The letter ע
Can you explain mi how to read this letter? For example טעים I hear: TEIMA (this is polish way of spelling :) ) In the word עוף I hear OF (or OFF ) or in the word רע i hear RA. Sometimes i have to just remember that there is this letter (like in the word tasty). Can you help me?
You can also look up the word in a dictionary like Morfix, which will show you the nikkud if you want to be sure as to how it should be pronounced:
If there is no vowel under the ע, it is silent, if there is a vowel, it takes whatever vowel is under the letter.
The letter ע is a glottal stop (or just silent in most cases) in modern Hebrew, so it doesn't have a vowel sound of its own. The same goes for א. When proceeded by a vowel there needs to be a separation, so טעים is ta'im, רעה is ra'a.
In addition to what Einat said, I I noticed that ע in the beginning of the word indicates that the ו (vav) after it functions as a vowel, either "o" or "u", and not a "v". For example עומד, עושה, עובר, עוגה
A disclaimer: I am not a fluent speaker :)
Generally a single ו in the middle or at the end of a word will function as an "o" or "u". To get the "v" sound a double וו is used. At the beginning of a word either ו or וו makes "v".
Occasionally ו as "and" attached to the beginning of a word starting with (usually?) מ or ב will have a "u" sound for phonological reasons, but that is a separate issue.
To be accurate, ve- :)
From what I know, it's true - pretty much like in colloquial English people no longer burden themselves with complex tense structures ("If Chloe hadn't forgotten to set her alarm clock up before going to bed, she would have slept until it rang")