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Everything’s in Order: Guide to Hebrew Sentence Structure

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Have you ever found yourself in the following situation? 

You’re progressing well with your Hebrew vocabulary and have just picked up a shiny new Hebrew word or two, but you don’t know how to use them correctly in a sentence. 

If you’re still left scratching your head about the proper order of words in Hebrew sentences and questions, HebrewPod101 is here to help you make sense of it all and put your thoughts and words in order with our guide on Hebrew sentence structure and word order.

Did you know that the most commonly heard word in Hebrew is בסדר (beseder)? Though it’s usually the equivalent of “OK” in English, it literally means “in order.” This hints at the great importance that Hebrew and Jewish culture in general place on ordering things. And words are no exception. Syntax—the correct order and position of words in sentences and questions—is as important in Hebrew as it is in English (and most other languages) for effective communication.

While Hebrew sentence structure isn’t terribly different from that in English, there are definitely some distinctions we want to be aware of. Luckily, this topic isn’t too complex, so just sit back, relax, and enjoy organizing those words you’ve been studying into structures. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying in language-learning as being able to piece it all together and start speaking full sentences. Here we go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Overview of Word Order in Hebrew
  2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb & Object
  3. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases
  4. Word Order with Modifiers
  5. Word Order in Questions
  6. Translation Exercises
  7. HebrewPod101 is Here to Help You Put Your Hebrew in Order!

1. Overview of Word Order in Hebrew

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The truth is that modern Hebrew word order has changed significantly since Biblical times, which is good news for you. Whereas the word order in Biblical Hebrew has verbs coming before both the subject and predicate, modern Hebrew usually follows the same basic sentence structure as English, where the predicate is a verb: Subject-Predicate. Note that this order can be modified in some cases, such as for emphasis, so it’s still possible to have the verb come before the subject. However, as noted, the norm is the same as in English, i.e. the subject will come before the verb.

To be considered complete, a Hebrew sentence will always contain a subject and at least one predicate. However, as hinted above, the predicate is not necessarily always a verb in Hebrew. (We’ll get into specifics a bit later on.) Obviously, Hebrew sentences can, and often do, contain other elements, such as adverbs, conjunctions, and so on. However, the basic minimum structure, as in English, is Subject-Predicate.

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb & Object

Subject and Object Lists

Just so we’re clear, let’s define the words “subject,” “verb,” and “object” before we go any further. In the context of grammar, the subject is the agent or the noun that is behind the verb. The verb is the action or condition word. The object is the noun that the subject is acting upon or affecting through the verb. With that in mind, let’s take a look at a simple example of how this plays out:

אני לומד עברית.

Ani lomed Ivrit.

“I study Hebrew.”

Here, you can see the same syntax as in English, and, as mentioned, most sentences will indeed follow this structure.

That being said, because the grammar of Hebrew is different from that of English, let’s have a look at a couple of basic rules and principles to help you understand the correct word order to use in Hebrew.

1. In cases where the conjugated form of a verb clearly indicates who the subject is in terms of gender, number, and person, it’s common to drop the pronoun. Compare these two sentences:

  1. אני לומד עברית כל יום.

Ani lomed Ivrit kol yom.

“I study Hebrew every day.”

  1. למדתי עברית אתמול.

Lamadeti Ivrit etmol.

“I studied Hebrew yesterday.”

In the first sentence, the conjugated form לומד (lomed), meaning “study,” can be used for different singular masculine persons (first, second, or third), so we must use the correct pronoun to indicate which person is being used. However, in the second sentence, the conjugated form למדתי (lamad’ti), meaning “studied,” indicates the first person singular, so we don’t need to use the pronoun אני (Ani), meaning “I.”

2. When the subject is indefinite, i.e. someone or something unknown or nonspecific, we’ll often see the order Verb-Object-Subject. For example:

  1. סיפרו לי שאתה לומד עברית.

Sipru li she-atah lomed Ivrit.

“Someone told me that you are learning Hebrew.” 

[Literally: “(They) told me that you are learning Hebrew.”]

  1. הגיע בשבילך משהו בדואר.

Higi’a bishvil’kha mashehu ba-do’ar.

“Something came for you in the mail.” 

[Literally: “Came for you something in the mail.”]

Nice Guy

3. Another unique feature of Hebrew is that, in the present tense, the verb להיות (lehiyot), meaning “to be,” is omitted. We still have a predicate, but no verb (unless there are additional verbs in the sentence). Compare the following examples:

  1. דניאל היה תלמיד טוב.

Daniel hayah talmid tov.

“Daniel was a good student.”

  1. דניאל תלמיד טוב.

Daniel talmid tov.

“Daniel is a good student.” [Note there is no verb here!]

4. The verb להיות (lehiyot), meaning “to be,” appears in the past and future tenses without a subject to denote existence, or with an adjective used as a predicate, such as in the following examples:

  1. היה לי חבר אמריקאי שלמד עברית בירושלים.

Hayah li khaver Amerika’i she-lamad Ivrit be-Yerushalayim.

“I had an American friend who studied Hebrew in Jerusalem.”

  1. יהיה כיף ללמוד עברית בירושלים.

Yihiyeh keyf lilmod Ivrit be-Yerushalayim.

“It will be fun to study Hebrew in Jerusalem.”

5. Hebrew has no verb for “to have.” In the past and future tenses, we use the verb להיות (lehiyot), meaning “to be,” followed by a possessive pronoun. In the present tense, we use the word יש (yesh), which means “there is/are,” followed by a possessive pronoun. Following are some examples in all three tenses:

  1. היה לי חבר שלמד עברית בירושלים.

Hayah li khaver Amerika’i she-lamad Ivrit be-Yerushalayim.

I had an American friend who studied Hebrew in Jerusalem.”

  1. יש לי חבר אמריקאי שלומד עברית בירושלים.

Yesh li khaver Amerika’i she-lomed Ivrit be-Yerushalayim.

I have an American friend who is studying Hebrew in Jerusalem.”

  1. יהיה לי זמן לפגוש חברים בירושלים.

Yehiyeh li zman lifgosh khaverim be-Yerushalayim.

I will have time to meet friends in Jerusalem.”

Friends

6. The opposite of יש (yesh), meaning “there is/are,” is אין (eyn), meaning “there is/are not,” followed by a possessive pronoun. For past and future tenses, we again use לא (lo) to create the negative form of the verb להיות (lehiyot), or “to be,” followed by a possessive:

  1. לא היה לי זמן לבשל משהו טעים.

Lo hayah li zman levashel mashehu ta’im.

I had no time to cook something tasty.”

  1. אין לי זמן לבשל משהו טעים.

Eyn li zman levashel mashehu ta’im.

I have no time to cook something tasty.”

  1. לא יהיה לי זמן לבשל משהו טעים.

Lo yehiyeh li zman levashel mashehu ta’im.

I will not have time to cook something tasty.”

7. Another unique feature of Hebrew is that the particle את (et) must be used prior to all definite direct objects as an accusative marker. Note how this looks in terms of sentence structure:

  1. הוא אכל את הפלאפל.

Hu akhal et ha-falafel.

“He ate the falafel.”

  1. היא מוכרת את האוטו שלה.

Hi mokheret et ha-oto shelah.

“She is selling her car.”

  1. אנחנו נסדר את הספרים.

Anakhnu nesader et ha-s’farim.

“We’ll organize the books.”

3. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

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Now that we’ve looked at basic sentence structures, let’s see how Hebrew word order changes when we add prepositional phrases to our sentences. Prepositions are words that establish a relationship between two other words (an object and an antecedent). But don’t worry if this all sounds too technical, because when you see some examples, you’ll surely recognize just what we’re talking about.

A prepositional phrase is a phrase that employs such a prepositional relationship, and it’s used like an adjective in order to describe a noun or pronoun. As in English, these can come before or after the noun or pronoun they describe. Let’s see some examples to make more sense of it all.

One way to think about prepositions is that they answer information questions, such as “When?” “Where?” and “Why?” Hebrew has eleven types of prepositions, but to simplify matters—and because our focus is on word order—we’ll look at the more common types and see the usual position of the prepositional phrase within the sentence. The prepositional phrases have been bolded to help show their location within the sentence, which is either directly after the noun or pronoun they describe, or either before or after the verb that goes with that noun or pronoun. Most of the time, the logic is the same as in English.

1. Position (answer questions like on what, next to what, under what, etc.)

Ballerinas
  • הספר על השולחן הוא שלי.

Ha-sefer al ha-shulkhan hu sheli.

“The book on the table is mine.”

  • אכלתי את הפיצה שהייתה על המדף העליון במקרר.

Akhalti et ha-pitzah she-hayitah al ha-madaf ha-elyon bamekarer.

“I ate the pizza that was on the top shelf in the refrigerator.”

2. Direction (answer questions like where [to], from where, toward what, etc.)

  • רונית רצה לכיוון בית הספר.

Ronit ratzah le-kivun beyt ha-sefer.

“Ronit ran toward the school.”

  • נסענו באוטו לתוך הלילה.

Nasa’nu ba-oto letokh ha-laylah.

“We drove into the night.”

3. Time (answer questions like before what, after what, during what, etc.)

Clock
  • נאכל אחרי טקס הסיום.

Nokhal akharey tekes ha-siyum.

“We’ll eat after the graduation ceremony.”

  • בזמן שישנת הכנתי ארוחת בוקר.

Be-zman she-yashanta, hekhanti arukhat boker.

While you slept, I made breakfast.”

4. Cause, Agency, or Source (answer questions like of what, for what, about what, etc.)

  • שתינו שתי כוסות יין.

Shatinu shtey cosot yayin.

“We drank two glasses of wine.”

  • יפעת קוראת ספר על מלחמת העולם השנייה.

Yif’at koret sefer al Milkhemet ha-Olam ha-Shniyah.

“Yifat is reading a book about the Second World War.”

4. Word Order with Modifiers

Now, let’s take a look at modifiers, which are just what they sound like: words that modify nouns. These include adjectives, determiners, numbers, possessive pronouns, and relative clauses. We’ll look at each category separately to see where they go in terms of Hebrew word order.

1. Adjectives

Contrary to the rules of English syntax, adjectives in Hebrew will always appear after the noun they describe. Notice that in the case of definite nouns, the article before the adjective (and the one before the noun) describes the noun.

  • רמון המקסיקני לומד עברית.

Ramon ha-Meksikani lomed Ivrit.

Mexican Ramón studies Hebrew.”

  • התלמיד המקסיקני לומד עברית.

Ha-Talmid ha-Meksikani lomed Ivrit.

“The Mexican student studies Hebrew.”

2. Determiners

Determiners, such as “this” or “that,” will likewise always come after the noun they describe.

Child Pointing
  • התלמיד הזה לומד עברית.

Ha-Talmid ha-zeh lomed Ivrit.

This student studies Hebrew.”

  • התלמידה ההיא לומדת עברית.

Ha-talmidah ha-hi lomed Ivrit.

That student studies Hebrew.”

  • התלמידים האלה לומדים עברית מהספר הזה.

Ha-Talmidim ha-eleh lomdim Ivrit me-ha-sefer ha-zeh.

These students study Hebrew from this book.”

3. Numbers

As in English, numbers will always precede the noun when indicating the quantity of that noun.

  • שלושה תלמידים לומדים עברית.

Shloshah talmidim lomdim Ivrit.

Three students study Hebrew.”

  • מריה לומדת עברית אצל שני מורים פרטיים.

Mari’a lomedet Ivrit etzel shney morim prati’im.

“Maria studies Hebrew with two private tutors.”

4. Possessive pronouns

Handing Off Car Keys

Unlike in English, possessive pronouns appear after the noun they’re attached to.

  • אמא שלי לומדת עברית.

Ima sheli lomedet Ivrit.

My mother studies Hebrew.”

  • העברית שלך טובה מאוד.

Ha-Ivrit shelakh tovah me’od.

Your Hebrew is very good.”

5. Relative clauses

Relative clauses in Hebrew, as in English, follow the noun they describe.

  • שכן שלי שנסע לירושלים למד עברית באוניברסיטה.

Shakhen sheli she-nasa le-Yerushalayim lamad Ivrit ba-universitah.

“A neighbor of mine who went to Jerusalem studied Hebrew at the university.”

  • הוא למד בקמפוס שנמצא בהר הצופים.

Hu lamad ba-kampus she-nimtsa be-Har Ha-Tzofim.

“He studies at the campus that is on Mt. Scopus.”

5. Word Order in Questions

Woman Wondering with Question Marks

Yet another difference (and a welcome one this time) between Hebrew and English is that in Hebrew, questions share the same word order as other sentences. This means you don’t need to worry about changing word order when asking questions. It’s simply a matter of adding the relevant question word to precede the rest of your words. Here are some examples of questions and answers to illustrate:

  • מתי אתה נוסע לחו”ל?

Matay atah nose’a le-khul?

When are you traveling abroad?”

-אני נוסע לחו”ל בעוד חודש.

Ani nose’a le-khul be-od khodesh.

“I’m traveling abroad in a month.”

  • מי רוצה גלידה?

Mi rotzeh glidah?

Who wants ice cream?”

-כולנו רוצים גלידה!

Kulanu rotzim glidah!

“We all want ice cream!”

  • איפה שמת את הארנק שלי?

Eyfoh samt et ha-arnak sheli?

Where did you put my wallet?”

-שמתי את הארנק שלך מעל המקרר.

Samti et ha-arnak shelkha me’al ha-mekarer.

“I put your wallet on top of the refrigerator.”

6. Translation Exercises

Now let’s test your knowledge on what we’ve covered here with some translation exercises. We’ll start with simple sentences and work up toward more complex ones. See if you can translate these without looking back to the lesson. The answers are provided below.

1. Ben and Julie study Hebrew.

2. Ben and Julie study Hebrew in Jerusalem.

3. Ben and Julie study Hebrew with two private tutors in Jerusalem.

4. Where do Ben and Julie study Hebrew?

5. With whom do Ben and Julie study Hebrew?

ANSWERS:

  1. בן וג’ולי לומדים עברית.
  2. בן וג’ולי לומדים עברית בירושלים.
  3. בן וג’ולי לומדים עברית אצל שני מורים פרטיים בירושלים.
  4. איפה בן וג’ולי לומדים עברית?
  5. אצל מי בן וג’ולי לומדים עברית?

7. HebrewPod101 is Here to Help You Put Your Hebrew in Order!

Hopefully you feel like we’ve made some order of all the words you had bouncing around in your head. Armed with a better understanding of Hebrew syntax, you can now confidently string your vocabulary into coherent sentences, and even questions.

As you’ve seen, there are some differences between Hebrew and English, but there are also many similarities in how words are ordered. To really hone your skills after reading this article, go out and look for real-world examples. Focus on the order of the words you read or listen to. Read a short Israeli article online or watch Israeli movies with subtitles, and notice how the writer or speaker orders his/her words. Try to take note of the structures you find difficult, and give these extra practice.

Don’t be hard on yourself if you mix up the word order here and there. Remember that mastery takes practice, and that the effort you put into your Hebrew studies will definitely pay off in the long run. HebrewPod101 is here to help you along the way, so as always, let us know if there’s anything you would like us to clear up or any issues you feel we didn’t cover here. 

Shalom!

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Time in Hebrew

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Despite the fact that nowadays most people have their cell phone on them to tell the time—if not a good, old-fashioned watch—you’re likely to find yourself in a situation where you need to know either how to ask the time in Hebrew or how to offer it when someone asks. And you never know when asking someone the time might turn into a longer conversation that may even lead to a friendship at the end of the day! 

In a more general sense, being able to tell time in the Hebrew language is hugely helpful in your daily interactions, as time is one of the most universal topics. It helps us make plans, describe experiences, make sense of schedules, and much, much more. 

So it’s a good idea to practice telling time in Hebrew, as well as the various words and phrases related to this area of language. Plus, as an added bonus, it provides you with an opportunity to go over your knowledge of numbers, as well. 

It looks like it’s time to look at time!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time
  2. The Hours in Hebrew
  3. The Minutes in Hebrew
  4. Hours Divided into Minutes
  5. General Time Reference of the Day
  6. Time Adverbs
  7. Common Hebrew Sayings about Time
  8. Conclusion: Master Hebrew the Fun Way with HebrewPod101.com!

1. How to Ask for the Time

Standard Clock

As mentioned, it’s pretty common to either need to ask the time in Hebrew or for someone to ask us the time. Whether we’re running to catch a bus, trying to get to a meeting on time, or maybe just trying to make sure we set our watch correctly after switching time zones on arriving in Israel, telling time is definitely one of those language essentials you’ll want to practice. The good news is that it isn’t terribly complicated telling time in Hebrew. Let’s have a look.

The first thing we want to know is how to ask the time. Below are a couple of ways to ask the time; the first is simple and direct, and the second is more formal. Remember that you should try to use the formal way if you’re addressing an elderly person or an official, or better yet, when speaking to any stranger.

  • מה השעה?

Mah ha-sha’ah?

“What time is it?”

  • האם אתה יודע מה השעה, בבקשה?

Haim atah yode’a ma ha-sha’ah, bevakashah?

“Do you have the time, please?”

If you want to ask not the time on the clock, but rather the time when an event is going to occur, you can ask in the following way:

  • מתי ה_?

Matay ha_?

“What time is the _?”

For example:

  • מתי הסרט עם בראד פיט?

Matay ha-seret im Brad Pitt?

“What time is the movie with Brad Pitt?”

  • מתי האוטובוס לתל אביב יוצא?

Matay haotobus leTel Aviv yotze?

“When does the bus to Tel Aviv leave?”

2. The Hours in Hebrew

Hourglass

Now let’s have a closer look at the clock in Hebrew. We want to be sure we get to know the whole twenty-four hours, which is also a great way for us to practice our numbers

A couple of important things to note here. First of all, in Hebrew, the notation system for hours is almost always given military style, using twenty-four instead of twelve hours. However, in spoken language, we say the hour using the twelve-hour system, if necessary adding an indicator for the time of day, much like we would use “A.M.” and “P.M.” in English. 

I know this may sound a bit confusing at first, but it’s really quite simple once you get used to it. Let’s jump right in and start making some sense of it all.

The first thing we want to know, of course, is the word for “hour,” which we actually just saw. Here it is again, in singular form and then in plural form, followed by an example sentence:

  • שעה

sha’ah

“Hour”

  • שעות

shaot

“Hours”

  • מה יותר נפוץ במדינה שלך, שעון בן 12 שעות או שעון בן 24 שעות?

Mah yoter nafotz bamedinah shelka, shaon ben shteym esrey shaot o shaon ben esrim vearbah shaot?

“What is more common in your country, a 12-hour clock or a 24-hour clock?”

Note that there’s no exact phrase for “o’clock” in Hebrew. However, to avoid confusion and assure that the listener knows you’re talking about the hour, you can add the following before giving the time:

  • השעה…

Ha-sha’ah…

“The hour is…”

As for how to say time in Hebrew, imagine that the clock reads “13:00.” How do you think we might tell someone the time using the language above? Remember that in Hebrew, we use the twenty-four-hour system when writing, but when speaking we express time using the twelve-hour clock! Got it? Here’s the answer:

  • השעה אחת בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah achat ba-tzohorayim.

“It is 1:00 P.M.”

Now let’s look at the rest of the hours on the clock and how to say them all. Note that we use masculine numbers when giving the time.

