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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com's Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 16 - Responding with Interjections in Hebrew. I'm your host, Shira!
Amir: Shalom, I’m Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to respond with interjections in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at David and Sarah’s house.
Shira: The conversation is between Peter and Sarah.
Amir: It is informal.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation

Lesson conversation

Peter: זה ספר התמונות של המשפחה שלי.
Sarah: יפה! (מדפדפת בדפים) מי זאת?
Peter: זאת האחות הקטנה שלי.
Sarah: היא חמודה! מי זה?
Peter: אה... זה אני.
Sarah: מה! אתה כל-כך צעיר.
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation with English translation.
Peter: זה ספר התמונות של המשפחה שלי.
Shira: This is my family's photo album.
Sarah: יפה! (מדפדפת בדפים) מי זאת?
Shira: Nice! (turns pages) Who's this?
Peter: זאת האחות הקטנה שלי.
Shira: That's my younger sister.
Sarah: היא חמודה! מי זה?
Shira: She's cute! Who's this?
Peter: אה... זה אני.
Shira: Ah…that's me.
Sarah: מה! אתה כל-כך צעיר.
Shira: What! You are so young!
Amir: I would say that Israelis are a lot less interested in photography than people in some other countries.
Shira: Yes, I worked as a photographer’s assistant for many years in the States before I came to Israel and I can say that professional photography is definitely not as popular in Israel as it is in the States.
Amir: Well, in the States you guys like to have your pictures taken for everything. In Israel, we get professional photographs taken when we get married and that’s about it.
Shira: Maybe for your bar mitzvah as well.
Amir: Maybe, but not always.
Shira: And there’s no such thing as professional senior photos either.
Amir: Okay, we’re not crazy about going and getting our photos taken professionally. But people do generally have a camera and take photos of family events.
Shira: Yes, they mostly take photos of things that they want to remember, but I wouldn’t say that they are crazy about photography. Now let’s go on to the vocabulary for this lesson. First we have.
Amir: ספר [natural native speed]
Shira: Book.
Amir: ספר [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: ספר [natural native speed]
Shira: Next.
Amir: משפחה [natural native speed]
Shira: Family.
Amir: משפחה [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: משפחה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next.
Amir: תמונה [natural native speed]
Shira: Picture.
Amir: תמונה [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: תמונה [natural native speed]
Shira: Next.
Amir: אחות [natural native speed]
Shira: Sister or nurse.
Amir: אחות [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: אחות [natural native speed]
Shira: Next.
Amir: חמוד [natural native speed]
Shira: Cute.
Amir: חמוד [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: חמוד [natural native speed]
Shira: Next.
Amir: כל-כך [natural native speed]
Shira: So, so much.
Amir: כל-כך [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: כל-כך [natural native speed]
Shira: And last.
Amir: צעיר [natural native speed]
Shira: Young.
Amir: צעיר [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: צעיר [natural native speed]
Shira: Let's take a closer look at some of the words from this lesson.
Amir: Let’s start with the word ספר.
Shira: Sefer is a book. It comes from the root ספר, which is the root for words related to counting and informing. I like how Hebrew is centered around roots, it helps you know the meaning of words without having to look them up all the time.
Amir: Right, if you know the meaning of the root, you can usually figure out the meaning of the word from the context of the sentence.
Shira: You may already know that “school” is called בית ספר.
Amir: I don’t know if you ever thought about that, but when you break this phrase down it means “house of book”.
Shira: Fitting for a school, I think. The next word is תמונה.
Amir: תמונה is “a picture” and this can be both “a photograph” or “a drawn picture.“
Shira: When you combine these first two vocabulary words, you have ספר תמונות which is technically “book of pictures”.
Amir: Or “photo album” in English.
Shira: The next word is חמוד. חמוד means “cute.”
Amir: It can also be used as a term of endearment. Many parents call their kids חמוד or חמודה.
Shira: When you’re out on the playground, you may hear something like בוא חמוד! which means “come sweetie”.
Amir: Or בוא חמודי “come my sweetie.” Friends sometimes use this among themselves as adults as well.
Shira: I’ve been called חמודה so many times in Israel. It’s funny because we don’t really call each other sweetie so much in the States as adults. Well, maybe if you come from the South you do.
Amir: It seems like you do this more among family in the States, not so much among friends.
Shira: Yes, I think that’s right. So, the last word is כל-כך. This word means “so” or “so much”.
Amir: It’s used to emphasize an idea like הוא כל-כך יפה!
Shira: “He’s so handsome!” Okay, let’s move on to the Grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson you will learn how to use interjections in Hebrew.
Amir: Interjections are used pretty much the same way as in English.
Shira: They can stand on their own, but they are part of the larger idea of the whole context of the conversation.
Amir: You would only really use them in spoken Hebrew, but they often occur as adjectives in written Hebrew, as well.
Shira: In the dialogue, Peter told Sarah that he wanted to show her his photo album.
Amir: She responded with an interjection, יפה or “nice”.
Shira: At the end of the conversation when she found out that one of the pictures of a young boy was Peter, she responded with מה!?!.
Amir: Both of these are interjections that we use very often.
Shira: What are some other words that you would use as interjections?
Amir: Well, let’s say you came home from school and you reported to your parents that you had great grades for the year. Your parents would probably say מצוין.
Shira: מצוין means “excellent.” And how about when your child comes home with one of their new masterpieces. What would you say then?
Amir: יופי which means “great”.
Shira: Okay, so what if you come home and your wife is showing you her newest dress for the next wedding you will attend?
Amir: מהמם!
Shira: You better say something like that or you may be in trouble. מהמם means “stunning.”
Amir: Let’s do some negative ones too. When you come into the bathroom and your two year old has unrolled a whole roll of toilet paper onto the floor.
Shira: I think that אוי האבוי is a good one for that. That means “how awful” or in this case “uh oh!”
Amir: A simple “Nu, nu nu!” Would do for that as well.
Shira: True! Okay, the next one … let’s see. You just found out that your best friend is moving halfway across the world and you won’t be able to see them anymore, only talk on Skype.
Amir: I would say מה!?! or “What!?!”
Shira: And how about when you find out that the two most unlikely people you know are getting married?
Amir: לא נכון!
Shira: That’s a good one, it means “not true!” And for our last example, let’s say that you are having your 30th birthday party and your best friend won’t be able to come. What do you tell him?
Amir: חבל!
Shira: “Pity!” That’s a good one and Israelis use that one all the time to express their disappointment. Well, that was fun!
Amir: חבל “it’s over!”


