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Hebrew Time #17 - Possessives

Hello everyone!

שלום לכולם

Welcome to Hebrew Time #17! 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.

Today we are going to learn about how to express possession. There are two ways of doing this in Hebrew - today, we are only going to learn how to use the less formal, more everyday (and easier) version, which is using the word “of” - של. (The second way is that Hebrew does actually have a genitive case for nouns, where you change the ending of the noun to indicate possession). The word של itself is originally a contraction of the words “-ש” - “that” and “-ל” - “to”.

The word של uses suffixes to signify person and number as follows:

My - שלי

Your (s.m.) - שלךָ

Your (s.f.) - שלךְ

His - שלו

Her - שלה

Our - שלנו

Your (p.m.) - שלכם

Your (p.f.) - שלכן

Their (m) - שלהם

Their (f) - שלהן

When talking about a noun being possessed - we add the word "ה" (the) to the noun. When we are talking to the noun, no "ה" is needed. We will use כבשה - sheep as an example noun:

For example:

Talking about the sheep:

הכבשה שלי אוכלת - My sheep is eating. Literally: "the sheep of mine is eating".

Talking to the sheep:

בוקר טוב, כבשה שלי! - Good morning, my sheep! Literally: "Good morning, sheep of mine!".

There is another case when we don’t need to use the word “ה” - certain nouns don’t require its use, even when we are talking about them. The most common example of such nouns is family members - for example, when talking about your:

אבא - father/dad

אמא - mother/mum/mom

אח - brother

אחות - sister

you don’t use “ה”. For example, “אמא שלי חכמה” - my mother is smart.

We can't finish without telling you: להתראות!

See you later!

That was Hebrew Time #17, thanks for joining us! Hooray!

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Thanks DvirBartov for helping me write this post!

That's it!

עד שבוע הבא! Until next week!

May 1, 2015



תודה! Another great post from Team Hebrew :)


תודה. אני נסעיתי לישראל לפני שתי שבועות. לפני זה, אני רציתי ללמוד עברית. אחרי זה אני צריך ללמוד עבירת ליהודים ולישראל. אני מקווה שאני יכול לנסוע לישראל עוד פעם בקצת שנים ולפני זה אפשר את דברת לי בעברית על דוולינגו? תודה עוד פעם.


about the noun that don't require ה, this is because most of the times there is only one of them, or the one you are talking to knows who you mean.

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