TimeHebrewTransliteration
“1:00 A.M.”אחת לפנות בוקרAchat lifnot boker
“2:00 A.M.”שתיים לפנות בוקרShtayim lifnot boker
“3:00 A.M.”שלוש לפנות בוקרShalosh lifnot boker
“4:00 A.M.”ארבע לפנות בוקרArbah lifnot boker
“5:00 A.M.”חמש לפנות בוקרChamesh lifnot boker
“6:00 A.M.”שש בבוקרShesh lifnot boker
“7:00 A.M.”שבע בבוקרShevah ba-boker
“8:00 A.M.”שמונה בבוקרShmoneh ba-boker
“9:00 A.M.”תשע בבוקרTesha ba-boker
“10:00 A.M.”עשר בבוקרEser ba-boker
“11:00 A.M.”אחת-עשרה בבוקרAchat-esreh ba-boker
“12:00 P.M.”שתים-עשרה בצהרייםShteym-esreh ba-tzohorayim
“1:00 P.M.”אחת בצהרייםAchat ba-tzohorayim
“1:00 P.M.”שתיים בצהרייםShtayim ba-tzohorayim
“3:00 P.M.”שלוש בצהרייםShalosh ba-tzohorayim
“4:00 P.M.”ארבע בצהרייםArbah ba-tzohorayim
“5:00 P.M.”חמש בצהרייםChamesh ba-tzohorayim
“6:00 P.M.”שש בערבShesh ba-erev
“7:00 P.M.”שבע בערבSheva ba-erev
“8:00 P.M.”שמונה בערבShmoneh ba-erev
“9:00 P.M.”תשע בלילהTesha ba-laylah
“10:00 P.M.”עשר בלילהEser ba-laylah
“11:00 P.M.”אחת-עשרה בלילהAchat-esreh ba-laylah
“12:00 A.M.”שתים-עשרה בלילהShteym-esreh ba-laylah

Alternatively, for midnight, you can say:

  • חצות

Chatzot

“Midnight”

Here, we can see how to express the time for each hour:

  • השעה אחת לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah achat lifnot boker.

“It’s 1:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שתיים לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shtayim lifnot boker.

“It’s 2:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שלוש לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shalosh lifnot boker.

“It’s 3:00 A.M.”

  • השעה ארבע לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah arbah lifnot boker.

“It’s 4:00 A.M.”

  • השעה חמש לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah chamesh lifnot boker.

“It’s 5:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שש בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shesh lifnot boker.

“It’s 6:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שבע בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shevah ba-boker.

“It’s 7:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שמונה בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shmoneh ba-boker.

“It’s 8:00 A.M”

  • השעה תשע בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah tesha ba-boker.

“It’s 9:00 A.M.”

  • השעה עשר בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah eser ba-boker.

“It’s 10:00 A.M.”

  • השעה אחת-עשרה בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah achat-esreh ba-boker.

“It’s 11:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שתים-עשרה בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah shteym-esreh ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 12:00 P.M.”

  • השעה אחת בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah achat ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 1:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שתיים בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah shtayim ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 2:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שלוש בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah shalosh ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 3:00 P.M.”

  • השעה ארבע בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah arba ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 4:00 P.M.”

  • השעה חמש בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah chamesh ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 5:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שש בערב.

Ha-sha’ah shesh ba-erev.

“It’s 6:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שבע בערב.

Ha-sha’ah sheva ba-erev.

“It’s 7:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שמונה בערב.

Ha-sha’ah shmoneh ba-erev.

“It’s 8:00 P.M.”

  • השעה תשע בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah tesha ba-laylah.

“It’s 9:00 P.M.”

  • השעה עשר בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah eser ba-laylah.

“It’s 10:00 P.M.”

  • השעה אחת-עשרה בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah achat-esreh ba-laylah.

“It’s 11:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שתים-עשרה בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah shteym-esreh ba-laylah.

“It’s 12:00 A.M.”

We can also use the word for midnight to express this time:

  • השעה חצות.

Ha-sha’ah chatzot.

“It’s midnight.”

3. The Minutes in Hebrew

Time

Now we’ve followed the small hand all the way around the clock. So it’s time to take a look at the big hand and get to know our minutes. Then, we can add the two elements together to express times that don’t fall precisely on the hour. Here we go, step-by-step:

  • דקה

dakah

“Minute”

  • דקות

dakot

“Minutes”

  • תשע ועשרים 

Tesha ve-esrim

“9:20”

Here are some example sentences showing the structure we use to give the time with hours and minutes:

  • השעה תשע ועשרים.

Ha-sha’ah tesha ve-esrim.

“It’s 9:20.”

  • השעה שבע שלושלים-ושלוש.

Ha-sha’ah sheva shloshim-veshalosh.

“It’s 7:33.”

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

Improve Listening

Great job so far. Now that we’re able to express both times that are on the hour and times that don’t fall right on the hour, let’s look at some of the ways we commonly divide the hour in spoken Hebrew. You’ll note that the divisions are pretty much the same as in English, namely the half hours and quarter hours. Each phrase is followed by an example sentence for you to practice. Once you’ve got them down, go ahead and practice your own examples!

חצי שעה -1 (Chatzi sha’ah) — “Half an hour”

  • הסרט מתחיל בעוד חצי שעה.

Ha-seret matchil be-od chatzi sha’ah.

“The movie starts in half an hour.”

  • השעה ארבע וחצי.

Ha-sha’ah arbah vachetzi.

“It’s half past 4:00.” 

רבע שעה -2 (Reva sha’ah) — “A quarter of an hour”

  • בעוד רבע שעה אני נוסע לירושלים.

Be-od reva sha’ah ani nose’a le-Yerushalayim.

“In a quarter of an hour, I’m going to Jerusalem.”

Note the difference in talking about “a quarter after” versus “a quarter to”:

  • עכשיו רבע לשמונה.

Achshav revah le-shmoneh.

“Right now it’s a quarter to 8:00.”

  • עכשיו שתים-עשרה ורבע.

Achshav shteym-esreh va-revah.

“Right now it’s a quarter past 12:00.”

5. General Time Reference of the Day

Oftentimes, we may not need or want to use the time shown on the clock, but rather a more general reference to speak about the time of day. This can be very handy when we’re discussing something that doesn’t happen at an exact time, but during a general time of day, such as in the morning or afternoon. Let’s see the more common of these terms, along with example sentences to help us practice.

Women in Early Morning

לפנות בוקר (Lifnot boker) “In the early morning” [literally, “before morning”]

אני תמיד קם לפנות בוקר.

Ani tamid kam lifnot boker.

“I always wake up in the early morning.”

בבוקר (Ba-boker) “In the morning”

מתי אתה קם בבוקר?

Matay atah kam ba-boker?

“When do you wake up in the morning?”

בצהריים (Ba-tzohorayim) “In the afternoon”

אתה ישן בצהריים?

Atah yashen ba-tzohorayim?

“Do you sleep in the afternoon?”

בערב (ba-erev) “In the evening”

את אוהבת לצאת בערב?

At ohevet latzet ba-erev?

“Do you like to go out in the evening?”

בלילה (Ba-laylah) “At night”

מתי אתה הולך לישון בלילה?

Matay atah holekh lishon ba-laylah?

“When do you go to sleep at night?”

שחר (Shachar) “Dawn”

אני אוהבת את תחושת השחר.

Ani ohevet et tchushat ha-shachar.

“I like the feeling of the dawn.” 

זריחה (Zrichah) Sunrise

אני מנסה לקום עם הזריחה.

Ani menaseh lakum im ha-zrichah.

“I try to wake up with the sunrise.”

שעת צהריים (Sh’at tzohorayim) “Noon”

Packed Lunch

שעת הצהריים זו שעת האוכל!

Sh’at ha-tzohorayim zu sh’at ha-okhel!

“Noon is lunchtime!”

חצות היום (Chatzot hayom) “Midday”

תמיד בא לי לישון בחצות היום.

Tamid ba li lishon bechatzot hayom.

“I always feel like sleeping at midday.”

צהריים מוקדמים (Tzohorayim mukdamim) “Early afternoon”

כל כך חם בשעות הצהריים המוקדמות.

Kol kakh cham bi-sh’ot ha-tzohorayim ha-mukdamot.

“It’s so hot in the early afternoon.”

צהריים מאוחרים (Tzohorayim meucharim) “Late afternoon”

נעים כבר בשעות הצהריים המאוחרות.

Naim kvar bi-sh’ot ha-tzohorayim ha-meucharot.

“It’s pleasant by late afternoon.”

בין הערביים (Beyn haarbayim) “Dusk”

יש הרבה יתושים בשעות בין הערביים.

Yesh harbe yetushim bi-sh’ot beyn ha-arbayim.

“There are a lot of mosquitoes at dusk.”

שקיעה (Shki’ah) “Sunset”

אין כמו השקיעה בחוף.

Eyn kmo hashkiah bachof.

“There’s nothing like a sunset on the beach.”

ערב (Erev) “Evening”

אני אוהב את שעות הערב.

Ani ohev et sh’ot ha-erev.

“I like the evening hours.”

לילה (Laylah) “Night”

אני אוהבת את שעות הלילה.

Ani ohevet et sheot ha-laylah.

“I like the night hours.”

Night Sky

חצות (Chatzot) “Midnight”

זמן לישון! כבר חצות!

Zman lishon! Kvar chatzot!

“It’s time to sleep! It’s already midnight!”

6. Time Adverbs

Apart from knowing how to tell time in Hebrew, both with and without reference to the clock, we’ll want to make sure we round out our language toolkit with some nifty time-related adverbs. These can help us quite a lot when expressing all sorts of activities, so it’s wise to choose the ones you think you’ll be using most and give them some practice. Here are a number of such adverbs and other useful words, along with example sentences and questions.

עכשיו (Akshav) “Now”

אתה רוצה לאכול עכשיו?

Ata rotzeh le’ekhol akhshav?

“Do you want to eat now?”

מיד (Miyad) “Right now”

אתה חייב לבוא מיד.

Atah chayav lavo miyad.

“You must come right now.”

כרגע (Karega) “Currently”

אני עסוקה כרגע.

Ani asukah karega.

“I am busy currently.”

בזמן [ש_]… (Bezman [she_]…) “While/At the same time [that _]…”

בזמן שישנת עשיתי כושר.

Bezman sheyashant asiti kosher.

“While you were sleeping, I worked out.”

הגיע הזמן ל_ (Higia hazman le_) “It’s time to _”

הגיע הזמן לקום כבר!

Higia hazman lakum kvar!

“It’s time to wake up already!”

לפני (Lifney) “Before” & אחר (Acharey) “After”

חשוב לרחוץ ידיים לפני ואחרי שאוכלים.

Chashuv lirchotz yadayim lifnei ve-acharey she-okhlim.

“It’s important to wash your hands before and after eating.”

בקרוב (Bekarov) “Soon” & כמעט (Kim’at) “Almost”

בקרוב נהיה בחוף. כמעט הגענו.

Be-karov nihiyeh ba-chof. Kim’at higanu.

“We’ll be at the beach soon. We’re almost there.”

עוד מעט (Od meat) “In a little while”

עוד מעט נעצור לחפש שירותים.

Od me’at na’atzor lechapes sherutim.

“We’ll stop in a little while to look for a bathroom.”

במשך הרבה זמן (Bemeshekh harbe zman) “For a long time”

עישנתי במשך הרבה זמן אבל עכשיו כבר לא.

Ishanti be-meshekh harbe zman aval achshav kvar lo.

“I smoked for a long time but don’t anymore.”

בכל עת (Bekhol et) “Anytime” & בהקדם האפשרי (Ba-hekdem ha-efshari) “As soon as possible”

בקרוב נגיע למרכז. אעצור בצד בהקדם האפשרי.

Be-karov nagia la-merkaz. E’etzor ba-tzad ba-hekdem ha-efshari.

“We’ll reach downtown anytime now. I’ll pull over as soon as possible.”

7. Common Hebrew Sayings about Time

Basic Questions

Last but not least, let’s end with a bit of fun. Below are a few unique and colorful Hebrew sayings related to time, along with examples of their usage. Spice up your conversation with a couple of these, and you’ll be sure to make a great impression with your Hebrew-speaking friends or colleagues!

  • חבל על הזמן

Chaval al hazman

“Amazing”

Literally, “It’s a waste of time.” It refers to the fact that it would be a waste of time to tell you just how good something is! 

המסעדה הזאת חבל על הזמן!

Hamisadah hazot chaval al hazman!

“That restaurant is amazing!”

  • בשעה טובה

Besha’ah tovah

“At a good moment.”

This one is basically a way of saying, “Great news!” 

את בהריון? בשעה טובה!

At be-heyrayon? Be-sha’ah tovah!

“You’re pregnant? At a good moment!”

Woman Showing Friend Pregnancy Test
  • בקרוב אצלך

Be-kharov etzlekha!

“Soon it should happen to you!”

לפני שבוע התארסתי. בקרוב אצלך!

Lifney shavua hit’arasti. Bekarov etzlekha!

“I got engaged last week. Soon it should happen to you!”

8. Conclusion: Master Hebrew the Fun Way with HebrewPod101.com!

Whether we happen to believe that time is money or that time is an illusion, we all know the importance of time. And one thing is for certain: time is a topic that comes up all the time in our daily conversations. Whether we want to set a date or a meeting, make sure we don’t miss the next bus to the beach, or talk to a travel agent about the length of a trip we’re planning to the Negev Desert or Nazareth, the language of time is simply an essential part of our Hebrew toolkit. 

So take time with the language of time, and I mean quality time. You’ll want to practice telling the time in the Hebrew language, asking for the time in Hebrew, using different ways to talk about time (purely with numbers versus with expressions for the times of day), and certainly make sure you’re comfortable with your numbers in Hebrew. 

To practice, write the current time in Hebrew in the comments section! 

Once you master this area of the language, you’ll surely find yourself having the time of your life! For now, our time’s up.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Hebrew

Best Ways to Ask for and Give Directions in Hebrew

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As anyone who has ever traveled knows, getting around without getting lost during your stay abroad is an absolute necessity. Without the proper language elements to ask for and understand directions in Hebrew, it can be quite a challenge to get around without confusion. So whether traveling on foot or by vehicle, in a private or rental car, or by bus or train, it’s essential to arm yourself with some basic vocabulary and grammar so you can get from point A to point B while in unfamiliar territory. 

This is as true in Israel as anywhere, and in some ways even truer, considering that a wrong turn could lead you to a security checkpoint you never wanted to go through! So let’s take a look at some of the building blocks for asking for and understanding directions in Hebrew—soon you’ll be cruising the streets of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem with no problem!

Let’s begin by looking at some different situations where we may find ourselves asking for, receiving, or even giving directions. Considering that situations involving directions can often feel rather stressful, involving as they do multiple instructions and unfamiliar names of places, it’s a good idea to take the time to learn about directions in Hebrew and get some practice in before using this language in the real world. 

One very effective way to do so is to get ahold of a map of the part of the country you plan to visit, and practice with a partner (or multiple partners), taking turns giving and asking for directions with the map in front of you. Maps of most Israeli cities are available for free online via their municipal websites. 
As you’re practicing, remember to think about masculine versus feminine pronouns and verbs depending on whom you’re speaking to. Further consider whether the noun and adjectives you’re using are masculine or feminine.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Go, Go, Go
  2. On the Map: Compass Directions in Hebrew
  3. On the Road
  4. Landmarks
  5. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions
  6. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions
  7. Putting it Together
  8. Conclusion

1. Go, Go, Go

Basic Questions

The first thing we ought to take note of is that directions in Hebrew, unlike in English, we must choose the correct word for the verb “go,” depending on whether we’re traveling in a vehicle or on foot. ללכת (lalekhet) is the infinitive form of the word “go” if we’re walking. So, for example, if we’re trying to walk to the bus station, we might approach someone and say:

  • אני רוצה ללכת לתחנה המרכזית.

Ani rotzeh lalekhet la-tachana ha-merkazit.

“I would like to go [walking] to the bus station.”

On the other hand, if we’re traveling by car, taxi, or public transportation, we would use the verb לנסוע (linsoa), which means “go” by vehicle. To use the previous example, in this case we would say:

  • אני רוצה לנסוע לתחנה המרכזית.

Ani rotzeh linsoa la-tachana ha-merkazit.

“I would like to go [by vehicle] to the bus station.”

Another option we could use, which can also be a go-to word in case we can’t remember or aren’t certain how we plan to travel, is to say “get to” or “reach” without specifying the means of travel. This word is להגיע (lihagia). Again, to use the same example, we would say:

  • אני רוצה להגיע לתחנה המרכזית.

Ani rotzeh lehagia la-tachana ha-merkazit.

“I would like to get to the bus station.”

The answer to these questions is likely to match the same verb we used in the question. This is because in Hebrew, the verb for “go” depends on how the person is going from point A to point B. For example, if we are trying to get directions for driving to the bus station, we might hear something like:

  • אתה נוסע שני קילומטרים לכיוון צפון וזה מצד ימין.

Ata nose’a shney kilometrim lekivun tzafon ve-zeh mitzad yemin.

“You go [driving] two kilometers to the north and it’s on the right-hand side.”

On the other hand, if we were walking, we might hear:

  • אתה הולך שני קילומטרים לכיוון צפון וזה מצד ימין.

Ata holekh shney kilometrim lekivun tzafon ve-zeh mitzad yemin.

“You go [walking] two kilometers to the north and it’s on the right-hand side.”

2. On the Map: Compass Directions in Hebrew

Directions

Looking at any map, one of the first things we tend to notice is the compass, which indicates the cardinal directions: north, south, east, and west. Of course, we use these directions often to talk about where we’re headed or where we’ve come from. 

We’re also likely to use relative directions, which simply express the location of a place relative to other places, landmarks, or our current location. Let’s take a deeper look at how to use these language elements in the context of directions in Hebrew.

Looking at our compass, we have the cardinal directions in Hebrew:

צפון (tzafon) — “north”

דרום (darom) — “south”

מערב (maarav) — “west”

מזרח (mizrach) — “east”

Note that these are all in nominal (noun) form, but we can also use them as adverbs of direction by just adding ה to the end of the words. For example:

סע צפונה עד הרמזור.

Sa tzafonah ad ha-ramzor.

“Go [by vehicle] north until the stoplight.”

Or:

לך מערבה קילומטר וחצי.

Lekh ma’aravah kilometer va-chetzi.

“Go [walking] west a kilometer and a half.”

Cardinal directions can also be used to describe the general location of something. For example:

הטיילת נמצאת בחלק המזרחי של העיר.

Ha-teyelet nimzyt ba-chelek ha-mizrachi shel ha-ir.

“The boardwalk is located in the eastern part of the city.”

אילת נמצאת בדרום ישראל.

Eylat nimzet be-drom Yisrael.

“Eilat is in the south of Israel.”

Notice the importance of the passive verb להימצא (lehimatza), meaning “to be found/located.” In Hebrew, we use this very often to indicate the location of a place, as in the previous example.

In addition to cardinal directions, we often use or hear relative directions or indications when asking for directions in Hebrew on the street. For example:

סע צפונה שני קילומטרים והתחנה המרכזית מול הקניון.

Sa tzafona shney kilometrim ve-haetachanah ha-merkazit mul ha-kenyon.

“Go north two kilometers, and the bus station is opposite the mall.”

Here are some other relative directions we might encounter or want to use:

ליד (liyad) — “next to”

ההתחנה המרכזית נמצאת ליד הבנק.

Ha-tchanah ha-merkazit nimtset leyad ha-bank.

“The bus station is next to the bank.”

קרוב ל… (karov li…) — “near”

התחנה המרכזית קרובה לפארק.

Hatchanah ha-merkazit krovah la-park.

“The bus station is near the park.”

אחרי (acharey) — “past”

התחנה המרכזית נמצאת אחרי הרמזור.

Ha-tchanah ha-merkazit nimtset acharey haramzor.

“The bus station is past the stoplight.”

מאחורי (meachorey) — “behind”

התחנה המרכזית נמצאת מאחורי המוזיאון.

Ha-tchanah ha-merkazit nimtset me’achorey ha-muzeon.

“The bus station is behind the museum.”

3. On the Road

Navigation on the Road

One of the most common situations in which we’re likely to ask for or give directions in Hebrew is, of course, while on the road. It’s useful to know some of the more common phrases in this context to help us as we try to navigate the highways, streets, and even alleyways of Israel. So let’s take a look at some useful vocabulary and phrases that will help us along the way.

One of the more common things we might hear or say with reference to directions on the road is an indication of how far away something is from where we are or from another point of reference (like a landmark). We might ask, for example:

  • מה המרחק מכאן לבאר שבע?

Mah ha-merchak mikan le-Be’er Sheva?

“How far is Beer-Sheva?” [Literally: “What is the distance from here to Beer-Sheva?”]

We could also ask the same question like this:

  • מה המרחק מכאן לבאר שבע?

Ma ha-merchak  mi-kan le-Be’er Sheva?

“How far is Beer-Sheva?”

