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Lesson Transcript

Shalom, ani Yana. Hi everybody! I’m Yana.
Welcome to HebrewPod101.com’s “Ivrit be-shalosh dakot”. The fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Hebrew.
In the last lesson, we learned how to ask "Who" questions in Hebrew.
This time, we are going to ask questions with the interrogative word "Why?".
Imagine your boss is giving you a call because you are not at work today... He will certainly ask you Lama ata lo ba-misrad hayom?
Lama at lo ba-misrad hayom?
[slowly] Lama ata lo ba-misrad hayom?
[slowly] Lama at lo ba-misrad hayom?
Ba-misrad translates as `at the office`.
It can be changed into Ba-avoda- `at work`.
So let’s break down this question:
First we had:
Lama- which is the basic translation of "Why" in Hebrew.
Ata/At- is simply `you`.
Lo- is the negative `no`
Ba-misrad- is `in the office`
Hayom- is `today` in Hebrew.
Lama ata lo ba-misrad hayom?
Lama at lo ba-misraed hayom?
So in Hebrew, Lama is the exact translation of "Why", used to ask the reason for something.
So for example, if your boss is asking you "Why you were late today?" he will say Lama iharta hayom? (masculine)
Lama ihart hayom? (feminine)
Here, he uses "Why" in order to get explanations and reasons.
Lets try to remember all interrogative words we have studied so far;
Ma-Ma ata ose? Ma at osa?
Eifo-Eifo ata gar? Eifo at gara?
Matai- Matai ata hozer? Matai at hozeret?
Mi- Mi ha-zamar she-ata hahi ohev? Mi ha-zamar she-at hahi ohevet?
Lama-Lama iharta hayom? Lama ihart hayom?
Now it’s time for Yana’s Insights.
A popular expression in Israel is Lama Lo which means, as in English, "Why not?"
You can use it to accept a proposition if you agree but that you are not really keen to do it. Or, if it was not planned in advance.
For example if a friend asks you suddenly "And what about going to the cinema tonight?"
You can answer Lama lo? "Why not?"
Another interrogative word for “why” in Hebrew is Madua-
It is considered more literary word and used in written text or high conversation.
So if you want to impress your Israeli colleagues or friends, try to use Madua in the same way as Lama.
Madua iharta hyom? Madua ihart hayom?
This lesson is the last lesson of this “Ivrit be-shalosh dakot” video series.
But it’s hopefully not the last you learn about the Hebrew language! To take your language ability to the next level, check out HebrewPod101.com, the fastest, easiest, and most fun way to learn Hebrew.