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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!

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

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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100 Essential Hebrew Adverbs

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If you’ve been working mostly on subject-verb constructs in your Hebrew practice, adverbs can open new dimensions of expressive possibilities. Learning how to use Hebrew adverbs is a great and easy way to expand your toolkit and start expressing and understanding more complex ideas. The best thing about them is that they’re also very simple to use.

In fact, adverbs in Hebrew have only one form, so you can, for a change, stop worrying about singular versus plural and male versus female. Moreover, they don’t get conjugated, so no matter what tense you’re using, you just need to remember one word and one form to use an adverb properly.

Adverbs are essential to any language, and certainly to Hebrew, though they sometimes don’t get the attention they deserve as compared to adjectives. But stand out by dominating this area of Hebrew language study, and you’ll soon impress your Israeli friends. Today’s lesson will cover the basics and arm you with the top 100 adverbs in Hebrew so you’ll have no shortage of ways to express yourself!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Hebrew Table of Contents
  1. What is an Adverb?
  2. Adverbs of Time
  3. Adverbs of Frequency
  4. Adverbs of Place
  5. Adverbs of Manner
  6. Adverbs of Degree
  7. Adverbials Using Adjectives
  8. Placement of Adverbs within the Sentence
  9. Conclusion: Practice Your Adverbs with HebrewPod101

1. What is an Adverb?

Top Verbs

So what is an adverb, anyway? You may notice that it contains the word “verb,” so it’s no surprise that an adverb modifies a verb. It can also modify adjectives and even other adverbs. Adverbs supply us with more information about a verb, usually about time, place, manner, intensity, or frequency. So, for example, the English adverbs “well” and “poorly” could describe the verb “do,” and thus inform us as to how a person performed a certain task.

Hebrew adverbs function the same way as English adverbs, more or less. In fact, they even share some of the same grammatical patterns. Unlike in English, which generally uses the “-ly” ending to identify adverbs, adverbs in Hebrew don’t have a fixed structure to help form or identify them. But the good news, as mentioned, is that they don’t need any conjugation and don’t change based on the gender of the noun(s) they relate to. Nor do they have singular or plural forms; they’ll always remain the same in any application.

Moreover, in Hebrew grammar, adverbs are often formed by modifying nouns with a simple formula, which you can apply in a large number of situations to create a ready-to-go adverb. 

So, rest easy. Adverbs are one of the more approachable elements of Hebrew. Let’s take a closer look!

2. Adverbs of Time

More Essential Verbs

As mentioned, adverbs are commonly used to indicate the time of an action or event. This is a very useful application for adverbs, as it can help us to describe when we did, will do, or tend to do something. Let’s have a look at the most common Hebrew adverbs to describe time.

  • היום
    Hayom
    “Today”

היום אני הולך לאכול פלאפל.
Hayom ani holekh le’ekhol falafel.
Today, I’m going to eat falafel.”

  • אתמול
    Etmol
    “Yesterday”

אתמול נסענו לתל אביב.
Etmol nasanu le-Tel Aviv.
Yesterday, we went to Tel Aviv.”

  • מחר
    Makhar
    “Tomorrow”

יש לי ראיון עבודה מחר.
Yesh li raayon avodah makhar.
“I have a job interview tomorrow.”

  • שלשום
    Shilshom
    “Two days ago”

שלשום אח שלי סיים את הלימודים באוניברסיטה.
Shilshom akh sheli siyem et ha-limudim ba-universitah.
Two days ago, my brother graduated from university.”

  • מחרתיים
    Mokhortayim
    “In two days from now”

מחרתיים אנו יוצאים סוף סוף לחופש!
Mokhortayim anu yotzim sof sof le-khofesh!
In two days from now, we’re finally going on vacation.”

  • כבר
    Kvar
    “Already”

כבר אכלתן?
Kvar akhalten?
“Did you eat already?”Od“Did you eat already?”

  • עוד
    Od
    “Still”

הוא עוד עייף מהטיסה.
Hu od ayef me-ha-tisah.
“He’s still tired from the flight.”

  • עוד לא
    Od lo
    “Still not”

עוד לא התעוררתי. תן לי קפה.
Od lo hit’orarti. Ten li kafeh.
“I’m still not awake. Give me some coffee.”

  • כמעט
    Kimat
    “Almost”

כמעט הגענו.
Kimat higanu.
“We’re almost there.”

  • מיד
    Miyad
    “Immediately”

נקה את החדר שלך מיד!
Nakeh et ha-kheder shelkha miyad!
“Clean your room immediately!”

  • רגע
    Rega
    “Momentarily”

בוא ננוח רגע מהעבודה.
Bo nanuakh regah mehaavodah.
“Let’s take a break from work momentarily.”

  • פתאום
    Pitom
    “Suddenly”

פתאום התחיל לרדת גשם.
Pitom hitkhil laredet geshem.
Suddenly, it started to rain.”

  • לפתע
    Lefeta
    “All of a sudden”

לפתע שמנו לב ששכנו לשלם את החשבון.
Lefeta samnu lev she-shakhakhnu leshalem et ha-kheshbon.
All of a sudden, we realized we had forgotten to pay the bill.”

  • בקרוב
    Bekarov
    “Soon”

הוא מסיים את הצבא ממש בקרוב.
Hu mesayem et ha-tzava mamash bekarov.
“He’s getting out of the army very soon.”

  • הפעם
    Hapaam
    “This time”

הפעם אני לא אשכח להביא מעיל.
Hapa’am ani lo eskakh lehavi me’il.
This time, I won’t forget to bring a coat.”

  • כרגע
    Karega
    “At the moment”

לא עכשיו. אני עסוק כרגע.
Lo akhshav. Ani asuk karega.
“Not now. I’m busy at the moment.”

  • לראשונה
    Larishonah
    “For the first time”

התאהבתי כשראיתי אותה לראשונה.
Hitahavti kesheraiti otah larishonah.
“I fell in love when I saw her for the first time.”

  • לאחרונה
    Laakharonah
    “Recently”

יצאתם לטייל לאחרונה?
Yatzatem letayel laakharonah?
“Have you gone on any trips recently?”

  • אחר כך
    Akhar kakh
    “Afterward”

נאכל, אחר כך נדבר.
Nokhal, akhar kakh nedaber.
“Let’s eat and talk afterward.”

