"Is the mom coming?"

Translation:האם האמא באה?

June 21, 2016

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I've been using Dou for awhile and I've already learnt a lot with it. But seriously Duo! Why did you start to teach Hebrew like that?! Wouldn't it be better to start with alphabet and vowels for people who know nothing about Hebrew?!


They could use the Greek course for a beautiful "how to".


Yes Madam, it's difficult for me to learn Hebrew by using this app . I'm a beginner.


Are you all using Duolingo only from your mobile devices? Because on the website there is this page: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/he/Letters-1/tips-and-notes which is, unfortunately, not (yet I guess?) available on the mobile version. At least that's the case for the Android app.


This link was really useful when I accidentally found it after few days android learning from the scratch.


Ya i agree with you . i also having problem ...i am not familier with the alphabet ...and its become complex


I agree with you . I also having the problem due to this ...i dont know how to proceed now


Thats why there is a letter and vowels section


So, does האם mean mom, too?


No, האם is a question particle, a formal one.


Ok, then "האם האם באה?" is not a valid translation for "Is the mom coming?", or is it?


It is valid technically. The two האם will be pronounced differently, though, and have different meaning as well..


No, it means both but its different pronanciations. Im a native Hebrew speaker.

הַאִם - Is it אֵם - Mother האם - the mother


If he's if he's talking about Ha-Im then you're correct but also Aym is a translation(albeit a poor one) for mother


But האם also means the mom, not in this case though


So is it not needed if you arent speaking formally?


Yes.you can say "?האמא באה"


Desperatly seeking tutor. Recently converted.



The word אם (pronounced "em") means 'mother'. It's rather formal, so you'd usually want to use אמא. Therefore, האם (pronounced "ha'ém") means 'the mother'.

The word האם (pronounced "ha'im") is an interrogative particle, mostly for yes-no questions.


Yes, in which case ״ה״ is the definite article.


hi DL would it be possible to have the Hebrew alphabet as it is written in Hebrew with its English pronunciation, and for beginners to have words first and then join them together into sentences. Your attention will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


It'll be great when they update the voice recordings...


Yes, it will be nice with an Israeli accent. I want to speak this PROPERLY.


Duolingo is using native Israeli speakers.


I don't understand why there was no "האם" in this example.


Why is this answer wrong? האמא באה?


When translating from verbal it is 3 words but when translating from written it is what you wrote. I don't understand why.


Why am I learning sentences first and not the alphabet like others such as 日本語?


To me this makes perfect sense; you wouldn't teach a child reading and writing the alphabet first without showing them what it can be used for, I would think. And from what I remember from the first lessons in Japanese it is not only the syllables that you learn but also their meaning...


ha-ím ha-íma bá'a?

  • 1694

Sometimes they use האם in questions, sometimes they don't. Is there any rule for that?


The rule is that it's optional - you don't have to use it if you don't want to. האם makes the sentence more formal and less ambiguous.

  • 1694

Thank you for your help.


האם האמא באה


אין מילות קישור וכו'?


mosheperlm, Are you asking about conjunctions? Can you ask in English?

b008 rich739183


האם האמא באה?


In lesson 1, were I am, they do give the example (האם האמא באה) as the correct answer. "Is the mom coming"


I can read the Hebrew, but I donot have a Hebrew alfabet on my laptop. What to do?


You have to install the Hebrew system onto your computer. If you don't know how to do that, google how to install it on the system you use on your computer. You can buy Hebrew letter stickers from Amazon, or another source, to put on your laptop keys, or you can google "Hebrew/English keyboard" or "Hebrew/Qwerty keyboard" and make a copy of the keyboard, fold it in thirds and set it front of you while doing your lessons.


Why is it האם האם באה? and not האם האםא באה?


I chose the latter and had been told that I better would have chosen the first one, too. Thus my question.


Having trouble hearing him clearly


You have to select both correct answers to move on


In which case is the "ה" in the end of a word, in this case: "באה"?


Female pronouns male is בא


Why now האמא instead of אמא?


having a ha at the beginning means "the"


When we learned about possesives and של, they said אמא was already definite with the א ending, and did not need a ה prefix to make it definite. How come, then, in this case we have האמא and not just אמא, if אמא is already definite?


Can you give an example of what you're talking about? If I understand correctly, אמא is definite only when it's one calling their mother. In that case it's definite, and has nothing to do with the א' in the end. When one talks of 'another mom', and a specific one, he'd say "The mom" - האמא. Not that it's a very common thing to do, because usually when one speaks of mom they talk about their own.


I see. Thank you. So you're saying that it is definite if you talk about your own mum, but if you want to say 'the mother' (of someone else), then you do need the ה at the start. Is that what you mean?


