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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com’s Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 12 - Can you Eat This Israeli Meatball? I’m your host, Shira.
Amir: And I’m Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask if someone can do something in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at David and Sarah’s house.
Shira: And again, it’s between Peter, David and Sarah.
Amir: And it’s informal.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

Peter: מה זה?
Sarah: זאת קציצה.
Peter: קציצה?
David: כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Peter: כן. מממממ... זה טעים!
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation one more time slowly.
Peter: מה זה?
Sarah: זאת קציצה.
Peter: קציצה?
David: כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Peter: כן. מממממ... זה טעים!
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation with English translation.
Peter: מה זה?
Shira: What is this?
Sarah: זאת קציצה.
Shira: This is a meatball.
Peter: קציצה?
Shira: Meatball?
David: כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Shira: Yes, it’s meat. Can you eat meat?
Peter: כן. מממממ... זה טעים!
Shira: Yes. Mmm, it’s delicious!
Amir: So I’m guessing that you want to talk about meat in this lesson!
Shira: (laughs) You know me!
Amir: Well, there’s probably one thing that is fairly obvious to our listeners and that is that pork is hard to find in Israel.
Shira: It is. You won’t find it in the major supermarkets in Israel, only in the smaller non-kosher markets.
Amir: In fact, all the meat sold in the major supermarkets must be certified as kosher, which means that it must meet all the guidelines for kosher butchering.
Shira: That’s right. Both Jews and Muslims abstain from pork and have special laws regarding their meat, so it is strictly enforced in Israel.
Amir: It also means that the dairy and meat sections are not near to one another in the supermarket. You wouldn’t want those two to mix so you would have a huge problem on your hands.
Shira: Right! So when it comes to meat, Israelis eat mostly beef and poultry with a little lamb as well.
Amir: Usually, you can find all these things, except lamb, in the major supermarkets and there will be a butcher present as well if you need special cuts.
Shira: You can even pick which cut you want for ground beef and they’ll grind it for you on the spot.
Amir: There are also independent butcher shops where you can go and find other kinds of meat like lamb, or if you need a big turkey for Thanksgiving, they’ll order it for you.
Shira: When it comes to meat in restaurants, there are few new things to try.
Amir: My personal recommendation will be to try the grilled meat on skewers, or k’tzitzot, like we had in our dialogue.
Shira: There’s also Shwarma, which you can get from street vendors and it’s usually made from turkey or..
Amir: Or even better, humus with seasoned ground beef in it! Yum.
Shira: That’s a definite must!
Shira: Now let’s go to the vocabulary for this lesson. First we have:
Amir: קציצה [natural native speed]
Shira: Meatball
Amir: קציצה [slowly - broken down by syllable]. קציצה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: בשר [natural native speed]
Shira: Meat
Amir: בשר [slowly - broken down by syllable]. בשר [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: אתה [natural native speed]
Shira: You (masculine)
Amir: אתה [slowly - broken down by syllable]. אתה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: יכול [natural native speed]
Shira: Can or be able to
Amir: יכול [slowly - broken down by syllable]. יכול [natural native speed]
Shira: And last:
Amir: לאכול [natural native speed]
Shira: To eat
Amir: לאכול [slowly - broken down by syllable]. לאכול [natural native speed]
Shira: Let’s take a closer look at the vocabulary from this lesson. The first word is קציצה.
Amir: A קציצהis the Israeli version of a meatball. They usually are made of meat, breadcrumbs, onion and cumin as well as other spices, depending on who makes them.
Shira: They’re very tasty and they’re usually flatter than traditional meatballs.
Amir: The next word is בשר which means “meat” in Hebrew. Most often this refers to red meat, but it can also mean poultry depending on the context.
Shira: If it’s used in a biblical context it means “flesh”.
Amir: Our next vocabulary word is יכול or “can”.
Shira: This word is a bit irregular and that it doesn’t have an infinitive form and it changes a bit in the future.
Amir: We don’t need to learn about that at this point though, so just know that the dictionary form is also יכל.
Shira: This is a verb that we will be talking about more in our grammar section in a few minutes.
Amir: Our last word is, לאכול or “to eat”.
Shira: Okay, let’s move on to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask if someone can do something in Hebrew.
Amir: For this, we need our vocabulary word for “can”, יכול.
Shira: This is the conjugation for “you” masculine in the singular, you would say אתה יכול.
Amir: If you’re speaking to a woman, you would say את יכולה.
Shira: After these two words, you add the verb that you want to ask about, “to swim” or “to cook” or “to speak” et cetera.
Amir: In the dialogue, we used לאכול or “to eat”.
Shira: And of course, everyone can eat, so David needed to ask Peter about something specific he could eat, like בשר or meat.
Amir: So the full sentence was אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Shira: “Can you eat meat?”
Amir: To ask this question, we used voice inflection, but you can use the other ways that we’ve learned already to ask a question.
Shira: Right, like with נכון.
Amir: אתה יכול לאכול בשר, נכון?
Shira: Or with האם…
Amir: האם אתה יכול לאכול בשר?
Shira: Okay, now that we have that down, we need to give you the other options.
Amir: Right, you can’t just talk to men all the time. There will be other people you want to talk to like women or groups of people.
Shira: So we’ve worked up some examples for these other groups. First up, let’s ask a woman something using את יכולה.
Amir: את יכולה לשיר?
Shira: ודאי! Amir just asked if I can sing. את יכולה לשיר? So now what about when we need to talk to more than one person? We need the masculine plural for that.
Amir: We start that sentence with אתם יכולים. אתם יכולים לבוא מחר?
Shira: “Can you (plural) come tomorrow?” And now for the last one, what if you want to talk to a group of girls.
Amir: What guy doesn’t want to talk to a group of girls, right?
Shira: (laughs) For this you need אתן יכולות.
Amir: Right. אתן יכולות לדבר בעברית?
Shira: “Can you speak in Hebrew?”
Amir: That’s useful if you want to find someone to practice your Hebrew with.
Shira: Yes, it sure is.


