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HebrewPod101’s Top 30 Classroom Phrases in Hebrew

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Many people find themselves in Israel for educational reasons, whether it is to learn Hebrew or anything else. Beyond the fact that it’s home to a number of top-ranking universities on a global scale, Israel is a true melting pot of cultures, drawing visitors, including students, from the four corners of the Earth. Not only does Israel boast a robust choice of study abroad programs, many foreigners studying, working, or living in Israel find that teaching their own native language or some other skill they may know is a great way to make a little spending money.

Whatever the case is as far as you’re concerned, you’re likely here because you expect to find yourself in some sort of classroom setting while in Israel. If that’s true, you’re definitely in the right place. In today’s lesson, we’re going to cover the top 30 Hebrew classroom phrases for teachers and students, regardless of whether they are in the context of Hebrew language learning or any other subject. We’ll talk about classroom greetings, teacher’s instructions, how to ask for clarification from the teacher or fellow students, and explaining tardiness or absences. We will also cover subjects of study as well as common school supplies.

Empty Classroom

Now get your pencils sharpened and your apples polished, and let’s head to class for today’s lesson on useful Hebrew classroom phrases.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Hebrew Classroom Greetings
  2. Common Hebrew Teachers’ Instructions
  3. Asking Teachers and Classmates for Clarification in Hebrew
  4. Explaining Absences and Tardiness in Hebrew
  5. Talking about Academic Subjects in Hebrew
  6. Talking about Common School Supplies in Hebrew
  7. Let HebrewPod101 School You!

1. Hebrew Classroom Greetings

Student Speaking to Teacher

It’s well known that the classroom is one of the best places to make good friends, whether you are taking a Hebrew Ulpan class or an elective at university in a subject near and dear to your heart. These greetings, largely, are the same as the Hebrew words in general Israeli greetings, which you can read more about here. However, to make this context appropriate, we’ve included some examples where one might be greeting a teacher or classmate specifically. Note that in modern Hebrew, there really is no distinction between these two in terms of formality.

1. בוקר טוב / צהריים טובים / ערב טוב
Boker tov / Tzohorayim tovim / ‘Erev tov
“Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening”

*This first group of greetings is obviously time specific, so choose accordingly. Note that in modern Hebrew, we would only use לילה טוב (laylah tov, “good night”) as a farewell, not as a greeting. ערב טוב (‘erev tov, “good evening”) can be used as a greeting any time after dark, or after about 5 PM.

  • בוקר טוב, המורה. מה שלומך?
    Boker tov, ha-moreh/ha-morah. Mah shlomekh?
    Good morning, teacher. How are you?”
  • צהריים טובים, רועי. מה נשמע?
    Tzohorayim tovim, Ro’i. Mah nishmah?
    Good afternoon, Roi. What’s new”
  • ערב טוב, קסניה. עד מחר.
    ‘Erev tov, Kseniyah. ‘Ad makhar.
    “Good evening, Ksenia. Until tomorrow.”

2. שלום
Shalom
“Hello / Goodbye”

*This highly useful Hebrew word can be used for either hello or goodbye. It simply depends on when you use it which defines if it is a greeting or farewell.

  • שלום, רוני. מה המצב?
    Shalom, Roni. Mah ha-matzav?
    Hello, Roni. What’s up?”
  • שלום, המורה שני. טוב לראות אותך.
    Shalom, ha-Morah Shani. Tov lirot otakh.
    Hello, Teacher/Miss Shani. Good to see you.”

3. להתראות
Lehitra’ot
“Goodbye” (Literally, “See you.”)

  • להתראות, מור. עד השיעור הבא!
  • Lehitra’ot, Mor. ‘Ad ha-shi’ur ha-ba!
  • Goodbye, Mor. Until the next class!”

4. נתראה מחר.
Nitra’eh makhar.
“See you tomorrow”

5. המשך יום נעים.
Hemshekh yom na’im.
“Have a pleasant rest of the day.”

2. Common Hebrew Teachers’ Instructions

Teacher Writing on Board

Now that we’re set greeting teachers and students and bidding them farewell, let’s take a look at another important area of language related to the classroom. Specifically, we’re now going to address the issue of teachers’ instructions. Note that these typically involve basic Hebrew phrases useful in other contexts as well. In the classroom, they may or may not be couched in polite terms, with or without words like “please” or “would you please.” Don’t take the lack of such politeness as intentional rudeness. Remember that Israeli culture is a direct one!

6. בבקשה לפתוח את עמוד … בספרים שלכם.
Bevakashah lifto’akh et ‘amud … ba-sfarim shelakhem.
“Please open to page … in your books.”

  • בבקשה לפתוח את עמוד 187 בספרים שלכם.
    Bevakashah lifto’akh et amud me’ah shemonim ve-shmoneh ba-sfarim shelakhem.
    Please open to page 187 in your books.

7. שימו לב.
Simu lev.
“Listen carefully.” (Literally, “Take heart.”)

  • שימו לב. הקטע הזה חשוב מאוד.
  • Simu lev. Ha-keta’ ha-zeh khashuv me’od.
  • Listen carefully. This part is very important.”

8. שקט בבקשה.
Sheket bevakashah.
“Please be quiet.”

  • שקט בבקשה. אני לא מצליח לשמוע את השאלה.
  • Sheket bevakashah. Ani lo matzli’akh lishmo’a et ha-she’elah.
  • Please be quiet. I can’t hear the question.”

9. יש שאלות?
Yesh she’elot?
“Any questions?”

  • יש שאלות? בכל מקרה תהיה חזרה לפני המבחן.
  • Yesh she’elot? Be-khol mikreh, tihiyeh khazarah lifney ha-mivkhan.
  • Any questions? In any case, there will be a review before the exam.”

10. לא לשכוח את שיעורי הבית.
Lo lishko’akh et shi’urei ha-bayit.
“Don’t forget the homework.”

3. Asking Teachers and Classmates for Clarification in Hebrew

Confused Student

Another important category of classroom phrases for your Hebrew vocabulary is those you might use when asking for clarification. You might ask the teacher to repeat or elaborate on something s/he has just shared with the class. Alternatively, you may be asking a fellow classmate to help you understand some point, lesson, or reading you may be struggling with. Or maybe you just need help with the Hebrew! Whatever the case may be, here is some highly useful language to aid you.

11. לא הבנתי.
Lo hevanti.
“I don’t understand.” (Literally, “I didn’t understand,” or, “I haven’t understood.”)

12. תוכל/י לחזור על זה?
Tukhal/Tukhli lakhazor ‘al zeh?
“Can you repeat that?”

13. יש לי שאלה. / יש לי כמה שאלות.
Yesh li she’elah. / Yesh li kamah she’elot.
“I have a question. / I have a few questions.”

14. מה אמר/ה המורה?
Mah amar ha-moreh/amrah ha-morah?
“What did the teacher say?”

15. אפשר לראות את הסיכומים שלך?
Efshar lirot et ha-sikumim shelkha/shelakh?
“Can I see your class notes?”

4. Explaining Absences and Tardiness in Hebrew

Man Rushing

Let’s face it. We all show up late to class sometimes. And at times, we may not show up at all! Whether due to traffic, an illness, or a conflicting commitment, it is bound to happen sometimes. And when it does, you’ll want to be well-prepared with some handy language to offer an explanation or justification. You probably don’t want to interrupt the class to do so, however. As in most of the world, comments to explain tardiness are best made to the teacher one on one and after class has ended. And explanations as to an absence – or an expected tardiness, for that matter – are best made before they happen, in an email if necessary.

16. אני לא מרגיש/ה טוב. לא אוכל להגיע לשיעור היום.
Ani lo margish/ah tov. Lo uchal lehagi’a la-shi’ur hayom.
“I’m not feeling well. I won’t be able to attend class today.”

17. סליחה על האיחור. היו פקקים
Slikha ‘al ha-ikhur. Hayu pekakim.
“Sorry I’m late. There was traffic.”

18. לא עשיתי את שיעורי הבית. ברח לי מהראש.
Lo ‘asiti et shi’urei ha-bayit. Barakh li me-ha-rosh.
“I didn’t do the homework. It slipped my mind.”

19. אפשר להשלים את החומר?
Efshar lehashlim et ha-khomer?
“Can I make up the work?”

20. תהיה חזרה לפני המבחן?
Tihiyeh khazarah lifnei ha-mivkhan?
“Will there be a review before the exam?”

5. Talking about Academic Subjects in Hebrew

Books of Different School Subjects

Now let’s have some useful Hebrew classroom phrases to talk about subjects you like and dislike. To help you refer to the specific subjects relevant to you, we’ve included a list of the most common school subjects. Just be sure to not the grammatical gender of whatever language you use in case you are adding any adjectives, numbers, etc. You can review the issue of grammatical gender in Hebrew here.

EnglishRomanizationעברית
“math”matematikahמתמטיקה
“history”historiyahהיסטוריה
“writing”ketivahכתיבה
“foreign language”safah zarahשפה זרה
“English”Anglitאנגלית
“art”omanutאמנות
“sciences”mada’imמדעים
“biology”biyologiyahביולוגיה
“chemistry”kimiyahכימיה
“physics”fizikahפיזיקה
“reading”keri’ahקריאה
“geography”ge’ografiyahגיאוגרפיה
“citizenship” (cf. social studies)ezrakhutאזרחות
BibleTaNa”KHתנ”ך
physical educationkhinukh gufaniחינוך גופני
literaturesifrutספרות

21. המקצוע האהוב עליי זה …
Ha-miktzo’a ha-ahuv ‘alai zeh …
“… is my favorite subject.”

  • המקצוע האהוב עליי זה תנ”ך.
    Ha-miktzo’a ha-ahuv ‘alai zeh TaNa”KH.
    “Bible is my favorite subject.

22. … הוא/היא החוזקה שלי.
… hu/hi ha-khozka sheli
“… is my forte.”

  • ספרות זה החוזק שלי.
    Sifrut hi ha-khozka sheli.
    “Literature is my forte.

23. אני לא חזק/ה ב…
Ani lo khazak/ah be…
“I’m not too good at…”

  • אני לא חזק במתמטיקה.
    Ani lo khazak be-matematikah.
    I’m not too good at math.”

24. אני קצת חלש/ה ב…
Ani ketzat khalash/ah be…
“I’m a bit weak in / at …”

  • אני קצת חלשה בהיסטוריה.
    Ani ktzat khalasha be-historiyah.
    I’m a bit weak at history.”

25. אני מנסה להשתפר ב…
Ani menaseh/menasah lehishtaper be…
“I’m trying to improve in …”

  • אני מנסה להשתפר בגיאוגרפיה.
    Ani menasah lehishtaper be-ge’ografiyah.
    I’m trying to improve in geography.”

6. Talking about Common School Supplies in Hebrew

School Supplies

Lastly, let’s examine some useful Hebrew phrases for talking about school supplies. Just as in the previous category, we’ve provided a table with a list of common supplies you might find or need in the classroom. Again, be sure to watch the gender of the word or words you use, making sure you conjugate correctly.

EnglishRomanizationעברית
“pencil / supply case”kalmarקלמר
“notebook”makhberetמחברת
“spiral notebook”spiralahספירלה
“pen”‘etעט
“pencil”‘iparonעפרון
“sharpener”mekhadedמחדד
“eraser”makhakמחק
“binder”klaserקלסר
“plastic mini-folder”nailonitניילונית
“highlighter”lordלורד
“ruler”sargelסרגל
“scissors”misparayimמספריים
“glue”devekדבק
“tape”seloteypסלוטייפ
“agenda”yomanיומן
“board”lu’akhלוח
“marker”tushטוש
“chalk”girגיר
“light”orאור
“fan”me’avrerמאוורר

26. האם תוכל/י להשאיל לי …?
Ha’im tukhal/tukhli lehash’il li …?
“”Could you lend me a/some …?”

  • האם תוכל/י להשאיל לי עפרון?
    Ha’im tukhal/tukhli lehash’il li ‘iparon?
    Could you lend me a pencil?”

27. איבדתי את ה… שלי.
Ibadeti et ha… sheli.
“I lost my…”

  • איבדתי את המחק שלי.
    Ibadeti et ha-makhak sheli.
    I lost my eraser.”

28. אני חייב/ת לקנות …
Ani khayav/khayevet liknot …
“I need to buy …”

  • אני חייבת לקנות מספריים.
    Ani khayav/khayevet liknot misparayim.
    I need to buy scissors.

29. יש לך במקרה …?
Yesh lekha/lakh be-mikreh …?
“Do you by any chance have a/some …?”

  • יש לך במקרה ניילונית?
    Yesh lekha/lakh be-mikreh nailonit?
    Do you by any chance have a plastic mini-folder?

30. הנה … 
Hine …
“Here’s a/some …”

  • הנה סרגל. 
    Hine sargel.
    Here’s a ruler.”

7. Let HebrewPod101 School You!

We hope you found this lesson on Hebrew classroom language edifying, interesting, and fun. We do our best to think about the sorts of phrases, words, and situations likely to be most helpful to our students. That said, there are always things of a personal nature that you may wish to explore. And that’s what we’re here for!

So if there is any language we didn’t cover or anything we did cover, but which you’re still somewhat unclear about or want more information on, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team of native-speaking Hebrew teachers is always standing by for any questions or comments our students may have, and we’d love to hear from you! Until next time, shalom!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew

Learn the Names of Animals in Hebrew

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Does a whole lesson on animals in Hebrew seem like a bunch of monkey business to you? Well, we’re not horsing around today! As any schoolchild knows, animal names are a basic component of any language. And in Hebrew, there are some particular reasons this is true. First, as a country that engages heavily in agriculture, Israel is full of domesticated animals (particularly in the country, as well as in kibbutzim and moshavim). Secondly, Israel’s natural fauna abounds, including some animals that are indigenous to Israel. And finally, the Bible itself mentions over 120 species of animals, so many of the Hebrew animal names go back thousands of years.

An additional reason to learn Hebrew words for animals is that Israelis are big pet lovers. Around a third of Israelis have some sort of pet, with dogs and cats taking the lead. Still, there is no shortage of other animals, like birds, reptiles, and rodents, to be found in Israeli homes. 

Whatever the case may be, it’s always good to rest the brain from grammar and other serious linguistic endeavors once in a while and to just have fun!

Today’s lesson will cover the top 80 Hebrew animal names and words related to animals, including some key animal body parts and a few common expressions related to animals. Don’t chicken out now! You don’t have to learn all 80 at once. Just pick a handful at a time, and stay focused on those. The lion’s share of these words are easy enough to pronounce and remember, so let’s jump in and grab this bull by the horns!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Pets (חיות מחמד, khayot makhmad)
  2. Farm Animals (חיות משק, khayot meshek)
  3. Wild Animals (חיות בר, khayot bar)
  4. Marine Life (החיים הימיים, Ha-Khayim ha-yamiyim)
  5. Insects (חרקים, kharakim)
  6. Birds (ציפורים, tziporim), Reptiles (זוחלים, zokhalim) & Amphibians (דו-חיים, du-khayim)
  7. Animal Body Parts (חלקי גוף של בעלי חיים, khelkey guf shel ba’aley khayim)
  8. Animal-Related Idioms & Slang
  9. No need to go lone wolf with your Hebrew! Let HebrewPod101 get you to the head of the pack.

