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Lesson Transcript

Shira: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com’s Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 5 - Can You Take my Order in Hebrew? I’m your host, Shira.
Amir: Shalom. I’m Amir.
Shira: In this lesson, you will learn how to say “yes” and ask for something in Hebrew.
Amir: The conversation takes place at a restaurant.
Shira: It’s between a customer and a waitress.
Amir: This conversation is more formal because you usually ask for things politely in a restaurant.
Shira: Let’s listen to the conversation

Lesson conversation

A: ערב טוב.
B: שלום, אפשר לקבל תפריט?
A: ודאי
B: סליחה, אפשר כוס מים, בבקשה?
A: מיד.
B: סליחה, אפשר להזמין?
A: כן.
English Host: Let’s listen to the conversation with English translation.
A: ערב טוב.
Shira: Good evening.
B: שלום, אפשר לקבל תפריט?
Shira: Hello. Is it possible to get a menu?
A: ודאי
Shira: Certainly.
B: סליחה, אפשר כוס מים, בבקשה?
Shira: Excuse me, is it possible to get a glass of water?
A: מיד.
Shira: Right away.
B: סליחה, אפשר להזמין?
Shira: Excuse me, is it possible to order?
A: כן.
Shira: Yes.
So, since part of our topic for this lesson is saying “yes”, we thought our cultural insight should be the unique way that Israelis say “no”.
Amir: “Tsk”
Shira: What was that? You don’t want to talk about that?
Amir: “Tsk”
Shira: Ohh, I see, you are demonstrating.
Amir: Yes, we could say lo which is “no” in Hebrew, but it’s so much easier just to do tsk.
Shira: I agree – it’s much easier and faster too.
Amir: Israelis will use this tsk when they don’t need to explain why they’re saying “no” or if they are in the midst of something else.
Shira: It’s fun to practice this. Tsk. Try it, Listeners! Tsk.
Shira: Now let’s go to the vocabulary for this lesson. First we have:
Amir: ערב [natural native speed]
Shira: Evening
Amir: ערב [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ערב [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: טוב [natural native speed]
Shira: Good
Amir: טוב [slowly - broken down by syllable]. טוב [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: לקבל [natural native speed]
Shira: To receive
Amir: לקבל [slowly - broken down by syllable]. לקבל [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: תפריט [natural native speed]
Shira: Menu
Amir: תפריט [slowly - broken down by syllable]. תפריט [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: ודאי [natural native speed]
Shira: Certainly
Amir: ודאי [slowly - broken down by syllable]. ודאי [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: כוס [natural native speed]
Shira: Glass.
Amir: כוס [slowly - broken down by syllable]. כוס [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: מים [natural native speed]
Shira: Water
Amir: מים [slowly - broken down by syllable]. מים [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: מיד [natural native speed]
Shira: Right away
Amir: מיד [slowly - broken down by syllable]. מיד [natural native speed]
Shira: Next:
Amir: להזמין/הזמין [natural native speed]
Shira: To order
Amir: להזמין/הזמין [slowly - broken down by syllable]. להזמין/הזמין [natural native speed]
Shira: And last:
Amir: כן [natural native speed]
Shira: Yes
Amir: כן [slowly - broken down by syllable]. כן [natural native speed]
Shira: Let’s take a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is טוב.
Amir: Tov means “good”.
Shira: And since it’s an adjective, it has four forms טוב, טובה, טוֹבִים, טוֹבוֹת
Amir: Tov can also be used as “okay” but you only need the simple form for that.
Shira: The next word is אפשר.
Amir: It means “possible” and it’s the focus of our grammar section, so we’ll discuss it in depth in a few minutes.
Shira: The next word is לקבל.
Amir: Le-kabel means “to receive” or “to get”.
Shira: Next up, we have ודאי or “certainly”.
Amir: It can also be translated as “sure”. After that we have מיד.
Shira: This means “right away”.
Amir: Next we have another verb, להזמין. It means “to order”.
Shira: You can use this verb at a restaurant or when you’re ordering something from the Internet.
Amir: And our last word is כן.
Shira: Ken means “yes”, but it can also be used to emphasize a point.
Amir: That’s right. You can say something like אני כן רוצה להבין אותך
Shira: Amir said, “I do want to understand you”. In this case, it would be used like “do” or “does” in English.
Amir: Another example would be היא כן הולכת למסיבה.
Shira: “She is going to the party”. Those examples should help you to understand additional ways that you can use ken. Okay, let’s move on to the Grammar section.