  • לפני כן
    Lifney khen
    “Beforehand”

זה טוב לבלות, אבל צריך לעבוד לפני כן.
Zeh tov levalot, aval tzarikh la-avod lifney khen.
“It’s good to have fun, but beforehand you need to work.”

  • אז
    Az
    “Then” / “Afterward”

ראינו סרט ואז יצאנו למסעדה.
Rainu seret ve-az yatzanu le-misadah.
“We saw a movie, and then we went out to a restaurant.”

  • מאז
    Me’az
    “Since then”

הוא טס לברלין לפני שנה ומאז לא שמענו ממנו.
Hu tas le-Berlin lifney shanah u-meaz lo shamanu mimeno.
“He flew to Berlin a year ago, and since then, we haven’t heard from him.”

  • כיום
    Kayom
    “These days”

פעם עשיתי הרבה כושר אבל כיום אין לי זמן.
Pa’am asiti harbeh kosher aval kayom eyn li zman.
“I used to do a lot of exercise, but these days I have no time.”

  • כל היום
    Kol hayom
    “All day”

איפה את? אני מחכה לך כל היום!
Eyfoh at? Ani mekhakeh lakh kol hayom!
“Where are you? I’ve been waiting for you all day!”

  • כל הלילה
    Kol halaylah
    “All night”

אני גמור. לא ישנתי כל הלילה.
Ani gamur. Lo yashanti kol ha-laylah.
“I’m exhausted. I didn’t sleep all night.”

3. Adverbs of Frequency 

Agenda Book

Another common adverb category that’s related to time is frequency. Note that the difference is that here, we are answering the question how often rather than when. Note that the position of these Hebrew adverbs of frequency changes depending on the word, much like in English.

  • הרבה
    Harbeh
    “Much”

אני לא קורא הרבה.
Ani lo kore harbeh harbeh.
“I don’t read much.”

  • מעט
    Me’at
    “Little” / “Few”

אמור מעט ועשה הרבה.
Emor me’at vaaseh harbeh.
“Speak little and do much.”

  • כמעט ולא
    Kimat velo
    “Hardly”

היא כמעט ולא יוצאת מהבית.
Hi kimat velo yotzet me-ha-bayit.
“She hardly leaves the house.”

  • בתכיפות
    Betkhifut
    “Frequently”

הנתונים מתעדכנים בתכיפות גבוהה.
Ha-netunim mit’adkenim betkhifut gvoha.
“The data updates frequently.”

  • לעיתים קרובות
    Leitim krovot
    “Often”

הם יוצאים לתיאטרון לעיתים קרובות.
Hem yotzim la-teatron leitim krovot.
“They go to the theater often.”

  • לעיתים רחוקות
    Leitim rekhokot
    “Not often”

אני אוכלת בשר רק לעיתים רחוקות.
Ani okhelet basar rak leitim rekhokot.
“I don’t often eat meat.”

  • לעולם
    Leolam
    “Never”

לעולם אל תיסע בטרמפים.
Leolam al tisa be-trempim.
Never hitchhike.”

  • תמיד
    Tamid
    “Always”

שלמה תמיד מגיע בזמן.
Shlomo tamid magia ba-zman.
“Shlomo always arrives on time.”

  • לפעמים
    Lif’amim
    “Sometimes”

לפעמים אני שר לעצמי כשאני לבד.
Lif’amim ani shar le-atzmi ke-she-ani levad.
Sometimes I sing to myself when I’m alone.”

  • כל יום
    Kol yom
    “Every day”

אתה חייב לאכול ירקות כל יום.
Atah khayav le’ekhol yerakot kol yom.
“You must eat vegetables every day.”

  • כל ערב
    Kol erev
    “Every evening”

אני משתדל לצאת להליכה כל ערב.
Ani mishtdel latzet le-halikhah be-khol erev.
“I try to go out for a walk every evening.”

  • כל לילה
    Kol laylah
    “Every night”

כל לילה הם הולכים לישון בדיוק בתשעה.
Kol laylah hem holkhim lishon bidiyuk beteyshah.
“They go to sleep every night precisely at nine.”

  • פעם ביום
    Pa’am be-yom
    “Once a day”

נסו לעשות מדיטציה פעם ביום.
Nasu laasot meditatziyah paam beyom.
“Try to meditate once a day.”

  • פעם בשבוע
    Pa’am be-shavua
    “Once a week”

אנחנו מבקרים אצל סבתא פעם בשבוע.
Anakhnu mevakrim etzel savta pa’am be-shavua.
“We visit Grandma once a week.”

  • כל שבוע
    Kol shavua
    “Every weeK”

כל שבוע אני קורא ספר חדש.
Kol shavua ani koreh sefer khadash.
Every week, I read a new book.”

  • כל חודש
    Kol khodesh
    “Every month”

הסחורה החדשה מגיעה כל חודש מיוון.
Ha-skhorah ha-khadashah magiah kol khodesh mi-Yavan.
“The new merchandise comes in every month from Greece.”

  • כל שנה
    Kol shanah
    “Every year”

הם צובעים את הבית צבע חדש כל שנה.
Hem tzovim et ha-bayit tzeva khadash kol shanah.
“They paint the house a new color every year.”

  • אף פעם
    Af pa’am
    “Never”

אף פעם אל תשכח את השורשים שלך!
Af pa’am al tishkakh et ha-shorashim shelkha!
Never forget your roots!”

  • מתי שבא לי/לו/וכו’
    Matay sheba li/lo/etc.
    “Whenever I/he/etc. feel(s) like it”

אני שותה בירה מתי שבא לי.
Ani shoteh birah matay she-ba li.
“I drink beer whenever I feel like it.”

  • מתי שיוצא לי/לו/וכו’
    Matay she-yotze li/lo/etc.
    “Whenever I/he/etc. can”

אני לומדת משהו חדש מתי שיוצא לי.
Ani lomedet mashehu khadash matay sheyotze li.
“I learn something new whenever I can.”

  • בכל הזדמנות
    Be-khol hizdamnut
    “Every chance I/he/etc. get(s)”

רמי נוסע לצפון בכל הזדמנות.
Rami nose’a la-Tzafon be-khol hizdamnut.
“Rami heads to the North every chance he gets.”

  • פעם בחיים
    Pa’am bakhayim
    “Once in a lifetime”

פעם בחיים כדאי לעשות משהו באמת מטורף.
Pa’am ba-khayim keday la’asot mashehu be’emet metoraf.
“Once in a lifetime, you should do something really crazy.”