1. Pets (חיות מחמד, khayot makhmad)

Pets

The most obvious place to start is with pets. After all, these are the animals most of us are likely to encounter on a daily basis. Israel is very much a pet-friendly society, with Tel Aviv even hosting a festival just for dogs! Israelis’ top choices for pets won’t strike you as much of a surprise, as they’re pretty much in line with Western pets. 

Now, let’s have a look at the most common pets in Hebrew. Note that in many cases, these words are gendered, so you want to try to use the correct form—either masculine or feminine—depending on the gender of the animal.

1. כלב/ה
kelev/kalbah
“dog”

2. חתול/חתולה
khatul/khatulah
“cat”

3. דג
dag
“fish”

4. אוגר
oger
“hamster”

5. עכבר
‘akhbar
“mouse”

6. ציפור
tzipor
“bird”
* Note that this word is always feminine.

7. תוכי
tuki
“parrot”

8. יונה
yonah
“dove”

9. צב
tzav
“turtle”

10. נחש
nakhash
“snake”

2. Farm Animals (חיות משק, khayot meshek)

Man Plowing with Oxen

Are you interested in singing Israel’s equivalent of Old MacDonald (לדוד משה היתה חווה – Le-Dod Mosheh haytah khavah – “Uncle Moshe Had a Farm”)? Or are you considering spending some time in a kibbutz? In either case, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the more common domesticated animals you’re likely to find in a farm setting. 

Israel is a heavily agricultural country, so you can expect to see little farms anywhere outside of the big cities. Here are the top farm animals in Hebrew. Note that in some cases, the masculine and feminine words are completely different (like “cow” and “bull” in English).

11. פרה
parah
“cow”

12. שור
shor
“bull”/”ox”
* Note that the word for livestock in Hebrew is בקר (bakar).

13. חזיר/חזירה
khazir/khazirah
“pig”

14. חמור/אתון
khamor/aton
“donkey”

15. תרנגול/תרנגולת
tarnegol/tarnegolet
“rooster”/”hen”

16. ברווז
barvaz
“duck”

17. סוס/סוסה
sus/susah
“horse”

18. תיש/עז
tayish/ ‘ez
“goat”

19. כבש/כבשה
keves/kivsah
“sheep”
* Note that the word for “flock(s)” of sheep or goats in Hebrew is צאן (tzon).

20. תרנגול הודו
tarnegol Hodu
“turkey” (literally: “Indian chicken” – There would seem to be some disagreement over the geographical origins of this bird!)

3. Wild Animals (חיות בר, khayot bar)

Lion hunting zebras

Now let’s have a look at some of the most popular wild animals. You can see some of these at Israel’s various nature reserves (such as Ein Gedi) or at the singular Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. Unfortunately, due to the density of its population, many species indigenous to Israel—such as mountain gazelles and ibexes—are less common a sight than in times past. Hopefully, conservation efforts will manage to preserve these species not only in zoos and safaris but also in the wild. 

Here are the names of common wild animals in Hebrew:

21. נמר/ה
namer/nemerah
“tiger”

22. פיל/ה
pil/pilah
“elephant”

23. דוב/ה
dov/dubah
“bear”

24. שועל
Shu’al
“fox”

25. תן
tan
“jackal”

26. היפופוטם
hipopotam
“hippopotamus”

27. ג’ירפה
jirafah
“giraffe”

28. אריה/לביאה
aryeh/levi’ah
“lion”/”lioness”

29. צבי/איילה
tzvi/ayala
“gazelle”

30. יעל
ya’el
“ibex”

4. Marine Life (החיים הימיים, Ha-Khayim ha-yamiyim)

Sea Shells

As you probably know, Israel enjoys access to two different coastlines—the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Eilat (a.k.a. the Gulf of Aqaba)—as well as the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, both of which are actually large lakes. Going to the beach is a huge part of Israeli culture, so it’s a good idea to brush up on some of the top words for marine animals. Let’s have a look!

31. כריש
karish
“shark”

32. לוויתן
livyatan
“whale”
* Note that this Hebrew word is the root of English’s leviathan.

33. דולפין
dolfin
“dolphin”

34. תמנון
tamnun
“octopus”

35. חסילון
khasilon
“shrimp”

36. סוסון ים
suson yam
“seahorse”

37. סרטן
sartan
“crab”
* Note that this word also means cancer.

38. אלמוג
almog
“coral”

39. מדוזה
meduzah
“jellyfish”

40. אצות
atzot
“algae”

5. Insects (חרקים, kharakim)

Insects

No examination of Hebrew animal words would be complete without a discussion of insects and other creepy-crawlies. Israel is no stranger to bugs, whether in terms of the locusts and lice mentioned in the Bible, the malarial mosquitoes that plagued modern settlers in the pre-state years, or the ticks that our dogs and cats bring home from the woods. Here are the top words you need to know for naming insects in Hebrew.

41. מקק
makak
“cockroach”
* Note that the word ג’וק (juk) can also be used to refer to cockroaches.

42. עכביש
‘akavish
“spider”

43. זבוב
zevuv
“fly”

44. יתוש
yatush
“mosquito”

45. קרציה
kartzi’yah
“tick”

46. שפירית
shapirit
“dragonfly”

47. גחלילית
gakh’lilit
“firefly”

48. עקרב
‘akrav
“scorpion”

49. דבורה
d’vorah
“bee”

50. צרעה
tzir’ah
“wasp”

6. Birds (ציפורים, tziporim), Reptiles (זוחלים, zokhalim) & Amphibians (דו-חיים, du-khayim)

For our last category of animal names in Hebrew, let’s take a glance at the most common birds, reptiles, and amphibians you’re likely to encounter in the Holy Land. 

Because of Israel’s location smack-dab in the middle of where Europe, Asia, and Africa meet, countless birds fly through the country each year on their migration paths—apart from the many native bird species living in Israel. In fact, Israeli aircraft are even forbidden from interfering with the flight paths of migratory birds!

Israel is also no stranger to reptiles, with 97 distinct species represented in the country. Though extinction rates have been relatively low for reptiles, crocodiles, which are mentioned in the Bible as being indigenous to Israel, are today no longer among Israel’s wild species—for better or worse!

A- Birds

Birds Silhouetted in Sky

51. שחף
shakhaf
“seagull”

52. ינשוף
yanshuf
“owl”

53. נשר
nesher
“eagle”

54. נקר
nakar
“woodpecker”

55. עיט
‘ayit
“vulture”

B- Reptiles & Amphibians

Lizard

56. צפרדע
tzfarde’a
“frog”

57. לטאה
leta’ah
“lizard”

58. שממית
smamit
“gecko”

59. צב יבשה
tzav yabashah
“tortoise”

60. סלמנדרה
salamandrah
“salamander”

7. Animal Body Parts (חלקי גוף של בעלי חיים, khelkey guf shel ba’aley khayim)

Vet Examining Dog

Now that we’ve covered the more common animal species to be found in Israel, let’s have a look at some words for describing animal anatomy. As in English and most other languages, Hebrew has unique words to refer to the body parts of fauna, distinct from those used to describe the human body. Here are the ones you are most likely to use:

61. כנף
kanaf
“wing”
* Note that the plural for this word uses the dual form suffix -יים, and is כנפיים (kenafayim).

62. זנב
zanav
“tail”

63. טופר
tofer
“claw”

64. קרן
keren
“horn”
* Note that the plural for this word uses the dual form suffix -יים, and is קרניים (karnayim).

65. נוצה
notzah
“feather”

66. פרסה
parsah
“hoof”

67. חוטם
khotem
“snout”

68. מקור
makor
“beak”

69. קשקש
kaskas
“scale”

70. צדף
tzedef
“shell”

Want more? See our word list Sounds That Animals Make

8. Animal-Related Idioms & Slang

Black and White Sheep

Last but not least, let’s see some idioms, slang words, and other expressions that use animal names in Hebrew. Like English, the Hebrew language has a slew of such words and phrases. This should come as no surprise, considering the Jewish people’s ancient roots in farming and husbandry. In fact, animal-related language is probably one of the most colorful categories of Hebrew. Let’s see some choice examples.

71. כבשה שחורה
kivsah sh’khorah
“black sheep”

  • כולנו במשפחה למדנו באוניברסיטה חוץ מאחותי, הכבשה השחורה, אשר עובדת בבסטות בחו”ל כבר חמש שנים.
    Kulanu ba-mishpakhah lamadnu ba-universitah khutz me-akhoti, ha-kivsah ha-sh’khorah, asher ‘ovedet be-bastot be-khul kvar khamesh shanim.
    “All of us in the family studied at university except for my sister, the black sheep, who has been working in market stalls abroad for five years now.”

72. כמו דג במים
k’mo dag ba-mayim
“like a fish in water”

  • כל פעם שאני חוזר לקיבוץ, אני מרגיש כמו דג במים.
    Kol pa’am she-ani khozer la-kibbutz, ani margish k’mo dag ba-mayim.
    “Every time I go back to the kibbutz, I feel just like a fish in water.”

73. להשתפן
lehishtafen
“to chicken out” (literally: “to act like a rabbit”)

  • אל תשתפן! קפוץ כבר! המים עמוקים.
    Al tishtafen! Kfotz kvar! Ha-mayim ‘amukim.
    “Don’t chicken out! Jump already! The water is deep.”

74. דיר חזירים
dir khazirim
“pigsty”

  • אמרתי לכם לנקות כבר את דיר החזירים הזה!
    Amarti lakhem lenakot kvar et dir ha-khazirim ha-zeh!
    “I told you to clean up this pigsty already!”

75. מבט ממעוף ציפור
mabat mi-me’of tzipor
“bird’s eye view”

  • איזה נוף! יש לנו מבט ממעוף הציפור על כל העיר.
    Eyzeh nof! Yeish lanu mabat mi-ma’of ha-tzipor al kol ha-’ir.
    “What a view! We’ve got a bird’s eye view of the entire city.”

76. כמעוף הדבורה
ke-ma’of ha-devorah
“beeline”

  • מתחיל כבר להחשיך. רוצי הביתה כמעוף הדבורה!
    Matkhil kvar le-hakhshikh. Rutzi ha-baytah ke-ma’of ha-devorah!
    “It’s getting dark already. Run and make a beeline for home!”

77. חזק כשור
khazak kmo shor
“strong as an ox”

  • ראית את העובד החדש במחסן? הוא חזר כשור!
    Ra’it et ha-’oved ha-khadash ba-makhsan? Hu khazak kmo shor!
    “Have you seen the new employee in the warehouse? He’s strong as an ox!”

78. שעיר לעזאזל
sa’ir la-’Azazel
“scapegoat”

  • אל תנסו לעשות ממני שעיר לעזאזל. מה שקרה זה לא באשמתי.
    Al tenasu la’asot mimeni sa’ir la-’Azazel. Mah she-karah zeh lo be-ashmati.
    “Don’t try to make a scapegoat out of me. What happened isn’t my fault.”

79. נחש בעשב
nakhash ba-‘esev
“snake in the grass”

  • אני לא סומך עליו בכלל. הוא סתם עוד נחש בעשב.
    Ani lo somekh ‘alav bikhlal. Hu stam ‘od nakhash ba-’esev.
    “I don’t trust him at all. He’s just another snake in the grass.”

80. החלק הארי
ha-khelek ha-ari
“the lion’s share”

  • בואו נודה בכך שדפנה עשתה את החלק הארי של העבודה.
    Bo’u nodeh be-khakh she-Dafnah ‘astah et ha-khelek ha-ari shel ha-’avodah.
    “Let’s just admit that Dafna did the lion’s share of the work.”

9. No need to go lone wolf with your Hebrew! Let HebrewPod101 get you to the head of the pack.

We hope you enjoyed today’s lesson on animals in the Hebrew language. We here at HebrewPod101 know that sometimes studying a new language can make you feel like you’re a fish out of water, but that’s why we’re here: to make sure you’ve got a school to swim with. Our lessons are carefully crafted to cover all the topics you’ll need to master on your language learning journey while having a whale of a time.

So don’t sweat it! Just remember that mastering a language, like any large and long-term project, is best done a bit at a time. Whether it’s vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation, we always encourage our students not to bite off more than they can chew in one sitting. Just pick a reasonable amount of language and, once you’ve gone through it, make sure to review everything! 

Have fun checking out our thousands of other written and audiovisual lessons, where we cover a broad range of topics and situations, from ordering at a restaurant to the top Hebrew-language music artists and TV shows.

Before you go: What’s your favorite animal? Do you remember its name in Hebrew?

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The Top 10 Most Common Hebrew Questions & How to Answer Them

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Voltaire once famously said: “Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” 

In Jewish tradition, in particular, questions are of immense importance. 

For instance, the Passover Seder invites the children to participate by asking Four Questions in Hebrew about the traditions particular to that meal. There’s another point in the Seder where we talk about the four types of children. The first three are the Good, the Wicked, and the Simpleton; each is characterized by the nature and content of the questions he asks about Passover. The final child is called He Who Does Not Know to Ask Questions, and we’re encouraged to ask the questions for him. 

So, you can see that questions are powerful and important in Judaism.

On a more basic level, questions are a frequent part of interpersonal communication, so they should certainly be considered an essential element in any language-learning endeavor. Whether introducing yourself or asking for the price of an item you’re interested in purchasing, it’s crucial to know not only how to ask a variety of questions, but also to be familiar with the most common answers to them. 

Luckily, unlike in English, the form of Hebrew questions generally follows the same form as statements, without any tricky grammar points.

In today’s lesson, we’re going to examine the top ten most common questions you might hear or want to ask of others. We’ll look at the form of each question, possible variations, and, as mentioned, the most common answers. As always, we need to keep in mind the necessary grammatical adjustments depending on who we’re addressing in terms of gender, as well as our own gender. 

Let’s have a look now at our list of common Hebrew questions and answers.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. What’s your name?
  2. Where are you from?
  3. Do you speak ___?
  4. How are you?
  5. What do you do?
  6. Do you have ___?
  7. Do you like ___?
  8. What are you doing?
  9. Is everything okay?
  10. How much does _____ cost?
  11. HebrewPod101 is Here to Clear Up All Your Questions About Hebrew

1: What’s your name?

First Encounter

Perhaps the most common questions are those we use to ask for someone’s name. In Hebrew, there are actually a number of ways we can ask this. Note the difference between asking this question to a male versus a female.

  • מה שִׁמְךָ/שְׁמֵךְ?
    Mah shimkha/sh’mekh?
    “What’s your name?”
  • שמי דניאל.
    Shmi Daniel.
    “My name is Daniel.”
  • שמי דניאלה.
    Shmi Daniela.
    “My name is Daniela.”

