Schwa is like a zero vowel. For example... in the word "plot", the "p" is in schwa. I've seen the word used in English for linguistic talk, but it actually comes from Hebrew. For example, the plural of ספר, book, is ספרים, pronounced "sfarim", and the "s" is in schwa. וספרים is pronounced oo-sfarim. To further confuse (because this is too easy)... sometimes there is a schwa in Hebrew, that for some reason is not pronounced as a schwa but sounds like an "eh"... and it still changes the vav of conjunction... I have trouble with those ones myself.
Alex, I copied this from somewhere (using Clipper app, so I don't have the url, but it's useful imho anyway. Where you see Views it's a separate comment/commenter):
We read the vav as “u” when the word it precedes starts with a labial consonant: ב, פ or מ, or another vav. These can be memorised with a handy acronym בומפ, bumaf (kudos to Mark for pointing it out in the comment <3)
What happens then? When a vav precedes one of these letters it will turn into a sureq — a long “u” vowel (“oo" sound) וּ. Remember that when adding a vav the dagesh (if there is one) will drop from the first letter since it doesn’t begin the syllable any more, which means that theoretically the stops should turn into fricatives, that is “f” rather than “p”, and “v” instead of “b” sounds.
מְלפפון (me-la-fe-fon or more accurately mla-fe-fon) with a vav is
בַּית (ba-it) with a vav:
Same thing will happen if the word starts with a sheva:
וּשְמואל > u-shmu-el
1.6k Views · Before the consonents bet/vet, vav, mem, peh/feh “u” is used. In all other cases, “v” is used.
Edit: Thanks to -names- who correctly pointed out that “u” also preceeds words in which the first vowel is a schwa.
1.1k Views · As is true of any language evolving with time, some speakers of that language will maintain the “rules” of the “proper” way to speak it, while others (in fact, many or most) speakers will simplify it.
So, in Israel, you’ll hear a lot of people (native speakers, at that) using “v-” for “and” in every case, and you’ll also sometimes hear the correct versions.
The mnemonic for this is בומ"פ. ב,מ,ו, פ. Boomph!