Shira: Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Amir: After listening to this lesson, come and visit HebrewPod101.com and say hello to us in Hebrew.
Shira: See you next time!
Amir: Le-hit’ra’ot!


Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi everyone!

Please let us know 'What you can do' in Hebrew!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 07:48 PM
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Hi Maria,

Thank you for posting and sharing your phrase!

Well done 😄

Keep up the great work! 👍



Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 12:05 AM
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אני יכולה לבשל

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 04:40 AM
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Dear Ayo,

Thanks for posting this excellent question! 👍

The infinitive form of verbs is mostly used in sentences that contain 2 verbs, as in your example sentence (and similarily to English) - in the sentence "do you want to eat" the first verb "want" is conjugated according to the gender & number of the person addressed (in this case it is masculine & singular) while the second remains in the infinitive form (parallel to "to eat").

*This is true no matter in what tense we are in - past, present of future - the second verb stays the infinitive.

I hope this helps 😄



Team HebrewPod101.com

Wednesday at 09:02 AM
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Hello, how do I know when to use the infinitive form of a verb in a sentence as opposed to its regular kind. For example, in this lesson the narrator says, כן. זה בשר. אתה יכול לאכול בשר?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 08:07 PM
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Dear Megi Scott,

Thanks for posting and sharing your translation with us!

Please note 2 little errors in your sentnece:

1 - a typo in "I" (אני)

2 - When we have 2 verbs in a sentence, the second one mostly appears in the infinitive form, therefore the correct translation would be: "אני יכולה לרוץ"

Keep up the great work, and please feel free to contact us in case you have any questions!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Megi Scott
Wednesday at 06:11 AM
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שני יכולה רץ!

I can run!

Sunday at 10:40 PM
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Hi Abraham,

Thanks for posting!

I would love to help - you were getting close actually 👍 The full phrase will be:

אני יכול לשחק שחמט ולנגן בגיטרה.

Note that in Hebrew, the word "play" (לשחק) can't describe these two activities, as it is reserved for games and theatre only. For musical instruments, the verb is "לנגן" (lenagen).

I hope that helps :)



Team HebrewPod101.com

Wednesday at 04:03 AM
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I want to say that I can play chess and guitar. сhessאני יכול לנגן גיטרה ב

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Thursday at 01:42 AM
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Hi Liori,

Great news! I'm very happy too you find it useful :)

And thanks for the feedback!

"I can make falafel" in Hebrew will be "אני יכולה להכין פלאפל"



Team Hebrewpod101.com

Sunday at 10:18 AM
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I would you say I can make falafel?