We can also ask the same question using the longer possessive form, as follows. Both forms of this Hebrew question are common and completely acceptable, with no difference in formality between them.

  • מה השם שֶׁלְּךָ/שֶׁלָּךְ?
    Mah ha-shem shelkha/shelakh?
    “What’s your name?”
  • השם שלי (הוא) מיכאל.
    Ha-shem sheli (hu) Mikha’el.
    “My name’s Michael.”
  • השם שלי (הוא) מיכל.
    Ha-shem sheli (hu) Michal.
    “My name’s Michal.”

*Note that the word הוא (hu) is optional here.

Here’s another common way to formulate this question, along with example answers:

  • איך קוראים לְךָ/לָךְ?
    Eykh kor’im lekha/lakh?
    “What’s your name?” [Literally: “What are you called?”]
  • קוראים לי שלומי.
    Kor’im li Shlomi.
    “My name’s Shlomi.”
  • קוראים לי יפעת.
    Kor’im li Yif’at.
    “My name’s Yifat.”

2: Where are you from?

World Map with Pins

Another common question, often used as a follow-up to asking someone’s name, is asking where they’re from. This is a pretty straightforward question in Hebrew, though we do have to choose the right pronoun depending on the gender of the person we’re asking.

  • מאיפה אתה/את?
    Me-eyfoh atah/at?
    “Where are you from?”
  • אני מקנדה.
    Ani mi-Kanadah.
    “I’m from Canada.”
  • אני מפריז.
    Ani mi-Pariz.
    “I’m from Paris.”
  • אני מווירג’יניה שבארה”ב.
    Ani mi-Virjinyah she-be-Artzot ha-Brit.
    “I’m from Virginia, USA.”

3: Do you speak ___?

Introducing Yourself

This can be a very important question in Hebrew, particularly if you don’t know a word or phrase. Knowing if your Hebrew interlocutor speaks your language can be a lifesaver. Alternatively, native Hebrew-speakers may wish to ask a foreigner if he or she speaks Hebrew. Again, this is a very simple structure, as follows:

  • האם) אתה/את מדבר/מדברת אנגלית)?
    (Ha’im) atah/at medaber/medaberet Anglit?
    “Do you speak English?”
  • האם) אתה/את מדבר/מדברת צרפתית)?
    (Ha’im) atah/at medaber/medaberet Tzarfatit?
    “Do you speak French?”
  • האם) אתה/את מדבר/מדברת ספרדית)?
    (Ha’im) atah/at medaber/medaberet Sfaradit?
    “Do you speak Spanish?”
  • האם) אתה/את מדבר/מדברת עברית)?
    (Ha’im) atah/at medaber/medaberet Ivrit?
    “Do you speak Hebrew?”

*Note that the Hebrew question word האם (ha’im) is entirely optional.

Following are a few examples of how we might answer these questions.

  • כן, אני מדבר אנגלית שוטפת.
    Ken, ani medaber Anglit shotefet.
    “Yes, I speak fluent English.”
  • בטח, הצרפתית שלי מצויינת.
    Betakh, ha-Tzarfatit sheli metzuyenet.
    “Sure, my French is great.”
  • אני יודעת קצת ספרדית.
    Ani yoda’at ktzat Sfaradit.
    “I know a bit of Spanish.”
  • לא, אני לא יודעת עברית.
    Lo, ani lo yoda’at Ivrit.
    “No, I don’t know Hebrew.”

4: How are you?

Two People Talking

As anyone with the slightest of manners knows, it’s customary to ask someone how he or she is as a matter of courtesy. In fact, this type of language has a word—phatic communication—which is basically a fancy way of saying “small talk.” Just as in English, in Hebrew, it’s customary to ask about someone’s well-being when first greeting them. Following are the most common Hebrew questions to do so, and the kinds of answers you can expect.

  • מה שְׁלוֹמְךָ/שְׁלוֹמֵךְ?
    Mah shlomkha/shlomekh?
    “How are you?”

Obviously, we can answer in any number of ways, depending on our mood. Here are some of the more typical forms to answer this question.

  • שלומי טוב.
    Shlomi tov.
    “I’m good.”
  • אני בסדר.
    Ani be-seder.
    “I’m alright.”
  • לא רע.
    Lo ra’.
    “Not bad.”
  • הכל דבש.
    Ha-kol dvash.
    “Everything is great.” [Literally: “Everything is honey.”]

Here are some other common ways to ask someone how he or she is.

  • איך אתה/את?
    Eykh ata/at?
    “How are you?”
  • איך אתה/את מרגיש/מרגישה?
    Eykh ata/at margish/margishah?
    “How do you feel?”

5: What do you do?

Kids Dressed Up as Professionals

Another frequent question one may wish to ask is what someone does for a living. Note that there are a number of ways to ask this in Hebrew. Let’s have a look at the most common ones.

  • מה אתה/את עוֹשֶׂה/עוֹשָׂה בחיים?
    Mah atah/at oseh/osah ba-khayim?
    “What do you do in life?”
  • במה אתה/את עוסק/עוסקת?
    Be-mah atah/at osek/oseket?
    “What do you do for a living?”
  • במה אתה/את עובד/עובדת?
    Be-mah atah/at oved/ovedet?
    “What do you work in?”

There are a variety of possible answers, as well:

  • אני עובד במפעל.
    Ani oved be-mif’al.
    “I work in a factory.”
  • אני שוטרת.
    Ani shoteret.
    “I am a police officer.”
  • אני לומד באוניברסיטה.
    Ani lomed ba-universitah.
    “I study at university.”

6: Do you have ___?

Lady with Dog

Over the course of many different conversations, you may wish to ask if someone has someone or something. For instance, we may wish to ask if someone has a car, a pet, a hobby, children, and so on. As in English, the pattern for this is constant. 

  • יש לְךָ/לָךְ 10 שקלים?
    Yesh lekha/lakh ‘asarah shekalim?
    “Do you have ten shekels?”
  • יש לְךָ/לָךְ ילדים?
    Yesh lekha/lakh yeladim?
    “Do you have children?”
  • יש לְךָ/לָךְ אוטו?
    Yesh lekha/lakh oto?
    “Do you have a car?”

To answer these questions, we can just affirm or negate with “yes” or “no” (כן [ken] or לא [lo], respectively), or we can elaborate. Here are a couple of examples.

  • לא, אין עליי שקל.
    Lo, eyn alay shekel.
    “No, I don’t even have one shekel.”
  • כן, יש לי שני בנים ובת אחת.
    Ken, yesh li shney banim u-bat akhat.
    “Yes, I have two boys and a girl.”

7: Do you like ___?

Hands Making Heart Sign

It’s certainly quite common to ask someone whether he or she likes something or someone. Note that in Hebrew, there’s no separate word for “like” versus “love.” Rather, the context and intonation generally determine the intensity. Here are some examples of how to ask if someone likes something or someone.

  • אתה/את אוהב/אוהבת אוכל סיני?
    Atah/At ohev/ohevet okhel sini?
    “Do you like Chinese food?”
  • אתה/את אוהב/אוהבת לרכוב על אופניים?
    Atah/At ohev/ohevet lirkov ‘al ofanayim?
    “Do you like riding a bicycle?”
  • אתה/את אוהב/אוהבת את האנשים שאתה/שאת עובד/עובדת איתם?
    Atah/At ohev/ohevet et ha-anashim she-atah/she-at oved/ovedet itam?
    “Do you like the people you work with?”

Here are some possible answers, more elaborate than just a simple “yes” or “no.”

  • אני ממש אוהב אוכל סיני.
    Ani mamash ohev okhel sini.
    “I really like Chinese food.”
  • אני בכלל לא אוהבת לרכוב על אופניים.
    Ani bikhlal lo ohevet lirkov ‘al ofanayim.
    “I don’t like riding a bicycle at all.”
  • אני מאוד אוהבת את האנשים שאני עובדת איתם.
    Ani me’od ohevet et ha-anashim she-ani ovedet itam.
    “I like the people I work with very much.”

8: What are you doing?

Lady Texting

This is another simple question, but one that can come in handy in all manner of situations. This can be a casual question to find out what someone is up to in a given moment, or even a question of annoyance or anger if we don’t like what another person is doing. Obviously, the way one asks this question will make one’s intention clear, just as in English.

  • מה אתה/את עוֹשֶׂה/עוֹשָׂה?
    Mah atah/at oseh/osah?
    “What are you doing?”

We can also tag on a time indicator. For instance:

  • מה אתה/את עוֹשֶׂה/עוֹשָׂה כרגע?
    Mah atah/at ‘oseh/’osah karega’?
    “What are you doing right now?”

Answers to this question can vary greatly, depending on what the other person is doing. 

  • אני נוסע לתל אביב עם חברים.
    Ani nose’a le-Tel Aviv ‘im khaverim.
    “I’m headed to Tel Aviv with friends.”
  • אני מכינה לעצמי ארוחת ערב.
    Ani mekhinah le-’atzmi arukhat ‘erev.
    “I’m making myself some dinner.”
  • אני לומדת למבחן מחר.
    Ani lomedet la-mivkhan makhar.
    “I’m studying for tomorrow’s exam.”
  • אני לא עושה כלום.
    Ani lo ‘oseh klum.
    “I’m not doing anything.”

9: Is everything okay?

Lady Giving Ttwo Thumbs Up

Sometimes, you may wish to see if everything is alright with someone. For example, to check that something we’ve done or said is alright with them, or to check on someone who seems upset, in distress, or in need of help. Let’s look at some of the most common ways to ask this sort of question.

  • הכל בסדר?
    Ha-kol be-seder?
    “Is everything okay?”
  • האם) אתה/את בסדר)?
    (Ha’im) atah/at be-seder?
    “Are you okay?”
  • קרה משהו?
    Karah mashehu?
    “Did something happen?”
  • אתה/את צריך/צריכה עזרה?
    Atah/at tzarikh/tzrikhah ‘ezrah?
    “Are you in need of assistance?”

Here, too, answers can run the gamut. But to answer that everything’s fine, one would answer as follows:

  • הכל בסדר.
    Ha-kol be-seder.
    “Everything is fine.”

10: How much does _____ cost?

Price Tag in Supermarket

This is the type of question and answer in Hebrew you’ll want to become familiar with right away. In Israel, in particular, prices aren’t always printed, even in restaurants. Therefore, you’re more than likely to find yourself wanting to ask the price of something that interests you. By doing so in English, you run the risk of invoking the “foreigner tax,” by way of which prices are inflated with the assumption that foreigners won’t know how much a fair price for a given item or service might be.

Therefore, it’s wise to practice these questions so you can ask in Hebrew without breaking a sweat. Note that you’ll need to change the verb לעלות (la’alot), meaning “to cost,” depending on the grammatical gender of the item or service in question.

  • כמה עוֹלֶה המעיל הזה?
    Kamah ‘oleh ha-me’il ha-zeh?
    “How much does this jacket cost?”
  • כמה עוֹלָה השמלה הזאת?
    Kamah ‘olah ha-simlah ha-zot?
    “How much does this skirt cost?”
  • כמה עולה כרטיס הלוך ושוב לעפולה?
    Kamah oleh kartis halokh va-shov le-’Afulah?
    “How much is a roundtrip ticket to Afulah?”
  • כמה זה יעלה לי עם ביטוח?
    Kamah ze ya’aleh li ‘im bitu’akh?
    “How much will that cost me with insurance?”

Obviously, the answer to any question will be given using numbers and often the currency being used, which is almost always New Israeli Shekels, but sometimes also dollars or euros. Here are some examples of the different possible forms for expressing price in Hebrew:

  • השמלה עוֹלָה 20 שקל.
    Ha-simlah ‘olah ‘esrim Shekalim.
    “The dress costs twenty shekels.”
  • מחיר כרטיס הלוך ושוב הוא 13.50.
    Mekhir kartis halokh va-shov hu shlosh-’esreh khamishim.
    “The price of a roundtrip ticket is 13.50.”
  • עם ביטוח זה ייצא לך 327 דולר.
    ‘Im bitu’akh ze yeytzeh lekha shlosh-me’ot ‘esrim-ve-sheva’ dolar.
    “With insurance, it will come to $327.”

11: HebrewPod101 is Here to Clear Up All Your Questions About Hebrew

We hope you found today’s lesson useful. We can surely all appreciate the huge importance of being able to ask and answer basic questions in any language. Luckily, as mentioned, there’s no complex grammar to learn related to formulating questions. So go ahead and practice these top ten questions and answers in Hebrew so you’re fully equipped to deal with any basic situation that may arise.

Any questions you would like to ask in Hebrew that we left out? What about answers? We’re always happy to hear from you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us and let us know how we can help you! Shalom!

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How to Pass the YAEL Hebrew Proficiency Test

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For anyone who matriculated from high school and/or took their university entrance exams in a language other than Hebrew, the YAEL Test will almost surely be a requisite to pursuing a higher education in Israel

This exam is one of the most popular Hebrew proficiency tests, aimed at testing both the receptive and productive abilities of the test-taker with a specific focus on academic language. YAEL Test scores are used by Israeli educational institutions to screen applicants; many of these institutions specify a minimum score on the YAEL Test as one of their entrance requirements. The higher your score, the more likely you are to be exempted from taking Hebrew language courses during your studies at university.

It’s worth noting that Israeli universities consistently rank among the top universities in the world. Studying in Israel means gaining access to some of the best and brightest academic institutions and minds. 

If you have any interest in advancing your studies in Israel, make sure you prepare yourself for the YAEL Test. Taking it will get you up to speed so you can attain the level of comprehension and production you need to keep up with the demanding pace of Israeli academics in Hebrew. 

In this article, we’ll take a look at what the exam looks like, what you can expect on the day of the exam, and how best to study for it.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. General Information About the YAEL Exam
  2. Overview of the Test Format
  3. Grading
  4. Tips on Preparing for the YAEL Test
  5. Make Use of HebrewPod101’s Wealth of Online Resources to Study for the YAEL Test

1. General Information About the YAEL Exam

Students Taking an Exam

The YAEL Test, or  בחינת יע”ל (B’khinat YAEL), is a Hebrew proficiency exam aimed at assessing the Hebrew language knowledge of non-native speakers intending to pursue enrollment in Israeli institutions of higher education. The exam is required for anyone who has not completed their high school studies and/or the Israeli university entrance exam, known as הבחינה הפסיכומטרית (Ha-B’khina ha-Psikhometrit) or “The Psychometric Entrance Test,” in the Hebrew language. This includes immigrants, exchange students, and students who studied in Israel in languages other than Hebrew (most often Arabic).

The YAEL Test is offered once every two to three months at various testing locations throughout the country, generally in university and college lecture halls. Registration is available either online, via the NITE (National Institute for Testing & Evaluation) website, or by mail using a special registration form that must be requested from the NITE registration center. Depending on the number of applicants, the test is occasionally offered outside of Israel. Further information on testing outside of Israel can be requested from NITE’s Overseas Tests Unit.