Note that in the answer, we omit the words מרחק (merchak) meaning “distance” and רחוק (rachok) meaning “far.” For instance:

  • באר שבע נמצאת בערך 20 קילומטרים מכאן.

Be’er Sheva nimtset be-erekh esrim kilometrim mi-kan.

“Beer-Sheva is about twenty kilometers away.”

However, if the answer is more general, you’ll hear or say something like this:

  • לא רחוק.

Lo rachok.

“Not far.”

Or:

  • רחקה מאוד.

Rchok meod.

“Very far.”

Similarly, we might also get the answer קרובה (krovah) meaning “close” or קרובה מאוד (krovah meod) meaning “very close.”

קרוב and רחוק can also be used to orient us relative to other landmarks. Here are some examples:

  • שדה התעופה קרוב לצומת.

Sdeh ha-teufah karov la-tzomet.

“The airport is close to the intersection.”

  • תחנת הרכבת לא רחוקה מהסופר.

Tachanat ha-rakevet lo rechokah me-ha-super.

“The train station is not far from the supermarket.”

Below are examples of other common phrases to encounter when giving or getting directions in Hebrew on the road:

לצד ימין של (litzad yemin shel) — “to the right of”

  • גן החיות נמצא לצד ימין של הספרייה.

Gan hachayot nimtza litzad yemin shel hasifriyah.

“The zoo is to the right of the library.”

לצד שמאל של (litzad smol shel) — “to the left of”

  • משרד הדואר נמצא משמאל לאצטדיון.

Misrad ha-doar nimtsa mi-smol la-itzadiyon.

“The post office is to the left of the stadium.”

מסביב לפינה (misaviv lapinah) — “around the corner”

  • אתה נוסע לצומת הבא וחנות הספרים מעבר לפינה.

Atah nose’a latzmoet haba ve-chanut ha-sfarim me-ever la pinah.

“You go [driving] to the next intersection, and the bookstore is around the corner.”

לפני (lifney) — “before”

  • אתה עובר שני צמתים והבנק נמצא בדיוק לפני הצומת השלישי.

Atah over shney tzmatim ve-ha-bank nimtsa bediyuk lifney ha-tzomet ha-shlishi.

“You go through two intersections, and the bank is just before the third intersection.”

מאחורי (meachorey) — “behind”

  • החניה נמצאת מאחורי דוכן הפירות.

Ha-chanayah nimtset me’achorey duchan ha-peyrot.

“The parking lot is behind the fruit stand.”

אחרי (acharey) — “after/past”

  • סע ישר ופנה ימינה בדיוק אחרי שאתה עובר את הכיכר.

Sa yashar u-pneh yeminah bediyuk acharey she-atah over et ha-kikar.

“Go [driving] straight, and turn right just past the rotary.”

Note two things in the last example. First of all, notice the verb for “turn,” which is לפנות (lifnot). This is obviously very important to know in the context of getting around. Also note that, just as with the cardinal directions, we can turn relative directions into adverbs by adding a ה to the end of them. So:

ימין (yamin) meaning “right” becomes ימינה (yeminah) meaning “to the right.”

שמאל (smol) meaning “left” becomes שמאלה (smolah) meaning “to the left.”

We also have:

  • קדימה (kadimah) meaning “forward”
  • אחורה (achorah) meaning “back”

There are obviously some exceptions to this morphology. The most common one is:

ישר (yashar) meaning “straight.”

4. Landmarks

Landmark

Among the more important vocabulary for us to know when we set out to learn about directions in Hebrew are words that describe landmarks. Obviously, this is important because landmarks are commonly used as references, especially when speaking with a tourist who’s unlikely to know street names but will readily be able to identify landmarks. We’ve already seen quite a few of these in context:

  • תחנה מרכזית (tachanah merkazit) — “bus station”
  • תחנת רכבת (tachanat rakevet) — “train station”
  • שדה תעופה (sdeh teufah) — “airport”
  • פרק (park) — “park”
  • בנק (bank) — “bank”
  • טיילת (tayelet) — “boardwalk”
  • מוזאון (muzeon) — “museum”
  • צומת (tzomet) — “intersection”
  • חניה (chanayah) — “parking lot”
  • רמזור (ramzor) — “traffic light”
  • כיכר (kikar) — “rotary”

Now, let’s have a look at some other common landmarks!

מרכז (merkaz) — “downtown” [literally, “center”]

במרכז תמצא הרבה חנויות ומסעדות.

Ba-merkaz timtza harbeh chanuyot ve-mis’adot.

“You’ll find a lot of stores and restaurants in the center.”

מלון (malon) — “hotel”

בשביל להגיע למלון, פנה שמאלה ברמזור והמשך ישר חמש דקות בערך.

Bishil lehagi’a la-malon, pneh smola ba-ramzor ve-hamshekh yashar chamesh dakot be-erekh.

“To get to the hotel, turn left at the light and keep going straight for about five minutes.”

בית חולים (beyt cholim) — “hospital”

בית החולים נמצא מול הבנק.

Beyt ha-cholim nimtza mul ha-bank.

“The hospital is across from the bank.”

תחנת משטרה (tachanat mishtarah) — “police station”

איך אני מגיע לתחנת המשטרה, בבקשה?

Eykh ani magia le-tachanat ha-mistarah, be-vakashah?

“How do I get to the police station, please?”

Crosswalk

מעבר חציה (ma’avar chatzayah) — “crosswalk”

בצומת הבא, עבור את מעבר החציה ופנה ימינה.

Batzomet habah, avor et ma’avar ha-chatzayah u-pneh yeminah.

“At the next intersection, cross the crosswalk and turn right.”

קיוסק (kiyosk) — “kiosk”

עדיף שתשאל בקיוסק.

Adif shetishal bakiyosk.

“You’d be better off asking at the kiosk.”

תחנת דלק (tachanat delek) — “gas station”

המוזיאון נמצא בדיוק לפני תחנת הדלק.

Ha-muzeon nimtza bediyuk lifney tachanat ha-delek.

“The museum is just before the gas station.”

תחנת אוטובוס (tachanat otobus) — “bus stop”

להגיע לתחנת האוטובוס הקרובה, לך צפונה כשלוש דקות ואתה תראה אותה ליד הפרק.

 Lihagia letachanat haotobus hakrovah, lekh tzafonah kishalosh dakot viataha tireh otah liyad hapark.

“To get to the nearest bus stop, walk north about three minutes and you will see it next to the park.”

שירותים (sheyrutim) — “bathroom”

יש שירותים בבנק.

Yesh sheyrutim ba-bank.

“There is a bathroom in the bank.”

5. Must-know Phrases for Asking for Directions

Directions

By now, we’ve built up a pretty good vocabulary for asking for and giving directions in Hebrew. Let’s go a bit further and take a look at some essential expressions when giving or getting directions in Hebrew. 

Note that some of the language here will be formal. Even though modern Hebrew isn’t terribly formal, it’s preferable to use it to be polite, particularly since you’ll most likely be talking to strangers. Of course, if this isn’t the case, and you’re asking your friends for directions, you can speak to them in a more familiar tone.

Let’s start with basic phrases for asking directions, with examples to show them in context:

  • איך אני מגיע לתל אביב?

Eykh ani magia le-Tel Aviv?

“How do I get to Tel Aviv?”

  • איפה השירותים?

Eyfo ha-sheyrutim?

“Where is the bathroom?”

The above examples are obviously quite direct and therefore informal. To make them more formal, we would simply start with סליחה (slichah) meaning “excuse/pardon me,” and then add a phrase before the question to make it indirect and thus more formal and polite. Using the previous two examples, here are two common options:

  • סליחה, האם תוכל לומר לי איך אני מגיע לתל אביב?

Slichah, hayim tukhal lomar li eykh ani magia le-Tel Aviv?

“Excuse me, could you tell me how I get to Tel Aviv?”

  • סליחה, האם אתה יודע איפה השירותים?

Slichah, hayim atah yode’a eyfo ha-sheyrutim?

“Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?”

When we get directions, whether from a friend, family member, or a stranger, it is, of course, considered polite to say thank you. Here are a few ways to do so. Don’t forget to use them, even if you’re in a rush!

  • תודה.

Todah.

“Thank you.”

  • תודה רבה.

Todah rabah.

“Thank you very much.”

  • אני מודה לך על העזרה.

Ani modeh lekha al ha-ezrah.

“I thank you for the help.”

  • נחמד מאוד מצידך.

Nechmad meod mitzidkha.

“How nice of you.”

6. Must-know Phrases for Giving Directions

While you may mostly be thinking of asking for directions, don’t be at all surprised if someone ends up asking you for directions and you suddenly find the tables turned. This seems to be a subset of Murphy’s Law! But consider this an extra motivator to really work on your mastery of this language; you can repay the favor someday, and not only be the recipient of directions but also be able to give them yourself! 

Here are some essential words and phrases for giving directions in Hebrew and how to use them:

  • לך/סע ישר.

Lekh/sa yashar.

“Go [walking/driving] straight.”

  • חזור.

Chazor.

“Go back.”

  • עשה פרסה.

Aseh parsah.

“Make a U-turn.”

  • פנה ימינה/שמאלה.

Pneh yeminah/smolah.

“Turn right/left.”

  • המשך.

Hamshekh.

“Continue.”

  • עצור.

Atzor.

“Stop.”

  • לא תוכל לפספס את זה.

Lo tukhal lefasfes et zeh.

“You can’t miss it.”

7. Putting it Together

Now that you know more vocabulary and basic sentence structures, here’s a more elaborate example of how to give directions in Hebrew:

בשביל להגיע לבית החולים, סע ישר בכביש הראשי לכיוון צפון עד הצומת השלישי. עשה פרסה וחזור לכיוון דרום. פנה ימינה בדיוק לפני הרמזור והמשך שני קילומטרים. עצור בבנק ופנה שם שמאלה. תמשיך עוד חצי קילומטר ובית החולים יהיה מצד ימין. לא תוכל לפספס את זה.

Lihagia liveyt hacholim, sa yashar bakvish harashi likivun tzafon ad hatzomet hashlishi. Aseh  parsah vichazor likivun darom. Pneh yeminah bidiyuk lifney haramzor vitamshikh shney kilometrim. Atzor babank upneh sham smolah. Tamshikh od chetzi kilometer vibeyt hacholim yihiyeh mitzad yeminkha. Lo tukhal lifasfes et zeh.

“To get to the hospital, go [driving] straight north on the highway until the third intersection. Make a U-turn and return south. Turn right just before the light, and continue two kilometers. Stop at the bank, and turn left there. Continue another half kilometer, and the hospital will be on your right-hand side. You can’t miss it.”

Righthand turn sign

7. Conclusion

Directions can often feel like one of the more stressful aspects of learning a language. But with a bit of practice, it can actually become a truly gratifying experience to show yourself you’re capable of navigating a new place and finding your way! Israelis are sure to help you out when they see that you’ve taken the time to learn their language, so fear not! 

And remember, since Israelis all serve an obligatory two or three years in the military, you’re more than likely to encounter an expert navigator who will surely be able to help you find your way! What’s more, Israelis are extremely proud of their knowledge of the lay of the land, and this will come across in their willingness to explain in detail exactly how to get where you’re going. Just get yourself some maps and a partner and practice these language elements before you go “out in the field” navigating. And, as always, have fun!
Before you head off, let us know in the comments how you feel about asking for and giving directions in Hebrew! More confident, or still a little fuzzy? We look forward to hearing from you, and hope that you’ll continue visiting HebrewPod101.com on your journey to language mastery! 

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People, Places & Things – Your First 100 Hebrew Nouns

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Today, we’re going to give you a complete guide to Hebrew nouns for beginners. In case you’ve forgotten your middle school grammar lessons, nouns, broadly speaking, are words that describe people, places, and things, as well as concepts and ideas. Along with verbs, they are the basic building blocks of language, and are so important that they’re usually the first words a baby learns. (Think of words like “mama,” “ball,” and “bottle.”)

With that in mind, you can see how learning from a list of Hebrew nouns that are used in everyday speech, and practicing their use, is a great way to make a big leap in your progress as a language-learner.

Before we jump into our Hebrew nouns list, though, let’s go over a few basic things to keep in mind as far as Hebrew grammar goes.

Hebrew Nouns: Gender

Nouns

So, do Hebrew nouns have gender? 

First of all, similar to languages such as Spanish and German, there’s the issue of grammatical gender with Hebrew nouns. All nouns, whether they have a biological gender or not, are grammatically either male or female.

How do you know if a word is feminine or masculine in Hebrew?

The good news is that, unlike in other languages with this feature, Hebrew uses the same article for ALL nouns, whether male or female, singular or plural. Though the plural form does change depending on whether a noun is male ז’ – זכר (zakhar) or female נקבה – נ’  (nekeyvah). 

Also, we’ll need to use the right Hebrew declensions for any verbs and adjectives we use with these nouns.

Hebrew Dual Nouns

In addition, Hebrew features a dual form for nouns that come in twos, such as eyes, shoes, bicycles, etc.

Another important factor is that to make some compound nouns, Hebrew uses something called a construct state, where the first word becomes genitive (possessive) and may change its vowels, and possibly a letter—and therefore its pronunciation. In these cases, the article (in cases where it’s needed) also jumps to the second word (the possessed noun).

We won’t go too much into detail about Hebrew construct nouns or Hebrew possessive nouns here, but do keep what we went over in mind.

Irregular Hebrew Nouns

There are also some irregular Hebrew nouns, where a noun uses the feminine plural suffix or some other morphology. These are just exceptions we need to memorize, like person and people in English.

Don’t worry, though, if this all sounds complicated. Like with all languages, you have to start somewhere and take it bit by bit. So for today, we’ll just focus on learning about nouns in Hebrew, and where necessary, explain the grammar that goes with them.

To make it a bit easier to practice, we’ll look at the top 100 Hebrew nouns, divided into eight categories: 

  • Appliances
  • Technology
  • Transportation
  • Restaurant
  • School essentials
  • Occupation
  • Family members
  • Body parts

Ready to start our Hebrew nouns list? Here we go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Nouns in Hebrew: Appliances
  2. Nouns in Hebrew: Technology
  3. Nouns in Hebrew: Transportation
  4. Nouns in Hebrew: Restaurants
  5. Nouns in Hebrew: School Essentials
  6. Nouns in Hebrew: Occupations
  7. Nouns in Hebrew: Family Members
  8. Nouns in Hebrew: Body Parts
  9. Nouns in Hebrew: Time
  10. Conclusion: Nouns are a Great Place to Start!

1. Nouns in Hebrew: Appliances

Various appliances

Appliances are a great place to start your study of Hebrew nouns, since they’re things we use on a daily basis in all sorts of situations. You might just be visiting a friend’s house and need help using the kitchen toaster at breakfast, or perhaps you want to buy a new dryer for your new apartment in Haifa. Let’s see some common Hebrew nouns related to appliances.

1. (‘טלוויזיה (נ – TV

televizyah

לטלוויזיה הזאת יש רזולוציה גבוהה.

La-televizyah hazot yesh rezolutsya gvohah.

“This TV has HD technology.” 

2. (‘מקרר (ז – refrigerator

mikarer

המקרר שלנו התקלקל ועכשיו כל האוכל רקוב.

Ha-mekarer shelanu hitkalkel ve-akhshav kol ha-okhel rakuv.

“Our refrigerator broke down and now all the food is rotten.” 

3. (‘מזגן (ז – air conditioner

mazgan

תדליק את המזגן בבקשה.

Tadlik et ha-mazgan bevakashah.

“Turn on the air conditioner, please.” 

4. (‘מכונת כביסה (נ – washer

mekhonat kvisah

שמתי את הבגדים המלוכלכים שלי במכונת הכביסה.

Samti et ha-bgadim ha-melukhlakhim sheli be-mekhonat ha-kvisah.

“I put my dirty clothes in the washer.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with מכונה (mikhonah) changing to מכונת (mikhonat).

5. (‘מאוורר (ז – fan

me’avrer

אתה תחסוך אנרגיה אם תדליק את המאוורר ותכבה את המזגן.

Atah tach’sokh energyah im tadlik et ha-me’avrer ve-tekhabeh et ha-mazgan.

“You’ll save energy if you turn on the fan and turn off the air conditioner.”

6. (‘מיקרוגל (ז – microwave

mikrogal

השימוש במיקרוגל אינו נחשב בריא.

Ha-shimush ba-mikrogal eyno nechshav bari.

“It’s considered unhealthy to use the microwave.”

7. (‘כיריים (ז – stove

kira’yim

אני מנקה את הכיריים עם מסיר שומנים.

Ani menakeh et ha-kira’yim im mesir shumanim.

“I clean the stove with degreaser.”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

8. (‘נגן די.וי.די (ז – DVD player

nagan dividi

בא לי לראות סרט בדי.וי.די.

Ba li lirot seret ba-dividi.

“I feel like watching a movie on the DVD player.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state.

2. Nouns in Hebrew: Technology

Nouns 2

Another important category for learning nouns in Hebrew is technology. A ubiquitous part of our lives these days, you can hardly have an interaction that doesn’t involve the Internet, your cell phone, or a computer. So let’s take a look at some basic technology nouns with examples of use.

9. (‘מחשב (ז – computer

machshev

זה המחשב החדש שלי.

Zeh ha-machshev ha-chadash sheli.

“This is my new computer.” 

10. (מחשב נייד (זי – laptop

machshev nayad

יש לך מחשב נייד או נייח?

Yesh lekha machshev nayad o nayach?

“Do you have a laptop or a desktop computer?”

11. (טאבלט (זי – tablet

tablet

הטאבלט שלך ממש מגניב!

Ha-tablet shelkha mamash magniv!

“Your tablet is really cool!”

12. (פלאפון (זי – cell phone

pelefon

תתקשר אליי לפלאפון מאוחר יותר.

Titkasher elay la-pelefon meuchar yoter.

“Call me on my cell phone later.”

13. (אנזיות (ני – headphones

ozniyot

אני אוהב להקשיב למוזיקה עם אוזניות.

Ani ohev lehakshiv le-muzika im ozniyot.

“I like to listen to music with headphones.”

14. (מטען (זי – charger

mat’en

ראית את המטען לפלאפון שלי?

Raita et ha-mat’en la-pelefon sheli?

“Have you seen my cell phone charger?”

15. (וויי-פיי (זי – WiFi

wayfay

מה הסיסמה לוויי-פיי בבקשה?

Mah ha-sismah la-wayfay be-vakashah?

“What is the WiFi password, please?”

16. (תוכנה (ני – app

tokhnah

הורדתי תוכנה מצויינת לניווט בדרכים.

Horadeti tokhnah metzuyenet le-nivut ba-drakhim.

“I downloaded a great app for on-the-road navigation.”

17. (אתר אינטרנט (זי – website

atar internet

יש לחברה שלך אתר אינטרנט?

Yesh la-chevrah shelkha atar internet?

“Does your company have a website?”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state.

18. (תמונה (ני – picture

tmunah

בא לכם לראות תמונות מהטיול שלי?

Ba lakhem lir’ot tmunot me-ha-tiyul sheli?

“Do you feel like seeing some pictures from my trip?”

19. (קובץ (זי – file

kovetz

איפה שמרת את הקובץ עם שיעורי הבית שלי?

Eyfoh shamarta et ha-kovetz im shi’urey ha-bayit sheli?

“Where did you save the file with my homework?”

20. (חשבון (זי – account

cheshbon

יש לך חשבון סקייפ?

Yesh lekha cheshbon skayp?

“Do you have a Skype account?”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though חשבון is masculine, the plural form is חשבונות.

3. Nouns in Hebrew: Transportation

Bus on the road

Another important category where we’ll definitely want some nouns in our lexicon is transportation. Getting from point A to point B can sometimes be a struggle in any language, but we certainly won’t get far without some basic words to get us started. So let’s have a look!

21. (מטוס (זי – airplane

matos

טסת פעם במוס?

Tasta pa’am be-matos?

“Have you ever been on an airplane?”

21. (רכבת (ני – train

rakevet

הרכבת לתל אביב יוצאת בעוד חמש דקות.

Ha-rakevet le-Tel Aviv yotzeyt be-od chamesh dakot.

“The train to Tel Aviv leaves in five minutes.”

22. (רכבת תחתית (ני – subway

rakevet tachtit

הרכבת התחתית בניו יורק היא מבוך.

