Note for everyone who is asking about the U sound: the rule is actually fairly simple: a connecting vav (meaning 'and') is pronounced as ve (rarely va, vi) in all cases, and u in the following two cases:
- Before a shva consonant. While this is hard to explain at this point in the course, think of it as two consecutive consonants, for example: ugvarim (וגברים) 'and men', ushmone (ושמונה) 'and eight'. There are cases where a shva consonant is not followed by another consonant, but ignore those for now.
- Before the letters ב, ו, מ, פ, for example: uferot (ופרות) 'and fruits', uMoshe (ומשה) 'and Moses'.
And it is also pronounced vi- before a Yodh carrying a schwa: Yerushalaim - vi-Rushalaim, yeladim - vi-ladim
Why is the vav pronounced like a U? I thought that was only with bet mem and pey.
It's like a U sound before the letters bet, mem, pey and vav, and also before shva (usually it's the absence of a vowel, like on the 'g' in gvarim).
I would add that almost no Hebrew speaker in Israel uses this form - we'd normally use ve'gvarim.
I don't really see the point of forcing learners to be "better" than native speakers... the definition of correct language in my mind would be language that native speakers think sound good, so if a majority of native speakers think it sounds fine then I don't care what some old grammar book author says about it #descriptivistsunite
If you were just listening, not reading, how would you tell the difference between this phrase "women AND men" and the phrase, נשים או גברים, "women OR men"?
I think I just figured out the answer to my own question... The word for "or" sounds like "oh", but the sound here for "and" sounds like "oo". Never mind! :)
funny enough, גבר though not used this way usually literally means cock (as in male chicken of course). The word has a lot to do with gender more than with sex, aka איש is in a sense gender neutral only indicating that this person is male and a human, while גבר also means something about his masculinity. You can tell a man - אתה לא גבר, if you want to mean he is not acting in a way a man should, but you can't tell him - אתה לא איש that just sounds weird and confusing.
The word גבר emphasizes masculinity, but the main difference is in the plural, where אנשים means people, while גברים means men.
This is the second time I notice the vowel after 'vav' conjunction changed. I hope there is explanation for that later in the course.
Vav used as a prefix can make the "v" sound or the "u" sound. When used with other prefixes, this is always the first prefix. V'ahavta - ואהבת (and you shall love); U'vayom - וביום (and on the day).
It appears to be even more complicated than I originally thought. So "and" prefix can sound like "ve", "va", "u" (w/o the /v/ sound). But what are the rules?
The only rule I've heard of is that when the definite article changes its vowel and appears as "he" and not "ha" (and I can't quite remember when it does that), the other prefix (-ב-, ל- ,ו etc.) "consumes" the -ה if attached, and the vowel changes to the one that was following -ה. I'm not quite certain if that's how it is.
No, the prefix "VAV" can only sound like a "v" or "u", period. In my example "U'vayom" the "vah" sound is made by the other prefix "VEIT". So it's like this - ו ב יום (you see, there's two prefixes, "vav" and "veit". which reads "and (vav) on the (veit) yom (day).
I hope that helps! Don't over complicate it. Good luck :)
Thanks. Still can't get my head around this though. I hope it will become clearer as patterns will start to emerge, so yeah, it really seems to be the best advice: continue, contemplate, do not overcomplicate.
Unfortunately, you are right. There are at least three ways of pronouncing the word "and".
The good news: unlike this course, in speech everbody just says "ve". In fact, most Israelis have no idea how to use any other form and you have to study hebrew grammar to a really high level in order to know for sure. So feel comfortable to use "ve" and ignore everything else - it's just important to understand this.
As a prefix, ו can sound like v or like oo. I believe it depends on what letter the word its prefixed to starts with, but I can't remember the rule offhand. However, most native Hebrew speakers will always pronounce it as v. It's important to recognise that it can be said both ways, so you understand it when it sounds different, but in practice you can use the v and you will be understood, and most native speakers will say it exactly the same as that.
Sort of. It is for most words, but there are over 100 exceptions, so it's better to just remember what the plural of each word is—kind of like with genders in French, German, etc. At first it is difficult, but will get easier with time.
However, when compounding נשים, it turns into נשות (nshot/neshot). This is often the case with such words, but not always:
- Way – דרך (derekh, feminine), ways – דרכים (drakhim), access ways – דרכי גישה (darkei gisha)
- Egg – ביצה (beitza, feminine), eggs – ביצים (beitzim), chicken eggs – ביצי תרנגולת (beitzei tarnegolet)
- Year – שנה (shana, feminine), years – שנים (shanim), drought years – שנות בצורת (shnot batzoret)
- Woman – אשה (isha, feminine), women – נשים (nashim), Women of the Wall – נשות הכותל (nshot hakotel)
More feminine words with -im plural: https://www.safa-ivrit.org/irregulars/pluralml.php
But this means roughly 'my ladies and gentlemen', and therefore only applies when you are addressing people (e.g. an audience). If you want to say something like 'those ladies and gentlemen', I can't think of a good literal translation, but you can use the word
("respected") to refer to the people in such contexts.
For example, מכובדיי כולם is often used to refer to an audience after listing other dignitaries. Similiarly you can use המכובדים הללו or another variation for 3rd parties.
I tend to disagree with Pampelius. There is a certain standard to uphold and a language should be taught to that standard. One should not teach to the Lowest Common Denominator. As an aside, one could include the vernacular. Otherwise our language ends up with overused words as 'like' or יawesome'.
You didn't offer a Hebrew keyboard. It's been a problem all along. Can you help?