There are two ways to take the YAEL Test: either as a stand-alone test or in conjunction with the aforementioned Psychometric Entrance Test. Often, transfer students from non-Israeli academic institutions who have taken university entry exams, such as the SAT, may be exempted from the latter exam, and thus will only need to take the YAEL Test.

To take the exam in conjunction with the Psychometric Entrance Test, when the same is taken in any language other than Hebrew, no separate registration or registration fee is necessary. In such cases, examinees will automatically be signed up for the YAEL Test upon registering for the Psychometric Entrance Test; both exams will be administered on the same day. Examinees wishing to take the Psychometric Entrance and YAEL tests on separate occasions will, on the other hand, need to register and pay a fee separately for each one.

Those exempted from the Psychometric Entrance Exam should apply to take the YAEL Test separately, and pay the relevant fee.

During the YAEL Test, examinees are prohibited from using:

  • Dictionaries
  • Books
  • Papers
  • Any other study aids (calculators, watches, or clocks that produce any sound, cellular phones, laptops, or any other electronic devices)

The YAEL Test is available in a special format to accommodate applicants with special needs, on the same date as the regular test. However, these conditions are offered only in Israel. If you’re interested in making a request for testing with special accommodations, NITE advises that you make such requests at least three months prior to the date you plan on taking the exam. More information on special accommodations is available on the official website.

2. Overview of the Test Format

The YAEL Test consists of four sections, three of which contain multiple-choice questions, and a final section which is an open-format writing task. The first three sections contain 22 questions each, combining different question types (which are further explained below). Examinees are given 20 minutes for each of these sections. For the writing section, examinees are allotted 15 minutes.

A- Multiple-Choice Sections

Multiple Choice Exam

As mentioned, there are three multiple-choice sections for the YAEL Hebrew competency exam, each of which contain a mixture of the following types of questions: Sentence Completion, Restatement, and Reading Comprehension.

1- Sentence Completion Questions

In this section, you’ll be presented with sentences that are missing a word or phrase. You’ll need to complete the sentence using one answer from among the four multiple-choice options provided. These questions are aimed at testing your knowledge of Hebrew vocabulary and grammar, including verb conjugation and preposition use.

2- Restatement Questions

For these questions, you’ll be presented sentences followed by four possible restatements of that same sentence. You must choose the restatement that most closely captures the meaning of the original sentence, despite the alterations in structure and wording. Here, the focus is on assessing your knowledge of vocabulary and syntax, as well as your comprehension of various kinds of Hebrew sentence structures.

3- Reading Comprehension Questions

Perplexed Reader

In the Reading Comprehension section, you’ll be presented with a text followed by questions about its content. These questions may test your understanding of the content, the function of an individual sentence or word within the text, or the ideas expressed in the text and the interconnections between them.

B- Writing Section

Writing in Notebook

The final section of this Hebrew language exam is aimed at assessing your academic writing ability in Hebrew. You’ll be provided with a brief prompt, based on which you will be expected to write a 12-15 line essay. You’ll be given 15 minutes to complete this section, including any brainstorming or outlining. This section is graded based on the relevance of your content vis-à-vis the prompt, the level of coherence and organization found within your composition, the richness of the vocabulary you use, and the precision of the language you employ.

3. Grading

Exam Marks

Your total score on the YAEL Test is derived from the combination of your scores on the first three sections and the written section, and will fall between 50 and 150. The grading scheme works by counting each correct multiple-choice answer as one point, adding these points together, and converting the sum into a standardized total score for the three multiple-choice sections. This score is weighted as two-thirds of your final score, while the essay is weighted as one-third.

Your essay will be graded by two independent graders, based on, as mentioned previously, four criteria: organization, coherence, richness of vocabulary, and precision. Your final essay score is calculated as the average of the two separate scores you’re awarded by the two graders.

Further grading information, as well as the table for converting your raw score on the multiple-choice sections to the standardized score, is available on the NITE website.

4. Tips on Preparing for the YAEL Test

Language Skills

Considering the fact that the YAEL Test is designed to assess academic Hebrew, its expectations are considerable. That being the case, it’s definitely a good idea to begin preparing for the exam well in advance of when you plan to take it. Let’s have a look at some of the most effective YAEL preparation methods.

1. Fully familiarize yourself with the test format and instructions.

    It should go without saying that a key element in scoring high on any exam, including the YAEL, is being able to focus all of your energy and attention on the content of the exam when you take it, rather than wasting your time trying to understand what the questions are asking or perplexing over an unfamiliar exam format. Take the time to read up on the exam before you take it, studying multiple examples of it and reading the instructions carefully. Also note the format and the different question types.
    There are several practice exams available on the NITE website and here. Spend time looking these over, including the explanations provided with the correct answers.

2. Take lots of practice exams.

    The NITE website exams are a good place to start, but you can also purchase books with further sample exams. Take these with a timer, and without the aid of anything that’s prohibited during the real exam (i.e. your cell phone or any study aids). Grade your exams with the provided answer keys, and focus on studying up on the grammar points, vocabulary, etc., that you find you haven’t quite mastered. Try to find native Hebrew speakers with an academic background to check your practice essays for you and give you pointers for how to improve your writing.

3. Invest in study materials and make use of them.

Girl with Lots of Books
    Websites like this one offer various study materials, such as test prep books, vocabulary lists, online exams, and Hebrew lessons tailored to the language knowledge content the YAEL Test assesses. Choose materials that are similar to others you’ve found helpful in your past academic experiences, as well as those focused on areas of Hebrew where you know you need work.

4. Register for a YAEL preparatory course.

    There’s a number of private companies that offer preparatory courses designed to prepare students for the YAEL Test, some online and others in person. For example, the American School, or בית הספר האמריקאי (Beyt ha-Sefer ha-Amerika’i), offers such courses, as does Machon Noam, or מכון נועם (Makhon No’am).

5. Study with others who are preparing for the exam.

Students Studying
    Moral support is always a good thing, as is pooling knowledge. By studying with others who are preparing for the YAEL Test, you can complement each other’s knowledge and give each other a bit of needed encouragement. This is especially helpful when you get caught up on a tricky language topic or score lower than you had wished on a practice exam.

5. Make Use of HebrewPod101’s Wealth of Online Resources to Study for the YAEL Test

We hope you found today’s overview of the YAEL Test informative and useful. Remember that HebrewPod101.com is one of the largest online resources for Hebrew learning. So, in addition to the above tips, feel free to use our site to practice the skills you need to work on with fun, informative, and relevant lessons.

HebrewPod101 is here for you in all of your Hebrew language goals. If you’re planning to pursue an academic career in an Israeli institution, we can help you hone not only your academic language, but also your general language skills so that you’re better-equipped to navigate the ins and outs of life in Hebrew, without breaking a sweat—unless it’s from the warm and sunny Israeli weather, that is.

Let us know if you need any further information or pointers regarding the YAEL Test. We would be happy to be of assistance in all of your Hebrew endeavors. Shalom!

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The Top 10 Hebrew Sentence Patterns

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One of the most helpful things to keep in mind when acquiring an additional language is the importance of picking up patterns. Our brains, in a way, are very much like computers. They work much more efficiently if we can program them with patterns that have versatile applications, instead of trying to memorize every single instance of a given task. 

In the case of learning Hebrew, picking up simple Hebrew sentence patterns is essential. This is because the task at hand is that of either producing or comprehending information (very often both), noting and correctly applying the ways in which it’s organized according to the patterns used in that language.

Hebrew sentence patterns, much like the בניינים (binyanim), or verb conjugation patterns, are certainly among the most useful building blocks you can acquire to help you as you work toward dominating the language. By learning how words are organized and combined to express different kinds of information, you’ll be able to plug the vocabulary you pick up into meaningful sentences and questions. In addition, you’ll be able to understand the same from Hebrew speakers in real life, or from texts, video, and audio.

In today’s lesson, we’re going to show you the top ten Hebrew sentence patterns most commonly used in everyday language. To keep it simple, we’ll focus on present tense only. If you master these easy Hebrew sentence patterns, you’ll quickly find yourself with a new given confidence in both speaking and understanding Hebrew. 

Let’s jump right in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Linking Two Nouns
  2. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns
  3. Expressing Wants
  4. Expressing Needs
  5. Expressing Likes/Dislikes
  6. Making Polite Requests
  7. Asking Whether Something is Possible or Permitted
  8. Asking for Basic Information
  9. Asking the Time
  10. Asking for Location or Directions
  11. Turn Your Hebrew Lessons into a Pattern with HebrewPod101

1. Linking Two Nouns

Sentence Patterns

Perhaps the most common sentence is that for linking two nouns (remember: people, places, and things). 

Think of sentence patterns in English such as “I am Jon,” or “Jon is my neighbor.” These sentences are almost like a mathematical equation, where the verb “to be” is roughly equivalent to an “equal” sign (=).

Of course, this pattern is just as frequently used in Hebrew. However, there is an interesting difference. In Hebrew, we don’t use the verb להיות (lehiyot), or “to be,” in present tense. That being so, you merely need to say the two nouns you want to link, one after the other. Here are a few examples:

  • אני דניאלה.
    Ani Daniela.
    “I am Daniela.”
  • אני תלמיד.
    Ani talmid.
    “I [am] a student.”

*Note that Hebrew does not use indefinite articles, so, for instance, “a student” is just “student.”

In the case of the third person, there’s a variation worth noting in this pattern, in which we insert a personal pronoun between the two nouns we’re linking. This pattern is an acceptable alternative to that shown above, and doesn’t change the meaning at all. Using the last of the above Hebrew sentence examples, we can see the slight change:

  • הכלב שלי הוא לברדור.
    Ha-kelev sheli hu Labrador.
    “My dog [is] a labrador.”

A similar pattern is where we link two nouns by way of a linking verb and what is called a predicative adjective. Think of these as a “roughly equivalent to” sign (≈). In this case, we’ll indeed use that verb in Hebrew. Here are a couple of examples:

  • אתה נשמע כמו חייל.
    Ata nishma kemo khayal.
    “You sound like a soldier.”
  • הכלב ההוא דומה לכלב שלי.
    Ha-kelev ha-hu domeh la-kelev sheli.
    “That dog looks like mine.”
  • הסלט נראה טעים!
    Ha-salat nireh ta’im.
    “The salad looks tasty.”

2. Using Adjectives to Describe Nouns

Boy Describing Something

Another very common sentence pattern in Hebrew is that which uses predicative adjectives to describe nouns with the verb “to be” linking the noun and the adjective. In this case, we’re not saying that one thing equals another; rather, we’re linking a certain attribute to it. Again, we’ll find that in Hebrew, unlike in English, the verb “to be” is absent in this pattern. Here are some examples:

  • אתה גבוה מאוד.
    Atah gavoha meod.
    “You [are] really tall.”
  • העוגה הזאת מתוקה.
    Ha-ugah ha-zot metukah.
    “This cake [is] sweet.”
  • השירים האלה נעימים.
    Ha-shirim ha-eleh ne’imim.
    “These songs [are] pleasant.”
  • הקפה טרי מאוד.
    Ha-kafeh tari me’od.
    “The coffee [is] very fresh.”

3. Expressing Wants

Boy Pointing to Something He Wants

Another basic Hebrew sentence structure is that for expressing wants. In fact, there are two subcategories to look at here, specifically dealing with whether we want nouns or verbs. This is simply the difference between wanting a person, place, thing, or idea versus wanting to do, to have, etc. 

In both cases, Hebrew uses the same main verb, לִרְצוֹת (lirtzot), meaning “to want.” Don’t confuse this with לְרַצּוֹת (leratzot), which means “to please” or “to satisfy.” Let’s have a look at both patterns, along with some helpful examples:

A. Want + Noun

  • אני רוצה בירה.
    Ani rotzeh birah.
    “I want a beer.”
  • אמא רוצה תה צמחים.
    Ima rotzah teh tzmakhim.
    “Mom wants an herbal tea.”

B. Want + Verb

  • אנחנו רוצים לראות סרט.
    Anakhnu rotzim lir’ot seret.
    “We want to see a movie.”
  • שלומי רוצה להזמין אותך לדייט.
    Shlomi rotzeh lehazmin otakh le-deyt.
    “Shlomi wants to ask you on a date.”

We can make these negative by simply inserting the word לא (lo) in front of the verb לרצות (lirtzot):

  • אני לא רוצה בירה.
    Ani lo rotzeh birah.
    “I don’t want a beer.”
  • אנחנו לא רוצים לראות סרט.
    Anakhnu lo rotzim lir’ot seret.
    “We don’t want to see a movie.”

4. Expressing Needs

Emergency Room

We all know that sometimes we don’t just want something, we need it. This is certainly an essential pattern to learn for whenever you need to express an urgent necessity, or even an emergency. Again, we’ll look at two subcategories here, namely those for needing nouns and needing verbs. Once more, the verb is going to be the same in both cases: להצטרך (lehitztarekh), meaning “to need” or “to have to.” Here are some examples of both patterns:

A. Need + Noun

  • רונית צריכה את העזרה שלך.
    Ronit tzrikhah et ha-ezrah shelkha.
    “Ronit needs your help.”
  • אני צריך אוטו חדש.
    Ani tzarikh oto khadash.
    “I need a new car.”

B. Need + Verb

  • הממשלה צריכה לעזור לנזקקים.
    Ha-memshalah tzrikhah la’azor la-nizkakim.
    “The government has to help the impoverished.”
  • אני צריך לאכול עכשיו.
    Ani tzarikh le’ekhol akhshav.
    “I need to eat now.”

Again, making a negative statement is as simple as inserting the word לא (lo) before the verb להצטרך (lahitztarekh):

  • רונית לא צריכה את העזרה שלך.
    Ronit lo tzrikhah et ha-ezrah shelkha.
    “Ronit doesn’t need your help.”
  • אני לא צריך לאכול עכשיו.
    Ani lo tzarikh le’ekhol akhshav.
    “I don’t need to eat now.”

5. Expressing Likes/Dislikes

Sentence Components

Another pattern you’re more than likely to find yourself wanting to use in Hebrew is that for expressing your likes and dislikes. Again, we have two subcategories: like/love + noun and like/love + verb.

One interesting, and perhaps rather strange, aspect of the Hebrew language is that it doesn’t use different verbs to distinguish between liking something/someone and loving it or him/her. So just keep that in mind when you use this pattern. Generally, the context and/or the tone of voice you employ will make the degree of your enthusiasm clear. However, when you use the verb in question, לאהוב (le’ehov), meaning “to like” or “to love,” with a person as the object, it almost always means “to love.” So make sure you mean it if you’re going to say it!

A. Like/Love + Noun

  • אני אוהבת שוקולד.
    Ani ohevet shokolad.
    “I like/love chocolate.”
  • הילדים שלי אוהבים סרטי דיסני.
    Ha-yeladim sheli ohavim sirtey Disni.
    “My kids like/love Disney movies.”