Ha-rakevet ha-tachtit be-Nu York hi mavokh.

“The subway in New York is a maze.”

23. (אוטובוס (זי – bus

otobus

אתה יודע מאיפה יוצא האוטובוס לכיוון דרום?

Ata yode’a me-eyfoh yotze ha-otobus le’kivun darom?

“Do you know where the southbound bus leaves from?”

24. (מונית (ני – taxi

monit

ניקח מונית לתאטרון כדי להגיע מהר יותר.

Nikach monit la-te’atron kedey lehagia maher yoter.

“Let’s take a taxi to the theater to get there faster.”

25. (אופניים (זי – bicycle

ofanayim

אתה אוהב לרכב על אופניים?

Ata ohev lirkav al ofanayim?

“Do you like riding a bicycle?”

26. (שדה תעופה (זי – airport

sdey tiufah

אני ממש לא סובל את התורים בשדה התעופה.

Ani mamash lo sovel et ha torim bi-sde ha-teufah.

“I really can’t stand the lines at the airport.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with שָׂדֶה (sadeh) changing to שְׂדֵה (sdey).

27. (תחנת רכבת (ני – train station

tachanat rakevet

נקנה כרטיסים בתחנת הרכבת.

Nikneh kartisim be-tachanat ha-rakevet.

“We’ll buy tickets at the train station.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with תחנה (tachanah) changing to תחנת (tachanat).

27. (תחנת אוטובוס (ני – bus station

tachanat otobus

חכה לי בתחנת האוטובוס ליד הבית.

Chakeh li be-tachanat ha-otobus le-yad ha-bayit.

“Wait for me at the bus station near the house.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with תחנה (tachanah) changing to תחנת (tachanat).

28. (רמזור (זי – traffic light

ramzor

השוטר אמר שעברת ברמזור אדום.

Ha-shoter amar she-avarta be-ramzor adom.

“The police officer said you ran through a red traffic light.”

29. (צומת (זי – intersection

tzomet

פנה ימינה בצומת הבא.

Pneh yeminah ba-tzomet haba.

“Turn right at the next intersection.”

4. Nouns in Hebrew: Restaurants

Couple at a restaurant table

Another useful category of nouns in Hebrew are words we might use at a restaurant. We all love to eat, and Israelis love to eat more than just about anything. So let’s check out some restaurant-related nouns to get us working up an appetite!

30. (שולחן (זי – table

shulchan

שולחן לשניים?

Shulchan li-shnayim?

“Table for two?”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though שולחן is masculine, the plural form is שולחנות.

31. (תפריט (זי – menu

tafrit

התפריט הזה ממש אקזוטי!

Ha-tafrit ha-zeh mamash ekzoti!

“This menu is quite exotic!”

32. מלצר (זי) / מלצרית – waiter / waitress

meltzar / meltzarit

המלצר ייקח את ההזמנה שלכם בעוד רגע.

Ha-meltzar yikach et ha-hazmanah shelakhem be’od rega.

“The waiter will take your order in just a moment.”

*Note the masculine form מלצר and the feminine form מלצרית, remembering to conjugate verbs and use masculine/feminine adjectives accordingly!

33. (חשבון (זי – bill

cheshbon

אני רוצה לשלם את החשבון עם כרטיס אשראי.

Ani rotzeh leshalem et ha-cheshbon im cartis ashray.

“I would like to pay the bill with a credit card.”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though חשבון is masculine, the plural form is חשבונות.

34. (מזלג (זי – fork

mazleg

סכו”ם הם ראשי תיבות של סכין, כף ומזלג.

SACUM zeh rashey teyvot shel sakin, kaf ve-mazleg.

“Silverware [SACUM in Hebrew] is an acronym for knife, spoon, and fork.”

35. (‘סכין (זי/נ – knife

sakin

סכו”ם הם ראשי תיבות של סכין, כף ומזלג.

SACUM zeh rashey teyvot shel sakin, kaf ve-mazleg.

“Silverware [SACUM in Hebrew] is an acronym for knife, spoon, and fork.”

*Note that סכין is an irregular noun in that it can be masculine or feminine.

36. (‘כף (נ – spoon

kaf

סכו”ם הם ראשי תיבות של סכין, כף ומזלג.

SACUM zeh rashey teyvot shel sakin, kaf ve-mazleg.

“Silverware [SACUM in Hebrew] is an acronym for knife, spoon, and fork.”

37. (‘צלחת (נ – plate

tzalachat

תיזהר, הצלחת חמה!

Tizaher, ha-tzalachat chamah!

“Careful, the plate is hot!”

38. (‘קערה (נ – bowl

kiarah

בפסח אנחנו משתמשים בקערה מיוחדת לסדר.

Be-Pesach anachnu mishtamshim be-tzalachat meyuchedet la-Seder.

“On Passover, we use a special bowl for the Seder.”

39. (‘כוס (נ – cup

kos

אפשר עוד כוס מיץ?

Efshar od cos mitz?

“Could I have another cup of juice?”

*Note that כוס is feminine, with the plural form כוסות.

40. (‘מים (ז – water

mayim

אנה צמא בגלל שלא שתיתי מספיק מים היום.

Ani tzameh biglal she-lo shatiti maspik mayim hayom.

“I’m thirsty because I didn’t drink enough water today.”

*Note that מים is always plural in Hebrew. No singular form exists for this noun.

41. (‘תה (ז – tea

teh

אין כמו תה קר ביום חם!

Eyn kmo teh kar be-yom cham!

“There’s nothing like iced tea on a hot day!”

5. Nouns in Hebrew: School Essentials

Nouns 3

Yet another category of nouns in Hebrew that we might need are school essentials. Whether we’re taking Hebrew classes at university or sending our kids to Hebrew school, here are some useful nouns to navigate the school world.

42. (‘אוניברסיטה (נ – college

universitah

איזה מקצוע אתה מתכוון ללמוד באוניברסיטה?

Eyzeh miktzoa ata mitkaven lilmod ba-universitah?

“What are you going to major in at college?”

43. (‘תיכון (ז – high school

tikhon

באיזה תיכון אתה לומד?

Be-eyzeh tikhon ata lomed?

“Which high school do you attend?”

44. (‘חטיבת ביניים (נ – middle school

chativat beynayim

יש לי שני בנים בחטיבת הביניים.

Yesh li shney banim be-chativat ha-beynayim.

“I have two sons in middle school.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with חטיבה (chativah) changing to חטיבת (chativat).

45. (‘יסודי (ז – elementary school

yesodi

יש לי שתי בנות ביסודי.

Yesh li shtey banot ba-yesodi.

“I have two daughters in elementary school.”

46. (‘ספר (ז – book

seyfer

בסופי שבוע אני אוהב לקרוא ספרים.

Be-sofey shavua ani ohev likro sfarim.

“On weekends, I like to read books.”

47. (‘תרמיל (ז – backpack

tarmil

אל תשכח את הילקוט שלך בבית הספר.

Al tishkach et ha-yalkut shelkha be-veyt ha-seyfer.

“Don’t forget your backpack at school.”

48. (‘עט (ז – pen

eyt

עדיף לכתוב בעט או בעיפרון?

Adif likhtov be-et o be-iparon?

“Is it better to write in pen or pencil?”

49. (‘מוֹרֶה (ז’) / מוֹרָה (נ – teacher

moreh / morah

מי המורה שלך לפיזיקה?

Mi ha-moreh shelkha le-fizikah?

“Who’s your physics teacher?”

*Note the masculine form מוֹרֶה and the feminine form מוֹרָה, remembering to conjugate verbs and use masculine/feminine adjectives accordingly!

50. (‘תלמיד (ז’) / תלמידה (נ – student (in elementary through high school)

talmid / talmidah

יש הרבה תלמידים בכיתה שלי.

Yesh harbe talmidim ba-kitah sheli.

“There are a lot of students in my class.”

*Note the masculine form תלמיד and the feminine form תלמידה, remembering to conjugate verbs and use masculine/feminine adjectives accordingly!

51. (‘סטודנט (ז’) / סטודנטית (נ – student (at university)

student / studentit

אחותי סטודנטית לרפואה.

Achoti studentit le-refuah.

“My sister is a medical student.”

*Note the masculine form סטודנט and the feminine form סטודנטית, remembering to conjugate verbs and use masculine/feminine adjectives accordingly!

52. (‘מבחן (ז – exam

mivchan

יש לנו מבחן במתמטיקה ביום ראשון.

Yesh lanu mivchan be-matematikah be-yom rishon.

“We have a math exam on Sunday.”

53. (‘שיעורי בית (ז – homework

shiurey bayit

האם תוכל לעזור לי עם שיעורי הבית בכימיה?

Haim tukhal la’azor li im shiurey ha-bayit be-khimiyah?

“Could you help me with the homework for chemistry?”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with שיעורים (shiurim) changing to שיעורי (shiurey).

6. Nouns in Hebrew: Occupations

Various occupations/professionals

Another helpful category of nouns in the Hebrew language are occupation and profession names. These can be useful in all sorts of daily interactions, whether we wish to describe what we do, ask someone else the same, or possibly look up a doctor to check out our sore throat after spending a chilly night in the Negev desert. 

Let’s have a look at some common occupation names in Hebrew, noting that all of these will have both masculine and feminine forms. Don’t forget to conjugate verbs and choose adjectival forms accordingly!

54. (‘רופא (זי) / רופאה (נ – doctor

rofeh / rofah

אמא שלי רופאה מיילדת.

Ima sheli rof’ah meyaledet.

“My mother is an obstetrician.” [literally, “birth doctor” in Hebrew]

55. (‘עורך דין (זי) / עורכת דין (נ – lawyer

orekh din / orekhet din

אני רוצה ללמוד משפטים ולהיות עורך דין.

Ani rotzeh lilmod mishpatim ve-lihiyot orekh din.

“I want to study law and become a lawyer.”

56. (‘אח (זי) / אחות (נ – nurse

ach / achot

חברה שלי היא אחות בבית החולים.

Chaverah sheli hi achot be-veyt ha-cholim.

“My girlfriend is a nurse at the hospital.”

57. (‘מנהל (זי) / מנהלת (נ – manager

minahel / minahelet

להיות מנהל זו אחריות רבה.

Lihiyot menahel zo achrayut raba.

“Being a manager is a lot of responsibility.”

58. (‘שף (זי) / שפית (נ – chef

shef / shefit

מאז הילדות תמיד חלמתי להיות שפית.

Me’az ha-yaldut tamid chalamti lihiyot shefit.

“I’ve dreamed of being a chef since childhood.”

59. (‘איש עסקים (זי) / אשת עסקים (נ – businessman / businesswoman

ish asakim / eyshet asakim

דוד שלי הוא איש עסקים בגרמניה.

Dod sheli hu ish asakim be-Germanyah.

“My uncle is a businessman in Germany.”

*Note that this is a compound noun, and uses the construct state with אישה (ishah) changing to אשת (eyshet) in the feminine form of the noun.

60. (‘מהנדס (זי) / מהנדסת (נ – engineer

mihandes / mihandeset

בתי הבכורה היא הנדסאית סאונד.

Biti ha-bkhorah hi handesayit saund.

“My eldest daughter is a sound engineer.”

61. (‘עובד מדינה (זי) / עובדת מדינה (נ – civil servant

oved medinah / ovedet medinah

מחר יש לי מבחן למשרה כעובד מדינה.

Machar yesh li mivchan le-misrah ke-oved medinah.

“Tomorrow I have an exam for a civil servant’s position.”

7. Nouns in Hebrew: Family Members

A very common group of nouns we’ll want to know in Hebrew are names of family members. Especially in such a family-oriented culture as Israel’s, it’s an altogether common experience to be interrogated at length regarding the members of your family—all in good humor, of course. Israelis just love talking about their family, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with the most common nouns to describe family members. Again, remember to pay attention to masculine versus feminine forms.

For more family words in Hebrew, check out our article about family members!

62. (משפחה (ני – family

mishpachah

יש לך משפחה גדולה?

Yesh le-kha mishpachah gdolah?

“Do you have a large family?”

63. (‘אמא (נ – mom

ima

אמא שלי עובדת בבנק.

Ima sheli ovedet ba-bank.

“My mom works at the bank.”

*Note that this noun has an irregular plural form of אמהות (imahot).

64. (‘אבא (ז – dad

aba

אבא שלי טייס בחיל האוויר.

Aba sheli tayas be-Chel ha-Avir.

“My dad is a pilot in the Air Force.”

*Note that this noun has an irregular plural form of אבות (avot).

65. (‘הורים (ז – parents

horim

ההורים שלי גרושים.

Ha-horim sheli grushim.

“My parents are divorced.”

66. (‘בעל (ז – husband

baal

בעלי שוטר.

Ba’ali shoter.

“My husband is a police officer.”

67. (‘אישה (נ – wife

isha

אשתי שופטת.

Ishti shofetet.

“My wife is a judge.”

68. דוד – uncle

dod

יש לי דוד בפריז.

Yesh li dos be-Pariz.

“I have an uncle in Paris.”

*Note that this noun has an irregular plural form of בנות (banot).

69. (‘בן (ז – son

ben

יש לנו שני בנים ושתי ובנות.

Yesh lanu sheny banim ve-shtey banot.

“We have two sons and two daughters.”

70. (‘בת (נ – daughter

bat

יש לנו שני בנים ושתי ובנות.

Yesh lanu sheny banim ve-shtey banot.

“We have two sons and two daughters.”

71. (‘סבים (ז – grandparents

sabim

הסבים שלי גרים בהרצליה.

Ha-sabim sheli garim be-Herzeliyah.

“My grandparents live in Herzliya.”

8. Nouns in Hebrew: Body Parts

Nouns 4

Now for the parts of the body. You can even learn these like a kid by singing or playing a song while touching the different parts of your body as you practice the names. It may sound silly, but trust us, it really works! So go play Simon Says (שמעון אומר [Shimon omer] in Hebrew) and practice the following nouns. 

Note that almost all of the body parts that are pairs use the dual form!

72. (גוף (זי – body

guf

יש לו גוף חזק.

Yesh lo guf chazak.

“He has a strong body.”

73. (ראש (זי – head

rosh

אמא אומרת שיש לי ראש טוב על הכתפיים.

Ima omeret sheyesh li rosh tov al ha-kteyfayim.

“Mom says I have a good head on my shoulders.”

74. (כתף (ני – shoulder

katef

אמא אומרת שיש לי ראש טוב על הכתפיים.

Ima omeret sheyesh li rosh tov al hakteyfayim.

“Mom says I have a good head on my shoulders.”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

75. (יד (ני – arm/hand

yad

אני עושה הרבה כושר כדי לחזק את הידיים.

Ani oseh harbe kosher kedey lechazek et ha-yadayim.

“I do a lot of exercises to strengthen my arms.”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

76. (רגל (ני – leg/foot

regel

לאצן יש רגליים חזקות.

La-atzan yesh raglayim chazakot.

“The runner has strong legs.”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

77. (חזה (זי – chest

chazeh

התינוק שלי אוהב להיות צמוד לחזה שלי.

Ha-tinok sheli ohev lihiyot tzamud la-chazeh sheli.

“My baby likes to be close up against my chest.”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though חזה is masculine, the plural form is חזות (chazot).

78. (בטן (ני – abdomen

beten

לא כדאי לשתות על בטן ריקה.

Lo keday lishtot al beten reykah.

“It’s not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach.”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though בטן is feminine, the plural form is בטנים (bitanim).

79. (פנים (ני – face

panim

איזה פנים יפות!

Eyzeh panim yafot.

“What a beautiful face!”

*Note that פנים is always plural in Hebrew. No singular form exists for this noun.

80. (עין (ני – eye

ayin

באיזה צבע העניניים שלך?

Be-eyzeh tzeva ha-eynayim sehlkha?

“What color are your eyes?”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

81. (אף (זי – nose

af

יש לי נזלת באף.

Yesh li nazelet ba’af.

“I have a runny nose.”

82. (פה (זי – mouth

peh

יש לה פה גדול אבל לב עוד יותר גדול.

Yesh lah peh gadol aval lev od yoter gadol.

“She has a big mouth but a bigger heart.”

*Note that this noun has an irregular plural form of פיות (piyot).

83. (אוזן (ני – ear

ozen

תפתח את האוזניים שלך ותקשיב!

Tiftach et ha-oznayim shelkha ve-takshiv!

“Open your ears and listen!”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

9. Nouns in Hebrew: Time

Clock showing time

Our last category for today are nouns related to time. No basic vocabulary would be complete without the words you need to give and ask the time, of course! So without further ado, let’s save you some time and get right to it! Note that a number of these nouns use the dual form!

84. (היום (זי – today

hayom

היום זה האתמול של המחר.

Hayom zeh ha-etmol shel ha-machar.

“Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.”

85. (מחר (זי – tomorrow

hayom

היום זה האתמול של המחר.

Hayom zeh ha-etmol shel ha-machar.

“Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.”

86. (אתמול (זי – yesterday

etmol

היום זה האתמול של המחר.

Hayom zeh ha-etmol shel ha-machar.

“Today is tomorrow’s yesterday.”

87. (יום ראשון (זי – Sunday

yom rishon

בישראל חוזרים לעבודה ביום ראשון.

Be-Yisrael chozrim la’avoda Be-yom rishon.

“In Israel, people go back to work on Sunday.”

88. (יום שני (זי – Monday

yom sheyni

ביום שני ניסע לים.

Be-yom sheyni nisa la-yam.

“On Monday, we’re going to the beach.”

89. (יום שלישי (זי – Tuesday

yom shlishi

יום שלישי זה היום הכי קשה בשבוע.

Yom shlishi zeh ha-yom hakhi kasheh ba-shavua.

“Tuesday is the hardest day of the week.”

90. (יום רביעי (זי – Wednesday

yom revi’i

יום רביעי הוא מצע השבוע.

Yom revi’i hu emtza ha-shavua.

“Wednesday is the middle of the week.”

91. (יום חמישי (זי – Thursday

yom chamishi

ביום חמישי בערב נצא למסעדה.

Be-yom chamishi ba-erev netze le-mis’adah.

“On Thursday evening, we’ll go out to eat at a restaurant.”

92. (יום שישי (זי – Friday

yom shishi

יום שישי הוא ערב שבת.

Yom shishi hu erev Shabat.

“Friday is Sabbath Eve.”

93. (שבת (זי – Saturday

shabat

שבת הוא יום מנוחה.

Shabat hu yom menuchah.

“Saturday is a day of rest.”

94. (יום (זי – day

yom

יום אחד נתחתן.

Yom echad nitchaten.

“One day we’ll get married.”

95. (יומיים (ני – two days

yomayim

עוד יומיים יום ההולדת שלי.

Od yomayim yom ha-huledet sheli.

“In two days, it’s my birthday.”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

96. (שבוע (זי – week

shavua

יום רביעי הוא אמצע השבוע.

Yom revi’i hu emtza ha-shavua.

“Wednesday is the middle of the week.”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though שבוע is masculine, the plural form is שבועות (shavuot).

97. (שנה (ני – year

shanah

השנה אני מסיים את הלימודים בתיכון.

Ha-shanah ani mesayem et ha-limudim batikhon.

“This year, I’ll finish my studies at high school.”

*Note that this is an irregular noun. Even though שנה is masculine, the plural form is שנים (shanim).

98. (שעה (ני – hour

sha’ah

בעוד שעה נהיה כבר בבית.

Be-od sha’ah nihiye kvar ba-bayit.

“In an hour, we’ll be home already.”

99. (שעתיים (ני – two hours

sha’atayim

רצתי שעתיים בטיילת.

Ratzti sha’atayim ba-tayelet.

“I ran on the boardwalk for two hours.”

*Note that this noun uses the dual form, and any verbs or adjectives used must be conjugated accordingly.

100. (דקה (ני – minute

dakah

תן לי דקה לחפש את התיק שלי.

Ten li dakah lechapes et ha-tik sheli.

“Give me a minute to look for my bag.”

10. Conclusion: Nouns are a Great Place to Start!

So there you have it! One-hundred basic nouns that, if practiced, will get you a pretty long way! Whether going out on a date with an exchange student or visiting family in Israel, the list above—while by no means comprehensive—is an excellent start to be able to hold a brief conversation. And, by practicing the different forms—masculine, feminine, singular, plural, dual—you’ll be more comfortable as you expand your vocabulary. 

