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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hello and welcome to Hebrewpod101.com’s Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 21, Describing Actions Using Hebrew Verbs. I’m your host, Shira!
Amir: Shalom, I’m Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to talk about actions using verbs in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at David and Sarah’s house.
Shira: It’s between Peter and Sarah.
Amir: It is informal.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

(תמר בוכה)
(תמר בוכה)
Peter: תמר, את רעבה? שרה, תמר אוכלת בננות?
Sarah: אכן כן, תמר אוהבת בננות.
(תמר צוחקת)
Peter: באמת? בסדר תמר, בבקשה.
(כלב בוכה)
Peter: שרה, בלאק אוכל בננות?
English Host: Let's listen to the conversation with English translation.
(תמר בוכה)
Shira: (Tamar cries)
Peter: תמר, את רעבה? שרה, תמר אוכלת בננות?
Shira: Tamar, are you hungry? Sarah, does Tamar eat bananas?
Sarah: אכן כן, תמר אוהבת בננות.
Shira: Yes she does, Tamar loves bananas.
(תמר צוחקת)
Shira: (Tamar laughs)
Peter: באמת? בסדר תמר, בבקשה.
Shira: Really? Okay Tamar, here you go.
(כלב בוכה)
Shira: (The dog whines)
Peter: שרה, בלאק אוכל בננות?
Shira: Sarah, does Black eat bananas?
Amir: So, what are we sharing with our listeners in this lesson?
Shira: Let’s talk about bananas and things like that, that we grow in Israel.
Amir: We grow many things in Israel, and that’s why the food is so good here. We grow almost everything right here in our little country.
Shira: I read somewhere that Israel grows 95% of what it needs, only importing things like grains, coffee and sugar.
Amir: I know that we can grow a lot of things. The only issue, of course, is water; we don’t have that much water.
Shira: Well, that’s why Israel has come up with a few different technologies, like drip technology to water plants. It helps to conserve the small amount of water that we do have.
Amir: We are now taking that drip technology all over the world, including places like Africa where they also have water issues.
Shira: Some other produce that Israel grows is citrus – it is one of the leading producers of citrus fruit.
Amir: We also grow tomatoes, cucumber, avocados, melons, the list goes on and on.
Shira: And up on the hills in the Golan Heights the weather is good for growing apples, pears and cherries.
Amir: I think that this is why most Israelis have a healthy diet. Good produce is really easy to find and it’s tasty because it’s fresh.
Shira: That’s right! I agree, the produce in Israel is so delicious. I started eating a lot more fruits and vegetables when I moved there. And they are cheap too when they’re in season.
Amir: We export a lot of produce as well, but I’m sure it doesn’t taste as good by the time it travels half way across the world.
Shira: Probably not! Now let’s go to the vocabulary for this lesson.
Amir: לאכול/אכל [natural native speed]
Shira: To eat.
Amir: לאכול/אכל [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: לאכול/אכל [natural native speed]
Amir: בננה [natural native speed]
Shira: Banana.
Amir: בננה [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: בננה [natural native speed]
Amir: אכן [natural native speed]
Shira: Indeed.
Amir: אכן [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: אכן [natural native speed]
Amir: לאהוב/אהב [natural native speed]
Shira: To love.
Amir: לאהוב/אהב [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: לאהוב/אהב [natural native speed]
Amir: באמת [natural native speed]
Shira: Really.
Amir: באמת [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: באמת [natural native speed]
Amir: בסדר [natural native speed]
Shira: Okay.
Amir: בסדר [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Amir: בסדר [natural native speed]
Shira: Let's take a closer look at some of the words from this lesson. The first word is לאכול.
Amir: לאכול means “to eat” and it’s part of the פעל verb group.
Shira: לאכול is used for all food and even objects that may not be food but are chewed on.
Amir: For example, when babies are in the teething stage you would say that they are “eating a toy” instead of “chewing on a toy.” It’s kind of slang.
Shira: Right, you would say, היא אוכלת את הצעצוע. or אל תאוכל את הצעצוע הזה .