4. Adverbs of Place

We also use adverbs to describe the location or position of nouns, or to give similar information regarding a verb. The following are the most commonly used such adverbs in Hebrew.

  • פה
    Poh
    “Here”

ממש חם פה.
Mamash kham po.
“It’s really hot here.”

  • כאן
    Kan
    “Here”

אני גר כאן באמצע הטבע.
Ani gar kan be-emtza ha-teva.
“I live here in the heart of nature.”

  • שם
    Sham
    “There”

אתה רואה את הבית הצהוב שם?
Atah roeh et ha-bayit ha-tzahov sham?
“Do you see the yellow house there?”

  • עד הנה
    Ad henah
    “This far”

אם הגעתם עד הנה, למה לא להמשיך עד סוף הדרך?
Im higatem ad henah, lamah lo lehamshikh ad sof ha-derekh?
“If you’ve made it this far, why not continue to the end of the path?”

  • בפנים
    Bifnim
    “Inside”

חברה שלך מחכה לך שם בפנים.
Khaverah shelkha mekhakah lekha sham bifnim.
“Your girlfriend is waiting for you there inside.”

  • בחוץ
    Bakhutz
    “Outside”

קר מאוד בחוץ היום.
Kar meod bakhutz hayom.
“It’s very cold outside today.”

  • קדימה
    Kadimah
    “Forward”

סע קדימה וכבר תראה את החנות.
Sa kadimah ve-kvar tir’eh et ha-khanut.
“Go forward and you’ll see the store in just a moment.”

  • אחורה
    Akhorah
    Akhorah

הסתכל אחורה. איזה נוף יפה!
Histakel akhorah. Eyzeh nof yafeh!
“Look back. What a beautiful view!”

  • הצידה
    Hatzidah
    “Sideways” / “Aside”

זוזי הצידה בבקשה כדי שאוכל לעבור.
Zuzi hatzidah bevakashah kedey she-ukhal la’avor.
“Move aside, please, so that I can pass.”

  • ימינה
    Yeminah
    “Right”

פנה ימינה ברמזור.
Pneh yeminah baramzor.
“Turn right at the light.”

  • שמאלה
    Smolah
    “Left”

פני שמאלה בצומת.
Pni smolah batzomet.
“Turn left at the intersection.”

  • למעלה
    Lemalah
    “Above” / “Upstairs”

בא לך לעלות למעלה לכוס תה?
Ba lakh laalot lemalah lekos teh?
“Would you like to come upstairs for a cup of tea?”

  • למטה
    Lematah
    “Below” / “Downstairs”

מישהו מחכה לך למטה בכניסה.
Mishehu mekhakeh lekha lematah baknisah.
“Someone is waiting for you downstairs at the front door.”

  • מסביב
    Misaviv
    “Around” / “All around”

הסבתא מתכוננת לצאת למסע מסביב לעולם.
Ha-savta mitkonenet latset le-masa misaviv la-olam.
“The grandmother is planning to go on a trip around the world.”

  • אחורה
    akhora
    “Backward”

סע אחורה! כאן חסום.
Sa akhora! Kan khasum.
“Go backward! This way is closed.”

  • מעל
    Meal
    “Atop / “On top of”

יש נוף נפלא מעל הבניין שלנו.
Yesh nof nifla meal habinyan shelanu.
“There’s an incredible view from atop our building.”

  • מתחת ל…
    Mitakhat l…
    “Beneath” / “Under”

מצאתי מכתב מתחת לשטיח.
Matzati mikhtav mitakhat la-shatiakh.
“I found a letter under the mat.”

  • ליד
    Leyad
    “Next to”

חפש בשולחן ליד האגרטל.
Khapes ba-shulkhan letzad ha-agartal.
“Look on the table next to the vase.”

  • בסמוך ל
    Besamukh le
    “Alongside” / “Near”

הבית שלה נמצא בסמוך לתחנה המרכזית.
Habayit shelah nimtsa besamukh la-takhanah hamerkazit.
“Her house is near the bus depot.”

5. Adverbs of Manner

Man Lighting Cigarette with Money

Adverbs of manner are a general category that refers to adverbs which provide information about the manner or way something is done or happens. This can be in terms of anything: speed, intensity, proficiency, appearance, and much more. Let’s see the most commonly used Hebrew adverbs of manner.

This is a good opportunity to introduce the form we mentioned earlier, in which we create an adverbial (an adverb phrase) by joining the preposition ב (be), meaning “in” / “with,” to a noun. For example, if we want to say “thoroughly,” we can use the noun יסודיות (yesodiyut), or “thoroughness,” to create ביסודיות (beyesodiyut), which, though it literally means “in thoroughness,” is the equivalent of “thoroughly” in English. 

You’ll see several more examples of this form below.

  • היטב
    Heytev
    “Well”

אל תדאג, אני מבין אותך היטב.
Al tidag, ani mevin otkha heytev.
“Don’t worry, I understand you well.”

  • רע
    Ra
    “Poorly”

היא רוקדת רע מאוד.
Hi rokedet ra meod.
“She dances very poorly.”

  • נכון
    Nakhon
    “Correctly”

יופי, ענית נכון על השאלה שלי.
Yofi, anita nakhon al hasheelah sheli.
“Nice, you answered my question correctly.”

  • לא נכון
    Lo nakon
    “Incorrectly”

רשמת את השם שלי לא נכון.
Rashamt et ha-shem sheli lo nakhon.
“You wrote my name incorrectly.”

  • יפה
    Yafeh
    “Nicely” / “Beautifully”

איזה יפה הוא שר!
Eyzeh yafeh hu shar!
“How beautifully he sings!”

  • מהר
    Maher
    “Fast”

זוז מהר, הם מחכים לנו!
Zuz maher, hem mekhakim lanu.
“Move fast, they’re waiting for us.”

  • לאט
    Le’at
    “Slow(ly)”

למה הם הולכים כל כך לאט?
Lamah hem holkhim kol kakh le’at?
“Why are they walking so slowly?”

  • ברצינות
    Biritzinut
    “Seriously”

אנחנו צריכים לדבר ברצינות.
Anakhnu tsrikhim ledaber biritzinut.
“We need to talk seriously.”

  • מעולה
    Meuleh
    “Fantastically”

ענת מבשלת מעולה.
Anat mevashelet meuleh.
“Anat cooks fantastically.”

