
- All right, all right.. What (do) I wear?
- What you wore yesterday, the black cloth.
- Where is he?
- There, in room.
- I'm in room , and there isn't black cloth here..
- What??
- No, I was (kidding) laughing, it's here.
- You..


  1. Why do you use sephardic pronounciation vowels instead of the correct vowels.

    These are very interesting and informative lessons.

  2. thanks )
    in modern colloquial hebrew there is no distinction between the vowels; tzere or segol, with shva or without - are all pronounced the same. so i chose one nikkud for each phonetical vowel (i.e. "e" is always tzere).
    i hope that's what you meant..

  3. Hi, I can't hear the audio. Do you know what the problem could be?

  4. hi, lesson 7b - seems like g and s have been misplaced in the first two transliterations of 'go in a vehicle' and 'touch'.
    thanks a million for the lessons!

  5. pls can u continue with this amazing lessons?

  6. this was a nice lesson....without audio i exercise the reading better....but we need it for dialogs....they come to be easy...i m happy i start to speak really hebrew ! Thank you and great job!!! xoxo

  7. there is a mistake in the first two verb.
    Thanks for your lessons i have tried other courses before but this is by far the best

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. which way round are they then?

  9. With age is it still 'ben' and not 'bat' if you're a girl? thank you

  10. no audio. pl guide how to get audio for this lesson.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. What about the names of the consonants? And they are not in order, either!
    I'll list them out with the names and in order:

    א - Alef
    ב - Beyt/Veyt
    ג - Gheemel
    ד - Dalet
    ה - Hey
    ו - Vav
    ז - Zayeen
    ח - Kheyt
    ט - Teyt
    י - Yohd
    כ - Cahf/Khahf ך -Khahf Sofeet
    ל - Lamed
    מ - Meym ם - Meym Sofeet
    נ - Noon ן - Noon Sofeet
    ס - Samekh
    ע - Ayeen
    פ - Pey/Fey ף - Fey Sofeet
    צ - Tsadee ץ - Tsadee Sofeet
    ק - Koof
    ר - Reysh
    ש - Sheen/Seen
    ת - Taf (Saf)

  14. Today we'll speak a lot about numbers. So, first of all, we have to learn:

    10 - עֵשׂר - [eser]
    (Note that ש here is pronounced 's')
    What happend to [e] under the [s]?

  15. תודה לך
    כמובן זה מאוד טוב
    אני מאוד אוהב את הוא

  16. 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:

    1. Thank you so much for doing this. I use it almost every day and it has helped me to retain the vocabulary.

  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

  18. Hi
    Fantastic website! Thanks so much for making it available. I have found it really great for learning Hebrew from scratch. I have noticed the audio does not seem to work from lesson 7 onwards - will this be fixed at some stage?

  19. good lessons,i hope next lesson audio is working again
    Greetings from the Netherlands

  20. Please help me to get audio to work.
    Thank you

  21. Please help me to get audio to work.
    Thank you

  22. can not get audio to work. Please help me out.
    Thank you