Hebrew Time #5: Basic grammar
Welcome to the fifth Hebrew Time!
For those of us who are joining now – Hebrew Time is a series of weekly posts about the Hebrew language, Israel, and the Jewish people.
You can see the previous post here
Yesterday was the Jewish holiday Tu Bishvat!
In this holiday we thank the nature for all the fruits and other good things it gives us.
Happy Tu Bishvat!
Tu Bisvat Same’ach (ט”ו בשבט שמח)!
Ready? let’s begin =)
This Hebrew time consists of 2 main basic grammatical points:
2.The verb “to be”(Lihiyot - להיות) and articles.
Pronouns in Hebrew:
In Hebrew, most of the pronouns have masculine and feminine forms. These are the Hebrew pronouns:
Ani (אני) = I
Anachnu (אנחנו) = We
Ata (אתה) = You (singular m)
At (את) = You (singular f)
Atem (אתם) = You (Plural m)
Aten (אתן) = You (Plural f)
Hu (הוא) = He
Hi (היא) = She
Ze (זה) = This (often used in place of “it” - very similar to the French “ce”)
Hem (הם) = They (male)
Hen (הן) = They (feminine)
You must be asking yourself: “When do I use the plural feminine or masculine form?”
In Hebrew, when speaking of plural masculine or feminine, we always use this guideline:
When the group consists only of women, we use the feminine plural. When the group consists of at least one man (it doesn’t matter how many women are there), we use the masculine plural. (Typical!)
The verb “to be”(Lihiyot - להיות) and articles in Hebrew:
In Hebrew, the present tense of the verb “to be” and the indefinite articles a/an do not exist.
(The verb “to be” exists only in the past and the future tenses and operates as a regular verb - not like in English)
So, the sentence:
I am a boy = Ani Yeled (אני ילד)
(Boy = Yeled)
As you can see the “am” and “a” are omitted in Hebrew.
The definite article(the word “the”) in Hebrew is simply the letter “ה” (hey).
We pronouns the definite article as “Ha” and connect it to the noun as one word.
I am the girl = Ani Ha’yalda (אני הילדה)
(Girl = Yalda)
You can now make basic sentences in Hebrew!
That’s all for this week:)
We can't finish without telling you:
Le'itraot! = See you later!
This was the fifth Hebrew Time, I hope you had a great Hebrew Time and learned a lot !
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Thanks for MaeMcA from our Hebrew course future team, for helping me to write this post :D
That's it ! Good Night !
לילה טוב !
Laila Tov !
Having learned Hebrew mostly from my parents and older relatives, current Hebrew slang is an area in which I completely suck. I (like my parents) speak the Hebrew of twenty years ago, which is fine for most of the time:D
If I wanted to say "yay" I'd go for מצוין - metsuyan - excellent, or מעולה - me'uleh - brilliant, or the more cool/modern versions סבבה - sababa - cool or עשר - eser - literally "ten", kind of meaning "ten out of ten" but translated as "great" or similar.
I'm sure Dvir can provide much more up-to-date versions of how people express happiness...maybe I should suggest slang for HT #7 and I'll learn something myself:D
Thanks Dvir! Thankfully this bit of grammar with pronouns and definite articles is the same as Biblic Hebrew so I already knew most of it. Didn't know about using the madculine pronoun in a group of men and women though. Very useful to know.
Looking forward to the next one already :) Happy Tu B'Shevat :)
תודה! גם אני אוהב עברית.
Thanks! I also like Hebrew.
Thanks for posting this, I love the support of people on Duolingo for a Modern Hebrew for English speakers course! Check out this comment to get some hope! https://www.duolingo.com/comment/6774968$comment_id=6829036
Oh this is fantastic!! I was born in Israel but have been leaving overseas now for more than 10 years. My Hebrew has suffered a lot which is quite sad, even though I can speak pretty well I struggle to read and can't even write anymore. Hopefully we will see a Hebrew course here soon! :D
My Hebrew has suffered a lot too :(. I wasn't born in Israel but when I was little I actually spoke Hebrew better than English, but over time that changed (especially because I became embarrassed to speak in Hebrew :/). I regret it a lot and am now trying to rectify that mistake!
That's interesting, similar thing happened to my brother. We were both born in Israel although when we came here, in order to try to fit in, he hardly spoke Hebrew outside home. He also regrets it now a bit. Oddly enough though, I was quite the opposite, I liked being able to speak a different language to others, especially one that is quite different (well here in Australia anyway) which made it more special.
Well I mean, it can really depend. I'm pretty much basing it on myself. I have been living for more than half my life in a non Hebrew speaking country I'm always amazed at how much I can still remember and surprise my selfe quite a bit, even after so long of not properly speaking and reading/writing. So I guess what I'm saying is some languages just stick and never leave haha :D
I can't reply to your last comment. But I totally know what you mean! Last time I went to Israel, I had barely spoken the language for 4 whole years, I thought I would be struggling to introduce myself and asking to pass the salt. Turns out, I can discuss some politics and my opinions, but have no idea how my brain managed to preserve that! XD That's not to say that I had perfect grammar and whatnot though. Duddeeee that's so cool about your mom, that's how my parents are with English (my mom has an eensy weensy accent). ONE DAY man. One day. Y'all are gonna think I was born in Israel when you hear me speak, just you wait.
Haha I think we reached the limit of replying. But yea, its funny how that happens. My Grandpa is coming to visit us from Israel soon so that would be a good test for me to see how I am still going. Either way, that the spirit! :D Sounds like you determination is the thing you lack the least, which is probably more than what a lot can say.