For now, don’t worry about the grammar too much, just focus on good pronunciation and trying your best to remember which nouns are masculine and which are feminine. But even if you don’t, don’t fret, as Israelis know how hard it is to learn Hebrew nouns, and most will gladly help you out when you make a mistake! Remember, just like babies, take it one word at a time. You should relax and do the same! Every word learned is a huge step.

Before you go, let us know in the comments if you learned any new words! Are there any nouns you want to know the Hebrew word for that we haven’t covered here? We look forward to hearing from you! 

We hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson, and that you go out there and get talking! Shalom!

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Learn the 21 Most Useful Hebrew Compliments

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According to the common saying, “Flattery will get you everywhere.” Whether pitching to a new client, trying to negotiate a lower price in the market, or starting a conversation with someone across the bar from you, compliments can go a long way toward getting you what your heart is after.

Obviously, compliments can be a bit tricky in a language that’s not your native tongue; they’re not even that simple for the native speaker. Effective flattery requires the right phrase for the right person and situation, as well as the right intonation, grammar, and timing.

But don’t let any of that shake you from this useful and interesting topic. In today’s lesson, HebrewPod101 is going to equip you with the best Hebrew compliments to use in a number of different situations. We’ll explain their meaning, break down the parts of each phrase, and show you how to properly employ them in terms of grammar and pronunciation. Without further ado, let’s jump right in and see the top 21 most useful compliments in Hebrew!

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Table of Contents

  1. Complimenting Someone’s Physical Appearance
  2. Complimenting Someone’s Work or Words
  3. Complimenting Someone’s Skills or Abilities
  4. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere
  5. What to Expect After Giving Compliments
  6. HebrewPod101 Compliments You on Your Learning!

1. Complimenting Someone’s Physical Appearance

Well Dressed Man

We’ll start with perhaps the most common category of Hebrew compliments: those referring to someone’s physical appearance. Of course, you want to be careful to use these compliments with the right person at the right time. Just as in any other culture, complimenting someone—especially of the other sex—on their looks can certainly be taken as offensive if used in an inappropriate or unwelcome way. So just be sure to think before you go ahead and try these out!

ממש יָפֶה/יָפָה/יפים/יפות לְךָ/לָךְ. 1

Mamash yafeh/yafah/yafim/yafot lekha/lakh.
“[That/those] look(s) really nice on you.”

This is a rather general one, which you can use in any number of situations. We’re simply telling someone that something looks nice on them, whether that something is a shirt, a car, or a smile. Note that we need to pick the correct gender for both the object we’re describing as nice, and the person we’re talking to. We also have to make sure we use either the singular or plural form of “nice,” depending on what it is we’re describing.

As it appears above, this compliment in Hebrew omits not only the noun, but also any determiners. Thus, if we use it as a standalone, it should be clear what we’re referring to. For example, we could use this compliment as-is if someone is showing us something new they’ve just purchased. However, we can also specify what we’re referring to using the same phrase and adding more information, as follows.

ה_____ ההוא/ההיא/האלה ממש יָפֶה/יָפָה/יפים/יפות לְךָ/לָךְ. .2

Mamash yafeh/yafah/yafim/yafot lekha/lakh ha-_____ ha-hu/ha-hi/ha-eleh.
“That/those ______ look(s) really nice on you.”

Let’s see how this would look if we were complimenting a male friend on his new shirt, which in Hebrew is חולצה (khultzah) and is feminine.

  • החולצה הזאת ממש יפה לך.
    Ha-khultzah ha-zot mamash yafah lekha.
    “That shirt looks really nice on you.”

אהבתי את ה______ שֶׁלְּךָ/שֶׁלָּךְ. .3

Ahavti et ha-_______ shelkha/shelakh.
“I love your _______.”

Note that this one actually uses the past form of the verb “to love” in Hebrew for emphasis. This phrase is simply an alternative to the two presented above, and can be used to give a compliment on just about anything we think suits someone. It should be added that we can use it not only for physical appearance, but for other things as well (such as ideas or talents). Here’s an example:

  • אהבתי את הנעליים הגבוהות שלך! הן כל כך קלאסיות.
    Ahavti et ha-na’alayim ha-gevohot shelakh! Hen kol kakh klasiyot.
    “I love your high-heels! They are so classic.”

יש לְךָ/לָךְ ______ יָפֶה/יָפָה/יפים/יפות. .4

Yesh lekha/lakh ______ yafeh/yafah/yafim/yafot.
“You have (a) nice _______.”

This one, again, is fairly generic, and can be used to describe anything we find nice in or on a person. Note the need to choose the right form, either masculine or feminine, plural or singular, of the adjective “nice.” Here’s an example:

  • יש לָךְ חיוך יפה.
    Yesh lakh khiyukh nekhmad.
    “You have a nice smile.”

ה_____ ההוא/ההיא/האלה מתאים/מתאימה/מתאימים/מתאימות לְךָ/לָךְ מאוד. .5

Ha-______ ha-hu/ha-hi/ha-eleh צat’im lekha/lakh meod.
“That/those _____ really suit(s) you.”

Here’s yet another option to say that we like something someone is wearing or using. We would generally use this for an article of clothing or an accessory. Here’s an example:

  • העגילים האלה מתאימים לך. הם באותו הצבע של העיניים שלך.
    Ha-agilim ha-eleh mat’imim lakh. Hem be-oto ha-tzeva shel ha-eynayim shelakh.
    “Those earrings suit you. They are the same color as your eyes.”

ה-_____ ההוא/ההיא/האלה תפור/תפורה/תפורים/תפורות עָלֶיךָ/עָלַיִךְ. .6

Ha-_____ ha-hu/ha-hi/ha-eleh tafur/tefurah/tefurim/tefurot aleykha/alayikh.
“That/those ______ were made for you.” [Literally: “are sewn onto you”]

This one is a colorful way of saying that something fits or suits someone perfectly. Literally, we’re saying that whatever we’re complimenting looks custom-tailored to them. This is something like the English expression, “It fits you like a glove.” Note that this expression isn’t limited to articles of clothing that are actually sewn. For instance, we could use it for a profession, as in this example:

  • אתה מבשל מצוייןן! תפור עליך להיות שף!
    Atah mevashel metsuyan! Tafur alekha lihiot shef!
    “You cook great! Being a chef will suit you perfectly!”

אני מת/מתה על ה_____ שֶׁלְּךָ/שֶׁלָּךְ! .7

Ani met/metah al ha-_____ shelkha/shelakh.
“That/those _____ of yours are to die for.” [Literally: “I am dying over those _____ of yours.”]

For whatever reasons, better or worse, modern Hebrew speakers tend to use the verb “to die” for hyperbolic expressions. In this case, when we really want to give someone a strong compliment, we can say that we’re dying over whatever it is we wish to compliment. Reserve this compliment for casual situations, as it’s highly informal. Here’s an example:

  • אני מתה על השער שלך! מי הספרית שלך?
    Ani metah al ha-se’ar shelakh! Mi ha-saparit shelakh?
    “That hair of yours is to die for! Who is your hairdresser?”

2. Complimenting Someone’s Work or Words

Compliments

Another common category of compliments are those about someone’s work or words. We may often find ourselves admiring another’s performance or expression, but are unsure of how to aptly express our admiration. The following list of compliments will help us congratulate a friend or coworker on a job well done or a phrase well turned. Let’s have a look at some example compliments in Hebrew.

עבודה יפה! .1

Avodah yafah!
“Nice work/job!”

This one is fairly self-explanatory. We can use this compliment to remark on any task, project, or action that meets with our approval. Here are a couple of examples:

  • עבודה יפה! אני בטוח שהפרויקט יהיה מוצלח.
    Avodah yafah! Ani batu’akh she-ha-proyekt yihiyeh mutzlakh.
    “Nice work! I am sure the project will be successful.”
  • עבודה יפה! עכשיו הכל נראה נקי ומסודר.
    Avodah yafah! Akhshav ha-kol nir’eh naki u-mesudar.
    “Nice job! Now everything looks clean and orderly.”

יפה עָשִׂיתָ/עָשִׂית! .2

Yafe asita/asit!
“Well done!”

We can use this compliment as an alternative way to tell someone they did a good job. Here are some examples:

  • יפה עשית עם הפרויקט ללקוחות הקנדיים!
    Yafe asita im ha-proyect la-lekokhot ha-Kanadiyim!
    “Well done on that project for the Canadian clients!”
  • זו את שפתרת את המשוואה? יפה עשית!
    Zu at she-patart et ha-mishvaah? Yafe asit!
    “Was it you who solved the equation? Well done!”

יוצא/יוצאת/יוצאים/יוצאות מן הכלל .3

Yotzeh/yotzet/yotzim/yotzot min ha-klal
“Outstanding”

Again, this is a general compliment that we can use for anything that impresses us. Note that we need to use either masculine or feminine, plural or singular, for the verb. While in English, “outstanding” is often considered a military-style compliment, in Hebrew, it’s a very common phrase to use. Here are some examples:

  • נאום המכירות שלך ללקוחות היה יוצא מן הכלל.
    Ne’um-ha-mekhirot shelkha la-lekokhot hayah yotzeh min ha-klal.
    “Your sales pitch to the clients was outstanding.”
  • התרומה שלך לתכנון יוצאת מן הכלל.
    Ha-truma shelakh la-tikhnun yotzet min ha-klal.
    “Your contribution to the planning is outstanding.”

אתה/את תותח/תותחית! .4

At/atah totakh/totakhit!
“You are a real firecracker.” [Literally: “You are a cannon.”]

This is a very emphatic compliment that can be used in a variety of settings. It’s a general way of saying that someone is great at what they do or have done.

  • איך הצלחת להחתים ארבעה לקוחות חדשים ביומיים? אתה תותח!
    Eykh hitzlakhta lehakhtim arba’ah lekokhot khadashim be-yomayim? Atah totakh!
    “How did you manage to sign four new clients in two days? You are a real firecracker!”

איזה יופי! .5

Eyzeh yofi!
“That’s great!” / “Way to go!” [Literally: “How nice!”]

This one is somewhat of a catchall, as it can be used to express admiration for just about anything. It’s commonly used, among other applications, to congratulate someone on an accomplishment or a job well done. Note that יופי (yofi) is the nominal (noun) form of the adjective יפה (yafeh), meaning “nice,” which we’ve seen multiple times here.

  • איזה יופי שסיימת את הלימודים עם ציונים כל כך גבוהים!
    Eyzeh yofi she-siyamta et ha-limudim im tziyunim kol kakh g’vohim!
    “Way to go graduating with such high marks!”
  • איזה יופי שקידמו אותך למנהלת!
    Eyzeh yofi she-kidmu otakh le-menahelet!
    “That’s great that you were promoted to manager!”

יפה אָמַרְתָּ/אָמַרְתְּ! .6

Yafeh amarta/amart!
“Well put!” / “Well said!”

This compliment refers not to what someone has done, but rather to what they have said. Specifically, we use this when we wish to compliment someone on how he or she has expressed himself or herself. On that note, make sure to use the right verb conjugation based on the gender of the person you’re speaking to.

    יפה אמרת! אני חושב בדיוק כמוך. Yafeh amarta! Ani khoshev bidiyuk kamokha.
    “Well said! My thoughts exactly.”

דִּבַּרְתָּ/דִּבַּרְתְּ יפה! .7

Dibarta/dibart yafeh!
“Nicely put/said!”

This compliment is an alternative to the one above. Again, we’re complimenting someone on something well said rather than well done. Note that here, too, we need to use the right verb form (masculine or feminine), depending on the speaker.

  • דברת יפה שם בישיבה! אני חושב ששכנעת את כל מועצת המנהלים.
    Dibart yafeh sham ba-yeshivah! Ani khoshev she-shikhnat et kol moetzet-ha-menahalim.
    “Nicely said there in the meeting! I think you convinced the entire board of directors.”

3. Complimenting Someone’s Skills or Abilities

Rabbit in Hat

The final category of common Hebrew compliments we’re going to look at is that of phrases for complimenting someone’s skills or abilities. This is quite a broad category, but we’ll practice some of the more frequently used compliments of this sort.

איזה מוכשר/מוכשרת אתה/את! .1

Eyzeh mukhshar/mukhsheret atah/at!
“How talented you are!”

This compliment is fairly self-explanatory, and can be used to compliment someone’s skills in just about any realm. As in many of our phrases, be sure to use the proper gender for both the adjective and the pronoun.

  • איזה מוכשרת את! אני בחיים לא היית זוכה בפרס לאמנות.
    Eyzeh mukhsheret at! Ani ba-khayim lo hayiti zokhah le-pras be-omanut.
    “How talented you are! For the life of me, I would never win a prize for art.”

אתה/את פשוט גאון/גאונה! .2

Atah/at pashut ga’on/ge’onah!
“You are simply a genius!”

This one is obviously quite emphatic, but we do use it often in Hebrew. You can use this compliment whenever you’re impressed with someone’s abilities in any field.

  • אתה פשוט גאון! איך פתרת את החידה הכל כך קשה ההיא?
    Atah pashut ga’on! Eykh patarta et ha-khidah ha-kol kakh kashah ha-hi?
    “You are simply a genius! How did you solve that really hard riddle?”

אין עָלֶיךָ/עָלַיִךְ! .3

Eyn alekha/alayikh!
“You’re incomparable!” [Literally: “There’s no one above you!”]

This is another hyperbole, but sometimes it’s certainly merited. You can use this to compliment someone on any characteristic, including when they’ve demonstrated a great skill or ability.

  • אין עליך! שוב ניצחת אותי בשחמט בעשרה מהלכים בלבד!
    Eyn alekha! shuv nitzakhta oti be-shakhmat be-asarah mahalakhim bilvad!
    “You’re incomparable! You beat me in chess again in only ten moves!”

יש לְךָ/לָךְ גישה חיובית! .4

Yesh lekha/lakh gishah khiyuvit!
“You have a positive approach!”

יש לְךָ/לָךְ את מגע הזהב. .5

Yesh lekha/lakh et maga’ ha-zahav.
“You have the Midas touch.”

אתה/את איש/אשת אשכולות. .6

Ata/at ish/eshet eshkolot.
“You’re a jack-of-all-trades.”

אתה/את מקצוען/מקצוענית. .7

Ata/at miktzo’an/miktzo’anit.
“You’re a pro.”

4. How to Make Your Compliments Sound More Sincere

Smiling Man

As in any other language or culture, for compliments in Hebrew to be effective, it’s important to deliver them with sincerity. Keep in mind that, by and large, Israelis are fairly keen readers of intonation and body language, as these are both used extensively in moderating the character of interpersonal communication in Israeli society. So, here are a few tips to help make your compliments sound more sincere in Hebrew.

1. Make eye contact when giving a compliment, but don’t stare the other person down. This one is self-explanatory.

2. Don’t exaggerate your compliments. Honesty is the best way to sound sincere, so it’s always wise to pick an appropriate compliment rather than to heap on the praise where you don’t actually feel it’s deserved. Israelis are good at picking up on false flattery.

3. Don’t assume anything. This goes hand-in-hand with the previous tip. Compliment based on what you know or perceive, rather than doing guesswork.

4. It’s generally good practice to be specific in your compliment. This is a good way to show the recipient that you’re paying attention to him or her specifically, rather than just looking for brownie points.

5. Be prepared to back your compliment up with an example or details. Israelis may sometimes surprise you with a cross-examination of your compliment. Again, be sure it’s based in reality so that you can support it if asked why you complimented the person the way you did.

5. What to Expect After Giving Compliments

Shaking Hands Across Table

While the exchange of compliments isn’t radically different between Hebrew- and English-speaking cultures, there are some things to keep in mind in terms of your expectations when giving an Israeli a compliment. Knowing what to expect can help you make better judgements about when (and when not) to give compliments, and to whom. Further, you’ll know which compliments to give (or not give). Here are a few key points on what to expect after giving Hebrew compliments:

1. Don’t expect much more than a thank you. While Israelis may receive your compliment warmly, they’re just as likely to accept it with a mere thanks. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they didn’t appreciate your compliment.

2. In light of the same, commit to your compliment without expecting to be thanked gushingly or complimented in return. You very well may not get either of these. In cases like this, don’t repeat the compliment, fishing for a more effusive response.

3. You may, in fact, simply be ignored when giving a compliment, but don’t take it too hard. Just keep the conversation moving along, rather than dwelling on the silence or waiting for a response that isn’t going to come. You obviously want to avoid awkward silences.

4. Some Israelis might be surprisingly affirmative of a compliment, without demonstrating much humility. For instance, they might respond to a compliment by saying they know it to be true.

5. It’s best not to exaggerate or repeat your compliment, which may lead to incredulity on the part of the recipient. Say what you wish to say and leave it at that. This will lend you more credibility and will be more appreciated than long-windedness.

Positive Feelings

6. HebrewPod101 Compliments You on Your Learning!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson on Hebrew compliments, and that you feel like you’ve expanded your language toolkit with these handy phrases and expressions. Flattery may not get you everywhere, but it can often go a long way toward establishing a positive tone with another person. After all, who doesn’t enjoy being complimented, especially when the flattery is sincere?

From our end, we genuinely commend your continued efforts to learn with us here at HebrewPod101.com. You are doing a great job! Keep up the good work!

And, as always, feel free to get in touch with us and let us know if you need clarification or further examples, or if there’s something you feel we failed to mention in this lesson.

Shalom!

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Heated Hebrew – How to Express Anger in Hebrew

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Did you know that the word for a native Israeli is צבר (tzabar), often referred to as Sabra in English? This is a term which refers to the prickly pear, the fruit of a desert cactus. This is because, much like this same fruit, Israelis are known for being prickly on the outside and sweet on the inside.

In other words, while we’re quite rough around the edges, we have hearts of gold! One of the main ways this prickliness or roughness takes expression in our culture is in the piquant language we use to express anger in Hebrew.

Indeed, Israelis are well-known for having short—and even explosive—tempers when rubbed the wrong way. And the truth is that the Middle East in general is a place where arguments are vocal and colorful affairs. You’ll often see or overhear such arguments out in the street, and at a pitch that projects around the corner and up the street. Therefore, it’s no surprise that there should be such a rich lexicon of words and phrases to express anger, frustration, derision, and disdain.

In light of all this, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with the proper linguistic defenses should you find yourself being cut off in traffic, getting ripped off in the marketplace, or being shoved or elbowed as you try to board the bus. Not only can these words and phrases make it clear you mean business and are no easy prey (which tourists are often seen as in Israel, as elsewhere in the world), but they provide a colorful way to spice up your Hebrew and have some fun along the way!

In this article, you’ll learn how to let others know that you’re angry in Hebrew—and how to hold your own in a heated argument. Let’s get started.

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Table of Contents

  1. Angry Imperatives
  2. Angry Warnings
  3. Rhetorical Questions to Express Anger
  4. Expressions to Describe Anger
  5. Bonus: The Top Five Ways to Make an Israeli Angry
  6. Learn Hebrew with HebrewPod101, No Anger Necessary

1. Angry Imperatives

Complaints

As you probably already know, Hebrew is an extremely economical and direct language. And there’s nothing more economical and direct than Hebrew imperatives, which are generally just one or two syllables. This makes them perfect for expressing anger, and indeed, there’s no small number of situations where we use them for this purpose. Let’s have a look at some of the most common examples. But first, remember to conjugate your verbs depending on whom you’re speaking to.

  • סתום
    Stom
    “Shut up.”

Be careful using this one, as these can definitely be considered fighting words. Just like in English, you wouldn’t tell just anyone to shut up; you want to be cautious when and with whom you use this phrase. Here’s an example of when you might use it, in this case with a less than scrupulous taxi driver:

    סתום! כבר אמרתי לך שאני לא משלם אפילו שקל יותר ממה שמוצג במונה.
    Stom! Kvar amarti lekha she-ani lo meshalem afilu shekel yoter mi-mah she-mutzah ba-moneh.
    Shut up! I already told you that I’m not paying a shekel more than what the meter is showing.”

We can also intensify this imperative as follows:

  • סתום את הפה
    Stom et ha-peh
    “Shut your trap.”

