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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BartiBar

Hebrew Time #5: Basic grammar

Hello everyone!

שלום לכולם!

Shalom lekulam!

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:

1.Pronouns (“Gufim”).

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.

For example:

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:

להתראות!

Le'itraot! = See you later!

This was the fifth Hebrew Time, I hope you had a great Hebrew Time and learned a lot !

We have a new facebook group! Join us here

Support the future Hebrew for English speakers course so we (the future Hebrew team) will be able to work on it !

If you are a Hebrew speaker - contribute to the Hebrew for English speakers course in the Incubator and help us (:

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 !

February 4, 2015

37 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BartiBar

I just wanted to mention that in our facebook group you now can offer a topic for the next Hebrew Time!

Stay tuned!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

... and I realise I don't know how to say "yay!" in Hebrew, either...! but yay ;)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaeMcA

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

Yes! Do a slang one! Hebrew slang is my favorite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

Hebrew slang would be an excellent HT! what a great idea :D I'm going to write all these down :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BartiBar

The most familiar translation for "yay!" is "Yesh!" (יש!). You van also say "Esh!!" (אש!!) which literally means fire!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

hey! I just learned אש on Memrise, two meanings for the price of one word!

and thanks, between you and Mae I now have a bunch יש!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmirLFC

עבודה מעולה, המשיכו כך! אולי יבוא יום ובאמת יצא קורס עברית...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

כןןןןן, אין לי סבלנות כבר!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmirLFC

גם לי אין :). כבר הצעת את עצמך לקורס?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

אני לא יכולה, כי העברית שלי לא מספיק טובה :(. אבל אני ממש ממש רוצה לעזור, אם אפשר.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SparklieSpeak

תודה רבה! כל שבוע אני מחפשת את זה, אני אוהבת את השפה ובמיוחד את הדיקדוק :) תודה


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/leonig01

דביר, קבל ח"ח, עבודה יפה.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Brina431719

תודה רבה!

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 :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

יש, דקדוק! אף פעם לא חשבתי על זה ככה. אתם עושים עבודה ממש יפה פה.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaeMcA

תודה! זה ממש חמוד מצדך!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

תודה רבה !

מה שלומך ?

Okay my brain is not coming up with any more Hebrew today...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evankenyon2

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/flootzavut

I just realised I don't (yet) know how to say "me too" in Hebrew but

כן אני אוהבת עברית

I get very excited when I can understand any small bit of written Hebrew! and also about news of a possible Hebrew course :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaeMcA

Me too is "גם אני" - (gam ani) - literally "also I" :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alex_tv80

Thank you! I hope it is not the last post!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaeMcA

No it isn't! Stay tuned for #6 next week:)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

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

תודה רבה


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaeMcA

Don't give up! I was also born in Israel but moved to the UK when I was very young and I'm still going strong:) Just takes some work and some practice...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

Yea I sort of wish I had kept it going when I moved over here. Although back then I was also quite young and I guess English just took over. Although Hebrew will always be a part of me, thats for sure, I know that sooner or later I'll get it back again :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

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!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

I also like the ability of speaking another language, I was just a painfully shy child and still struggle with it a bit! I don't think I realized how lucky I was until later. Luckily, there's still hope for my Hebrew skills.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

Yea I can also relate to that a bit when I was younger.

At least, from personal experience, its harder to lose a language then to learn one. Although I supposed it does depend.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

LOL my grand parents are coming too... And thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

Really? I would think that it's the opposite. Learning a language is an incredibly difficult task, though of course not impossible. Ugh, I just want to speak Hebrew like an Israeli with all my heart! So much.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

Also my Mum is a native English speaker, but when we were all back in Israel, and even now, you can't really detect an accent. A lot of people apparently used to assume she was a native Hebrew speaker. So there is hope for all of us learning other languages I guess :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/loolitay

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jbdyoni

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.

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