Ran, in addition to what you clarified, I think Samuel Frith (ChickenRunner02) was referring to a comment about the Aramaic etymology of אמא.

b008 rich739183


The formality to me would be used by someone in a profession such as a doctor or a day care worker, etc.


זה לא נכון תחבירית לכתוב כך

<pre>can someone explain to me why this appears to be correct? ה'מא באה </pre>

i was trying improvising after a long break, and forgot that until now I've always seen the word 'mother' written like this אמא


It's nor correct. Only האם for "the mother" and האמא for "the mom" is correct (although many say אמא should not have ה before it).

What happened here is that the system has been buggy recently. It doesn't recognize typos in Hebrew, but accepts them as correct.


thank you very much. I'm still struggling with keeping in mind wich consonant indicates the presence of which vowel. If I understood it right, aleph indicates the vowel that sounds like 'uh' an yod indicates the vowel that sounds like 'i:' (as in english feel), right? So the word אמא should sound more like 'uh-m-uh' than 'ee-m-uh', correct?


Not quite. Aleph, as opposed to the other letters doesn't have a set sound, like מ or ס that always have the "m" and "s" sound. Aleph is a vocal placeholder, so it can sound either as "a" (as in father), "e" (as in set), "i" (as in sit), "o" (as in dot), "u" (as in put). So that is why אמא is "ima", אבא is "aba", אמן is "oman" and so on.

Yod is also kind of "problematic", because it can indicate "e" sound, like in the word כיף (kef) or "i" sound, like in the word גבינה (gvina), or "y" sound, like in the word ילד (yeled), or a combination of "iy", like in the word עגבנייה (agvaniya) or even "ay" sound, like in the word מים (mayim).

My suggestion is to go word by word and try to remember their spelling, just like you would do when learning English, which also has "problematic" spelling in many words.


thank you so much, this is truly helpful! שלום


Why don't they teach alphabet first


I am confused as to when hey ה should be at the end of בא. When doing the lessons, I notice that sometimes it’s באה and other times it’s בא. Is hey ה only used in a certain tense of the verb such as “coming” vs “come”?

Thanks in advance!


Hebrew has only one present tense, so both both "come" and "is coming" are correct translations of בא and באה.

The difference between them is the gender. Present tense in Hebrew has four forms - masculine singular בא /pronounced ba/, feminine singular באה /ba'a/, masculine plural באים /ba'im/ and feminine plural באות /ba'ot/. Since here, we have mom as the subject, only באה is correct, because that is the feminine singular form. For dad you use בא.


This question is broken for me and I can't move on without it.


It give me wrong on all the answers FIX PLEASE


Is putting a ה in front of something a marker similar to "the"?


בדיוק - Exactly


Thanks! Is ו for "and", then?


Idk why tvis is so hard fir me


Go with the simplest explanation of why this is hard for you and it will be the right one.


if there's ה by אמא then why is there a ה by אם


I do not have a Hebrew keyboard.


Same here. I phoenetically typed the correct answer, but it was marked as wrong, because i didnt use Hebrew letters.


Well, you can't type in Latin letters, you need a Hebrew keyboard to proceed. Google it, how to download one for your device.


I don't understand the purpose in saying a formal version of mother and an informal.


ha-im ha-ima ba'a


This is an extremely brutal way to learn a language. I reccomend making a screencap of every answer you submit, whether right or wrong, so you have something to work with. You can keep your screencaps folder open in your photo app, behind Duo, and check for right answers this way. Ordinarily, this might be considered cheating, but judging from the consensus here, will probably be fine, for this course.


How can I get a "typo" message when I picked it out of the word bank and the word it says I misspelled is not even in the word bank?


the hebrew program is asking me to translate english sentences into hebrew...but i do not have hebrew letters on the keyboard. what should i do?


Download the Hebrew keyboard or use a virtual one.


Does anyone know how I can get Hebrew on my Chromebook keyboard?


Click the Settings gear icon, tap the Device menu, tap Keyboard, tap Change language and input settings, tap Add languages. Scroll down and select the Hebrew option and tap Add.


How do I type in hebrew with an english keyboard!!!


Well, download the Hebrew keyboard or use a virtual one.


I can't seem to get a Hebrew keyboard on my computer for this exercise.


I was marked incorrect for writing it as האם באה האמא, but not for word order (which is acceptable). The answer given by Duo was simply the statement האמא באה, which is clearly incorrect.


In Hebrew, you don't change the word order, in order to make a question out of a statement. They both have the same word order, the difference being the intonation, when speaking, and punctuation, when writing.


Of course you don't need to change the word order as compared to English, but you can. Because verbs agree with the subject in number and person, the sentence (in most cases) remains unambiguous. For example, I can say אני אוכל עוגה or עוגה אוכל אני, and nobody would think that the cake is eating me. Putting the subject after the verb may be more poetic, but it's been done for thousands of years and is certainly not incorrect.