סתום את הפה! אני לא רוצה לשמוע ממך אף מילה נוספת!
Stom et ha-peh! Ani lo rotzeh lishmo’a mimkha af milah nosefet!
Shut your trap! I don’t want to hear one more word out of you!”

  • עצור
    Atzor
    “Stop.”

    עצור מיד! אם תיגע שוב בתיק שלי, אתה תצטער על זה!
    Atzor miyad! Im tiga shuv batik sheli, atah titzta’er al zeh.
    Stop immediately! If you touch my bag again, you’ll be sorry.”

  • עזוב
    Azov
    “Let it go.” / “Leave it be.”

    עזוב כבר! אני לא רוצה לשמוע יותר על מה שאתה מוכר.
    Azov kvar! Ani lo rotzeh lishmoa yoter al mah she-atah mokher.
    Let it go already! I don’t want to hear anything more about what you’re selling.”

Note the following variation:

  • עזוב אותי בשקט
    Azov oti be-sheket.
    “Leave me in peace.” / “Leave me alone.”

    עזוב אותי בשקט! אתה ממש מטריד אותי.
    Azov oti be-sheket! Atah mamash matrid oti.
    Leave me alone! You’re really bothering me.”

When you’re very angry in Hebrew, there’s a number of ways you can tell someone to get lost. Let’s take a look at the most common ones:

  • עוף לי מהעיניים
    Uf li me-ha-eynayim
    “Get out of my face.” (literally: “Fly away from my eyes.” )

    עוף לי מהעיניים! ואני לא רוצה לראות אותך שוב.
    Uf li me-ha-eynayim! Ve-ani lo rotzeh lir’ot otkha shuv.
    Get out of my face! And I don’t ever want to see you again.”

  • טוס מכאן
    Tus mikan
    “Get away from me.” (literally: “Fly away,” as in what a plane does)

    טוס מכאן לפני שאני מזעיק משטרה!
    Tus mikan lifney sheani mazik mishtarah!
    Get away from me before I call the police!”

  • סע
    Sa
    “Take off.” (specifically when the person we’re talking to is driving a vehicle)

    סע כבר! אתה תוקע את כל התנועה.
    Sa kvar! Atah toke’a et kol ha-tnuah.
    Take off already! You’re blocking all the traffic.”

2. Angry Warnings

Hebrew is definitely a great language for warning people in! This is true whether we’re talking about a health advisory or warning someone not to get in your face. Of course, in this lesson, we’re interested in the latter. So let’s have a look at some of the most common ways to warn someone to back off.

  • לא כדאי לך להתעסק איתי
    Lo keday lekha lehit’asek iti
    “You’d better not mess with me.”

    לא כדאי לך להתעסק איתי. אני יודע ג׳ו ג׳יטסו.
    Lo keday lekha lehit’asek iti. Ani yodea ju jitsu.
    You’d better not mess with me. I know jujitsu.”

  • אל תנסה אותי
    Al tenaseh oti
    “Don’t try me.”

    אל תנסה אותי. אני לא ממש נחמד כשאני כועס.
    Al tenaseh oti. Ani lo mamash nekhmad ke-she-ani koes.
    Don’t try me. I’m not very pleasant when I get angry.”

  • אני לא אגיד את זה שוב
    Ani lo agid et zeh shuv
    “I’m not going to repeat myself.”

    תוריד ממני את היד! אני לא אגיד את זה שוב.
    Torid mimeni et ha-yad! Ani lo agid et zeh shuv.
    “Get your hands off me! I’m not going to repeat myself.

  • אני מזהיר אותך
    Ani mazhir otkha
    “I’m warning you.”

    אני מזהיר אותך, תחזיר לי את מה שלקחת.
    Ani mazhir otkha, takhzir et mah she-lakakhta.
    I’m warning you, give back what you took.”

3. Rhetorical Questions to Express Anger

Negative Verbs

Another common way to express that you’re angry in Hebrew, apart from imperatives and warnings, is through rhetorical questions. Obviously, you need to make sure to use the correct intonation, just as you would in English, to make it clear you’re using these rhetorically. Here are some choice examples of rhetorical questions to express anger in Hebrew.

  • מה חשבת לעצמך?
    Mah khashavta le-atzmekha?
    “What were you thinking?”

    מה חשבת לעצמך? אתה חוסם לי את החנייה!
    Mah khashavta le-atzmekha? Atah khosem li et ha-khanayah!
    What were you thinking? You’re blocking my driveway!”

  • מה נראה לך?
    Mah nir’eh lekha?
    “What does it look like to you?”

    מה נראה לך, שכל הכביש זה רכוש פרטי שלך?
    Mah nir’eh lekha, shekol ha-kvish zeh rekhush prati shelkha?
    What does it look like to you, that the entire street is your private property?”

  • מי אתה חושב שאתה?
    Mi atah khoshev she-atah?
    “Who do you think you are?”

    מי אתה חושב שאתה שתאמר לי מה לעשות, ראש הממשלה?
    Mi atah khoshev she-atah she-tomar li mah la’asot, rosh hamemshalah?
    Who do you think you are telling me what to do, the Prime Minister?”

  • השתגעת?
    Hishtagata?
    “Have you lost your mind?”

    תגיד לי, השתגעת? 100 שקל? זה לא שווה אפילו 20.
    Tagid li, histagata? Me’ah shekel? Zeh lo shaveh afilu esrim.
    “Tell me, have you lost your mind? 100 shekels? That’s not even worth 20.”

  • מה, אתה דפוק?
    Mah, atah dafuk?
    “What, are you nuts?”

    מה, אתה דפוק? עברת באור אדום!
    Mah, atah dafuk? Avarta be-or adom!
    What, are you nuts? You just ran through a red light!”

*Note that this last expression, though we often use it jokingly or half-seriously among friends, can be highly offensive if used with a stranger. So be careful whom you say this to!

4. Expressions to Describe Anger

Woman Making Angry Gesture at Man

Lastly, let’s take a look at what might certainly be considered a healthier alternative to venting your anger in Hebrew through direct imperatives, bold warnings, or provocative rhetorical questions. Let’s learn about expressing how you feel. In this case, following our theme, we’re talking about feelings of anger, frustration, and disappointment. Below are some ways we can tell another person how we’re feeling without necessarily letting our emotions get the best of us.

  • אני כועס (מאוד)
    Ani koes (meod).
    “I’m (very) angry.”

    אני כועס מאוד בגלל מה שאמרת לי אתמול.
    Ani koes meod biglal mah she-amarta l etmoli.
    I’m very angry over what you said to me yesterday.”

  • נמאס לי
    Nim’as li
    “I’m sick of…”

    נמאס לי כבר מהשטויות שלך!
    Nim’as li kvar me-ha-shtuyot shelkha!”
    I’m sick of your antics!”

  • אני לא סובל…
    Ani lo sovel
    “I can’t stand…”

    אני לא סובל את הרעש הזה! הנמיכו כבר את הקולות שלכם!
    Ani lo sovel et ha-raash hazeh! Hanmikhu kvar et ha-kolot she-lakhem!
    I can’t stand that noise! Lower your voices already!”

  • אני ממש מאוכזב
    Ani mamash meukhzav
    “I’m truly disappointed.”

    אני ממש מאוכז מהארוחה הזאת. אמרו שזו דווקא מסעדה טובה.
    Ani mamash meukhzav me-ha-arukhah hazot. Amru li she-zu davka mis’adah tovah.
    I’m truly disappointed with this meal. I had been told this was a good restaurant.”

  • אין לי כוח
    Eyn li koakh
    “I can’t deal with…”

    אין לי כוח ליום ראשון. כל כך קשה לחזור לעבודה.
    Eyn li koakh le-yom rishon. Kol kakh kasheh lakhzor la-avodah.
    I can’t deal with Sunday. It’s hard to go back to work.”

5. Bonus: The Top Five Ways to Make an Israeli Angry

Just for fun, while we’re on the subject of anger, let’s take a look at the top five ways to really get an Israeli heated. Mind you, this really is just for fun; we don’t recommend trying these out on your next trip to Tel Aviv. Remember that Israeli is a high-tension society, so always be careful about taking a joke too far! Without further ado, here are the top five ways to make an Israeli angry:

1. Driving a vehicle on Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. It’s customary in Israel for the streets to be nearly empty of traffic out of respect for the tradition, even though many (if not most) Israelis are not particularly religious. Therefore, you don’t want to be the only one on the road on this day.

However, feel free to hop on a bike or slap on a pair of rollerblades and take to the streets. This is a common phenomenon to see in Israel on Yom Kippur, as Israelis take advantage of the lack of traffic to do some relaxing R&R.

2. Ignoring the commemoration sirens

PA Sirens

Twice a year, on Holocaust Memorial Day and on the Day of Commemoration for Fallen Heroes and Terror Victims, there is a minute-long siren that’s sounded throughout Israel. For this minute, people stand still and in silence out of respect for the memories of those people. All traffic pulls to a halt and people exit their vehicles to stand and commemorate the dead. Out of respect, do not violate this moment or you could find yourself the victim of some serious anger from the Israelis around you.

3. Asking for ketchup on your falafel or shawarma

Ketchup

This is a surefire way to get the chef heated at you—and remember, he’s standing over boiling oil already! Falafel and shawarma are eaten with tahini, amba (a mango sauce), and spicy sauce. Ketchup in Israel is for fries!

4. Eating pita and hummus with a fork and knife

If you want to keep from irking the Israelis around you, note the correct way to eat these classic Israeli dishes. You rip a small piece of pita bread and use it to scoop up a bit of hummus, and then put it right in your mouth. No utensils are necessary. This is part of the communal table etiquette in Israel, so go ahead and use your hands!

5. Joking about security matters

Security Guard

Remember that Israel is in a constant state of existential war. We’ve been through multiple wars, even more smaller-scale operations, and are under threat of terrorist attack daily. Therefore, we don’t generally take kindly to jokes about bombs, attacks, and so on.

You’ll notice, as well, a high presence of military and police personnel wherever you go in Israel. You’ll also be subject to security checks when entering most public places. This is just part of normal life for us. Don’t take it personally or get stressed about it. Just let the security officers do their jobs and keep us all safe. After all, Israeli security forces are the best in the world!

6. Learn Hebrew with HebrewPod101, No Anger Necessary

Now that we’ve looked at a bunch of ways to express anger and frustration in Hebrew, remember that learning Hebrew is nothing to get upset over! While it’s pretty fun to practice these phrases, imagining how we’ll defend ourselves against aggressive drivers and predatory marketplace vendors, learning a language should always be a positive experience.

Take advantage of HebrewPod101’s wealth of lessons and materials to practice at your own pace. And if there’s something you need more help with, feel free to get in touch and let us know!

In the meantime, drop us a comment and let us know which of these angry phrases is your favorite! Are there any angry phrases we didn’t cover that you want to know? Are you ready to be angry in Hebrew? We look forward to hearing from you.

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Essential Vocabulary for Life Events in Hebrew

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What is the most defining moment you will face this year? From memories that you immortalize in a million photographs, to days you never wish to remember, one thing’s for certain: big life events change you. The great poet, Bukowski, said, “We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well, that death will tremble to take us.” The older I get, the more I agree with him!

Talking about significant events in our lives is part of every person’s journey, regardless of creed or culture. If you’re planning to stay in Israel for more than a quick visit, you’re sure to need at least a few ‘life events’ phrases that you can use. After all, many of these are shared experiences, and it’s generally expected that we will show up with good manners and warm wishes.

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Table of Contents

  1. Life Events
  2. Marriage Proposal Lines
  3. Talking About Age
  4. Conclusion

1. Life Events

Do you know how to say “Happy New Year” in Hebrew? Well, the New Year is a pretty big deal that the whole world is in on! We celebrate until midnight, make mindful resolutions, and fill the night sky with the same happy words in hundreds of languages. No doubt, then, that you’ll want to know how to say it like a local!

Big life events are not all about fun times, though. Real life happens even when you’re traveling, and certain terminology will be very helpful to know. From talking about your new job to wishing your neighbors “Merry Christmas” in Hebrew, here at HebrewPod101, we’ve put together just the right vocabulary and phrases for you.

1- Birthday – יום הולדת (yom huledet)

If you’re like me, any excuse to bring out a pen and scribble a note is a good one. When there’s a birthday, even better: hello, handwriting!

Your Israeli friend will love hearing you wish them a “Happy birthday” in Hebrew, but how much more will they appreciate a thoughtful written message? Whether you write it on their Facebook wall or buy a cute card, your effort in Hebrew is sure to get them smiling! Write it like this:

ברכות ליום הולדתך (berakhot leyom huladetkha)

Older Woman Blowing Out Candles on a Birthday Cake Surrounded by Friends.

Now that you know the words, I challenge you to put them to music and sing your own “Happy birthday” song in Hebrew! It’s not impossible to figure out even more lyrics, once you start discovering the language from scratch.

2- Buy – קנה (kanah)

If there’s a special occasion, you might want to buy somebody a gift. As long as you’ve checked out Hebrew etiquette on gift-giving (do a Google search for this!), it will be a lovely gesture. If you’re not sure what to buy, how about the awesome and universally-appealing gift of language? That’s a gift that won’t stop giving!

Two Women at a Counter in a Bookstore, One Buying a Book

3- Retire – לפרוש (lif’rosh)

If you’re planning to expand your mind and retire in Israel, you can use this word to tell people why you seem to be on a perpetual vacation!

Retirement is also a great time to learn a new language, don’t you think? And you don’t have to do it alone! These days it’s possible to connect to a vibrant learning community at the click of a button. The added benefit of a Daily Dose of Language is that it keeps your brain cells alive and curious about the world. After all, it’s never too late to realize those long-ignored dreams of traveling the globe…

4- Graduation – סיום (siyum)

When attending a graduation ceremony in Israel, be prepared for a lot of formal language! It will be a great opportunity to listen carefully and see if you can pick up differences from the everyday Hebrew you hear.

Lecturer or University Dean Congratulating and Handing Over Graduation Certificate to a Young Man on Graduation Day.

5- Promotion – קידום (kidum)

Next to vacation time, receiving a promotion is the one career highlight almost everyone looks forward to. And why wouldn’t you? Sure, it means more responsibility, but it also means more money and benefits and – the part I love most – a change of scenery! Even something as simple as looking out a new office window would boost my mood.

6- Anniversary – יום השנה (yom hashana)

Some anniversaries we anticipate with excitement, others with apprehension. They are days marking significant events in our lives that can be shared with just one person, or with a whole nation. Whether it’s a special day for you and a loved one, or for someone else you know, this word is crucial to know if you want to wish them a happy anniversary in Hebrew.

7- Funeral – הלוויה (halvaya)

We tend to be uncomfortable talking about funerals in the west, but it’s an important conversation for families to have. Around the world, there are many different customs and rituals for saying goodbye to deceased loved ones – some vastly different to our own. When traveling in Israel, if you happen to find yourself the unwitting observer of a funeral, take a quiet moment to appreciate the cultural ethos; even this can be an enriching experience for you.

8- Travel – לטייל (letayel)

Travel – my favorite thing to do! Everything about the experience is thrilling and the best cure for boredom, depression, and uncertainty about your future. You will surely be forever changed, fellow traveler! But you already know this, don’t you? Well, now that you’re on the road to total Hebrew immersion, I hope you’ve downloaded our IOS apps and have your Nook Book handy to keep yourself entertained on those long bus rides.

Young Female Tourist with a Backpack Taking a Photo of the Arc de Triomphe

9- Graduate – לסיים (lesayem)

If you have yet to graduate from university, will you be job-hunting in Israel afterward? Forward-looking companies sometimes recruit talented students who are still in their final year. Of course, you could also do your final year abroad as an international student – an amazing experience if you’d love to be intellectually challenged and make a rainbow of foreign friends!

10- Wedding – חתונה (kha’tuna)

One of the most-loved traditions that humans have thought up, which you’ll encounter anywhere in the world, is a wedding. With all that romance in the air and months spent on preparations, a wedding is typically a feel-good affair. Two people pledge their eternal love to each other, ladies cry, single men look around for potential partners, and everybody has a happy day of merrymaking.

Ah, but how diverse we are in our expression of love! You will find more wedding traditions around the world than you can possibly imagine. From reciting love quotes to marrying a tree, the options leave no excuse to be boring!

Married Couple During Reception, Sitting at Their Table While a Young Man Gives a Wedding Speech

11- Move – עבר (avar)

I love Israel, but I’m a nomad and tend to move around a lot, even within one country. What are the biggest emotions you typically feel when moving house? The experts say moving is a highly stressful event, but I think that depends on the circumstances. Transitional periods in our lives are physically and mentally demanding, but changing your environment is also an exciting adventure that promises new tomorrows!

12- Be born – נולד (nolad)

I was not born in 1993, nor was I born in Asia. I was born in the same year as Aishwarya Rai, Akon, and Monica Lewinsky, and on the same continent as Freddy Mercury. When and where were you born? More importantly – can you say it in Hebrew?

13- Get a job – למצוא עבודה (lim’tso avoda)

The thought of looking for a job in a new country can be daunting, but English speakers are in great demand in Israel – you just have to do some research, make a few friends and get out there! Also, arming yourself with a few Hebrew introductions that you can both say and write will give you a confidence boost. For example, can you write your name in Hebrew?

Group of People in Gear that Represent a Number of Occupations.

14- Die – למות (lamut)

Death is a universal experience and the final curtain on all other life events. How important is it, then, to fully live before we die? If all you have is a passport, a bucket list, and a willingness to learn some lingo, you can manifest those dreams!

15- Home – בית (bayit)

If home is where the heart is, then my home is on a jungle island completely surrounded by the turquoise ocean. Right now, though, home is an isolation room with a view of half a dry palm tree and a tangle of telephone wires.

If you’re traveling to Israel for an extended stay, you’ll soon be moving into a new home quite unlike anything you’ve experienced before!

Large, Double-Story House with Lit Windows.

16- Job – עבודה (avoda)

What job do you do? Does it allow you much time for travel, or for working on this fascinating language that has (so rightfully) grabbed your attention? Whatever your job, you are no doubt contributing to society in a unique way. If you’re doing what you love, you’re already on the road to your dream. If not, just remember that every single task is one more skill to add to your arsenal. With that attitude, your dream job is coming!

17- Birth – לידה (leida)

Random question: do you know the birth rate of Israel?

If you’re lucky enough to be invited to see a friend’s baby just after they are born, you’ll have all my respect and all my envy. There is nothing cuter! Depending on which part of the country you’re in, you may find yourself bearing witness to some pretty unexpected birth customs. Enjoy this privilege!

Crying Newborn Baby Held By a Doctor or Nurse in a Hospital Theatre

18- Engaged – התארס (hit’ares)

EE Cummings said, “Lovers alone wear sunlight,” and I think that’s most true at the moment she says “yes.” Getting engaged is something young girls dream of with stars in their eyes, and it truly is a magical experience – from the proposal, to wearing an engagement ring, to the big reveal!

In the world of Instagram, there’s no end to the antics as imaginative couples try more and more outrageous ways to share their engagement with the world. I love an airport flashmob, myself, but I’d rather be proposed to on a secluded beach – salt, sand, and all!

Engagement customs around the world vary greatly, and Israel is no exception when it comes to interesting traditions. Learning their unique romantic ways will inspire you for when your turn comes.

Speaking of romance, do you know how to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” in Hebrew?

19- Marry – התחתן (hit’khaten)

The one you marry will be the gem on a shore full of pebbles. They will be the one who truly mirrors your affection, shares your visions for the future, and wants all of you – the good, the bad and the inexplicable.

From thinking up a one-of-a-kind wedding, to having children, to growing old together, finding a twin flame to share life with is quite an accomplishment! Speaking of which…

2. Marriage Proposal Lines

Marriage Proposal Lines

Ah, that heart-stopping moment when your true love gets down on one knee to ask for your hand in marriage, breathlessly hoping that you’ll say “Yes!” If you haven’t experienced that – well, it feels pretty darn good, is all I can say! If you’re the one doing the asking, though, you’ve probably had weeks of insomnia agonizing over the perfect time, location and words to use.

Man on His Knee Proposing to a Woman on a Bridge.

How much more care should be taken if your love is from a different culture to yours? Well, by now you know her so well, that most of it should be easy to figure out. As long as you’ve considered her personal commitment to tradition, all you really need is a few words from the heart. Are you brave enough to say them in Hebrew?

