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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.


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

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! Can you tell us in Hebrew why are you learning Hebrew?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Thursday at 06:39 AM
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Shalom pharrell,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this lesson!

We hope that you enjoy our lessons! please feel free to contact us if you have any questions - we're here to help 😉



Team HebrewPod101.com

Sunday at 09:13 PM
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❤️️❤️️Pharrell . israel ( araund israel ) sharm sakaka .

me and many peuple did larned the hebrow israel .but we are forget the language and many habits about israel and hebrow

please remamber me of tha language ...to be tha laeve in israel

raelly good.❤️️

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 10:03 PM
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Hi Markus,

Thank you for posting this interesting question!

We must differentiate here between the two possibilities, as actually both exist in Hebrew. "לָמָּה" ('lama' = why) and "לְמָה" ('lema' = for what).

It makes sense that the source for these two variations is similar, eventually, but when asking "lama...?" the native Hebrew speaker would hear "why" rather than "for what", in spite of the high similarity...

I hope that helps :)



Team HebrewPod101.com

Saturday at 01:24 AM
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Hello everyone,

I have a question concerning למה (Why?). Is there a logical or grammatical connection to מה (What?), similar to מי and למי? Putting in less elegant terms, I feel that "To what" or "for what" (reason) has a similar meaning/feel to "why", just that in English a seperate word has been established. Is that the case, or are the two words genuinely separate?

Kind regards,


HebrewPod101.com Verified
Friday at 03:42 AM
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Shalom Lauren,

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

We have hundreds of lessons available in the Lesson Library. Feel free to check out one of our more advanced series. 😉👍

If you have any questions, let us know. 😉

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Thursday at 02:36 PM
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Thank you so much for this series of lessons! I'm sad to have reached the end, but glad that I've been able to get through them all and learn so much!! :D

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 01:53 AM
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Hi amir,

Thanks for posting your question!

The term "high conversation" is a direct translation from Hebrew, and it is referring to "formal" Hebrew or to the kind of Hebrew that is used in poetry or literature. This is not a separate language, but there are certain words and structures that tend to be more frequently used in such situations...



Team HebrewPod101.com

Friday at 03:44 PM
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What do you mean with "high conversation"? How do you define this concept?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Wednesday at 12:39 PM
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Hi Andreas!

Thank you for your positive feedback.?

We hope you keep enjoying and learning with Hebrewpod101.com!



team HebrewPod101.com

Sunday at 04:56 PM
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Extremely well designed and cheerful way to learn!