Modern Hebrew prefers the SVO word order. That word order is what the sentences in this course follow. It's simply impossible to include every single possible correct answer, so inverting the subject and object like you did will be deemed a mistake.


The fact is it's not a mistake. It's a completely acceptable alternative, and at the very least should be marked as such. However, my initial issue with this question is that the answer given (at least on the app) was completely wrong. It was just the phrase האמא באה (with no punctuation). With a change in word order and including the interrogative האם, the meaning is clear. With no question mark, the answer provided is by no means clear.


I can not type in Hebrew, even I can answer this question. Please give another way to answer.


You need to download the Hebrew keyboard or use a virtual one.


So, בא is masculine and באה is feminine?


When say typo in my answer what do you mean


A typo is a small mistake which usually doesn’t affect the meaning.

And by the way, if you delete your extra comments, it helps to de-clutter this forum.


Question: The lesson wants me to write in Hebrew, "Is the mom coming," only my keyboard doesn't type in Hebrew characters. I tried writing the words phonetically, but the program marks me wrong and gives the answer in Hebrew characters. Is there some way, maybe, to get my keyboard to type in Hebrew -- or to get the program to accept the phonetic spelling of the answers?


If you are using your computer, go into Settings, then go into Time & Language, then you'll see Language settings, click there. In Language, you'll see Preferred Languages, click the "+" sign next to "Add a language". Once in there you'll find a search bar at the top, type "Hebrew", select "Hebrew", then click "next". You will see a package with check boxes. Check the "Install language pack" (uncheck boxes for the ones you don't want), and click "Install". Once installed, you should see a keyboard/language input in the bottom left of your screen (it will show "ENG US" when you are using English). Click on that and it will give you a list of languages you have installed on your computer. You should see Hebrew displayed, click on that to type Hebrew. Click on ENG US when you want to type in English. I hope this works.


Also, to get instructions for any device, search online to add keyboard language to (your device).

b012 rich739183


@rich’s comment beginning with Thanks Danny.

rich, you mentioned that tsh may unintentionally become tch. For the sake of clarity, let’s say “Tsha may unintentionally become tcha”. Even if you pronounce tsha very slowly, aren’t you actually saying cha? I’m of the opinion that the initial t blends into the following sh to become a ch sound.

Pealim writes ‏ ‏ תשובה as tshuva. If someone pronounces ‏ ‏תשובה with a slight sound between ת and ש, then the transliteration can no longer be tshuva because the slight sound between the ת and ש would need to be shown. Transliteration’s goal is to show the sounds which are being said.

However, an exception to this rule is that I write ha for “the” even if the speaker says “a” instead instead of ha.


Theresa, to your question, my answer is "yes".
To your last statement, I agree. Not vocalizing an initial ה seems to me to be a habit of some people for some words, rather than something to be taught here as the correct pronunciation. Also, with many examples of recordings that are too fast or too indistinct for many of us to decode, the least we can do is strive for spelling that helps people learn to pronounce the words.

b101 rich739183


How do you know when to use the ח versus the ה?


They make different sounds, so when your ear is trained to hearing Hebrew, you’ll be better able to distinguish them. The real question is how to distinguish ח from כ because they are pronounced the same by the speakers in this course. You just have to memorize, the same way you learned the difference in English between q and k.


What is the difference in the sounds between the ה and the ח? I learned to read Hebrew in Hebrew school and attend services. Don't know that I really remember the sound difference. My question was more for the spelling differences (which might have to do with sound pronunciation.). As for the ח and the כ, I always thought the ח had a throaty h sound, while the כ always had k sound with some throatiness thrown in.


Ashkenazis and Sephardis disagree as to the correct pronunciation, but I’ll tell you what I hear from the speakers in this course, who are Ashkenazi.

Hei, ה h in English is pronounced the same as English h, like “hot”.

Khet ח kh is pronounced like the ch in the Scottish word loch.

Sometimes people transliterate ח kh as ch, but I prefer kh to avoid confusion with the English ch sound in church.


Yes. but what is the ח sound and what is the ה sound and how are they different? Not the ה and כ.


Just wanted to point out that the initial letters in the word תשובה do not make a ch sound as they are actually from two different syllables. The nekudah (diacritic/vowel) on the ת is a שוא נע as it is the first letter of the word. Therefore the word is actually pronounced t'shuvah. In the case of the word ותשובה, where the שוא becomes נח, those two letters are still in different syllables so the pronunciation would be ut'shuvah.


I don't understand bingav's distinction at all. The pronunciation in modern Hebrew of תשובה is definitely "chuva". The ת and ש are the same syllable, because as he says the ת is with שווא נע (and therefore is part of the syllable that comes after it).

There's no difference in pronunciation between the "ch" consonant in צ'ילה (Chile) and the one in תשובה (chuva).