3. Talking About Age

Talking about Age

Part of the wonder of learning a new language is having the ability to strike up simple conversations with strangers. Asking about age in this context feels natural, as your intention is to practice friendly phrases – just be mindful of their point of view!

When I was 22, I loved being asked my age. Nowadays, if someone asks, I say, “Well, I’ve just started my fifth cat life.” Let them ponder that for a while.

In Israel, it’s generally not desirable to ask an older woman her age for no good reason, but chatting about age with your peers is perfectly normal. Besides, you have to mention your birthday if you want to be thrown a birthday party!

4. Conclusion

Well, there you have it! With so many great new Hebrew phrases to wish people with, can you think of someone who has a big event coming up? If you want to get even more creative, HebrewPod101 has much to inspire you with – come and check it out! Here’s just some of what we have on offer at HebrewPod101:

  • Free Resources: Sharing is caring, and for this reason, we share many free resources with our students. For instance, start learning Hebrew with our basic online course by creating a lifetime account – for free! Also get free daily and iTunes lessons, free eBooks, free mobile apps, and free access to our blog and online community. Or how about free Vocabulary Lists? The Hebrew dictionary is for exclusive use by our students, also for free. There’s so much to love about HebrewPod101…!
  • Innovative Learning Tools and Apps: We make it our priority to offer you the best learning tools! These include apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Mac OSX; eBooks for Kindle, Nook, and iPad; audiobooks; Roku TV and so many more. This means that we took diverse lifestyles into account when we developed our courses, so you can learn anywhere, anytime on a device of your choice. How innovative!
  • Live Hosts and One-on-One Learning: Knowledgeable, energetic hosts present recorded video lessons, and are available for live teaching experiences if you upgrade. This means that in the videos, you get to watch them pronounce those tongue-twisters, as if you’re learning live! Add octane to your learning by upgrading to Premium Plus, and learn two times faster. You can have your very own Hebrew teacher always with you, ensuring that you learn what you need, when you need to – what a wonderful opportunity to master a new language in record time!
  • Start Where You Are: You don’t know a single Hebrew word? Not to worry, we’ve absolutely got this. Simply enroll in our Absolute Beginner Pathway and start speaking from Lesson 1! As your learning progresses, you can enroll in other pathways to match your Hebrew level, at your own pace, in your own time, in your own place!

Learning a new language can only enrich your life, and could even open doors towards great opportunities! So don’t wonder if you’ll regret enrolling in HebrewPod101. It’s the most fun, easy way to learn Hebrew.

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Talk About the Weather in Hebrew Like a Native

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Did you know that every minute of the day, one billion tons of rain falls on the earth? Hard to believe, considering the climate crisis! Of course, all that rain is not equally shared across the planet.

So, would you mention this fascinating fact to your new Israeli acquaintance? Well, small talk about local weather is actually a great conversation-starter. Everyone cares about the weather and you’re sure to hear a few interesting opinions! Seasons can be quite unpredictable these days and nobody knows the peculiarities of a region better than the locals.

HebrewPod101 will equip you with all the weather vocabulary you need to plan your next adventure. The weather can even be an important discussion that influences your adventure plans. After all, you wouldn’t want to get caught on an inflatable boat with a two-horsepower motor in Hurricane Horrendous!

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Table of Contents

  1. Talking about the weather in Israel
  2. Words for the first day of spring
  3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?
  4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary
  5. Winter
  6. HebrewPod101 can prepare you for any season.

1. Talking about the weather in Israel

Talking About Weather

If you’re like me, your day’s activity plan is likely to begin with a strong local coffee and a chat about what the sky is doing. After all, being prepared could be the difference between an amazing day and a miserable one! Luckily, it’s not difficult to comment on Israeli weather – just start with these simple words and phrases.

1- Rain – גשם (geshem)

Watercolor artists, take out your paints! You might not be able to venture out on foot today, but just embrace the rain as part of your Israeli experience. When the rain stops, the air will be clean and colours vibrant.

2- The snow has covered everything – השלג כיסה את הכל (Ha’sheleg kisa et ha-kol).

A fresh blanket of snow is irresistibly beautiful. Pull on your boots and beanie, and leave your tracks in this foreign landscape. Don’t resist the urge to build a snowman – you need this!

3- Fluffy cloud – ענן צמרירי (anan tsam’riri)

When you’re waiting for a warm beach day, fluffy white clouds in a blue sky are a good sign. Don’t forget your sunscreen, as clouds will intensify the UV rays hitting your skin.

Fluffy White Cloud in Clear Blue Sky

4- The water froze on the glass – המים קפאו על הזכוכית (Ha-mayim kaf-u al ha-z’khukhit).

Night temperatures can get chilly and might freeze the condensation on your windows. A good way to clear them up is with warm salt water.

5- The heavy rain could cause flash flooding – הגשם הכבד הזה יכול לגרום לשטפונות (Ha-geshem ha-kaved ha-ze yakhol lig’rom le-shit’fonot).

If you’re visiting Israel in the wet season, it’s important to stay informed when heavy rain sets in, so keep an eye on the weather radar. Avoid river activities and rather spend this time making a home-cooked meal and brushing up on your Hebrew weather words.

Heavy Rain in a Park

6- Flood – הצפה (hatzafah)

If you do get caught in a flood, your destination should no longer be ‘home’, but the nearest high ground.

7- The typhoon has hit – הטייפון היכה (Ha’tayfun hika.)

Not all countries experience typhoons, but you need to know when to prepare for one! It will be very scary if you’ve never experienced one before. Your local neighbours are the best people to advise you on where to take shelter, as they’ve been doing it for generations. Be sure to get the low-down at the first sign of rough weather!

8- Check the weather report before going sailing – בדוק את תחזית מזג האוויר לפני הליכה לשיט (B’dok et takhazit mezeg ha-avir lif’nei halikha le-sha’it).

When planning an outdoor activity, especially on a body of water, always be prepared for a change in the weather. Ask your hotel receptionist or neighbour where you can get a reliable daily weather report, and don’t forget your sweater!

Two Men on Sailboat

9- Today’s weather is sunny with occasional clouds – המזג אוויר היום הוא שמשי עם עננים מזדמנים
(Ha-mezeg avir hayom hu shim’shi im ananim miz’dam’nim).

Sunny weather is the dream when traveling in Israel! Wake up early, pack the hats and sunblock and go and experience the terrain, sights and beautiful spots. You’ll be rewarded with happy vibes all around.

10- A rainy day – יום גשום (yom gashum)

Remember when you said you’d save the Hebrew podcasts for a rainy day? Now’s that day!

11- Scenic rainbow – נוף קשת בענן (nof keshet be-anan)

The best part about the rain is that you can look forward to your first rainbow in Israel. There’s magic in that!

12- Flashes of lightning can be beautiful, but are very dangerous – הבזקי ברק יכולים להיות יפיפיים, אך הם מסוכנים ביותר (Hevzekey barak yekholim lihiyot yefeifi’im, akh hem mesukanim beyoter).

Lightning is one of the most fascinating weather phenomena you can witness without really being in danger – at least if you’re sensible and stay indoors! Did you know that lightning strikes the earth 40-50 times per second? Fortunately, not all countries experience heavy electric storms!

Electric Storm

13- 25 degrees Celsius – עשרים וחמש מעלות צלזיוס (esrim ve’kha’mesh ma’a’lot tselzius)

Asking a local what the outside temperature will be is another useful question for planning your day. It’s easy if you know the Hebrew term for ‘degrees Celsius’.

14- Fahrenheit – פרנהייט (farenhait)

Although the Fahrenheit system has been replaced by Celsius in almost all countries, it’s still used in the US and a few other places. Learn this phrase in Hebrew in case one of your companions develops a raging fever.

15- Today the sky is clear – בהיר (bahir)

Clear skies mean you’ll probably want to get the camera out and capture some nature shots – not to mention the great sunsets you’ll have later on. Twilight can lend an especially magical quality to a landscape on a clear sky day, when the light is not filtered through clouds.

Hikers on Mountain with Clear Sky

16- Light drizzle – טפטוף קל (tiftuf kal)

Days when it’s drizzling are perfect for taking in the cultural offerings of Israel. You could go to the mall and watch a Israeli film, visit museums and art galleries, explore indoor markets or even find the nearest climbing wall. Bring an umbrella!

17- Temperature – טמפרטורה (temperatura)

Because of the coronavirus, many airports are conducting temperature screening on passengers. Don’t worry though – it’s just a precaution. Your temperature might be taken with a no-touch thermometer, which measures infrared energy coming off the body.

18- Humid – לח (lach)

I love humid days, but then I’m also a water baby and I think the two go
together like summer and rain. Find a pool or a stream to cool off in – preferably in the shade!

Humidity in Tropical Forest

19- With low humidity the air feels dry – כאשר הלחות נמוכה, יש תחושה של יובש באוויר (Ka’asher ha’lakhut nemukha, yesh tkhusha shel yovesh ba-avir).

These are the best days to go walking the hills and vales. Just take at least one Israeli friend with you so you don’t get lost!

20- The wind is really strong – הרוח מאוד חזקה (haru’akh me’od khazaka).

A strong wind blows away the air pollution and is very healthy in that respect. Just avoid the mountain trails today, unless you fancy being blown across the continent like a hot air balloon.

21- It’s very windy outside – סוער בחוץ (So’er ba-khutz).

Wind! My least favourite weather condition. Of course, if you’re a kitesurfer, a windy day is what you’ve been waiting for!

Leaves and Umbrella in the Wind

22- Wet roads can ice over when the temperature falls below freezing – phrase

The roads will be dangerous in these conditions, so please don’t take chances. The ice will thaw as soon as the sun comes out, so be patient!

23- Today is very muggy – היום מאוד לח וחם (Ha-yom me’od lakh ve-kham).

Muggy days make your skin feel sticky and sap your energy. They’re particular to high humidity. Cold shower, anyone? Ice vest? Whatever it takes to feel relief from the humidity!

24- Fog – ערפל (arafel)

Not a great time to be driving, especially in unknown territory, but keep your fog lights on and drive slowly.

Fog on a Pond with Ducks

25- Hurricane – הוריקן (hurikan)

Your new Israeli friends will know the signs, so grab some food and candles and prepare for a night of staying warm and chatting about wild weather in Israel.

Palm Trees in a Hurricane

26- Big tornado – טורנדו גדול (tor’nado gadol)

If you hear these words, it will probably be obvious already that everyone is preparing for the worst! Definitely do whatever your accommodation hosts tell you to do when a tornado is expected.

27- It’s cloudy today – מעונן היום (Me’unan ha-yom).

While there won’t be any stargazing tonight, the magnificent clouds over Israel will make impressive photographs. Caption them in Hebrew to impress your friends back home!

Cloudy Weather on Beach with Beach Huts

28- Below freezing temperatures – טמפרטורות מתחת לנקודת הקיפאון (tem’peraturor mi-takhat li’nkudat ha-kipa’on)

When the temperature is below freezing, why not take an Uber and go shopping for some gorgeous Israeli winter gear?

Woman with Winter Gear in Freezing Weather

29- Wind chill is how cold it really feels outside – צינת הרוח היא הרגשת הקור האמיתית בחוץ (Tsi’nat ha’ruach hi har’gashat h’kor ha-ami’tit ba’khuts).

Wind doesn’t change the ambient temperature of the air, it just changes your body temperature, so the air will feel colder to you than it actually is. Not all your Israeli friends will know that, though, so learn this Hebrew phrase to sound really smart!

30- Water will freeze when the temperature falls below zero degrees celsius – מים קופאים כאשר הטמפרטורה יורדת מתחת לאפס מעלות צלזיוס.מים קופאים כאשר הטמפרטורה יורדת מתחת לאפס מעלות צלזיוס (Mayim kof’im ka’asher hatem’peratura yoredet mitakhat le’efes ma’a lot tsel’zius).

If you’re near a lake, frozen water is good news! Forgot your ice skates? Don’t despair – find out where you can hire some. Be cautious, though: the ice needs to be at least four inches thick for safe skating. Personally, I just slide around on frozen lakes in my boots!

Thermometer Below Freezing Point

31- Waiting to clear up – מחכה שיתבהר (mekhake she`yitbaher)

Waiting for the weather to clear up so you can go exploring is frustrating, let’s be honest. That’s why you should always travel with two things: a scintillating novel and your Hebrew Nook Book.

32- Avoid the extreme heat – מתחמק מחום כבדמתחמק מחום כבד (mit’khamek me’khom kaved)

Is the heat trying to kill you? Unless you’re a hardened heatwave hero, definitely avoid activity, stay hydrated and drink electrolytes. Loose cotton or linen garb is the way to go!

Hand Holding a Melting Ice Cream

33- Morning frost – צינת בוקר (tsi’nat bo’ker)

Frost is water vapour that has turned to ice crystals and it happens when the earth cools so much in the night, that it gets colder than the air above it. Winter is coming!

34- Rain shower – ממטר גשם (mimtar geshem)

Rain showers are typically brief downpours that drench the earth with a good drink of water.

35- In the evening it will become cloudy and cold – בערב, יהפך להיות מעונן וקר (Ba-erev, ye’hafech lihiyot me’unan ve’kar).

When I hear this on the Hebrew weather channel, I buy a bottle of wine (red, of course) and wood for the fireplace. A cold and cloudy evening needs its comforts!

Snow in the Park at Night

36- Severe thunderstorm – סופת ברקים חמורה (sufat b’rakim kha’murah)

Keep an eye on the Israeli weather maps if it looks like a big storm is coming, so you’ll be well-informed.

37- Ice has formed on the window – קרח נוצר על החלון.קרח נוצר על החלון (Ke’rakh notsar al ha-kha’lon).

You could try this phrase out on the hotel’s helpful cleaning staff, or fix the problem yourself. Just add a scoop or two of salt to a spray bottle of water – that should work!

38- Large hailstones – גושי ברד גדולים (gu’shei ba’rad g’dolim)

As a kid, I found hail crazy exciting. Not so much now – especially if I’m on the road and large hailstones start pummeling my windscreen!

Large Hailstones on a Wooden Floor

39- Rolling thunder – רעם מתגלגל (ra’am mitgal’gel)

The rumble of rolling thunder is that low-volume, ominous background sound that goes on for some time. It’s strangely exciting if you’re safely in your hotel room; it could either suddenly clear up, or escalate to a storm.

40- Sleet – גשם-שלג (geshem-sheleg)

Sleet is tiny hard pieces of ice made from a mixture of rain and melted snow that froze. It can be messy, but doesn’t cause major damage the way hail does. Pretty cool to know this word in Hebrew!

2. Words for the first day of spring

You know the feeling: your heart skips a beat when you wake up and spring has sprung! Spring will reward you with new blossoms everywhere, birdsong in the air, kittens being born in the neighborhood and lovely views when you hit the trails. Pack a picnic and ask a new Israeli friend to show you the more natural sights. Don’t forget a light sweater and a big smile. This is the perfect time to practice some Hebrew spring words!

Spring Vocabulary

3. Do You Know the Essential Summer Vocabulary?

Summer! Who doesn’t love that word? It conjures up images of blue skies, tan skin, vacations at the beach and cruising down the coast in an Alfa Romeo, sunglasses on and the breeze in your hair. Of course, in Israel there are many ways to enjoy the summer – it all depends on what you love to do. One thing’s for sure: you will have opportunities to make friends, go on picnics, sample delicious local ice-cream and maybe even learn to sing some Hebrew songs. It’s up to you! Sail into Israeli summer with this summer vocab list, and you’ll blend in with ease.

Four Adults Playing on the Beach in the Sand

4. Must-Know Autumn vocabulary

Victoria Ericksen said, “If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour,” and I agree. Who can resist the beauty of fall foliage coloring the Israeli landscape? Birds prepare to migrate; travelers prepare to arrive for the best weather in Israel.

The autumnal equinox marks the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator, making day and night almost equal in length. The cool thing about this event is that the moon gets really bright – the ‘harvest moon’, as it’s traditionally known.

So, as much as the change of season brings more windy and rainy days, it also brings celebration. Whether you honor Thanksgiving, Halloween or the Moon Festival, take some time to color your vocabulary with these Hebrew autumn words.

Autumn Phrases

5. Winter

Winter is the time the natural world slows down to rest and regroup. I’m a summer girl, but there are fabulous things about winter that I really look forward to. For one, it’s the only season I get to accessorize with my gorgeous winter gloves and snug down coat!

Then, of course, there’s ice skating, holiday decorations and bonfires. As John Steinbeck said, “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness?” Get ready for the cold season with our list of essential Winter words!

Skier Sitting in the Snow

6. HebrewPod101 can prepare you for any season.

Now that you know how to inquire and comment on the weather in Israel, you
can confidently plan your weather-ready travel itinerary. How about this for an idea: the next
time you’re sitting in a Israeli street café, try asking someone local this question:

“Do you think the weather will stay like this for a few days?” If you loved learning these cool Hebrew weather phrases with us, why not take it a step further and add to your repertoire? HebrewPod101 is here to help!

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The Hebrew Calendar: Talking About Dates in Hebrew

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Did you know there are many different types of calendars?

As you probably know – a calendar is a system of organizing days in weeks and months for specific purposes, according to Wikipedia.

Worldwide, most countries use the Gregorian calendar. Some just work on the same framework, meaning that time is divided into units based on the earth’s movement around the sun – the “solar calendar”. Other calendars keep time by observing the moon’s movements, a combination of the moon and the sun’s movements, and seasons.

Through HebrewPod101, you can learn all about this and so much more! Our themed, culturally relevant lessons are skillfully designed so you can do your planning perfectly for a holiday or a date.

Having a good plan for a visit or a trip is like studying well for an exam. You’re just so much better prepared! For that, you could well need specific phrases to plan around appointments and such, especially on business trips. Make sure to use the charts we provide here with the days of the week in Hebrew, as well as the months in Hebrew to navigate your way as you plan. Great resources!

Also – always remember to have fun!

Table of Contents

  1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Hebrew?
  2. Talking About your Plans
  3. Can HebrewPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

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1. Why Will It Help To Know How To Talk About Dates in Hebrew?

Days of the Week

Well, that’s not a difficult question to answer. No matter why you’re travelling, it would be best to at least know the names of days and months in Hebrew. You don’t want to miss your flight or an appointment because you confused “יום שישי” (“yom shishi,” Friday) with “יום שבת” (“yom shabbat,” Saturday)! Or maybe you planned a holiday for “יולי” (“yuli,” July), but you booked a flight for “יוני” (“yuni,” June) by accident!

Avoid this confusion by learning the Hebrew calendar before you leave.

Now, as promised, the 15 phrases to help you make and discuss plans.

2. Talking About your Plans

Months of the Year

Perhaps you’re working in Israel, or maybe you’re enjoying a prolonged holiday. Fabulous! Memorize these phrases so you can be sure to successfully negotiate meetings, appointments, dates, events, the list goes on!

1. מה אתה עושה בסופ”ש הזה?

Mah atah ose ba-sofash haze?
“What are you doing this weekend?”

This question is usually a preamble to inviting someone somewhere. Given that it’s over the weekend, it probably means a casual get-together or another social event. (But not necessarily! A manager or boss could also ask this for entirely different reasons.)

It’s a handy phrase to know when you’ve made Israeli or expat friends in the country. Or, be the one doing the inviting. Then train your ear to learn the following phrases so you can understand the response.

2. אני נוסע בסוף השבוע הזה.

Ani nose’a be’sof ha’shavua.
“I am traveling this weekend.”

This could be a reply if you’re not available because you’re doing other fun stuff.

No matter why you are visiting Israel, do take the time to explore the country! It’s beautiful and it has so many wonderful, interesting spots ready to be visited.

Couple at booking in Desk

3. אני מתכוון להישאר בבית.

Ani mitkaven lehisha’er ba’bayit.
“I am planning to stay at home.”

Maybe you feel unwell, but don’t want to give too much information? Or maybe you have work to do? Perhaps you just need some quiet gardening time…it doesn’t matter. This response is polite and honest without oversharing.

It could also be a slightly open-ended response, depending on how you deliver it. Because hey, being home could still mean your plans are flexible, right?