Shira: Yep, that’s it for this lesson.
Amir: After listening to this lesson, please visit HebrewPod101.com and share some interjections with us in Hebrew! Listeners, have you ever dreamed of starring in one of our lessons?
Shira: If your answer is yes, use the voice recording tool on the lessons page.
Amir: Record your voice with a click of a button.
Shira: And then play it back just as easily.
Amir: Then compare it to the native speakers in the lesson.
Shira: And adjust your pronunciation.
Amir: Go to HebrewPod101.com and rapidly improve your Hebrew pronunciation.
Shira: See you next time!
Amir: Shalom!


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

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

These are for a casual conversation.

Mary Jo
Thursday at 06:26 AM
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I am not able to record my voice. It says you need Flash player to do so but can no longer download Flash for the chrome browser. Is there another way to do this?

Toda raba!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 03:41 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Shalom Kristin,

Thank you for your question. We do not have access to your voice recording. You can re-listen to your voice though and compare it to the native pronunciation, and hence, adjust your pronunciation accordingly to master speaking Hebrew. 😉

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Saturday at 12:37 AM
Your comment is awaiting moderation.

I am wondering when we record our voices, do you at Hebrewpod101.com get to hear our recordings? Or is that only when you have a Premium Plus subscription?

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Thursday at 03:58 AM
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Hi Hans Georg,

Thanks for commenting!

Happy you have decided to learn with Hebrew with us. IMO it's better to write down the Nikkud, as It takes a while until the correct pronunciation becomes intuitive.



Team Hebrewpod101.com

Hans Georg
Wednesday at 04:55 PM
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Hi team 101,

thank you all for this very nice lesson.

Recently I started to write down the new vocabulary in Hebrew script.

Would you recommend writing the words down with vowelization, or without?

חג שמח

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:52 PM
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Hi Michal,

Thanks for commenting!

Thevarticle is correct in "The book of pictures" ( = ספר התמונות ) try thinking avout it this way - which book? - the Picture's...

I agree that the undefinite article might not be better here, but both sentences are correct.

Happy to help,


Team Hebrewpod101.com

Michal Willaims
Thursday at 09:47 AM
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In the first sentence of the dialog, why is the definite article attached to t'munah and not sefer? Why is there a definite article at all? One would say, "Here is a photo album of my family."

Hebrewpod101.com Verified
Thursday at 11:27 PM
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Hi Isabelle,

Thanks for commenting, it's a good question (:

The two options are valid. When written without vowling, it'll be important to add the 'י' to to imply the proper pronunciation.

It's a little hard to explain in this early learning stage, but this case is one of a few that the ending יו[] creates a AA sound.

So, in short - when writing regularly (no vowling) it's better to use עכשיו.



Team Hebrewpod101.com

Isabelle Midy
Thursday at 11:23 PM
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In one of the examples involving t'munah the expression "right now" is used. I wonder why there is a yod inserted (עכשיו) because it is not pronounced and when I look it up at


it is written without a yod: עַכְשָׁו

בטח יש לי מיליונים של תמונות על המחשב שלי עכשיו

betakh yesh li milyonim shel tmunot al ha`makhshev sheli akhshav.

Thank you in advance,


HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 11:04 AM
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Hello Victor P,

Thank you for your patience.

The audio is fixed.

Let us know if you have any question.



Team HebrewPod101.com