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
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.
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 :)
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.
I think what you're trying to say here is the rule that if the letters ב,כ,ל come before ה הידיעה (the definite artical, pronounced ha), the ה is dropped and the ב/כ/ל becomes ba/ca/la. Ex. לעיר (le'ir) - to a city. לעיר (la'ir) - added definite article, and it means 'to the city'. This is more advanced than this level, so if you don't understand it, just move on.
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.