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Lesson Transcript

Sherah: Hello and welcome to HebrewPod101.com. This is Lower Beginner Series Season 1, Lesson 5 - Talking About Your Hobbies in Hebrew . I’m your host, Shira!
Amir: And I’m Amir.
Sherah: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to talk about your hobbies.
Amir: The conversation takes place in the Ulpan.
Sherah: It’s between Anna and her teacher Amir.
Amir: The speakers are acquaintances, and they’ll be using formal Hebrew.
Sherah: Let’s listen to the conversation
Amir: Ulpan is what we call intensive Hebrew learning classes.
Sherah: The word ‘Ulpan’ actually means “studio”.
Amir: I never had to go to an Ulpan.
Sherah: I would say “lucky you”, but it was a great experience for me. Most immigrants go to Ulpan when they first come to Israel.
Amir: Yes, the idea is to get people to the level where they can read, write, and speak well enough to start integrating into Israeli society.
Sherah: Tourists and kibbutz volunteers can also study in an Ulpan.
Amir: Most Ulpans are really intensive, meaning you study for about 4 hours, 4-5 days a week.
Sherah: The idea is to get you completely immersed in Hebrew, as the class is conducted only in Hebrew, and you are expected to speak in Hebrew from the first day.
Amir: You can take an Ulpan through an immigration program, with the city municipalities, or even on a kibbutz like Anna did.
Sherah: Or through one of the Universities in Israel, like I did.
Amir: Most Ulpans have only the first three out of six levels of Hebrew studies, but in the universities, there are usually all six levels.
Sherah: You also learn some Israeli history and some culture. I remember listening to songs and watching some movies in Hebrew. It was not all serious book learning. Okay, now let’s move on to the vocabulary for this lesson.
Sherah: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word is כולם
Amir: כולם is a combination of two words, כול which means “all” and “"am” which is the suffix for “them”
Sherah: These together would be “all of them” or “everyone”.
Amir: When you have this in a sentence, it is used as a masculine plural noun.
Sherah: An example of this would be כולם לומדים באוניברסיטה. “Everyone studies in university.”
Amir: Or כולם גדולים. “Everyone is big.”
Sherah: The next word we want to talk about is the verb להתחיל which means “to begin”.
Amir: This verb is from the ‘hif’il’ verb group.
Sherah: There are several common expressions that use this verb, one is להתחיל עם בחורה.
Amir: Yes, this means “to start with a woman” or basically, to hit on her.
Sherah: This isn’t necessarily a negative thing - in Hebrew this can be in a romantic way as well.
Amir: Another expression is להתחיל על רגל ימין.
Sherah: “To start off on the right foot”, this is the same as in English. But to use the opposite, what would be “to start off on the wrong foot”, you would say “to start off on the left foot” in Hebrew.
Amir: Right להתחיל על רגל שמאול.
Sherah: Okay, let’s move on to the Grammar now.

Lesson focus

Sherah: In this lesson, you’ll learn how to use a pronoun in place of the verb “to be”.
Amir: We have said a few times that there’s no verb “to be” in the present tense in Hebrew.
Sherah: Right, it’s implied in the present tense when there are no other verbs there.
Amir: Well, a pronoun can act in place of the verb “to be”, and create a link between the subject and the predicate.
Sherah: However, this only works with a third person pronoun in the present tense.
Amir: Here’s the example from the dialogue - Amir says אנה היא אמריקנית
Sherah: If you didn’t have the pronoun in there, it would just be אנה אמריקנית.
Amir: If you want to add a pronoun to link Anna and ‘Americanit’, it needs to agree with Anna.
Sherah: So, you would use היא or “she”.
Amir: There is another example of this in the dialogue, when Anna says what her hobbies are.
Sherah: She begins by saying התחביבים שלי הם my hobbies are.
Amir: תחביבים are masculine plural, so she uses הם.
Sherah: Which is the pronoun for “they”. Let’s give you two more examples of this. Let’s start with “the cat is a nice cat”.
Amir: That would be החתולה היא חתולה נחמדה.
Sherah: In this sentence, the pronoun היא (hi) acts as the link between החתולה (ha-ħatulah) or “the cat” and חתולה נחמדה (ħatulah niħ’madah) “nice cat”.
Amir: As a pronoun, היא (hi) agrees with חתולה (ħatulah) and would be translated as “is”.
Sherah: And then we have the example “my dad is a family doctor”.
Amir: אבא שלי הוא רופא משפחה.
Sherah: In this sentence, הוא (hu), meaning “he” acts as the link between the two parts of the sentence.
Amir: הוא (hu) agrees with אבא שלי (aba sheli) and is translated as “is”.
Sherah: A pronoun as a link can be used both with specific nouns and with general nouns.
Amir: Here is an example of specific nouns - הכלבים הם שחורים.
Sherah: “The dogs are black.” Here Hem was the link and it agreed with כלבים
Amir: And a general example - כלבים הם חיות נחמדות.
Sherah: “Dogs are cute animals.” This sample sentence uses the same thing, הם is the link and it agrees with כלבים.
Amir: In the past and future, you would just use the verb “to be”, so you don’t need to use a pronoun to link the subject and the predicate.
Sherah: Right, and the sentences mean the same with or without the linking pronoun, so it’s up to you whether you use it or not.