  • בכיף
    Bekef
    “With pleasure”

בכיף אצטרף למשחק שלכם!
Bekeyf etztaref la-miskhak shelakhem!
“I’ll join your game with pleasure!”

  • בשמחה
    Besimkhah
    “Gladly”

נעזור לך בשמחה.
Na’azor lekha besimkhah.
“We’ll gladly help you.”

  • בעדינות
    Be’adinut
    “Gently”

שים את התינוק במיטה בעדינות.
Sim et ha-tinok ba-mitah be’adinut.
“Put the baby in the bed gently.”

  • בזהירות
    Bi’zhirut
    “Carefully”

הרם את הטלוויזיה הזאת בזהירות.
Harem et hateleviziyah hazot biz’hirut.
“Pick that TV up carefully.”

  • בזריזות
    Bezrizut
    “On the double”

התארגן בזריזות. האוטובוס כבר יוצא.
Hitargen bezrizut. Haotobus kvar yotze.
“Get ready on the double. The bus is about to leave.”

  • בטירוף
    Be’teyruf
    “Savagely” / “Wildly”

אכלנו בטירוף, היינו כל כך רעבים.
Akhalnu beteyruf, hayinu kol kakh reevim.
“We ate savagely, we were so hungry.”

  • בעייפות
    Be’ayefut
    “Tiredly”

אם אתה הולך לעבוד ככה בעייפות, עדיף שנמשיך מחר.
Im atah holekh laavod kakhah beayefut, adif shenamshikh makhar.
“If you’re going to work tiredly like that, it’s better that we continue tomorrow.”

6. Adverbs of Degree

Voltmeter

A very important group of Hebrew adverbs, the adverbs of degree tell us the extent of an adjective or adverb. (Remember that adverbs are words that describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs.) Let’s see the most important ones in Hebrew.

  • מאוד
    Very
    “Very” / “Very much”

נעים מאוד להכיר.
Naim meod lehakir.
Very nice to meet you.”

  • ממש
    Mamash
    “Really” / “Truly”

אילן הוא ילד ממש נחמד.
Ilan hu yeled mamash nekhmad.
“Ilan is a really nice boy.”

  • קצת
    Ktzat
    “A bit” / “Slightly”

האם תוכל לדבר קצת יותר לאט?
Haim tukhal ledaber ktzat yoter leat?
“Could you speak a bit more slowly?”

  • יותר
    Yoter
    “More”

האם תוכל לדבר קצת יותר לאט?
Haim tukhal ledaber ktzat yoter le’at?
“Could you speak a bit more slowly?”

  • פחות
    Pakhot
    “Less”

לירון מבינה במחשבים פחות מנילי.
Liron mevinah be-makhshevim pakhot mi-Nili.
“Liron knows less about computers than Nili.”

  • בכלל לא
    Bikhlal lo
    “Not at all”

למה לשתות אם אני בכלל לא צמא?
Lamah lishtot im ani bikhlal lo tzame?
“Why should I drink if I’m not thirsty at all?”

  • המון
    Hamon
    “A lot”

החבר’ה האלה עושים המון רעש.
Hakhevreh haeleh osim hamon raash.
“Those guys are making a lot of noise.”

  • די
    Dey
    “Fairly” / “Pretty”

אני די בטוח שביטלו את השיעור.
Ani dey batuakh she-bitlu et ha-shiur.
“I’m pretty sure the class was cancelled.”

  • כל כך
    Kol kakh
    “So”

למה אתם כל כך עייפים?
Lamah atem kol kakh ayefim?
“Why are you so tired?”

  • נורא
    Nora
    “Terribly”

אלכס נורא מתגעגע אליך.
Aleks nora mitga’agea elayikh.
“Alex misses you terribly.”

  • לגמרי
    Legamrey
    “Totally”

רוני אבוד לגמרי במתמטיקה.
Roni avud legamrey be-matematikah.
“Ronit is totally lost in math.”

  • בהחלט
    Behekhlet
    “Certainly”

המבחן הזה בהחלט היה קשה.
Hamivkhan hazeh behekhlet hayah kasheh.
“That test was certainly difficult.”

  • לחלוטין
    Lekhalutin
    “Completely”

השאלה שלך אבסורדית לחלוטין.
Hasheelah shelakh absurdit lekhalutin.
“Your question is completely absurd.”

7. Adverbials Using Adjectives

Finally, let’s take a look at an adverbial form rather unique to the Hebrew language. Since, as you will have noticed, Hebrew doesn’t have a set pattern for creating adverbs from adjectives, like in English. Let’s look at two ways we can take most adjectives and turn them into adverbials.

Basically, we can use the preposition ב (be), meaning “in” or “with,” along with either the noun צורה (tzurah) or אופן (ofen), both of which mean “manner” or “way,” followed by the adjective we want to turn into an adverb. This can be done with just about any adjective, although obviously some are used this way more commonly than others. Here are some common examples.

  • בצורה אוטומטית
    Betzurah otomatit
    “Automatically”

המחשב משנה את השפה בצורה אוטומטית.
Hamakhsehv meshanah et hasafah betzurah otomatit.
“The computer changes languages automatically.”

  • באופן מקצועי
    Be-ofen miktzo’ii
    “Professionally”

השיפוץ נעשה באופן מקצועי.
Hashiputz neesah be-ofen miktzoi.
“The renovation was done professionally.”

  • בצורה נקייה
    Be-tzurah nekiyah
    “Cleanly” / “Neatly”

שרה עובדת בצורה נקייה.
Sarah ovedet be-tzurah nekiyah.
“Sarah works cleanly.”

  • באופן מושלם
    Be-ofen mushlam
    “Perfectly”

חנית את האוטו באופן מושלם!
Khanita et ha-oto beofen mushlam!
“You parked the car perfectly!”

  • בצורה מטומטמת
    Betzurah metumtemet
    “Stupidly”

מי בנה את הכביש הזה בצורה כל כך מטומטמת?
Mi banah et ha-kvish hazeh be-tzurah kol kakh metumtemet?
“Who built this road so stupidly?”

  • לחלוטין
    Lakhalutin
    “Wholly” / “Completely”

השודדים רוקנו את הבנק לחלוטין.
Hashodedim roknu et ha-bank lakhalutin.
“The robbers cleaned out the bank completely.”