Lesson focus

Shira: In this lesson you will learn how to ask for something politely in Hebrew.
Amir: To ask for something in Hebrew, we use the word אפשר followed by the infinitive form of a verb.
Shira: Exactly. This is pretty easy because you don’t have to think about subject and verb agreement in this case.
Amir: Right. It’s the same no matter who you’re talking to. Ef’shar doesn’t change.
Shira: So, as we said in the vocab section, ef’shar means “possible”.
Amir: When we use ef’shar in this way, there are two additional words that are understood from the context it” and “is
Shira: Right. When you begin the sentence with ef’shar, you’re really saying “it is possible”. If you use voice inflection to turn the sentence into a question it would be, “is it possible”.
Amir: So then you add the infinitive form of the verb that you want to use.
Shira: In our dialogue, the first sentence we had was “Is it possible to get or to receive?”
Amir: אפשר לקבל...
Shira: Right! And then you just add what you want to receive. Our character wanted a menu.
Amir: אפשר לקבל תפריט?
Shira: Let’s look at another example. How about we ask someone if they can move to another table. We start off with אפשר.
Amir: “To move” is לעבור. So far we have, אפשר לעבור.
Shira: The rest of the sentence is לשולחן אחר or “to another table”.
Amir: אפשר לעבור לשולחן אחר?
Shira: There was one sentence in the dialogue that didn’t have an infinitive verb after אפשר.
Amir: That’s right, אפשר כוס מים
Shira: Exactly. You can useאפשר plus an item or items that you want. In the dialogue, this would be translated as “is it possible to get a glass of water” but in Hebrew the verb “to get” is implied.
Amir: In Hebrew, you’re just saying “possible glass water”, everything else is understood.
Shira: Let’s try another example. How about asking for some salt, מלח?
Amir: אפשר מלח?
Shira: Keep in mind that Hebrew is very frugal when it comes to the amount of words in a sentence.
Amir: If something can be understood without extra words, they won’t be included.
Shira: Right. Let’s move on to the other topic of this lesson, answering in the affirmative.
Amir: For this, a simple “yes” will suffice כן
Shira: But in our dialogue there were a couple of other ways to answer in the affirmative.
Amir: Correct. The waitress first answered with ודאי.
Shira: Or “certainly”. And when she wanted to reply that she would do something right away, what did she say?
Amir: She said מיד
Shira: Okay, Listeners, now it’s your turn. You can use these affirmative answers as well on a daily basis! So please try it out!


Shira: Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Amir: After listening to this lesson, why not visit HebrewPod101.com and leave us a comment!
Shira: See you next time!
Amir: Le-hit’ra’ot!


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

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

Have you ever been to an Israeli restaurant? What was your favorite dish?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 08:40 PM
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Dear Sharon

Thank you for commenting and posting your questions!

The letter ק is always pronounced like "K", the letter ח is always pronounced "kh". The letter כ has two forms and can be pronounced either way - with a dot inside כּ it is pronounced like a "K", while without כ is pronounced like "kh"



Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 02:32 AM
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I thank you for teaching Hebrew freely, you are putting a lot of effort, Thank You once again. If you don't mind me asking a question, how to pronounce (ח ,כ, ק) these letters. I mean the stress.

I hope you understood my doubt though I am not able to express it to you properly. Sometimes I am so much confused with those letters.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 04:22 PM
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Hi Daniel,

Thanks for posting your question!

There are no dumb questions! learning a language can be quite confusing at times and it's important not to be shy and ask whenever it is needed 😉👍👍

The word "yes" in Hebrew is pronounced, as you correctly wrote, "ken". It is written "כן", using a khaf "כ" that carries that sound "k" and a "nun sofit' - the letter nun as it appears when it is the last letter of a word - "ן".

Other letters that have special forms when they appear at the end of words are khaf "ך", mem: "ם", peh "ף", and tsadik "צ".

I hope that helps 😄😄



Team HebrewPod101.com

Saturday at 12:05 PM
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Maybe a dumb question i might have missed something but I was wondering on yes the verticle line what is it signifying in terms of the sound you would make saying ken? I see the k and the vowels but not an n sound. I am not at all very far in my learning so I am just confused.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 07:25 PM
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Hi Karol,

Thanks for posting your question and feedback!

Yes, that's correct. Asking for salt could be done by saying either "?אפשר לקבל מלח, בבקשה" or "?אפשר מלח, בבקשה".

The first version, however, (with "לקבל") will be considered the more polite and is grammatical better.

I hope that helps :) Enjoy learning Hebrew!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Saturday at 12:50 AM
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Hi There,

I am jest a but confused about the word לקבל. I understand it is sometimes omitted, but when asking for something would it still be correct to use it anyway? For example when asking for salt could I say: אפשר לקבל מלח, בבקשה?

You have a great platform, it’s really helpful!

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Sunday at 09:15 PM
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Shalom R.Lang,

Toda raba for taking the time to leave us a comment! 😇

If you have any questions, let us know. 😉

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

R. Lang
Wednesday at 07:40 PM
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I liked this lesson very much!! Thank you.

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:27 PM
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Hi Costa,

Thanks for posting and welcome to HebrewPod101.com!

I'll be happy to assist -

Cyprus in Hebrew is "קפריסין" (pronounced "kaf-ri-sin"). A person from Cyprus is either "קפריסאי" ("kafrisa'i - masculine) or "קפריסאית" ("kafrisa'it" - feminine).

Happy to assist! Enjoy learning Hebrew!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Saturday at 02:48 AM
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Shalom everyone.

Ani Costa and i am from Cyprus. Cyprus is a neighboring (very close friend) country of Israel and is the 3rd biggest island of the Mediterranean Sea and also member of the European Union.

Just started learning Hebrew and i am excited since i have visited Israel (as all Cypriots) many many times.

I have a question please.

How can i say Cyprus or Cypriot or Cypriots?

Can anyone tell me?

Cannot find nothing online and Google-Translate does not say much.

Need to know as it will be part of when i introduce myself to others etc.

Todah Raba