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  5. "היונה באה."

"היונה באה."

Translation:The dove is coming.

June 21, 2016



Does Hebrew have a way of distinguish between present and present progressive (i.e. "the dove comes" vs "the dove is coming"), or is that something I can just forget about?

June 21, 2016


The sentence translates to both. If you really want some way to emphasize present progressive here, you could write "היונה באה עכשיו", which adds the word "now". Generally speaking you can (and should) forget about it in Hebrew.


Adding now still doesn't distinguish between simple and progressive.


It kind of does. Correctly using "עכשיו" alongside a verb can only mean it's happening at this very instance. If you want to rather say "the pigeon will come soon", for example, it should be "היונה תבוא בקרוב/עוד מעט"; if you want to refer to something that occurs regularly in present time, you should use "כיום" (another way of saying "these days" ["בימים אלו"]), which doesn't necessarily indicate this exact moment.


Random question, I know, but is this also how you'd spell the name Jonah? Minus the ה, obviously.


Thank you, that's actually helps me to remember the word.


Yes, and with the ה


I think he meant the yediah. Jonah in Hebrew is יונה.


Right, sorry, I meant the definite article. Should've been more specific.


If this were a masculine dove, would the word be יון?


Well, you've got the logic right, but for some reason some animals don't have the female and male form in Hebrew . Some have just one, and that's the case here, there's only יונה


Wiktionary says that the word dove in Hebrew can also refer to a pacifist. Is this true?


We sometimes refer to left wing supporters as "doves" and right wing supporters as "hawks", but it's not very common.


Ah, okay, thanks!


Just wanted to say that I've never ever heard these expressions (and I'm a native Hebrew speaker and love in Israel..)


Is the letter vav (if that's the right name for the straight line in the first word) the one that makes the /u/ sound? I'm trying to match what I'm seeing with the sounds. Thanks!

  • 1470

Yes, it is vav. In ancient Hebrew it may have been pronounced like W, however in modern Hebrew it is pronounced as a V sound, and sometimes vav represents the vowels U and O. So, they are V, O, U :)

אני ואתה, את ואני, אני ואת

Ani ve'ata, at ve'ani, ani ve'at (and many others:)), here vav means "and" and sounds like "ve"


That's actually not entirely correct, as Vav HaChibur has different pronunciations depending on the word it's preceding.

Most Hebrew speakers are not entirely consistent with this, but, for example:

When the word begins with the letters bet/vav/mem/peh (ב/ו/מ/פ) or with any letter other than yod (י) having the shva nikud (אְ), the vav is actually read as "woo". For example: בָּנִים וּבָנוֹת (banim woo'banot); אַחַת וּשְׁתַּיִם (achat woo'shtayim).

When the word begins with a yod having the shva nikud, the vav takes a hirik nikud (וִ). For example, יְהוּדָה וִירוּשָׁלַיִם (yehuda vi'irushalayim).

When the word begins with a chataf nikud (אֲ/אֳ/אֱ), the vav takes the nikud of that letter (though written without the chataf). For example: אַתְּ וַאֲנִי (at va'ani). Things get even weirder for chataf kamatz (אֳ) because it's pronounced as "o" (small kamatz) while a regular kamatz preceding it is commonly read as "o" as well (צָהֳרַיִם – tsohorayim, though the Sephardic pronunciation maintains the first kamatz is a big kamatz, so they pronounce it as "tsahorayim"). So if a word begins with a chataf kamatz (I can't find any common ones, though), perhaps the overly-correct way to pronounce a vav preceding it is as "vo-".

When the vav is part of a common phrase, that vav takes a patach nikud (וַ). For example: בָּשָׂר וָדָם (basar va'dam – flesh and blood); יוֹמָם וָלַיְלָה‎ (yomam va'layla – day and night).

When preceding the words "reva" (quarter) and "hetzi" (half), it will also take a patach nikud: אַחַת וָרֶבַע (achat va'reva); שְׁתַּיִם וָחֵצִי (shtayim va'hetzi).

Mind you that most Hebrew speakers aren't really aware of all of these detailed rules and may or may not speak in compliance to them. I didn't remember all of this and had to find an online source in order to provide this answer.


**Correction: in the last two cases I accidentally referred to the vav as having a patach (וַ), but it's actually a kamatz (וָ) as demonstrated in the given examples.


Here it's the one that makes the /o/ sound


kk yes i think the same


Winter is coming though


Is that just me or the first ה in "היונה" is not pronounced? I'm always expecting it to sound like h (as if it were something like "haa-you-naah"), but I can't hear the h sound in the beginning.


Sometimes hard to catch. It's there.


With an olive branch?


is the first word "Heh yod vev nun heh" or is it Heh yod nun nun heh? If there are two nuns next to each other, does the first or second nun get written differently?


So היונא is a female word?


Yes. היונה.


How does this mean both "pigeon" and "dove"? How would you clarify which one you mean?


Interesting question. Tried to research a bit and it seems the difference between pigeon and dove has always been inconsistent across languages and times. I don't think this distinction exists in hebrew.


The piece dove :-)


So...The order of the words doesn't matter? (in the lesson/test the words are in reverse order from the answer in this forum)


The order is usually "היונה באה" (the pigeon came/is coming), but you sometimes hear the reverse order in more "decorative" speech (I'm not sure if I would say it's necessarily used in formal speech, but there are, for example, Israeli songs that use verb–noun). I would say it's more common in question form, but it's still more common to hear noun–verb questions.


Is there a way to make the sound work? It won't play for me.


How in the world am I supposed to know this? I don't even know the letters yet. Plus, the letters are about 1/4 the size of the English letters. I can barely see them.


Dove is pronounced 'yona', not 'yuna'. Sometimes the man saying dove pronounces it with an 'o' sound and sometimes with a 'u' sound.


Why no vowel marks?


I don't understand what you mean by saying I have a typo. I don't see any difference between what I wrote and your correction. Please explain what you mean.


Slightly ominous. I hope it's a nice dove.


Jonas comes or Jonas is coming hehe my friggin error!

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