  • בצורה מצחיקה
    Betzurah matzkhikah
    “Funny” / “Funnily”

האישה ההיא מדברת בצורה מצחיקה.
Ha-ishah ha-hi medaberet be-tzurah matzkhikah.
“That lady talks funny.”

8. Placement of Adverbs within the Sentence

Just like in English, the question of word order vis-a-vis adverbs is somewhat complicated. However, there are some general rules to help us. Let’s have a look at them.

1. Time adverbs can come first or last in the sentence and, for some time adverbs, right after the subject. The only difference in terms of choosing where to place them is one of emphasis. For example, compare these three variations:

  • עכשיו אני הולך לישון.
    Akhshav ani holekh lishon.
    “Now, I am going to sleep.”
  • אני הולך לישון עכשיו.
    Ani holekh lishon akhshav.
    “I am going to sleep now.”
  • אני עכשיו הולך לישון.
    Ani akhshav holekh lishon.
    “I am now going to sleep.”

2. Frequency and manner adverbs, except in very literary instances, come after the verb or its object. For example:

  • הוא רץ מהר.
    Hu ratz maher.
    He runs fast.”
  • חצינו את הכביש בזהירות.
    Khatzinu et ha-kvish bi’zhirut.
    We crossed the street carefully.”

3. Degree adverbs tend to follow the adjective they qualify. For example:

  • עברית היא שפה קשה מאוד.
    Ivrit hi safah kashah meod.
    “Hebrew is a very difficult language.”

4. Unlike in English, it’s possible to position an adverb between a subject and its object. For example:

  • אני לומד עכשיו עברית.
    Ani lomed akhshav Ivrit.
    I am learning Hebrew now.”

5. Adverbials (adverb phrases made up of two or more words, or compounds) tend to come at the very beginning or the very end of the sentence. For example:

  • בכל הזדמנות אני עושה יוגה.
    Bekhol hizdamnut ani osah yogah.
    “Every chance I get, I do yoga.”
  • אני עושה יוגה בכל הזדמנות.
    Ani osah yogah bekhol hizdamnut.
    “I do yoga every chance I get.”

9. Conclusion: Practice Your Adverbs with HebrewPod101

We hope you’ve enjoyed this lesson on Hebrew adverbs very well (Did you notice how I threw in two adverbs there to see if you were paying attention?). As we tend to recommend when covering topics like this one, it’s a good idea to digest adverbs in Hebrew a bit at a time. You can do this by category, alphabetically, or any way you’d like, just so long as you don’t overwhelm yourself with too much at once.

Our goal here at HebrewPod101.com is to ensure you can develop your Hebrew with as little stress and as much fun as possible. Because learning languages should never hurt!

Feel free to let us know how you’re feeling about adverbs in Hebrew after this lesson. Are things pretty clear or are you still a bit shaky? Do you need any further help with something we mentioned, or did we leave anything out you would like to know about adverbs? Get in touch. We’d be happy to hear from you. 

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

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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.
“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 going to play 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?

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

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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 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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Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

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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.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

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Example Scenario:

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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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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With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

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Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

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Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

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My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

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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A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

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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It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

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Everything’s in Order: Guide to Hebrew Sentence Structure

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Have you ever found yourself in the following situation? 

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

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

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

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

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

1. Overview of Word Order in Hebrew

Improve Pronunciation

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

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

2. Basic Word Order with Subject, Verb & Object

Subject and Object Lists

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

אני לומד עברית.

Ani lomed Ivrit.

“I study Hebrew.”

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

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

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

  1. אני לומד עברית כל יום.

Ani lomed Ivrit kol yom.

“I study Hebrew every day.”

  1. למדתי עברית אתמול.

Lamadeti Ivrit etmol.

“I studied Hebrew yesterday.”

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

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

  1. סיפרו לי שאתה לומד עברית.

Sipru li she-atah lomed Ivrit.

“Someone told me that you are learning Hebrew.” 

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

  1. הגיע בשבילך משהו בדואר.

Higi’a bishvil’kha mashehu ba-do’ar.

“Something came for you in the mail.” 

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

Nice Guy

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

  1. דניאל היה תלמיד טוב.

Daniel hayah talmid tov.

“Daniel was a good student.”

  1. דניאל תלמיד טוב.

Daniel talmid tov.

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

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

  1. היה לי חבר אמריקאי שלמד עברית בירושלים.

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

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

  1. יהיה כיף ללמוד עברית בירושלים.

Yihiyeh keyf lilmod Ivrit be-Yerushalayim.

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

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

  1. היה לי חבר שלמד עברית בירושלים.

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

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

  1. יש לי חבר אמריקאי שלומד עברית בירושלים.

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

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

  1. יהיה לי זמן לפגוש חברים בירושלים.

Yehiyeh li zman lifgosh khaverim be-Yerushalayim.

I will have time to meet friends in Jerusalem.”

Friends

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

  1. לא היה לי זמן לבשל משהו טעים.

Lo hayah li zman levashel mashehu ta’im.

I had no time to cook something tasty.”

  1. אין לי זמן לבשל משהו טעים.

Eyn li zman levashel mashehu ta’im.

I have no time to cook something tasty.”

  1. לא יהיה לי זמן לבשל משהו טעים.

Lo yehiyeh li zman levashel mashehu ta’im.

I will not have time to cook something tasty.”

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

  1. הוא אכל את הפלאפל.

Hu akhal et ha-falafel.

“He ate the falafel.”

  1. היא מוכרת את האוטו שלה.

Hi mokheret et ha-oto shelah.

“She is selling her car.”

  1. אנחנו נסדר את הספרים.

Anakhnu nesader et ha-s’farim.

“We’ll organize the books.”

3. Word Order with Prepositional Phrases

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

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

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

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

Ballerinas
  • הספר על השולחן הוא שלי.

Ha-sefer al ha-shulkhan hu sheli.

“The book on the table is mine.”

  • אכלתי את הפיצה שהייתה על המדף העליון במקרר.

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

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

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

  • רונית רצה לכיוון בית הספר.

Ronit ratzah le-kivun beyt ha-sefer.

“Ronit ran toward the school.”

  • נסענו באוטו לתוך הלילה.

Nasa’nu ba-oto letokh ha-laylah.

“We drove into the night.”

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

Clock
  • נאכל אחרי טקס הסיום.

Nokhal akharey tekes ha-siyum.

“We’ll eat after the graduation ceremony.”

  • בזמן שישנת הכנתי ארוחת בוקר.