B. Like/Love + Verb

  • חברה שלי אוהבת לאפות לחם.
    Khaverah sheli ohevet le’efot lekhem.
    “My girlfriend likes/loves to bake bread.”
  • דני אוהב לשחק שחמט.
    Dani ohev lesakhek shakhmat.
    “Danny likes/loves to play chess.”

And you guessed it! To make these statements negative, all we need to do is add the word לא (lo) before the verb לאהוב (le’ehov). Note that, as in English, we don’t usually say that we don’t love, but rather that we don’t like either a noun or a verb:

  • אני לא אוהבת שוקולד.
    Ani lo ohevet shokolad.
    “I don’t like chocolate.”
  • דני לא אוהב לשחק שחמט.
    Dani lo ohev lesakhek shakhmat.
    “Danny doesn’t like to play chess.”

6. Making Polite Requests

Someone Taking Couple's Picture on Phone

Yet another common pattern that can be immensely helpful is that for making polite requests. This is particularly helpful when we’re asking something of a person we don’t know well, such as asking a stranger for directions or the time. 

Let’s look at two Hebrew language sentence structure possibilities here: one using an imperative with the word בבקשה (be-vakashah) or “please” attached to it, and the other an indirect question.

A. Imperative + בבקשה (be-vakashah)

  • אמור לי בבקשה מהו שמך.
    Emor li be-vakashah mahu shimkha.
    “Please tell me what your name is.”
  • העבר לי בבקשה את המלח.
    Ha’aver li be-vakasha et ha-melakh.
    “Please pass me the salt.”

* An important note here is that many, if not most, speakers of modern Hebrew use the future form instead of the imperative. While this isn’t technically correct from a grammatical standpoint, it’s so prevalent that one might even say it’s more natural-sounding than the correct form. Here’s what the above examples would look like using this variation:

  • תאמר לי בבקשה מהו שמך.
    Tomar li be-vakashah mahu shimkha.
    “Please tell me your name.” (Literally: “Please, you will tell me your name.”)
  • תעביר לי בבקשה את המלח.
    Ta’avir li be-vakasha et ha-melakh.
    “Please pass me the salt.” (Literally: “Please, you will pass me the salt.”)

As in English, we can also shift the position of the word בבקשה (be-vakashah) to the end of the sentence, without changing the meaning in any way:

  • אמור לי מהו שמך בבקשה.
    Emor li mahu shimkha be-vakashah.
    “Tell me your name, please.”
  • העבר לי את המלח בבקשה.
    Ha’aver li et ha-melakh be-vakasha.
    “Pass me the salt, please.”

B. Indirect Question Using the Future Tense

  • האם תוכל לומר לי מה השעה?
    Ha’im tukhal lomar li mah ha-sha’ah?
    “Could you tell me the time?”
  • האם תוכלי לעזור לי עם שיעורי המתמטיקה?
    Ha’im tukhli la’azor li im shi’urey ha-matematikah?
    “Could you help me with the math homework?”

There are a couple of possible variations here. For one thing, the word האם (ha’im), roughly equivalent to the modal “could” or “would” in English, is optional. Additionally, for extra politeness, we can add in the word בבקשה (be-vakashah) to the same pattern, generally at the very end of the question:

  • תוכל לומר לי מה השעה, בבקשה?
    Tukhal lomar li mah ha-sha’ah, be-vakashah?
    “Could you tell me the time, please?”
  • תוכלי לעזור לי עם שיעורי  הבית במתמטיקה, בבקשה?
    Tukhli la’azor li im shi’urey ha-bayit be-matematikah, be-vakashah?
    “Could you help me with the math homework, please?”

7. Asking Whether Something is Possible or Permitted

No Smoking Sign

Needing to ask permission is yet another situation that’s bound to come up in daily language usage. Let’s take a look at two types of Hebrew phrases for doing this. The first pattern, using אפשר (efshar), is more general, and can be used for asking about whether something is possible (though in certain contexts, it’s also used to ask about permissibility). The second, using מותר (mutar), is used specifically to ask if something is permitted.

A. Asking Whether Something is Possible

We can use the word אפשר (efshar) before a noun to make a basic request, or before a longer question for more complex requests. This form is rather flexible, and can even be used as an alternative way of making a polite request. This is similar to saying “Would it be possible…” in English.

  • אפשר אש?
    Efshar esh?
    “Might I have a light?” (Literally: “Is a light possible?”)
  • אפשר לקבל מים בבקשה?
    Efshar lekabel mayim be-vakashah?
    “Could I have some water, please?”
  • אפשר פיצה גדולה עם הכל?
    Efshar pitzah gedolah im hakol?
    “Could I have a large pizza to go?”
  • אפשר להזמין את הפריט במשלוח מהיר?
    Efshar le-hazmin et ha-parit be-mishlo’akh mahir?
    “Is it possible to order the item with express shipping?”
  • אפשר לומר לך משהו בארבע עיניים?
    Efshar lomar lakh mashehu be-arba eynayim?
    “Could I tell you something in private?” (Literally: “Could I tell you something with four eyes?”)

B. Asking Whether Something is Permitted

  • מותר לצלם כאן?
    Mutar letzalem kan?
    “Are pictures allowed here?” (Literally: “Is it permissible to take pictures here?”)
  • מותר להשתמש במילון בזמן המבחן?
    Mutar lehishtamesh be-milon bi-zman ha-mivkhan?
    “Are we allowed to use a dictionary during the exam?” (Literally: “Is it permissible to use a dictionary during the exam?”)
  • מותר לנסוע באוטו בשבת אם אני לא נוהג?
    Mutar linso’a’ be-oto be-Shabat im ani lo noheg?
    “Is it permissible to travel by car on Shabbat if I am not driving?”

8. Asking for Basic Information

Information Desk

Being able to ask for information is, of course, always useful—and in many cases, vital. Luckily, this is another very simple Hebrew sentence structure that’s easy enough to internalize so that you can use it when you need to. 

All we need here is to know our interrogative and personal pronouns in Hebrew to form quick and simple questions for asking basic information. Note, again, the absence of the verb “to be” in these questions. Let’s see some examples:

  • מה זה הדבר הזה?
    Ma zeh ha-davar ha-zeh?
    “What [is] that thing?”
  • מה זה להתבונן?
    Mah zeh lehitbonen?
    “What [is] ‘contemplating’?” / “What does ‘to contemplate’ mean?”
  • מי זה הבחור ההוא?
    Mi zeh ha-bakhur ha-hu?
    “Who [is] that guy?”
  • מי זאת ריהאנה?
    Mi zot Rihana?
    “Who [is] Rihanna?”

Note that when referring to a single person by a description rather than a proper name, we can use either the pronoun זה/זאת (zeh) or הוא/היא (hu/hi), depending on gender. That said, we generally use the second option for males, and not very often for females. For example:

  • מיהו הבחור ההוא?
    Mihu ha-bakhur ha-hu?
    “Who [is] that guy?”

Additionally, when asking questions about people, we can omit the personal pronoun entirely without changing the meaning of our question. For instance:

  • מי הבחור ההוא?
    Mi ha-bakhur ha-hu?
    “Who [is] that guy?”

9. Asking the Time

Woman Checking Watch

It’s quite common to find ourselves asking the time, say, if our phone’s battery dies or if we’re visiting Israel and haven’t yet adjusted our clocks to the local time zone. Let’s look at a basic pattern for asking the time. In addition, we’ll see another pattern we can use to ask for the time that something is set to occur.

A. Asking the Time

  • מה השעה?
    Mah ha-sha’ah?
    “What time is it?”

B. Asking When Something is Going to Occur

  • מתי יום ההולדת שלך?
    Matay yom ha-huledet shelkha?
    “When is your birthday?”
  • מתי מתחיל הסרט?
    Matay matkhil ha-seret?
    “When does the movie start?”
  • מתי אנחנו חוזרים הביתה?
    Matay anakhnu khozrim habaytah.
    “When are we going home?”

10. Asking for Location or Directions

Road Sign with Arrow

The final pattern that we’ll look at today is useful for asking for information pertaining to the location of something (or directions, if that place or thing is far from our current location). Once again, the verb “to be” is omitted.

  • איפה השירותים?
    Eyfoh ha-sheyrutim?
    “Where [is] the bathroom?”
  • איפה התחנה המרכזית?
    Eyfoh ha-takhnah ha-merkazit?
    “Where [is] the central bus depot?”
  • איפה המפתחות שלי?
    Eyfoh ha-maftekhot sheli?
    “Where [are] my keys?”

An alternative pattern we can use here is created by simply adding the verb להימצא (lehimatze), meaning “found” or “located,” after the question word איפה (eyfoh), meaning “where.”

  • איפה נמצאים השירותים?
    Eyfoh nimtza’im ha-sheyrutim?
    “Where [is] the bathroom found?”
  • איפה נמצאת התחנה המרכזית?
    Eyfoh nimtzet ha-takhnah ha-merkazit?
    “Where [is] the central bus depot located?”

11. Turn Your Hebrew Lessons into a Pattern with HebrewPod101

Man Reading in Cafe

We really hope you’ve found these common Hebrew sentences and question patterns informative and useful. By simply picking up a few patterns, you can go ahead and plug in the vocabulary you want to create myriad sentences and questions of your own. To use them correctly, just focus on which elements are fixed, which need to be conjugated or gendered, and which are totally free to be replaced with the information you wish to insert.

So go ahead and start by practicing the examples given here, then use them to make your own examples for each of the ten categories we’ve seen. In no time, you’ll have added a huge amount of variety and flexibility to your Hebrew skills, thanks to these handy patterns.

Our goal, as always, is to make your learning experience fun, effective, and interesting. Feel free to get in touch with us and let us know if there are any other Hebrew sentence patterns you want to know, or if you need any further examples in the categories we covered. HebrewPod101 is here to help you develop your Hebrew and enjoy yourself as you progress! We’re always happy to hear from you along the way. 

Shalom!

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Hebrew Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Hebrew

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Hebrew! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Hebrew keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Hebrew Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Hebrew
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Hebrew
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Hebrew on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Hebrew Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Hebrew Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Hebrew

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Hebrew

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Hebrew language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Hebrew websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Hebrew teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Hebrew

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Hebrew. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Hebrew, so all text will appear in Hebrew. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Hebrew on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Hebrew language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Hebrew.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as עברית with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on עברית > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Hebrew- עברית.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Hebrew.”

4. Expand the option of “Hebrew” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Hebrew.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Hebrew,” and add the “Hebrew” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Hebrew Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Hebrew will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Hebrew keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Hebrew” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select עברית from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, these are a few good apps to consider:

6. Hebrew Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Hebrew can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Hebrew keyboard.

A man typing on a computer
  • Make sure to set the alignment of the page and the direction of writing to “right to left.”
  • Some letters have final forms and they all have a unique key on the keyboard.

7. How to Practice Typing Hebrew

As you probably know by now, learning Hebrew is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Hebrew typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a HebrewPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Hebrew keyboard to do this!

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Hebrew Verbs List: 100 Must-Know Hebrew Verbs

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Have you seen HebrewPod101’s lessons on 100 Nouns and 100 Adjectives? Today, we’re going to take a look at the top 100 Hebrew verbs! Today’s lesson will both offer you an introduction to the unique grammar of Hebrew verb conjugation, as well as help you to arm your language toolkit with essential verbs.

Verbs are simply a necessity, moreso perhaps in Hebrew than in any other language. In fact, many sentences and questions in Hebrew are actually nothing more than conjugated verbs, so it’s not uncommon to hear one-word sentences and questions.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of Modern Hebrew verbs, which, it should be noted, differ significantly from verb usage in the Bible. We’ll look at the ways a verb’s declension changes depending on what relationship we want to form between it and the agent and/or object of our sentence. And we’ll get a nice, useful list of the most common Hebrew verbs along the way!

For the purpose of getting a solid grasp on the verb patterns, we’ll look at conjugation in the past tense only, using third-person singular masculine to keep things simple. Once you’ve mastered the past tense, it will be easy enough to build the present and future tenses on that foundation and to apply grammatical gender and number. 

Remember that this is one aspect of Hebrew you can breathe easy about. In most language applications, we essentially only use three tenses: simple past, simple present, and simple future.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to the Binyanim, or Hebrew Verb Conjugation Patterns
  2. Paal Verbs
  3. Piel Verbs
  4. Hif’il Verbs
  5. Huf’al Verbs
  6. Pual Verbs
  7. Nifal Verbs
  8. Hitpael Verbs
  9. Conclusion: Verbs are where the action’s at!

1. Introduction to the Binyanim, or Hebrew Verb Conjugation Patterns

Similar to other languages, the Hebrew verb system uses patterns to help us conjugate verbs. Luckily for Hebrew language learners, these patterns are pretty strictly followed, with few exceptions. Also to your advantage as a student of Hebrew is the fact that there’s a logical division of verbs into these different conjugation patterns. In fact, the conjugation pattern tells us the verb’s function. For example, it tells us if it’s an active verb, a passive verb, or a reflexive verb.

Roots of a Tree

Additionally, remember that the entire Hebrew language is built on the shoresh, or “root” system. So we’ll see that most verbs will be represented in different conjugation patterns that will use the meaning of the root word in different relationships. Hebrew verb roots will, for example, indicate if the verb represents doing something to something or someone else, doing something to ourselves, or having something done to us, etc. 

Here are the different Hebrew verb categories according to their conjugation patterns:

HEBREW ACTIVE VERBS

• פעל

Pa’al

• פיעל

Piel

• הפעיל

Hif’il

HEBREW PASSIVE VERBS

• הופעל

Huf’al

• פועל

Pual

• נפעל

 Nif’al

HEBREW REFLEXIVE VERBS

• התפעל

Hitpael

2. Paal Verbs

Top Verbs

To make more sense of the Hebrew verb types, let’s start by taking a look at the root פ״ע״ל (peh-ayin-lamed). This word always has something to do with action, and its various conjugations are not only verbs unto themselves, they’re also the names for the other verbs in Hebrew that follow the same pattern. For example, פעל (paal) means “worked” or “performed,” but it’s also the name for the category of verbs that follow the same pattern, with the vowels קמץ (kamatz) and then פתח (patakh), both of which sound like the “a” in the word “father.” These verbs are general action verbs. 

Here’s a list of paal verbs with example sentences:

  • אמר

Amar

“Said”

דוד אמר שלום לחברים שלו.

David amar shalom la-khaverim shelo.

“David said hello to his friends.”

  • שאל

Sha’al

“Asked”

הוא שאל אותי איפה התחנה המרכזית.

Hu shaal oti eyfoh hatakhanah hamerkazit.

“He asked me where the central bus station is.”

  • כתב

Katav

“Wrote”

הוא כתב לי מכתב באנגלית.

Hu katav li mikhtav be-Anglit.