Amir: “She is eating the toy” or “don’t eat that toy”.
Shira: There is a common phrase that Israelis use when they have been had.
Amir: Right, we say אכלתי אותה It means something like “I’ve been tricked”.
Shira: The next word is אכן and it means “indeed.” It’s used to emphasize a positive answer.
Amir: If I were to ask Shira if she likes to sing, not knowing that it’s one of things she is passionate about, she could answer with אכן כן.
Shira: אכן כן, אני מאוד אוהבת לשיר.
Amir: The next word, לאהוב means both “to like” and “to love”.
Shira: It’s also part of the פעל verb group like לאכול.
Amir: As I said, Israelis use this for both “to like” and “to love”. You kind of have to decide from the context of the sentence which they mean, but it’s usually not a problem.
Shira: Yes, you can usually tell the level of their like or love of something from the tone of the sentence to know which word you would use in English for that specific word.
Amir: The last word is באמת.
Shira: באמת means “really”. The literal translation is “in truth”.
Amir: You can use באמת as an interjection when you want to express your disbelief in something.
Shira: Say I told Amir that I’m moving back to the States.
Amir: I could express my surprise by saying באמת.
Shira: It would be extreme surprise in this case! Ha, ha! Okay, let’s move on to the Grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson you will learn how to talk about actions using verbs in Hebrew.
Amir: Our example sentence from the dialogue is תמר אוכלת בננות?.
Shira: The verb used in this sentence is לאכול “to eat”. We are going to use this verb as our sample verb as we talk about verbs in general.
Amir: Okay, the first thing you need to know is that verbs in Hebrew are very structured. There are seven different types of verbs and within that verb group those verbs are conjugated according to a specific pattern. There are only 3 or 4 of these verb groups that you will use most of time, the others you don’t use as much.
Shira: Right, once you learn that specific pattern, you can conjugate almost all of the verbs in the verb group without thinking twice about it.
Amir: So, our sample verb לאהוב is part of the simplest of the verb groups פעל.
Shira: We need to know what the root of the verb is to conjugate it. For the פעל verb group you take the ל- and the ו' out of the infinitive and you are left with the root of the verb.
Amir: So for לאכול, the root is א' כ' ל'.
Shira: Once you know the root, you put those letters into the patterns of the verb group.
Amir: We’re only learning the present tense in this lesson, so don’t worry.
Shira: First of all, you need to make the root into a verb stem. In the פעל verb group, you put a ו' after the first letter of the root.
Amir: So, the verb stem is אוכל, which also happens to be the masculine singular form of the verb in the present tense.
Shira: So, that is our base that we build all the other conjugations off of. For the feminine singular, you add a –ת to the end of the base and it becomes אוכלת.
Amir: For masculine plural, you add –ים to the base and it becomes אוכלים.
Shira: And lastly, for the feminine plural you add –ות to the base and it becomes אוכלות.
Amir: So, that’s it. That’s all the different conjugations for לאכול in the present tense.
Shira: Now, we are ready for examples of these conjugations in sentences.
Amir: The first example is אני אוכל דג.
Shira: Amir said, “I eat fish”.
Amir: היא אוכלת סלט.
Shira: She eats salad.
Amir: הם אוכלים בשר.
Shira: They eat meat.
Amir: אתן אוכלות עוף.
Shira: You (feminine) eat chicken.
Amir: I think we need some more examples.
Shira: Me too, let’s use the verb לרקוד.
Amir: First up, masculine singular
Shira: “Gal is dancing”. Now feminine singular. אני רוקדת.
Amir: Shira said “I am dancing.”
Shira: Masculine plural
Amir: אנחנו רוקדים.
Shira: “We are dancing”. And last up, feminine plural
Amir: הן רוקדות.
Shira: Well we hope that this lesson has given you a start on how to understand the way that verbs work in Hebrew.


Shira: That’s it for this lesson.
Amir: After listening to this lesson, please visit HebrewPod101.com and tell us what you are eating 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
Thursday at 06:30 PM
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Hi everyone!