Be-zman she-yashanta, hekhanti arukhat boker.

While you slept, I made breakfast.”

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

  • שתינו שתי כוסות יין.

Shatinu shtey cosot yayin.

“We drank two glasses of wine.”

  • יפעת קוראת ספר על מלחמת העולם השנייה.

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

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

4. Word Order with Modifiers

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

1. Adjectives

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

  • רמון המקסיקני לומד עברית.

Ramon ha-Meksikani lomed Ivrit.

Mexican Ramón studies Hebrew.”

  • התלמיד המקסיקני לומד עברית.

Ha-Talmid ha-Meksikani lomed Ivrit.

“The Mexican student studies Hebrew.”

2. Determiners

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

Child Pointing
  • התלמיד הזה לומד עברית.

Ha-Talmid ha-zeh lomed Ivrit.

This student studies Hebrew.”

  • התלמידה ההיא לומדת עברית.

Ha-talmidah ha-hi lomed Ivrit.

That student studies Hebrew.”

  • התלמידים האלה לומדים עברית מהספר הזה.

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

These students study Hebrew from this book.”

3. Numbers

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

  • שלושה תלמידים לומדים עברית.

Shloshah talmidim lomdim Ivrit.

Three students study Hebrew.”

  • מריה לומדת עברית אצל שני מורים פרטיים.

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

“Maria studies Hebrew with two private tutors.”

4. Possessive pronouns

Handing Off Car Keys

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

  • אמא שלי לומדת עברית.

Ima sheli lomedet Ivrit.

My mother studies Hebrew.”

  • העברית שלך טובה מאוד.

Ha-Ivrit shelakh tovah me’od.

Your Hebrew is very good.”

5. Relative clauses

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

  • שכן שלי שנסע לירושלים למד עברית באוניברסיטה.

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

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

  • הוא למד בקמפוס שנמצא בהר הצופים.

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

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

5. Word Order in Questions

Woman Wondering with Question Marks

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

  • מתי אתה נוסע לחו”ל?

Matay atah nose’a le-khul?

When are you traveling abroad?”

-אני נוסע לחו”ל בעוד חודש.

Ani nose’a le-khul be-od khodesh.

“I’m traveling abroad in a month.”

  • מי רוצה גלידה?

Mi rotzeh glidah?

Who wants ice cream?”

-כולנו רוצים גלידה!

Kulanu rotzim glidah!

“We all want ice cream!”

  • איפה שמת את הארנק שלי?

Eyfoh samt et ha-arnak sheli?

Where did you put my wallet?”

-שמתי את הארנק שלך מעל המקרר.

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

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

6. Translation Exercises

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

1. Ben and Julie study Hebrew.

2. Ben and Julie study Hebrew in Jerusalem.

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

4. Where do Ben and Julie study Hebrew?

5. With whom do Ben and Julie study Hebrew?

ANSWERS:

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

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

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

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

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

Shalom!

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The Ultimate Guide on How to Tell Time in Hebrew

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

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

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

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

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

1. How to Ask for the Time

Standard Clock

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

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

  • מה השעה?

Mah ha-sha’ah?

“What time is it?”

  • האם אתה יודע מה השעה, בבקשה?

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

“Do you have the time, please?”

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

  • מתי ה_?

Matay ha_?

“What time is the _?”

For example:

  • מתי הסרט עם בראד פיט?

Matay ha-seret im Brad Pitt?

“What time is the movie with Brad Pitt?”

  • מתי האוטובוס לתל אביב יוצא?

Matay haotobus leTel Aviv yotze?

“When does the bus to Tel Aviv leave?”

2. The Hours in Hebrew

Hourglass

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

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

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

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

  • שעה

sha’ah

“Hour”

  • שעות

shaot

“Hours”

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

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

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

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

  • השעה…

Ha-sha’ah…

“The hour is…”

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

  • השעה אחת בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah achat ba-tzohorayim.

“It is 1:00 P.M.”

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

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

Alternatively, for midnight, you can say:

  • חצות

Chatzot

“Midnight”

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

  • השעה אחת לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah achat lifnot boker.

“It’s 1:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שתיים לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shtayim lifnot boker.

“It’s 2:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שלוש לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shalosh lifnot boker.

“It’s 3:00 A.M.”

  • השעה ארבע לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah arbah lifnot boker.

“It’s 4:00 A.M.”

  • השעה חמש לפנות בוקר.

Ha-sha’ah chamesh lifnot boker.

“It’s 5:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שש בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shesh lifnot boker.

“It’s 6:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שבע בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shevah ba-boker.

“It’s 7:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שמונה בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah shmoneh ba-boker.

“It’s 8:00 A.M”

  • השעה תשע בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah tesha ba-boker.

“It’s 9:00 A.M.”

  • השעה עשר בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah eser ba-boker.

“It’s 10:00 A.M.”

  • השעה אחת-עשרה בבוקר.

Ha-sha’ah achat-esreh ba-boker.

“It’s 11:00 A.M.”

  • השעה שתים-עשרה בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah shteym-esreh ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 12:00 P.M.”

  • השעה אחת בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah achat ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 1:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שתיים בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah shtayim ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 2:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שלוש בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah shalosh ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 3:00 P.M.”

  • השעה ארבע בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah arba ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 4:00 P.M.”

  • השעה חמש בצהריים.

Ha-sha’ah chamesh ba-tzohorayim.

“It’s 5:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שש בערב.

Ha-sha’ah shesh ba-erev.

“It’s 6:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שבע בערב.

Ha-sha’ah sheva ba-erev.

“It’s 7:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שמונה בערב.

Ha-sha’ah shmoneh ba-erev.

“It’s 8:00 P.M.”

  • השעה תשע בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah tesha ba-laylah.

“It’s 9:00 P.M.”

  • השעה עשר בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah eser ba-laylah.

“It’s 10:00 P.M.”

  • השעה אחת-עשרה בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah achat-esreh ba-laylah.

“It’s 11:00 P.M.”

  • השעה שתים-עשרה בלילה.

Ha-sha’ah shteym-esreh ba-laylah.

“It’s 12:00 A.M.”

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

  • השעה חצות.

Ha-sha’ah chatzot.

“It’s midnight.”