“He wrote me a letter in English.”

  • בנה

Banah

“Built”

אבא בנה בית מעץ.

Aba banah bayit me-etz.

“Father built a wooden house.”

  • גמר

Gamar

“Finished”

הוא גמר את שיעורי הבית שלו מיד אחרי שחזר הביתה.

Hu gamar et shiurey habayit shelo miyad akharey shekhazar habaytah.

“He finished his homework right after he got home.”

  • שלח

Shalakh

“Sent”

בועז שלח לי מייל לגבי העסקה.

Boaz shalakh li meyl legabey ha-iskah.

“Boaz sent me an email about the deal.”

  • סגר

Sagar

“Closed”

הוא סגר את הדלת מאחוריו.

Hu sagar et ha-delet me’akhorav.

“He closed the door behind him.”

  • ראה

Raah

“Saw”

משה ראה את השמיים האפורים ולבש מעיל גשם.

Mosheh raah et hashamayim haaforim velavash meil.

“Moshe saw the gray sky and put on a coat.”

  • חשב

Chashav

“Thought”

הוא חשב על הבחורה הכי יפה בכיתה והסמיק.

Hu khashav al habakhurah hakhi yafah bakitah vehismik.

“He thought about the prettiest girl in the class and blushed.”

  • זכר

Zakhar

“Remembered”

הוא לא זכר את שמו של האיש הזקן.

Hu lo zakhar et shmo shel ha-ish ha-zaken.

“He didn’t remember the old man’s name.”

  • בחר

Bakhar

“Chose”

רם בחר את הגלידה בטעם וניל.

Ram bakhar et ha-glidah be-ta’am vanil.

“Ram chose the vanilla-flavored ice cream.”

  • שמע

Shama

“Heard”

הוא לא שמע את השעון המעורר שלו.

Hu lo shama et ha-shaon ha-meorer shelo.

“He didn’t hear his alarm clock.”

  • חלם

Khalam

“Dreamt”

דניאל חלם על אי יפה באוקיינוס השקט.

Daniel khalam al ee yafeh ba-okiyanus ha-shaket.

“Daniel dreamt of a beautiful island in the Pacific Ocean.”

  • שמר

Shamar

“Kept” / “Guarded” / “Put away”

אריק שמר את השאריות במקרר.

Arik shamar et ha-she’eriyot ba-mekarer.

“Arik put away the leftovers in the refrigerator.” 

  • מכר

Makhar

“Sold”

סבא שלי מכר את האוטו הישן שלו.

Saba sheli makhar et ha-oto ha-yashan shelo.

“My grandfather sold his old car.”

3. Piel Verbs 

More Essential Verbs

Similar to paal verbs, piel verbs also describe general action verbs and don’t necessarily involve or mention the object of the action being described. They simply follow a different conjugation pattern, which we must learn by practicing. Note that the vowels here are חיריק (khirik) and צירי (tzeyrey), equivalent to the “ee” in “tree” and the “ay” in “tray,” respectively. 

The following is a list of essential Hebrew verbs that fall under the piel category, along with example sentences.

  • נישק

Nishek

“Kissed”

אבא נישק את אמא לכבוד שבת.

Aba nishek et ima likhvod Shabat.

“Father kissed mother for the Sabbath.”

  • שילם

Shilem

“Paid”

הבחור הנדיב שילם על ההזמנות של כולם.

Ha-bakhur ha-nadiv shilem al ha-hazmanot shel kulam.

“The generous fellow paid for everyone’s orders.”

  • מילא

Mile

“Filled (out)”

השוטר מילא את הדו״ח עם פרטי התאונה.

Ha-shoter mila et haduakh im pirtey ha-teunah.

“The police officer filled out the report with the details of the accident.”

  • דיבר

Diber

“Spoke”

הילד דיבר בקול חזק מאוד.

Ha-yeled diber bekol khazak meod.

“The boy spoke in a very loud voice.” 

  • לימד

Limed

“Taught”

אבא שלי לימד אותי לנהוג.

Aba sheli limed oti linhog.

“My father taught me to drive.”

  • טאטא

Tita

“Swept”

העובד טאטא את הרצפה בחנות.

Ha-oved tita et ha-ritzpah ba-khanut.

“The employee swept the floor in the store.” 

  • ביטל

Bitel

“Canceled”

ראש הממשלה ביטל את הנסיעה שלו לחו״ל.

Rosh ha-memshalah bitel et ha-nesiah shelo le-khu”l.

“The prime minister canceled his visit abroad.”

  • חיבר

Khiber

“Connected”

הטכנאי חיבר לי אינטרנט בדירה.

Ha-tekhnay khiber li internet ba-dirah.

“The technician connected the internet in my apartment.”

  • סיפר

Siper

“Told”

החייל סיפר לנו על המבצע המסוכן.

Ha-khayal siper lanu al ha-mivtza ha-mesukan.

“The soldier told us about the dangerous mission.”

  • מיהר

Miher

“Rushed”

השחקן מיהר לתפוס את הכדור.

Ha-sakhkan miher litfos et ha-kadur.

“The player rushed after the ball.”

  • לכלך

Likhlekh

“Dirtied”

הילד ליכלך את המכנסיים שלו בבוץ.

Ha-yeled likhlekh et ha-mikhnasayim shelo ba-botz.

“The boy dirtied his pants in the mud.”

  • חייך

Khiyekh

“Smiled”

הוא חייך לי מבעד לחלון.

Hu khiyekh li mibead lakhalon.

“He smiled at me through the window.”

  • טייל

Tiyel

“Traveled”

שלמה טייל שנה בהודו אחרי הצבא.

Shlomoh tiyel shanah be-Hodu akharey ha-tzava.

“Shlomo traveled for a year in India after the army.”

  • ניצח

Nitzeach

“Won”

הצבא ניצח במלחמה מול האויב.

Ha-tzava nitzeakh ba-milkhamah mul haoyev.

“The army won the war against the enemy.”

  • סימן

Simen

“Marked” / “Highlighted / “Mentioned”

המורה סימן את הדוגמה במאמר.

Hamoreh simen et hadugmag bamaamar.

“The teacher marked the example in the article.”

4. Hif’il Verbs

Hand Turning on Light

Hebrew Hif’il verbs are also action verbs, but these specifically describe something done to something or someone, like a transitive verb in English with an object. For example, in the case of הפעיל (Hif’il), the name of this verb conjugation pattern, the verb of the same name means “to operate something or someone.”

These are very handy verbs to know as they will help us describe all sorts of interactions in day-to-day life. Note that they mostly use the vowel חיריק (khirik) twice, equivalent to the “ee” in “tree,” though some also use צירי (tzeyrey) and חיריק (khirik), equivalent to the “ay” in “tray” and the “ee” in “tree,” respectively. 

The following is a list of some of the most common Hif’il verbs, along with example sentences.

  • הפעיל

Hif’il

“Activated” / “Turned on”

הנהג הפעיל את המזגן באוטובוס.

Hanahag Hif’il et hamazgan baotobus.

“The driver turned on the air conditioner on the bus.”

  • השמיע

Hishmia

“Sounded” / “Played (audio)”

הוא השמיע לי דיסק של מוזיקה קלאסית.

Hu hishmia li disk shel muzikah klasit.

“He played me a CD of classical music.”

  • הכניס

Hikhnis

“Put in” / “Brought in” / “Ushered in”

המנהל הכניס אותנו למשרד שלו לשיחה רצינית.

Hamenahel hikhnis otanu lamisrad shelo lesikhah retzinit.

“The manager ushered us into his office for a serious conversation.”

  • הציע

Hetzia

“Offered” / “Suggested”

אבא הציע לי עבודה אצלו במשרד אחרי האוניברסיטה.

Aba hetzia li avodah etzlo bamisrad akharey hauniversitah.

“Dad offered me a job in his office after university.”

  • הפריע

Hifria

“Bothered”

הכלב של השכנים הפריע לי לישון כל הלילה.

Hakelev shel hashkhenim hifria li lishon kol halaylah.

“The neighbors’ dog bothered me all night as I tried to sleep.”

  • הביא

Hevi

“Brought”

אח שלי הביא לנו מתנות מפריז.

Akh sheli hevi lanu matanot mePariz.

“My brother brought us presents from Paris.”

  • הכין

Hekhin

“Prepared”

מוחמד הכין לנו חומוס ממש טעים.

Mukhamad hekhin lanu khumus mamash taim.

“Muhammad prepared some really tasty hummus for us.”

  • הציל

Hitzil

“Saved” / “Rescued”

המעיל הזה ממש הציל אותי מהקור היום.

Hameil hazeh mamash hitzil oti mehakor hayom.

“This coat really saved me from the cold today.”

  • הבין

Hevin

“Understood”

התייר לא הבין אותנו בכלל.

Hatayar lo hevin otanu bikhlal.

“The tourist didn’t understand us at all.”

  • הביט

Hebit

“Looked”

האיש הביט בנוף וחייך.

Haish hebit banof vekhiyekh.

“The man looked at the view and smiled.”

  • הזכיר

Hizkir

“Reminded”

שמואל הזכיר לנו לקחת קרם הגנה.

Shmuel hizkir lanu lakakhat krem haganah.

“Shmuel reminded us to take sunscreen.”

  • הבטיח

Hivtiakh

“Promised”

זוהר הבטיח לי לשמור על הכלב בסוף השבוע.

Zohar hivtiakh li lishmor al hakelev besof hashavua.

“Zohar promised to watch my dog this weekend.”

  • הזמין

Hizmin

“Ordered” / “Invited”

חבר שלי הזמין אותי לקונצרט ביום שני.

Khaver sheli hizmin oti le-kontzert be-yom sheni.

“My friend invited me to a concert on Monday.”

  • החזיר

Hekhzir

“Returned” / “Brought back”

נהג המונית החזיר אותי הביתה מתחנת הרכבת.

nahag ha-monit hekhzir oti ha-baytah metakhanat ha-rakevet.

“The taxi driver brought me back home from the train station.”

  • החביא

Hekhbi

“Hid”

הקוסם החביא את הקלף בשרוול שלו.

Hakosem hekhbi et haklaf basharvul shelo.

“The magician hid the card up his sleeve.”

5. Huf’al Verbs 

Negative Verbs

Huf’al verbs can be thought of as the passive or past participle of Hif’il verbs. In other words, we’re thinking of the same meaning of the shoresh and the same interaction, just described from the perspective of the object and not the agent. 

To this end, in our examples we’ll look at the Huf’al form of some of the same Hif’il verbs we just saw above. Note that these verbs use the vowels שורוק (shuruk) or קובוץ (kubutz), and then פתח (patakh), like “oo” in “cool” and “a” in “father,” respectively.

  • הופעל

Huf’al

“Was operated” / “Was activated”

השעון המעורר הופעל לשש בבוקר.

Hashaon hameorer Huf’al leshes baboker.

“The alarm clock was activated for six in the morning.”

  • הושמע

Hushma

“Was played” / “Was heard” / “Was sounded”

השיר היפה הושמע ברדיו.

Hashir hayafeh hushma baradiyo.

“The pretty song was played on the radio.”

  • הוכנס

Hukhnas

“Was brought in” / “Was put in”

התלמיד החדש הוכנס למשרד המנהל.

Hatalmid hakhadash hukhnas lemisrad hamenahel.

“The new student was brought in to the principal’s office.”

  • הוצע

Hutza

“Was proposed” / “Was suggested”

הרעיון הוצע על ידי איש צוות מירושלים.

Haraayon hutza al yedey ish tzevet meYerushalayim.

“The idea was proposed by a staff member from Jerusalem.”

  • הובא

Huva

“Was brought”

החומר לבניין הובא לאתר במשאית.

Hakhomer lebinyan huva laatar bemasait.

“The building material was brought to the site by truck.”

  • הוצל

Hutzal

“Was saved” / “Was rescued”

הילד הוצל מהזרם על ידי המציל.

Hayeled hutzal mehazerem al yedey hametzil.

“The boy was rescued from the current by the lifeguard.”

  • הובטח

Huvtakh

“Was promised” / “Was guaranteed”

המקום שלי במשרד הובטח על ידי הבוסית.

Hamakom sheli bamisrad huvtakh al yedey habosit.

“My position in the office was guaranteed by the boss.”

  • הוחזר

Hukhzar

“Was returned” / “Was brought back”

הכלב שלי הוחזר הביתה על ידי שכן שהכיר אותו ברחוב.

Hakelev sheli hukhzar habaytah al yedey shakhen shehekir oto barekhov.

“My dog was brought back home by a neighbor who recognized him in the street.”

  • הוקם

Hukam

“Was established” / “Was founded” / “Was erected”

התיאטרון הוקם לפני יותר ממאה שנה.

Hateatron hukam lifney yoter memeah shanah.

“The theater was founded more than 100 years ago.”

  • הומלץ

Humlatz

“Was recommended” / “Was suggested”

בית הקפה הזה הומלץ לי על ידי ידידה.

Beyt hakafeh hazeh humlatz li al yedey yedidah.

“This café was recommended to me by a friend.”

  • הופסק

Hufsak

“Was stopped” / “Was turned off” / “Was disconnected”

שירות האינטרנט הופסק בגלל אי תשלום.

Sheyrut hainternet hufsak biglal iy tashlum.

“The internet service was disconnected for failure to pay.”

  • הוצב

Hutzav

“Was placed” / “Was set up”

הבסיס הוצב קרוב לגבול.

Habasis hutzav karov lagvul.

“The base was set up near the border.”

  • הושג

Husag

“Was achieved”

השלום עם מצרים הושג על ידי מנחם בגין.

Hashalom im Mitzrayim husag al yedey Menakhem Begin.

“Peace with Egypt was achieved by Menachem Begin.”

  • הועבר

Huavar

“Was transferred”

המכתב שלך הועבר ישר למנהל.

Hamikhtav shelkha huavar yashar lamenahel.

“Your letter was transferred directly to the manager.”

  • הושם

Husam

“Was applied”

למה מחייבים אותי עוד פעם אם המס כבר הושם?

Lamah mekhayvim oti od paam im hamas kvar husam?

“Why are you charging me again if the tax was already applied?”

6. Pual Verbs

Car being Pushed by Man

Pual verbs can be thought of as the past participle of piel verbs. So once again, we’re thinking of the same meaning of the shoresh and the same interaction, but described from the perspective of the object. Again, in our examples, we’ll look at the pual form of some of the same piel verbs we looked at earlier. 

Note that these verbs use the vowels שורוק (shuruk) or קובוץ (kubutz), and then פתח (patakh), like “oo” in “cool” and “a” in “father,” respectively.

  • שולם

Shulam

“Was paid”

החשבון שולם מראש.

Hakheshbon shulam merosh.

“The bill was paid in advance.”

  • בוטל

Butal

“Was canceled”

הקונצרט בוטל בשל מזג האוויר.

Hakontzert butal beshel mezeg haavir.