That said – depending on your relationship with the inviter, nuances like these will probably not be so apparent in a foreign culture. So, best to use this excuse for declining an invitation only if you are truly set on staying in.

Woman Doing Gardening

4. השבוע אני עסוק.

Ha’shavua ani asuk.
“This week I am busy.”

Another polite phrase that gives a reason for declining an invitation but without oversharing details.

Don’t decline too many invitations, though! You don’t want people to think that you’re too busy to hang out with them. They will stop inviting you out, and you know how the saying goes – all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…! Being social is good for the soul.

5. מחר אני חופשי.

Machar ani chofshi.
“I am free tomorrow.”

Yay! Perhaps you were approached by that person and they asked about your availability for a date. This would be a fine reply. Not too eager, but still indicating that you’re interested.

Or maybe you’re just replying to a colleague or manager’s request for a meeting. Polite, honest and clear.

Alternatively, you’re just busy right now, and plans are not going the way they were…well, planned. Compromise is a lovely thing! And this phrase sounds just like that.

Use it to indicate that you want to accommodate an invitation or the inviter’s plans, despite your current unavailability. Only if you are really free, of course.

6. האם נוכל לשנות את המועד?

Hayim nukhal leshanot et ha’moed?
“Can we reschedule this?”

So, life happened and you are unable to meet obligations or attend a planned meeting. This is a suitable question to ask if you wish to indicate your willingness to still engage with whatever is on the table.

Obviously you should (ideally) not ask to reschedule a party or big meeting! (Unless you’re the boss or it’s your own party, of course.) But if there’s reasonable wiggle room regarding arrangements, then this one’s your question.

Business Man Sitting with Schedule

7. יהיה לי מספיק זמן בסוף החודש.

Yihiye li maspik zman be’sof ha’chodesh?
“I will have enough time at the end of the month.”

A go-to phrase when events or activities are likely to take up a lot of your time, such as going away for a weekend, spending the day at a local market, or writing your manager’s quarterly report (with 20 flow-charts in Powerpoint) – anything that won’t only take an hour or two.

8. מתי יהיה הזמן המתאים ביותר עבורך?

Matay yihiye ha’zman ha’matyim beyoter avurkha?
“When is the best time that suits you?”

Remember phrase #5? That was a possible reply to this question. Asked by your crush, very possibly! Or, it could be asked by any other person for any other reason, doesn’t matter.

If this is addressed to you, it usually means that the person respects your time and schedule, which is a good thing. It probably also means that their own schedule is flexible, another good thing.

This is also a polite question to ask when a manager or senior colleague wants to meet with you. Let them decide on the time, and be as accommodating as possible. This attitude shows respect for seniority – good for career building. (Within reason, of course. You don’t need to postpone your wedding or your paid-up holiday to Australia because your manager wants to see you.)

Screen Tablet Hotel

9. האם התאריך הזה מתאים לך?

Hayim ha’ta’arikh haze mat’im lekha?
“Is this date OK with you?”

But – if the other party insists that you choose a time for a meeting, appointment, or date etc., then do so! Respond with this nice, somewhat casual question that leaves space for negotiation, but only needs a simple reply.

Suitable for friends, and casual acquaintances and colleagues.

10. האם אתה זמין ביום הזה?

Hayim ata zamin ba’yom haze?
“Are you available on that day?”

This is the a-bit-more-formal version of the previous question. Again, it has room for negotiation, but only needs a simple response – nice and neat!

Maybe this is the go-to question when you’re addressing your seniors at work, or a person much older than you.

11. האם נוכל לעשות זאת בהקדם האפשרי?

Hayim nukhal la’asot zot ba’hekdem ha’efshari?
“Can we do it as soon as possible?”

This question has an urgency to it that should preferably be responded to with the same. A simple reply will be good – yes or no. Less negotiable, this is still polite because it’s a question that gives you a choice.

But stand ready with one of the phrases in this article to help tie down a time and date!

Couple Getting Engaged on a Bridge

12. אני זמין בכל ערב.

Ani zamin be’khol erev.
“I’m available every evening”

If you’re going to reply with this phrase, context is everything.

– If it’s your manager asking you to put in a bit of overtime, and you are available to – great reply! When deadlines are tight and everybody is stressing, your willingness to go the extra mile can only improve your relationship with your boss.

(Still, no need to be a doormat! If you get asked to work overtime too often, or if everyone else is goofing around while you have to graft, then re-evaluate the situation. And if you feel you’re being exploited a bit, don’t stress! Equip yourself with the diplomatic, yet assertive responses right in this article.)

– If it’s an old friend or longtime significant other asking to hang out – good reply. You know one another and appearances don’t matter any longer.

– If it’s a new crush who just asked when you’d be available for a date – stop. Not such a great reply. Tone down a bit! “Interested but not overly eager” is what you’re going for here.

Refer back to response #5, or use a counter-question, such as #1. Whatever suits you.

But if they – or anyone else – invite you to scale the Himalayas with them, then the next phrase will probably be the only sane response!

Mountaineer in Snow

13. אני צריך לתכנן את זה מראש.

Ani tsarikh letakhnen et ze me’rosh.
“I need to plan this well in advance.”

So, as said under #9, perhaps you’re invited to join someone conquer the Himalayas.

Or your company manager wants you to plan the Party that Tops All Year-End Parties Forever.

Simply – if you get asked to do something that you know will need a lot of thorough planning, this is a good phrase to respond with.

It’s an assertive phrase that demonstrates two things regarding your attitude:

a) That you know your own abilities, and respect your own schedule.
b) That your respect other people’s time and schedule too.

Then just be sure to actually do that planning well in advance!

14. אנחנו צריכים למצוא תאריך אחר.

Anachnu tsrikhim limtso ta’arikh acher.
“We need to find another date.”

So, you’re in negotiations regarding a date.

This is an assertive statement that should probably not be used with a “My way or the highway” attitude.

That stuff only works in the movies – think sharp-tongued Samuel L. Jackson. Or fierce Kristen Stewart. Yea, they can be scary, so tone down that tone.

Also, be mindful that fickle people who change plans all the time don’t keep friends! Taking others’ needs into consideration, while simultaneously having your way is a delicate art that takes proper cultivation. Use this phrase sparingly – we have better ones here to negotiate with.

Rock Concert Hands in the Air

Of course, if your planned trip to the dentist falls on the same day as the only Billie Eilish concert close by…well, priorities are priorities. Feel free to call the dentist with this phrase. Or even better, use the next one.

15. אני לא יכול לעשות את זה ביום הזה.

Ani lo yakhol la’asot et ze ba’yom ha’ze.
“I cannot do it on that day.”

This is the low-key-but-still-firm cousin of the previous phrase. You’re stating a personal fact, and depending on your tone, this can be as non-negotiable as you prefer.

Again, only use this when you really mean it, if you’re visiting Israel or any other foreign country.

So, that’s it, folks! Which phrase did you find the most helpful? Let us know in the comments!

3. Can HebrewPod101 Help You In Other Ways Too?

Numbers

Well yes, of course!

We think you will find these phrases easy to use when talking about dates and months in Hebrew. But knowing how to employ them properly could help you avoid sticky situations!

HebrewPod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this and so much more.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is one of many online language-learning courses. With us, you’ll find it easy and fun to learn a new language, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll receive hundreds of well-designed lessons to get you going.
  • Watch superb recordings of native Hebrew speakers in cool slide-shows – the easy way to practice till you sound just like a native speaker yourself!
  • Also immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists and a Word of the Day List (For free, hot bargains!) These alone are sure to give your vocab-learning boxing gloves.
  • You’ll also immediately be able to use an excellent and free Hebrew online dictionary. Necessary for quick, handy translations, no matter where you find yourself.
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Israeli host. Allow us to hold your hand and support you in your learning!

If you’re serious about mastering Hebrew easily yet correctly, HebrewPod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online language learning platforms available. Talking about your plans or dates in Hebrew need not ever spoil your stay.

So, hurry up—enroll today!

HebrewPod101’s Essential Hebrew Travel Phrase Guide

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Traveling to foreign countries is nearly always an exciting, enriching, and beneficial experience. Yet, some things can be real downers, such as boredom on a lengthy flight to Israel. Really, binge-watching onboard movies can only be interesting for so long! And jet lag – another huge downer. Did you know that jet lag is more severe when you travel from the West to the East?

Well, we won’t know how to beat that, but there are fortunately plenty of remedies around to investigate.

To beat flight boredom, though, we may have the answer for you at HebrewPod101! Why don’t you take the time to study Hebrew travel phrases? We make this super easy and fun, with great downloadables, like our PDF Cheat Sheets. Quickly memorize these, and impress your Israeli friends or travel guide with your flawless Hebrew!

Table of Contents

  1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases
  2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words
  3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases
  4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country
  5. HebrewPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

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1. Importance Of Learning Travel Phrases

Impressing Israeli people or your travel partners will be the least of the benefits you reap from learning these helpful phrases. These are greater ones:

1) Eliminate Travel Frustration: First of all, you’ll be able to cut out a good chunk of travel frustration and inconvenience due to language barriers.

Know how to pronounce and use at least the basic Hebrew phrases, and then just look foreign. This should go a long way to help you get by and win you friends, because locals would be more inclined to help someone who took the trouble to learn a smidgen of their language.

Injured Woman In An Ambulance

2) Emergency Readiness: In case of an emergency, you will be able to get help a lot quicker if you know how to ask for what in Hebrew. Imagine miming to a doctor or nurse that you have a sore ear but that you’re allergic to penicillin. Not so easy, right?

Rather, you should know basic emergency travel phrases, especially if you suffer from a serious condition. Also, information about life-threatening allergies you have should always be on your person in the language of the country you’re visiting.

3) Sight-Seeing Readiness: Hopefully, you also travel to learn more about a country’s culture. Visiting the main tourist sites in Israel will be more interesting if you know how to ask pertinent questions in Hebrew.

In this blog, we’ll also be giving you important travel phrases to consider – from the 13 essential must-have phrases to ones that are just generally useful and good to know.

Let’s get cracking!

2. 13 Must-Have Travel Phrases and Words

Preparing to Travel

Seasoned explorers of multiple countries will tell you that certain words and phrases are absolute must-knows in anyone’s travel vocabulary. Learning from them, we collated some of the most essential ones here for you.

If you know these travel phrases and words by heart in Hebrew, you will be much better equipped for your visit than most of your movie-binging travel mates.

1) תודה / toda (Thank you)

As a tourist, you will be relying on the kindness of strangers to get by. Repay them with a small acknowledgment of their friendly generosity – know how to say “thank you” in Hebrew.

2) אתה מדבר אנגלית? / ata medaber anglit? (Do you speak English?)

While it may be a bit of a cop-out, sometimes you just can’t figure out how to communicate. Maybe you’re blanking on one specific word you need, maybe they’re speaking with a heavy accent, or maybe it’s just really late and you really want to get to the hotel. In that case, try asking if they speak English, and hopefully you can make things a little bit simpler for yourself.

Don’t abuse this phrase, though! If you just try to get by without learning any of the local language, not only will you not learn anything – you’ll be out of luck if they can’t speak English!

Man Greeting Someone

3) יש אוטובוס משדה התעופה לעיר? / yesh otoboos misde hate’ufa la’ir? (Is there a bus from the airport to the city?)

Public transit is usually cheaper, if slower, than taking a taxi or rideshare. Use this phrase to see if you can get where you’re going when you’re strapped for cash, or just when you’d like to take the scenic route into town!

4) זה האוטובוס הנכון לשדה התעופה? / ze ha’otoboos hanakhon lisde hate’ufa? (Is this the right bus for the airport?)

Likewise, if you’re the kind of person who can get themselves moving early (or maybe you just have a late flight), maybe you want to take the bus to the airport rather than taking a cab. If that’s the case, you’ll want to be sure you’re actually heading the right way! You wouldn’t want to end up at a lookout point half an hour away, watching your flight take off in the distance, would you?

5) סליחה, כמה עולה נסיעה? / slikha, kama ola nesi’a? (Excuse me, what’s the fare?)

If you are paying for a cab, you’ll want to know how much. Most legal taxis will have meters, but when dealing with a currency you’re not familiar with, it can be worth asking just to double check that you’re paying the right amount – especially if the currency has cents.

6) הזמנתי מקום / hizmanti makom (I have a reservation)

This one you can expect to use at least a few times throughout your trip, unless you’re the kind of person who travels by the seat of their pants and just goes to whatever hotel, motel, or hostel has rooms available.

7) יש לכם חדרים פנויים הלילה? / yesh lakhem khadarim pnu’eem halayla? (Do you have any vacancies tonight?)

If that’s the case, you’ll definitely be using this phrase instead. Quite possibly a lot, depending on how lucky you are!

Couple with a Map

8 ) איפה תחנת הרכבת? / efo takhanat harakevet? (Where is the train station?)

If you’re in a country with an expansive commuter rail system (or maybe just a fan of other types of locomotives), you may want to know where the closest station is. Just don’t go looking for pennies on the rails!

9) אני אלרגי לבוטנים / ani alergi lebotnim (I am allergic to peanuts)

Replace “peanuts” with whatever the word for your allergen may be. If your allergy is serious, you probably already know the importance of stating this very clearly in Hebrew.

If the condition is life-threatening, be sure to have a letter or prescription from a medical professional in Hebrew on your person at all times. Consider getting a medical alert bracelet specially made in Hebrew if your stay will be longer than a month or so.

Person Declining Meat

10) יש לכם מנות צמחוניות? / yesh lakhem manot tzim’khonyot? (Do you have any vegetarian dishes?)

If you dislike eating certain things, or you have certain dietary restrictions, it would be best if you knew how to convey this clearly in Hebrew.

Remember, though, that saying “I’m vegan” or “I’m diabetic” may not be enough to get you what you want. The rules for veganism and vegetarianism are not standard everywhere in the world. Also, your patron might not understand what “diabetic” means. If you have a medical condition, it would be best to research some in-depth vocabulary beforehand.

11) אפשר לקבל מפה? / ef’shar lekabel mapa? (Could I get a map?)

Planning on exploring your destination? Hopelessly lost? Maybe just an amateur cartographer? No matter the reason, this phrase is sure to come in handy. That said, you’re more likely to get use out of it at some sort of tourist or travel center than you are asking a random passerby on the street.

12) כמה זה עולה? / kama ze ole? (How much is this?)

Even if you’re not a big shopper, you’re probably going to need this phrase at some point. Knowing how to count in Hebrew will, of course, help a lot with purchases too.

13) אתם מקבלים כרטיסי אשראי? / atem mekablim kartisei ashrai? (Do you take credit card?)

This is another travel phrase that will smooth your monetary transactions considerably.

Man Giving Credit Card to a Clerk

3. Good-To-Have Travel Phrases

Travel Verbs

Unlike the previous phrases, these are not really essential so much as they are useful. Yet, knowing these will still smooth over some bumps on your journey, more than just knowing the crucial phrases would.

1) יש אינטרנט אלחוטי בחינם? / yesh internet al’khuti be’khinam? (Is the Wi-Fi free?)

If you’re abroad, your normal cellular plans probably won’t have any service, and you’ll be totally reliant on publically available Wi-Fi while you’re out and about. Just ask a server, clerk, or attendant, and they’ll be happy to let you know. Just make sure you’re paying attention when they tell you the password!

2) אתה יכול לצלם אותי, בבקשה? / ata yakhol letzalem oti, bevakasha? (Could you take a picture of me please?)

What would a trip be with no photos to commemorate the event? Just be sure to ask this of someone who actually looks like they’d be willing to, unless you’re willing to risk being given the cold shoulder or worse. If you’re at a tourist attraction, you’ll find that most people are more than happy to take one for you, so long as you take one of them as well!

3) יש לך המלצות? / yesh lekha hamlatzot? (Do you have any recommendations?)

Eating alone in a restaurant? Or going out with new Israeli friends or business colleagues? Let them help you decide what to have.

4) אני רוצה מושב במקום ללא עישון, בבקשה / ani rotze moshav bemakom lelo ishun, bevakasha (I’d like to have a non-smoking seat, please)

Though smoking has gone out of fashion in some places, it’s still popular in others. In the event you’re at a restaurant where smoking is allowed on premises, you can always ask this question to the staff and be seated elsewhere.

5) מים, בבקשה / mayim, bevakasha (Water, please)

If you’ve emptied your glass, or are cutting yourself off after a few drinks, you can always ask for some water. It can be especially useful if the restaurant is busy to the point you need to call out to someone to get service.

6) אפשר לקבל את החשבון? / efshar lekabel et ha’kheshbon? (Could I have the check?)

To finish off the restaurant related phrases, if you’re eating with friends or really want to impress your colleagues, taking the bill can be a nice treat for them. Of course, this phrase could come in handy as well if you’re eating alone and you’re just impatient to leave.

7) מה אתה ממליץ לקנות למזכרת? / ma ata mamlitz liknot lemazkeret? (What do you recommend for a souvenir?)

Now that your trip is over, what better way to cap it all off than a memento, or maybe a gift for friends and family at home? It’ll be nicer to have something recommended by the locals than a cheap bauble from the airport store, so go ahead and ask someone you’ve met what they think.

4. Ways To Improve Communication in a Foreign Country

Survival Phrases

When traveling, it’s possible to keep communication smooth when you don’t share a language.

Do so by keeping these five tips in mind. They are aimed to help you communicate with those who cannot speak English very well, and also to keep your traveling experience pleasant!

1. Keep your English simple and easy to understand.
If the person you are talking to speaks very little English, use basic verbs, adjectives, and nouns, and keep sentences short.

However, don’t patronize them by talking in pidgin or like you would address a child. Keep your speech simple but natural, and use the correct grammar.

For instance, don’t say: “You come when?”. If you say: “When will you come?”, you will very likely be understood, and may even help someone who wants to improve their English.

2. Ask someone to write information down.
Apply Rule 1 first at your hotel, where the staff is very likely to be able to speak some English. Get them to write down, in their native language, things like: “I would like to go to the airport, please,” “Please take me to the beach,” or “Where is the closest bathroom?”

These written questions are something you can then give to taxi drivers or any other people who are willing and able to help you. This simple step could make your life a lot easier when you travel to a foreign country!

3. Avoid asking leading questions!
If you want the correct information from a non-native English speaker, that is.

When you need directions, for instance, don’t ask: “To get to the bus stop, do I need to turn left here?” If the person didn’t really understand you, you will probably just get a smile and a “Yes,” which could possibly make you miss your bus.

Rather, you should ask: “Where is the bus stop?” If they understand you, you will get the correct directions.

4. Pick the right person to ask for help.
Time to look at people and think a bit about their appearance! A younger person who looks like they might be a student is more likely to have English skills than the friendly but ancient lady smiling at you from a fruit stall.

If you don’t see anyone like that, head into town to the nearest bank, hospital, pharmacy, or hotel. The staff at those places usually speak a bit of English.

5. Know when to quit.
If you stuck to the above rules, but the person you are talking to only stares at you blankly, say thank you and leave. Hanging around hoping someone will suddenly understand and respond is just wasting your time, and may irritate them as well. Go find someone else.

5. HebrewPod101 Can Help You Master Travel Phrases Easily and Effortlessly!

So, reader, have you found this article helpful?

Do you feel comfortable enough to use some essential travel phrases in Hebrew? We’d also love to hear if you think we left out important travel phrases. Leave your suggestions and opinions in the comments!

HebrewPod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Hebrew reading and speaking easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

– An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
– A new Hebrew word to learn every day
– Quick access to the Hebrew Key Phrase List
– A free Hebrew online dictionary
– The excellent 100 Core Hebrew Word List
– An almost limitless Lesson Library for learners of all levels

You will also have access to topic-specific recordings like our Before You Travel: Survival Phrases lesson.

Learn even more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, after taking an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training.

Getting a tutor is also a good option if you meet challenges in your learning, or need to fast-track correct pronunciation and diction. Your very own friendly, Hebrew-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime – an excellent option for business persons!

Using a guided learning system that was developed by experts in language and online education, you’ll receive personal feedback and constant support to improve in no time. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking to hone your Hebrew speaking skills.

Imagine how impressed your Israeli friends or colleagues will be when you display your excellent conversational skills! With HebrewPod101, getting there will be easy and fun.

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