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Lesson Transcript


Michael: How do you greet someone at different times of the day?
Lenny: And are there any alternatives?
Michael: At HebrewPod101.com, we hear these questions often. Imagine the following scenario: Ben is greeting his friend, Karen, but he hasn't noticed how late it has become. Ben says,
"Good morning."
Ben Lee: .בוקר טוב (bo’ker tov.)
Ben Lee: .בוקר טוב (bo’ker tov.)
Keren Cohen: !השעה כבר שבע בערב. ערב טוב (ha’sha'a kvar she’va ba’erev. erev tov!)
Michael: Once more with the English translation.
Ben Lee: .בוקר טוב (bo’ker tov.)
Michael: "Good morning."
Keren Cohen: !השעה כבר שבע בערב. ערב טוב (ha’sha'ah kvar she’va ba’erev. erev tov!)
Michael: "It's already 7:00 PM. Good evening!"

Lesson focus

Michael: In this lesson, we will talk about time-sensitive greetings in the Hebrew language. Just like in English, Hebrew greetings depend on the time or
Lenny: זְמַן (zman)
Michael: The three primary greetings in Hebrew correspond to the three different times of the day, which are morning, afternoon, and evening. In the morning, we greet people by saying,
Lenny: בוקר טוב (bo’ker tov)
Michael: This is a general greeting used before midday and is suitable in any context regardless of who you are greeting. If you’re greeting someone between noontime and sunset, you can say
Lenny: צהריים טובים (tsoho’ra’im to’vim)
Michael: which literally means "Good midday." You may hear it anytime from 12:00 noon to 5:30 PM when the sun is about to set, but it’s more appropriate around early afternoon, which means it’s also another way of saying "Good afternoon." In the evening, you can greet people with
Lenny: ערב טוב (erev tov)
Michael: This greeting is appropriate once the sun has set, but not when it’s already late at night.
[Recall 1]
Michael: Let’s take a closer look at the dialogue.
Do you remember how Ben Lee says "Good morning?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Lenny as Ben Lee: .בוקר טוב (bo’ker tov.)
Michael: As we have learned, this greeting is applicable from the time the sun has risen until midday, or 12:00 noon, which is typical in most cultures.
[Recall 2]
Michael: Now, let’s take a look at our second sentence.
Do you remember how Karen Cohen says "It's already 7:00 PM. Good evening?"
(pause 4 seconds)
Lenny as Karen Cohen: !השעה כבר שבע בערב. ערב טוב (ha’sha'a kvar she’va ba’erev. erev tov!)
Michael: Here, Karen reminds Ben that it’s already 7 o’clock in the evening, which means the more appropriate greeting would be
Lenny: ערב טוב (erev tov)
Michael: or "Good evening."
Michael: In this lesson, we learned that Hebrew has three major time-related greetings like English, and these are
Lenny: בוקר טוב (bo’ker tov)
Michael: "Good morning,"
Lenny: צהריים טובים (tsoho’ra’im to’vim)
Michael: "Good midday" or "Good afternoon,"
Lenny: ערב טוב (erev tov)
Michael: and "Good evening."
Michael: What about alternative greetings? Are there other ways to greet someone in Hebrew without using time-sensitive greetings? In fact, there are. Let’s start with the word
Lenny: שלום (sha’lom),
Michael: a Hebrew word that could mean "Peace" or "Wholeness." This is the main word to use when greeting someone in Hebrew and can be used regardless of the context or the age of the person you are addressing or your relationship to them. Now, if you want to greet someone with a casual "Hi," you can switch to
Lenny: אהלן (ahalan)
Michael: which comes from Arabic. Keep in mind that this greeting is only appropriate in casual situations, such as when you’re greeting a close friend or relative. In most cases, use the greeting
Lenny: שלום (sha’lom)
Michael: or any of the time-sensitive greetings we’ve just learned. If you’re wondering whether Hebrew has an equivalent for the English greeting "Good day," the answer is yes, and it’s
Lenny: יום טוב לך (yom tov lekha)
Michael: which literally means "Have a good day!", and it’s used as a farewell phrase.
Cultural Insight
Michael: Did you know that the word
Lenny: שלום (sha’lom)
Michael: or "Peace," is used not only as a greeting? You can also use it to say "Goodbye." In Hebrew, this expression is an all-purpose greeting that you can use when meeting someone or when parting ways with them. Another standard way of parting with someone is by using the expression
Lenny: להתראות (le’hit’ra'ot)
Michael: You will hear this expression a lot when you travel to Israel. It’s the equivalent of the English "see you" or "see you later."


Michael: Do you have any more questions? We’re here to answer them!
Lenny: להתראות! (le’hit’ra’ot!)
Michael: See you soon!

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