“The concert was canceled due to the weather.”

  • חובר

Khubar

“Was connected”

החשמל חובר לפני שבוע.

Hakheshmal khubar lifney shavua.

“The electricity was connected a week ago.”

  • סופר

Supar

“Was told”

הסיפור המפורסם הזה סופר בספר הזכרונות של סבא שלי.

Hasipur hamefursam hazeh supar besefer hazikhronot she saba sheli.

“That famous story was told in my grandfather’s memoirs.”

  • גודל

Gudal

“Was raised” / “Was cultivated”

במקור הפלפל גודל במקסיקו.

Bamakor hapilpel gudal beMeksiko.

“Originally, pepper was cultivated in Mexico.”

  • דובר

Dubar

“Was spoken”

היידיש דובר על ידי יהודי אירופה לפני מלחמת העולם השנייה.

Hayidish dubar al yedey yehudey Eyropah lifney Milkhemet Haolam Hashniyah.

“Yiddish was spoken by European Jews before World War II.”

  • יושב

Yushav

“Was settled”

הגליל יושב בעיקר על ידי חקלאים.

HaGalil yushav beikar al yedey khaklaim.

“The Galil was settled mostly by farmers.”

  • כונה

Kunah

“Was called” / “Was nicknamed”

דוד בן ישי כונה גם דוד המלך.

David ben Yishay kunah gam David Hamelekh.

“David son of Jesse was also called King David.”

  • טופל

Tupal

“Was handled” / “Was treated”

התיק שלך כבר טופל.

Ha-tik shelkha kvar tupal.

“Your case was already handled.”

  • זומן

Zuman

“Was invited”

יעקב זומן להשתתף בחידון התנ״ך.

Yaakov zuman lehishtatef beKhidon Hatana”kh.

“Yaakov was invited to take part in the Bible Contest.”

7. Nifal Verbs

Nifal verbs are a bit trickier to describe because they’re used in a diverse set of circumstances. Like Huf’al and Pual verbs, they can sometimes be passive; however, they can sometimes also be active or even be used in situations where they’re something akin to the progressive tense in English. 

We can make more sense of this by seeing some examples. Note that these verbs use different vowel combinations in addition to the חיריק (khirik) and פתח (patakh), like “ee” in “tree” and “a” in “father,” respectively, of the category name נפעל (nifal).

  • נכנס

Nikhnas

“Came in” / “Went in”

הרופא נכנס לבית החולים להתחיל את המשמרת שלו.

Harofe nikhnas leveyt hakholim lehatkhil et hamishmeret shelo.

“The doctor went in to the hospital to start his shift.”

  • נודע

Noda

“Made aware of” / “Became known”

מתי נודע לך על מות השכן?

Matay noda lekha al mot hashakhen?

“When were you made aware of your neighbor’s death?”

  • נראה

Nir’eh

“Look” / “Appear”

אני נראה טוב עם עניבה?

Ani nireh tov im anivah?

“Do I look good in a tie?”

  • נשמע

Nishma

“Sound”

נשמע לך כמו רעיון טוב?

Nishma lekha kemo raayon tov?

“Does that sound like a good idea to you?”

  • נרדם

Nirdam

“Fall asleep”

הכלב שלי תמיד נרדם ליד הכיסא שלי.

Ha-kelev sheli tamid nirdam leyad ha-kise sheli.

“My dog always falls asleep beside my chair.”

  • נמצא

Nimtza

“Is found” / “Is encountered” / “Is located”

איפה נמצא הקניון, בבקשה?

Eyfoh nimtza ha-kanyon be-vakasha?

“Where is the mall located, please?”

  • נמשך

Nimshakh

“Continue” / “Last”

הגשם נמשך כל היום.

Ha-geshem nimshakh kol ha-yom.

“The rain lasted all day.”

  • נשאר

Nish’ar

“Remain” / “Stay”

למה אתה לא נשאר אצלי בדירה?

Lamah atah lo nishar etzli badirah?

“Why don’t you stay at my apartment?”

  • נגמר

Nigmar

“Finish” / “Be over”

הסרט כבר נגמר?

Ha-seret kvar nigmar?

Is the movie already over?”

  • נעצר

Ne’etzar

“Stop” / “Get arrested”

פתאום השעון שלי נעצר!

Pitom hashaon sheli neetzar!

“My watch suddenly stopped!”

  • נסתר

Nistar

“Hidden”

מה שנסתר בלב הוא תמיד מסתורין.

Mah shenistar balev hu tamid mistorin.

“What’s hidden in the heart is always a mystery.”

  • נלווה

Nilveh

“Accompany”

אני מחפש אביזר נלווה לתיק הזה.

Ani mekhapes avizar nilveh latik hazeh.

“I am looking for an accessory to accompany this bag.”

  • נזכר

Nizkar

“Mentioned”

זה אותו המקום הנזכר בתנ״ך.

Zeh oto hamakom hanizkar baTana”kh.

“This is the same place that is mentioned in the Bible.”

  • נשלח

Nishlakh

“Sent”

המסרון שלך נשלח בהצלחה.

Ha-misron shelkha nishlakh be-hatzlakhah.

“Your message was sent successfully.”

  • נקרא

Nikra

“Called”

המקום הזה נקרא עמק השלום.

Ha-makom hazeh nikra Emek Hashalom.

“This place is called The Valley of Peace.”

8. Hitpael Verbs

Woman Putting on Lipstick

Hitpael verbs are definitely one of the coolest features of Hebrew. This is the reflexive form of a verb, meaning it describes something that an agent does to him- or itself. This form is used very commonly in Hebrew. 

Note that it uses three vowels: חיריק (khirik), like “ee” in “tree,” פתח (patakh), like “a” in “father,” and צירי (tseyrey), like “ay” in “tray.”

  • התקרר

Hitkarer

“Got cold”

האוכל שלך התקרר.

Ha-okhel shelkha hitkarer.

“Your food got cold.”

  • התחמם

Hitkhamem

“Got warm”

הוא התחמם מול האח.

Hu hitkhamem mul ha-akh.

“He got warm in front of the fireplace.”

  • הסתכל

Histakel

“Looked at”

הוא הסתכל על כל התמונות אבל זיהה את גנב.

Hu histakel al kol ha-tmunot aval lo zihah et ha-ganav.

“He looked at all the pictures, but didn’t recognize the thief.”

  • הסתובב

Histovev

“Turned around”

הוא הסתובב וראה שמישהו עוקב אחריו.

Hu histovev ve-ra’ah she-mishehu okev akharav.

“He turned around and saw that someone was following him.”

  • הסתדר

Histader

“Worked out” / “Came together”

הכל הסתדר לי אחרי שסיימתי את הצבא.

Hakol histader li keshe-siyamti et ha-tzava.

“Everything worked out for me after I finished the army.”

  • הסתבך

Histabekh

“Got into a bind” / “Had trouble”

הוא הסתבך בכבישים עם ההנחיות הבלתי ברורות.

Hu histabekh ba-kvishim im ha-hankhayot ha-bilti brurot.

“He had trouble on the road with the unclear directions.”

  • הצטער

Hitztaer

Regretted

מיכאל הצטער על זה שהוא צעק על חברה שלו.

Mikhael hitztaer al zeh shehu tza’ak al khaverah shelo.

“Michael regretted having yelled at his girlfriend.”

  • השתדל

Hishtadel

“Made an effort”

אבא שלי תמיד השתדל לעזור לי בלימודים.

Aba sheli tamid hishtadel la’azor li ba-limudim.

“My father has always made an effort to help me with schoolwork.”

  • התחבר

Hitkhaber

“Connected to”

הפלאפון שלי לא התחבר לאינטרנט משום מה.

Ha-pelefon sheli lo hitkhaber la-internet mishum mah.

“My cell phone didn’t connect to the internet for some reason.”

  • השתנה

Hishtanah

“Changed”

הכפר שלי לא השתנה כבר עשרים שנה.

Ha-kfar sheli lo hishtanah kvar esrim shanah.

“My village hasn’t changed in twenty years.”

  • השתמש

Hishtamesh

“Used”

הקצין השתמש במשקפת כדי לסרוק את הסביבה.

Ha-katzin hishtamesh ba-mishkefet kedey lisrok et ha-svivah.

“The officer used the binoculars to sweep the surroundings.”

  • השתתף

Hishtatef

“Participated”

זה הזמר שהשתתף בתוכנית הטלוויזיה.

Zeh ha-zamar she-hishtatef be-tokhnit ha-televiziyah.

“That’s the singer who participated in the TV show.”

  • התבלבל

Hitbalbel

“Got confused”

הנהג התבלבל במחלף ופנה ימינה במקום שמאלה.

Ha-nahag hitbalbel ba-makhlef ve-panah yeminah bimkom smolah.

“The driver got confused at the intersection and turned right instead of left.”

  • התגעגע

Hitga’agea

“Missed”

היפני התגעגע לסושי אמיתי כמו בבית.

Ha-Yapani hitga’agea lesushi amiti kemo ba-bayit.

“The Japanese missed real sushi like back home.”

  • התעורר

Hitorer

“Woke up”

הספורטאי תמיד התעורר לאימון בוקר מוקדם.

Ha-sportai tamid hit’orer le-imun boker mukdam.

“The athlete always woke up for an early morning workout.”

9. Conclusion: Verbs are where the action’s at!

I hope you’ve had fun learning the top 100 Hebrew verbs today. As you can see, Hebrew verbs are a huge topic, so it’s best to take it a portion at a time. For example, you could start by tackling just one binyan or, if you’re a bit more courageous, possibly studying all the active verb forms first, then moving on to the passive ones later. In any case, don’t stress about trying to dominate all of these all at once!

Remember that HebrewPod101 is here to help you grow your Hebrew skills at your own pace. Use this lesson as an introductory guide, and then delve deeper into the topics you wish to study more.

And take comfort in the fact that if you start recognizing the roots in a verb, as well as the conjugation patterns, you can actually start understanding verbs even if you’ve never seen them before, just by recognizing the root letters and the relationship the vowels indicate!

Have fun, and let us know if you’re still a bit unsure about any of the topics we discussed today, or if we left something out about Hebrew verbs that you would really like to know. Also keep an eye out for our upcoming article on how to conjugate Hebrew verbs, where we’ll further discuss how this works.

Shalom!

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The Only Hebrew Pronouns List You’ll Ever Need

Thumbnail

Hebrew pronouns, just like those in English, are one of the seven parts of speech in Hebrew. It goes without saying that knowing the Hebrew pronouns is essential in being able to speak the language with comfort and ease. Even if you’re unsure of what a pronoun is, you can be sure that you use pronouns all the time. 

Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. Often, though not always, they’re used in order to avoid the awkward repetition of proper nouns. So, every time you say “I,” you’re using a pronoun. And when you ask, “What is that?” you’ve just used two pronouns! So you can see that pronouns are a very basic and common language element, and one it’s wise to master.

Hebrew pronouns fall into four basic categories: personal pronouns, demonstrative pronouns, interrogative pronouns, and indefinite pronouns. Don’t get scared off by these fancy names, though! It’s really quite simple. 

Personal and demonstrative pronouns represent a specific person or thing, and indefinite pronouns are used for non-specific nouns. All of these pronouns have gender and are countable. Interrogative pronouns, on the other hand, are simply pronouns used in asking questions. These include “who,” “what,” “when,” and “where.” 

In this lesson, we’re going to break things down and look at a nice Hebrew pronouns list so you have all the knowledge you’ll need to speak and understand Hebrew pronouns in context. Here we go!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. Hebrew Personal Pronouns
  2. Hebrew Demonstrative Pronouns
  3. Hebrew Interrogative Pronouns
  4. Hebrew Indefinite Pronouns
  5. Conclusion: Master Hebrew the Fun Way with HebrewPod101.com!

1. Hebrew Personal Pronouns

People Forming an Arrow

Let’s begin with the most common Hebrew pronouns first: the personal pronouns. As you may have guessed from their name, these pronouns describe people (although in some cases, we also use them for animals as well). Remember that Hebrew uses different grammar for masculine and feminine, and this is true for pronouns as well. 

So as you’re learning these, make sure to pay attention to the fact that a feminine pronoun will be used to substitute, not surprisingly, a female; it will also go along with feminine verbs and adjectives. The same, of course, is true in terms of masculine pronouns for males, along with masculine verbs and adjectives.

Also note that we want to be careful to ensure we have number agreement. This means that if our pronoun is plural, our verbs and adjectives must be as well. 

The following section will also include the Hebrew possessive pronouns, the reflexive forms, and the subject/object forms. Now, let’s take a closer look at personal pronouns in Hebrew.

1- Hebrew Singular Pronouns

Different Faces

1st Person Singular

1. Subject
  • אני
    Ani
    “I”

Note that this pronoun is the same for male and female speakers. However, the verbs and adjectives we use with it must conform to the correct gender. Here are some examples:

אני נוסע היום לירושלים.
Ani nose’a hayom le-Yerushalayim.
“I am going to Jerusalem today.” [male speaker]

אני נוסעת היום לירושלים.
Ani nosa’at hayom le-Yerushalayim.
“I am going to Jerusalem today.” [female speaker]

2. Object
  • אותי
    Oti
    “Me”

אתה שומע אותי?
Ata shome’a oti?
“Do you hear me?”

3. Possessive
  • שלי
    Sheli
    “My” / “Mine”

זה הכלב שלי, ליל.
Zeh ha-kelev sheli, Layil.
“This is my dog, Layil.”

הכלב הזה שלי.
Ha-kelev hazeh sheli.”
“This dog is mine.”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמי
    Atzmi
    “Myself”

אני סגור על עצמי שאני צודק.
Ani sagur al atzmi she-ani tzodek.
“I am sure of myself that I am right.”

2nd Person Singular – Male

1. Subject
  • אתה
    Ata
    “You”

אתה חכם.
Ata chakham.
“You are smart.”

2. Object
  • אוֹתְךָ
    Otkha
    “You”

אני מכיר אותך.
Ani makir otkha.
“I know you.”

3. Possessive
  • שֶׁלְךָ
    Shelkha
    “Your(s)”

הנה הקפה שלך.
Hine ha-kafeh shelkha.
“Here is your coffee.”

הקפה הזה שלך.
Ha-kafeh hazeh shelkha.
“This coffee is yours.”

4. Reflexive
  • עַצְמְךָ
    Atzmekha
    “Yourself”

איפה אתה רואה את עצמך בעוד 10 שנים?
Eifoh atah ro’eh et atzmekha be’od eser shanim?
“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

2nd Person Singular – Female

Introducing Yourself
1. Subject
  • את
    At
    “You”

את חכמה.
At chakhama.
“You are smart.”

2. Object
  • אוֹתָךְ
    Otakh
    “You”

אני מכיר אותך.
Ani makir otakh.
“I know you.”

3. Possessive
  • שֶׁלָּךְ
    Shelakh
    “Your(s)”

הנה הקפה שלך.
Hine ha-kafeh shelakh.
“Here is your coffee.”