3. The Minutes in Hebrew

Time

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

  • דקה

dakah

“Minute”

  • דקות

dakot

“Minutes”

  • תשע ועשרים 

Tesha ve-esrim

“9:20”

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

  • השעה תשע ועשרים.

Ha-sha’ah tesha ve-esrim.

“It’s 9:20.”

  • השעה שבע שלושלים-ושלוש.

Ha-sha’ah sheva shloshim-veshalosh.

“It’s 7:33.”

4. Hours Divided into Minutes

Improve Listening

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

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

  • הסרט מתחיל בעוד חצי שעה.

Ha-seret matchil be-od chatzi sha’ah.

“The movie starts in half an hour.”

  • השעה ארבע וחצי.

Ha-sha’ah arbah vachetzi.

“It’s half past 4:00.” 

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

  • בעוד רבע שעה אני נוסע לירושלים.

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

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

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

  • עכשיו רבע לשמונה.

Achshav revah le-shmoneh.

“Right now it’s a quarter to 8:00.”

  • עכשיו שתים-עשרה ורבע.

Achshav shteym-esreh va-revah.

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

5. General Time Reference of the Day

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

Women in Early Morning

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

אני תמיד קם לפנות בוקר.

Ani tamid kam lifnot boker.

“I always wake up in the early morning.”

בבוקר (Ba-boker) “In the morning”

מתי אתה קם בבוקר?

Matay atah kam ba-boker?

“When do you wake up in the morning?”

בצהריים (Ba-tzohorayim) “In the afternoon”

אתה ישן בצהריים?

Atah yashen ba-tzohorayim?

“Do you sleep in the afternoon?”

בערב (ba-erev) “In the evening”

את אוהבת לצאת בערב?

At ohevet latzet ba-erev?

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

בלילה (Ba-laylah) “At night”

מתי אתה הולך לישון בלילה?

Matay atah holekh lishon ba-laylah?

“When do you go to sleep at night?”

שחר (Shachar) “Dawn”

אני אוהבת את תחושת השחר.

Ani ohevet et tchushat ha-shachar.

“I like the feeling of the dawn.” 

זריחה (Zrichah) Sunrise

אני מנסה לקום עם הזריחה.

Ani menaseh lakum im ha-zrichah.

“I try to wake up with the sunrise.”

שעת צהריים (Sh’at tzohorayim) “Noon”

Packed Lunch

שעת הצהריים זו שעת האוכל!

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

“Noon is lunchtime!”

חצות היום (Chatzot hayom) “Midday”

תמיד בא לי לישון בחצות היום.

Tamid ba li lishon bechatzot hayom.

“I always feel like sleeping at midday.”

צהריים מוקדמים (Tzohorayim mukdamim) “Early afternoon”

כל כך חם בשעות הצהריים המוקדמות.

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

“It’s so hot in the early afternoon.”

צהריים מאוחרים (Tzohorayim meucharim) “Late afternoon”

נעים כבר בשעות הצהריים המאוחרות.

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

“It’s pleasant by late afternoon.”

בין הערביים (Beyn haarbayim) “Dusk”

יש הרבה יתושים בשעות בין הערביים.

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

“There are a lot of mosquitoes at dusk.”

שקיעה (Shki’ah) “Sunset”

אין כמו השקיעה בחוף.

Eyn kmo hashkiah bachof.

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

ערב (Erev) “Evening”

אני אוהב את שעות הערב.

Ani ohev et sh’ot ha-erev.

“I like the evening hours.”

לילה (Laylah) “Night”

אני אוהבת את שעות הלילה.

Ani ohevet et sheot ha-laylah.

“I like the night hours.”

Night Sky

חצות (Chatzot) “Midnight”

זמן לישון! כבר חצות!

Zman lishon! Kvar chatzot!

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

6. Time Adverbs

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

עכשיו (Akshav) “Now”

אתה רוצה לאכול עכשיו?

Ata rotzeh le’ekhol akhshav?

“Do you want to eat now?”

מיד (Miyad) “Right now”

אתה חייב לבוא מיד.

Atah chayav lavo miyad.

“You must come right now.”

כרגע (Karega) “Currently”

אני עסוקה כרגע.

Ani asukah karega.

“I am busy currently.”

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

בזמן שישנת עשיתי כושר.

Bezman sheyashant asiti kosher.

“While you were sleeping, I worked out.”

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

הגיע הזמן לקום כבר!

Higia hazman lakum kvar!

“It’s time to wake up already!”

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

חשוב לרחוץ ידיים לפני ואחרי שאוכלים.

Chashuv lirchotz yadayim lifnei ve-acharey she-okhlim.

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

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

בקרוב נהיה בחוף. כמעט הגענו.

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

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

עוד מעט (Od meat) “In a little while”

עוד מעט נעצור לחפש שירותים.

Od me’at na’atzor lechapes sherutim.

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

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

עישנתי במשך הרבה זמן אבל עכשיו כבר לא.

Ishanti be-meshekh harbe zman aval achshav kvar lo.

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

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

בקרוב נגיע למרכז. אעצור בצד בהקדם האפשרי.

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

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

7. Common Hebrew Sayings about Time

Basic Questions

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

  • חבל על הזמן

Chaval al hazman

“Amazing”

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

המסעדה הזאת חבל על הזמן!

Hamisadah hazot chaval al hazman!

“That restaurant is amazing!”

  • בשעה טובה

Besha’ah tovah

“At a good moment.”

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

את בהריון? בשעה טובה!

At be-heyrayon? Be-sha’ah tovah!

“You’re pregnant? At a good moment!”

Woman Showing Friend Pregnancy Test
  • בקרוב אצלך

Be-kharov etzlekha!

“Soon it should happen to you!”

לפני שבוע התארסתי. בקרוב אצלך!

Lifney shavua hit’arasti. Bekarov etzlekha!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Tisha B’Av: A Day of Mourning

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Israel had a particularly rough history, fraught with tragedies and wrongs. Each year, there’s a special day set aside just for mourning and reflection: תשעה באב (Tish-ah be-Av), or “Tisha B’Av.” 

In this article, we’ll talk about some of these tragedies, cover the most common Tisha B’Av practices and customs, and go over the most important Tisha B’Av vocabulary. 

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Tisha B’Av?