In response to radagastthebrown. I think you may be confused as to the difference between the two שואות. A שוא נע, which, amongst other places, always occurs at the beginning of a word, is (with its letter) its own syllable. A שוא נח, on the other hand, occurs in the middle or end of a word, and (with its letter) is attached as it were to the previous sound, therefore coming at the end of a syllable. In the case of תשובה, the ת is its own syllable, as is the שו and the בה. The fact that in everyday speech people get lazy and slur their sounds doesn't take away from the fact that there should be a distinct sound here. Similarly, if one were to say "Don'tcha" instead of "Don't you" it would not change the fact that the t and y are in separate syllables. Amongst people who know and understand proper דקדוק there most certainly is a difference between תשובה and צ'ילה. The obvious proof is that had they been the same sound there would be no reason to invent the letter 'צ when תש already existed.


Ben Gelman (bingav), is the difference between your comment and Theresa's one of correct formal speech versus colloquial casual speech? Would תְּשַׁע as in תשע מאות be a better example?

b101 rich739183


Rich, regardless of the formality of speech, transcribing תש as "ch" is simply incorrect. That's what bingav is saying.


Thanks, Danny, I appreciate that (along with all of your other assistance to this community). My question is specifically about common pronunciation, although of course that affects transcription.

I ask because of the examples I've encountered. I recognize that when "t'sh" becomes "tsh" it may just unintentionally become "tch". But whether the intent is to say "tsh" or "tch", it is still significantly different than "t'sh".

Forvo has some examples by Israelis of the "tsh"/"tch" pronunciation, some of which sound to me more like the intent is "tch" than "tsh".
In the phrases תשע מאות and תשע עשרה:
https://forvo.com/search/תשע מאות/
For תשובה, only 1 of 5 recordings uses the two-syllable pronunciation of "תשו", and that's by someone who says the one-syllable sound in his second recording, here:
And that same person also says the "tsh/tch" sound in his recording of ותשובה, here:

I ask also because of the advice on these pages about other distinctions between formal and colloquial speech. Especially that Israelis pronounce the definite article with its vowel as "ve" regardless of what's formally correct, and that we should not worry about the formality for casual speech.

b101 rich739183


@bingav’s comment beginning with In response to...

Thank you for your detailed response, but I must point out a logical flaw in your last sentence. You said that there would have been no reason to invent the letter ‏ ‏ ‏צ׳if that had the same sound as תש.

However, the Japanese for example developed an entirely new writing system to differentiate foreign words from native words, and this new writing system of katakana had exactly the same sounds as the previous manyo’gana system.

Therefore, the mere appearance of the new letter ‏צ׳ does not prove its distinctiveness from תש.


In response to Theresa's response ("Thank you for your detailed...") As I hit post the same thought occurred to me. The Chupchik is often used as an indication of a foreign word, so it is not a proof. However, it is not a proof the other way either. Other than that last sentence I stand by the rest of that post.


Diane, you may want to review Theresa's comments again to absorb that info. I'll just add some comments addressing only your first question about spelling with ח versus ה. In each comment I'm assuming that you're only choosing between those two letters. So I'm not discussing issues of ה versus other letters or ח versus other letters.

Since ה and ח should have different sounds, if you hear it pronounced clearly, then go by the sound.

For a definite noun preceded by "the" in English, the prefix for "the" in Hebrew cannot be ח. In this early part of the course, that prefix must be ה. (Later we learn some situations in which the ה "disappears".)

For the last letter in a word, the ה is almost always silent, and the ח ends the word with the "akh" sound.

When you think about how utterly confusing spelling is in English, have faith that you'll get this Hebrew, one word and one grammar lesson at a time.

b101 rich739183


Teach the alphabet and phonology first! This is so confusing


Teach the alphabet and phonology first! This is very confusing


When I translate from verbal it uses all three words, but when I translate from written it uses two words. Why?


You've probably learned from reading other comments on this page that using האם (that is, הַאִם "ha-im") is optional, and that it can be used to make the sentence a bit more formal, or to make it clear that it's a question.
This exercise uses האם only to teach the word so we'll understand it if and when we encounter it. If it were not for the purpose of teaching it, there would be no need to use it, as long as it's clear that the sentence is a question.
So the difference that you experienced in translating a yes/no question from English to Hebrew could be simply arbitrary and you might get a different result using a different translating tool.

b108 rich739183


How do I type Hebrew letters from the keyboard?


By downloading the Hebrew keyboard in the language settings of your device.


Eu; amo as formas mais diverssas de idiomas e culturas...!(Grato Duo...


Straight to the words! I don't even know the leters yet!


I would greatly appreciate it if there was more audio involved. I am barely learning how to read hebrew. I am constantly making mistakes in the letter prononciation. Thank you!

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