הקפה הזה שלך.
Hakafeh hazeh shelakh.
“Yourself”

4. Reflexive
  • עַצְמֵךְ
    Atzmekh
    “Yourself”

איפה את רואה את עצמך בעוד 10 שנים?
Eifoh at roah et atzmekh be’od eser shanim?
“Where do you see yourself in ten years?”

3rd Person Singular – Male

1. Subject
  • הוא
    Hu
    “He”

הוא אח שלי, יונתן.
Hu ach sheli, Yonatan.
“He is my brother, Jonathan.”

2. Object
  • אותו
    Oto
    “Him”

אתה רואה אותו שם?
Ata roeh oto sham?
“Do you see him there?”

3. Possessive
  • שלו
    Shelo
    “His” / “Its”

זה העיתון שלו.
Zeh ha-iton shelo.
“This is his newspaper.”

העיתון הזה שלו. השם שלו הארץ.
Ha-iton hazeh shelo. Ha’shem shelo Haaretz.
“This newspaper is his. Its name is Haaretz.”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמו
    Atzmo
    “Himself”

מה הוא חושב על עצמו?
Mah hu choshev al atzmo?
“What does he think of himself?”

3rd Person Singular – Female

1. Subject
  • היא
    Hi
    “She”

היא אחות שלי, מירב.
Hi achot sheli, Meirav.
“She is my sister, Merav.”

2. Object
  • אותה
    Ota
    “Her”

אתה רואה אותה שם?
Atah roeh ota sham?
“Do you see her there?”

3. Possessive
  • שלה
    Shelah
    “Her” / “Hers”

זה העיתון שלה.
Zeh ha-iton shelah.
“This is his newspaper.”

העיתון הזה שלה.
Ha-iton hazeh shelah.
“This newspaper is his.”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמה
    Atzmah
    “Herself”

מה היא חושבת על עצמה?
Mah hi choshevet al atzmah?
“What does she think of herself?”

2- Hebrew Plural Pronouns

Groups of People

1st Person Plural

1. Subject
  • אנחנו
    Anachnu
    “We”

Note that this pronoun is the same for male and female speakers. However, the verbs and adjectives we use with it must conform to the correct gender. Here are some examples:

אנחנו משחקים כדורגל היום בצהריים.
Anachnu mesachakim kaduregel hayom ba-tzohorayim.
“We are playing soccer today in the afternoon.” (male or mixed gender speakers)

אנחנו משחקות כדורגל היום בצהריים.
Anachnu mesachakot kaduregel hayom ba-tzohorayim.
“We are going to play soccer today in the afternoon.” (female speakers)

2. Object
  • אותנו
    Otanu
    “Us”

תוכל לקחת אותנו לתחנת הרכבת?
Tukhal lakachat otanu le-tachanat ha-rakevet?
“Can you take us to the train station?”

3. Possessive
  • שלנו
    Shelanu
    “Our” / “Ours”

הגיע האוטובוס שלנו.
Higia ha-otobus shelanu.
“Our bus has arrived.”

זה האוטובוס שלנו.
Ze ha-otobus shelanu.
“This bus is ours.”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמנו
    Atzmenu
    “Ourselves”

נצטרך לעזור לעצמנו!
Nitztarekh la’azor le-atzmenu!
“We will have to help ourselves.”

Note that עצמנו (atzmenu), meaning “ourselves,” is interchangeably used to refer to male, female, or mixed gender groups of people and things in the plural form.

2nd Person Plural – Male

1. Subject
  • אתם
    Atem
    “You”

אתם הבנים של רפה, נכון?
Atem ha-banim shel Rafa, nakhon?
“You’re Rafa’s sons, right?”

2. Object
  • אתכם
    Etkhem
    “You” (object)

ראיתי אתכם בפארק אתמול.
Ra’iti etkhem ba-park etmol.
“I saw you in the park yesterday.”

3. Possessive
  • שלכם
    Shelakhem
    “Your” / “Yours”

ההורים שלכם גרים בניו יורק?
Ha-horim shelakhem garim be-Nyu York?
“Do your parents live in New York?”

הכסף הזה שלכם?
Ha-kesef hazeh shelakhem?
“Is this money yours?”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמכם
    Atzmekhem
    “Yourselves”

הסתכלו על עצמכם.
Histaklu al atzmekhem.
“Look at yourselves.”

2nd Person Plural – Female

1. Subject
  • אתן
    Aten
    “You”

אתן הבנות של רפה, נכון?
Aten ha-banot shel Rafa, nakhon?
“You’re Rafa’s daughters, right?”

2. Object
  • אתכן
    Etkhen
    “You” (object)

ראיתי אתכן בפארק אתמול.
Ra’iti etkhen ba-park etmol.
“I saw you in the park yesterday.”

3. Possessive
  • שלכן
    Shelakhen
    “Your” / “Yours”

ההורים שלכן גרים בניו יורק?
Ha-horim shelakhen garim be-Nyu York?
“Do your parents live in New York?”

הכסף הזה שלכן?
Hakesef hazeh shelakhen?
“Is this money yours?”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמכן
    Atzmekhen
    “Yourselves”

הסתכלו על עצמכן.
Histaklu al atzmekhen.
“Look at yourselves.”

3rd Person Plural – Male

1. Subject
  • הם
    Hem
    “They”

הם גרים לא רחוק מכאן.
Hem garim lo rachok mi-kan.
“They live not far from here.”

2. Object
  • אותם.
    Otam
    “Them”

אני לא מכיר אותם.
Ani lo makir otam.
“I don’t know them.”

  • אלה
    Eleh
    “These (ones)” / “Those (ones)”

אלה הדברים שלי או שלך?
Eleh ha-dvarim sheli o shelkha?
“Are these my things or yours?”

We can also use this variation:

  • אלו
    Elu
    “These (ones)” / “Those (ones)”

אלו הדברים שלי או שלך?
Elu ha-dvarim sheli o shelkha?
“Are these my things or yours?”

Note that אלה (eleh), meaning “these” / “those” and אלו (elu), meaning “these” / “those,” are used as both subject and object. Also note that both are interchangeably used to refer to male, female, or mixed gender people and things in plural.

3. Possessive
  • שלהם
    Shelahem
    “Their” / “Theirs”

איפה הבית שלהם?
Eifoh ha-bayit shelahem?
“Where is their house?”

הבית הזה שלהם.
Ha-bayit hazeh shelahem.
“This house is theirs.”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמם
    Atzmam
    “Themselves”

הם לא מרגישים כמו עצמם היום.
Hem lo margishim kemo atzmam hayom.
“They don’t feel themselves today.”

3rd Person Plural – Female

1. Subject
  • הן
    Hen
    “They”

הן גרות לא רחוק מכאן.
Hen garot lo rachok mi-kan
“They live not far from here.”

2. Object
  • אותן
    Otan
    “Them”

אני לא מכיר אותן.
Ani lo makir otan.
“I don’t know them.”

3. Possessive
  • שלהן
    Shelahen
    “Their” / “Theirs”

איפה הבית שלהן?
Eifoh ha-bayit shelahen?
“Where is their house?”

הבית הזה שלהן.
Ha-bayit hazeh shelahen.
“This house is theirs.”

4. Reflexive
  • עצמן
    Atzman
    “Themselves”

הן לא מרגישות כמו עצמן היום.
Hen lo margishot kemo atzman hayom.
“They don’t feel themselves today.”

2. Hebrew Demonstrative Pronouns

Finger Pointing

Another type of pronoun is the Hebrew demonstrative pronouns. These are used to make reference to nouns or to distinguish specific people, places, or things from others. Whenever we talk about “this” and “that,” we’re using demonstrative pronouns. So let’s see some Hebrew demonstrative pronouns, along with examples.

1- Singular – Male

  • זה
    Zeh
    “It” / “This (one)”

אני לא אוהב את הספר ההוא. אני אוהב את הספר הזה.
Ani lo ohev et ha-sefer hahu. Ani ohev et ha-sefer hazeh.
“I don’t like that book. I like this one.”

זה חבר שלי, רון.
Zeh chaver sheli, Ron.
“This is my boyfriend, Ron.”

Note that זה (zeh), meaning “it,” is used as both subject and object.

2- Singular – Female

  • זאת
    Zot
    “It” / “This (one)”

אני לא אוהב את המסעדה ההיא. אני אוהב את זאת.
Ani lo ohev et ha-mis’adah hahi. Ani ohev et zot.
“I don’t like that restaurant. I like this one.”

זאת חברה שלי, רוני.
Zot chaverah sheli, Roni.
“This is my girlfriend, Roni.”

We can also use this variation:

  • זו
    Zu
    “It” / “This (one)”

זו חברה שלי, רוני.
Zu chaverah sheli, Roni.
“This is my girlfriend, Roni.”

Note that זאת (zot), meaning “it” and זו (zu), meaning “it,” are used as both subject and object. 

3- Plural

  • אלה
    Eleh
    “These (ones)” / “Those (ones)”

אלה הדברים שלי או שלך?
Eleh ha-dvarim sheli o shelkha?
“Are these my things or yours?”

We can also use this variation:

  • אלו
    Elu
    “These (ones)” / “Those (ones)”

אלו הדברים שלי או שלך?
Elu ha-dvarim sheli o shelkha?
“Are these my things or yours?”

Note that אלה (eleh), meaning “these” / “those” and אלו (elu), meaning “these” / “those,” are used as both subject and object. Also note that both are interchangeably used to refer to male, female, or mixed gender groups of people and things in plural.

3. Hebrew Interrogative Pronouns

Question Marks

As mentioned earlier, one of the two basic categories of pronouns are interrogative pronouns. To refresh your memory, these are the ones we use in questions, and they’re words that become the grammatical subject of the question. 

For example, when we ask “Where are you?” the word “where” is the subject of the sentence, substituting the name of a place, which we don’t know—hence the question! 

Let’s see what these are and how they look in the next section of our Hebrew pronouns list.  

  • מה
    Mah
    “What”

מה אתה עושה בסוף השבוע?
Mah atah oseh besof hashavua?
“What are you doing this weekend?”

  • איזה
    Eyzeh
    “Which” (male)

באיזה שולחן בא לך (לשבת)?
Eyzeh shulchan ba lekha (lashevet)?
“Which table do you feel like [sitting at]?”

  • איזו
    Eyzo
    “Which” (female)

איזו רכבת מגיעה לעכו?
Eyzo rakevet megia le-Ako?
“Which train goes to Akko?”

  • מי
    Mi
    “Who” / “Whom”

מי אמר גלידה ולא קיבל?
Mi amar glidah ve-lo kibel?
“Who said ‘ice cream’ and didn’t get any?”

עם מי אכלת ארוחת בוקר?
Im mi akhalta aruchat boker?
“Whom did you have breakfast with?”

  • מתי
    Matay
    “When”

אתם יודעים מתי מתחיל הסרט?
Atem yodim matay matchil haseret?
“Do you know when the movie starts?”

  • למה?
    Lamah
    “Why”

אתן יודעות למה לא טוב לאכול לפני השינה?
Aten yodot lamah lo tov leekhol lifney hasheyna?
“Do you know why it’s not good to eat before sleeping?”

4. Hebrew Indefinite Pronouns

Basic Questions

The final category of pronouns in Hebrew are the indefinite pronouns. This type of pronoun is used to reference non-specific or general nouns. These pronouns can be very useful when we want to make any sort of generalization. Let’s have a look at them!

  • כולם
    Kulam
    “Everyone”

כולם יודעים שאין כמו בירה קרה ביום חם.
Kulam yodim sheeyn kmo birah karah beyom cham.
“Everyone knows there’s nothing like a cold beer on a hot day.”

  • כולנו
    Kulanu
    “All of us”

כולנו עייפים אז בואו נישן.
Kulanu ayefim az bou nishan.
“All of us are tired, so let’s sleep.”

  • הכל
    Hakol
    “Everything”

אל תדאג, הכל בסדר.
Al tidag, hakol beseder.
“Don’t worry, everything is fine.”

  • כל דבר
    Kol davar
    “Everything” / “Anything”

כל דבר שאני עושה מצליח!
Kol davar sheani oseh matzliach!
“Everything/Anything I do succeeds!”

  • כל מקום
    Kol makhom
    “Everywhere” / “Anywhere”

אני אשמח להיות בכל מקום חוץ מכאן! יש זבל בכל מקום.
Ani esmach lehiyot bekhol makhom chutz mikan! Yesh zevel bekhol makhom.
“I’d be happy to be anywhere but here! There is garbage everywhere.”

The following are common negative indefinite pronouns. Note in the examples that in Hebrew, we use the double negative.

  • שום דבר
    Shum davar
    “Nothing”

לא עשיתי שום דבר היום.
Lo asiti shum davar hayom.
“I did nothing today.”

  • אף אחד
    Af echad
    “No one”

אף אחד לא הוציא את הזבל?
Af echad lo hotzi et hazevel?
“No one took out the trash?”

  • אף מקום
    Af makhom
    “Nowhere”

אני לא מוצא את הכפכפים שלי באף מקום.
Ani lo motzeh et hakafkafim sheli beaf makhom.
“I can’t find my flipflops anywhere.”

  • משהו
    Mashehu
    “Something”

יש לך משהו קר לשתות?
Yesh lakh mashehu kar lishtot?
“Do you have something cold to drink?”

  • מישהו
    Mishehu
    “Someone”

מישהו הזמין כאן פיצה?
Mishehu hizmin kan pitza?
“Did someone here order a pizza?”

  • איפשהו
    Eyfoshehu
    “Somewhere”

אני בטוח שהשארתי את המשקפיים שלי כאן איפשהו.
Ani batuach shehisharti et hamishkafayim sheli kan eyfoshehu.
“I’m sure I left my glasses here somewhere.”

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

Improve Listening

Great job! You’ve made it through this pronoun lesson in one piece. I know that Hebrew language pronouns are a lot to take in, but pronouns are truly part of the backbone of your Hebrew language mastery. So just pick a few at a time and give them some practice. It’s definitely worth it, as you can see how practical these words are, and how often we use them in everyday conversations. Plus, knowing your Hebrew pronouns will help you avoid a whole lot of confusion when you’re conversing with other Hebrew speakers.

So definitely take the time to study this Hebrew pronouns list and the examples, and go ahead and practice using them to talk about yourself, your family, your pets, your home—anything you feel like. As long as it’s a person, place, thing, or idea, it’s a noun. And as long as it’s a noun, it can be replaced by a pronoun!

I hope you found this lesson useful. Feel free to let us know in the comments below how you feel about using pronouns in Hebrew! Feeling confident, or still a bit uncertain? We look forward to hearing from you, and hope that you’ll continue visiting HebrewPod101.com throughout your journey to language mastery! Shalom!

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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in Hebrew quickly and effectively?

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A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
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As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

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As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

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Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

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The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

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Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

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An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

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Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

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After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

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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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