An Image of David’s Tower and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

Tisha B’Av is a day of אבל (evel), or “grieving,” for Jews, and it serves as a time to commemorate the many tragedies that Israel has experienced. In particular, Jews mourn a collection of events that are often referred to as “the five calamities.” These events all took place on or around the date of Tisha B’Av, giving this day a negative reputation. Here’s an overview of each calamity:

1 – Moses’s Twelve Spies in Canaan

In the biblical book of Numbers, it’s said that Moses sent out twelve spies (or observers) to explore the land of Canaan, God’s “Promised Land” to Israel. 

However, ten of the twelve spies gave Moses only negative reports about the land and its people (whom the spies called Nephilim). These reports led to widespread fear among the Israelites and revealed the spies’ lack of faith in God’s promise. As a result, God made the Israelites wander in the wilderness for forty years.

Two of the spies gave Moses a positive report, and those two were the only ones allowed to enter the Promised Land after those forty years. 

2 – Destruction of the First Temple

The destruction of the first temple of Israel (which was built by King Solomon) occurred in either 587 BC or 586 BC, when King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon invaded Judah. This happened as a result of Judah’s then-vassal king turning his back on Babylon and backing the Pharaoh Hophra of Egypt instead. 

3 – Destruction of the Second Temple

The destruction of the second temple occurred in 70 CE at the hands of the Romans. This led to the people of Judea becoming scattered and marked the beginning of Israel’s גלות (galut), or “exile,” from the Holy Land. 

4 – Destruction of Betar

In 135 CE, the Romans destroyed the Jewish city of Betar following a strong revolt led by Bar Kokhba. This event resulted in the deaths of nearly 600,000 Jews. 

5 – Plowing of the Temple in Jerusalem

Not long after this massacre, a Roman commander named Turnus Rufus plowed over where the Temple of Jerusalem had once stood. 

While Tisha B’Av largely encompasses these five tragedies, this day is also a time to reflect on more recent ones, such as the First Crusade and the Holocaust. 

2. When is Tisha B’Av on the Gregorian Calendar?

The Jewish Month of Av

Each year, Tisha B’Av takes place on the ninth day of the Hebrew month of Av. For your convenience, we’ve listed below this holiday’s date on the Gregorian calendar for the next ten years.

  • 2020: July 30
  • 2021: July 18
  • 2022: August 7
  • 2023: July 27
  • 2024: August 13
  • 2025: August 3
  • 2026: July 23
  • 2027: August 12
  • 2028: August 1
  • 2029: July 22

Keep in mind that this holiday actually starts on the evening before the date listed.

3. Tisha B’Av Customs & Restrictions

A Woman Sitting in Front of an Empty Plate

There’s a three-week period leading up to Tisha B’Av, during which Jews may begin the mourning process. While mourning, Jews may fast from meat and neglect to shave. Those who don’t mourn during these three weeks will usually begin their mourning during the last nine days before Tisha B’Av. 

As mentioned earlier, Tisha B’Av is a time of grieving. On this day, practicing Jews are not to engage in any type of pleasurable activity. In addition, Torah reading for Tisha B’Av is limited to the מגילת איכה (Megilat Eicha), or “Book of Lamentations,” and other sad or grievous books. 

1 – Tisha B’Av Restrictions

There are חמישה איסורים (khamisha Isurim), or “five prohibitions,” that practicing Jews must adhere to on Tisha B’Av. These Tisha B’Av rules are:

  • Fasting for twenty-five hours (especially from meat and wine)
  • No showering 
  • No intimate relations
  • No leather shoes
  • No creams or oils 

Of course, there are limited exceptions to these rules. For example, if someone has a specific medical issue, they may consult a rabbi to permit them to eat as needed. 

2 – Other Customs & Activities

On Tisha B’Av, Kinot text readings and liturgies are given in the synagogues, and many Jews also read or listen to the Book of Lamentations. Both the Kinot and Lamentations mourn the destruction of Israel and the plight of Jews throughout history. 

Because this is a day of mourning, Jews tend to abstain from many day-to-day activities, especially those that are considered pleasurable. Examples include gift-giving and leaving the home for entertainment purposes. People are expected not to laugh or smile on this day, as Tisha B’Av is often labeled “the saddest day” on the Jewish calendar and a day on which bad things are likely to happen.

3 – End of Tisha B’Av

Tisha B’Av officially ends that night, though generally, Jews observe the rules and fasting until around noon of the following day. 

4. Menachem Begin’s Proposal

Former Prime Minister of Israel, Menachem Begin, once proposed that Tisha B’Av should become a holiday devoted to all of Israel’s tragedies. Under this proposal, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, and Tisha B’Av would all be observed on this one day. 

His proposal was denied, however, probably as a means of preserving the significance of each remembrance day and the religious nature of Tisha B’Av.

5. Vocabulary for Talking About Tisha B’Av in Hebrew

The Book of Lamentations

Let’s review some of the Hebrew vocabulary words and phrases from this article!

EnglishHebrewRomanizationPart of Speech + Gender
JerusalemירושליםYerushalayimProper noun, feminine
Tisha B’Avתשעה באבTish-ah be-AvNoun, masculine
FastingצוםtsomNoun, masculine
AvאבAvNoun, masculine
Destruction of Jerusalem wallsנפילת חומות ירושליםNefilat khomot Yerushalayim
Burning of the Templeשריפת בית המקדשsrifat beit ha-mikdashFeminine
Book of Lamentationsמגילת איכהMegilat EichaNoun, feminine
GrievingאבלevelNoun, masculine
Between the gatesבין המצריםbein ha-metzarimMasculine
Cloth shoesנעלי בדna’alei badNoun, feminine
No intimate relationshipאיסור תשמיש המיטהisur tashmish ha-mitahNoun, masculine
No showerאיסור רחיצהisur rechitzahNoun, masculine
KinnotקינותKinotNoun, feminine
Five prohibitionsחמישה איסוריםkhamisha IsurimMasculine
ExileגלותGalutNoun, feminine

Remember that you can find each of these words with an audio recording of its pronunciation on our Tisha B’Av vocabulary list

Final Thoughts

The significance of Tisha B’Av in Jewish society can’t be overstated. It provides an opportunity to reflect on past wrongs, mourn accordingly, and look ahead to what the future may hold. 

What are your thoughts on Tisha B’Av? Is there a holiday of mourning or remembrance in your country? Let us know in the comments; we look forward to hearing your thoughts. 

If you want to learn more about Israel and Jewish culture, HebrewPod101.com has several free resources for you, straight from our blog:

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We hope to see you around. Shalom!

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