What is your morning routine?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:49 PM
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Hi Louis Boer,

Thanks for commenting and for the feedback!

The word "hungry", (ra'ev (masculine) or re'eva (feminine)) is, just as in English, an adjective. There is, however, a verb that's written "לרעוב" (lir'ov) - but its meaning is "to starve", which is a lot stronger and extreme that regular hunger.

Happy to help,


Team HebrewPod101.com

Louis Boer
Saturday at 01:01 AM
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Poor Tamar, so hungry. לרעב, is that a verb? If so, what type of verb? Tamar is hungry רועבה but you have רעבה. Please explain.

Louis Boer
Saturday at 12:57 AM
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This lesson is worth studying very closely! (Small point: next edition of audio, please omit the all-English commercial on Israeli fruit and vegetables. אני אוהב ישראל but I am studying Hebrew--not agriculture.)

Louis Boer
Saturday at 12:22 AM
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This lesson is worth studying very closely! (Small point: next edition of audio, please omit the all-English commercial on Israeli fruit and vegetables. אני אוהב ישראל but I am studying Hebrew--not agriculture.)

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 03:42 AM
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Hi Brian,

Thank you for posting.

First of all, you're right - In the written English dialog and in the romanization, the dog's name is wrong; it should be Dubi and not Black. This mistake appears in the lesson notes and in the lesson materials section. Thank you for letting us know.

Regarding מגדלים בננות - "megadlim" means "(they) grow" as in growing vegetables (as opposed to "growing" as in "getting bigger"). migdalim, however, is the plural form of מגדל - migdal, meaning "tower". הם גדלים will be "they grow" in the sense of "they are getting bigger/older". So yes, in this specific sentence - "(they are) growing bananas" - the verb should indeed be מגדלים.

Keep enjoying Hebrew :wink:



Team HebrewPod101.com

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 03:58 PM
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Hi Carlos,

Thank you for posting.

I am not sure what you mean by "פעל verb group". Hebrew verbs are divided into 7 groups that are call בניינים (binyanim - "buildings") - 7 derived stems:

קָל (פָּעָל), נִפְעַל, פִּעֵל, פֻּעַל, הִפְעִיל, הֻפְעַל, הִתְפַּעֵל

The best way to recognize a verb's stem is to conjugate it in the past/singular/masculine form, and see what stem it fits into. The פעל stem is the the simplest and largest one, so it is impossible to write here to whole list of verbs that belongs to it. Here are a few examples to verbs from this stem:

הלך (halakh) - went (ללכת - lalekhet, to go)

כתב (katav) - wrote (לכתוב - likhtov, to write)

נתן (natan) - gave (לתת - latet, to give)

I hope this helps you, but if you meant something else, please let me know!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Friday at 09:09 AM
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I would like to know when a verb is part of the פעל verb group. I would like to know this so when I see a new verb I will be able to use it if it is part of the פעל verb group.



HebrewPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 10:47 PM
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Hi Shelley Lynn,

I'm glad I could help :smile:



Team HebrewPod101.com

Shelley Lynn
Saturday at 10:10 PM
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Thanks Yaara, I understand that" go out" must have a directional word "from or to" following it" and "before" needs a linkage word or definite article to make it specific. I 'll Try to remember this.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 05:06 PM
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Hi Shelley Lynn,

“Go out” takes a “m” ("from", basically) after it only when you want to say where you're going out from.

I'm going out to school - אני יוצאת לבית הספר

I'm going out *of the house* - *אני יוצאת *מהבית

The “she-” following lifnei: "lifnei", "before", is a relative word - it must always be "before X". "lifnei" can be used in a few ways, for example:

לפני *ה*מסיבה - before *the* party

לפני *ש*אלך למסיבה - before I'll go to the party

The "she-" שֶ, is a preposition that basically implies linkage, association. it's called "Shin HaZika", and its use is a little complicated. You will learn this later on.

I hope this answer was helpful!



Team HebrewPod101.com