Sherah: Okay, that’s it for this lesson.
Amir: Now that you’ve listened to this lesson, please visit HebrewPod101.com and tell us about your hobbies...and make sure you check the lesson notes.
Sherah: Thanks everyone, bye!
Amir: להתראות


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

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:30 PM
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Hi listeners! What are your hobbies?

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 09:54 PM
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Hi David,

Thanks for sharing your work and posting your question!

Very well done! Your Hebrew sentence is correct 👍👍

The preposition that follows the phrase "אני מבלה זמן רב..." is "in" (ב), used with the infinitive form of a verb. For example:

"אני מבלה זמן רב בגלישה באינטרנט"

Keep up the good work!



Team HebrewPod101.com

Sunday at 06:07 PM
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שלום! התחביבים שלי הם נגינה בגיטרה וחלימה מודעת.

And I have a question. In your correction of Camila's phrasing, you indicated that the correct way to say "I spend a lot of time.." is

אני מבלה זמן רב...

Is this always followed by the infinitive form of the verb? i.e. לגלוש באינטרנט אני מבלה זמן רב

HebrewPod101.com Verified
Monday at 06:12 AM
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Shalom Gui,

Thank you for your question. If you already know your approximate level, I'd highly recommend you to check out our Lesson Library feature and narrow down the search to Beginner level materials: https://www.hebrewpod101.com/lesson-library/beginner.

The first lesson on Hebrew verbs was in our Absolute Beginner series, this lesson: https://www.hebrewpod101.com/lesson/absolute-beginner-21-describing-actions-using-hebrew-verbs/.

For a strategy, I'd advise you to start with the Beginner level series. For example this one: https://www.hebrewpod101.com/lesson-library/daily-conversations-in-hebrew-beginner/ but you are free to pick any of them that you like the most. 😉

Kind regards,

Levente (לבנטה)

Team HebrewPod101.com

Saturday at 09:59 AM
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I found all the lessons very interesting and dynamic. However, I've been concerned with verbs and a study plan or system. I consider myself a lower beginning although I've been doing a full review of an absolute beginner. I think what I'm trying to say is that there is so much material that I'm kind of lost how to design my strategy. Thanks!


Thursday at 07:59 PM
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Hi Camilla,

Thank you, happy to assist 👍😇


Team HebrewPod101.com

Wednesday at 11:37 PM
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Thanks Roi, your corrections are always very useful. 👍

Wednesday at 01:12 AM
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Hi YItzchak and קמילה,

Thanks for posting!

@YItzchak - Yes, this is correct. In this case we need the pronoun. Sorry if this wasn't very clear from the answer..

@Camila - haha nice phrase! you're definitely right - surfing online can feel like real addiction sometimes! 😳

note that "I spend a lot of time" is "אני מבלה זמן רב".

Happy to assist 👍😄


Team HebrewPod101.com

Tuesday at 09:20 PM
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יש לי חמון תחביבים... אני אוהבת ללמוד שפות, לקרוא, לכתוב, לצפות בכדורגל ולעשות יוגה. ואני בולה הרבה זמן לגלוש באינטרנט... אבל זה בעיה, לא תחביב.. 😅

Friday at 01:15 AM
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I messed up with the first sentence lol. I meant to include הם. I asked afterwards if this is necessary, or if it is not as I understood from the lesson. But I am understanding from your response that it is indeed necessary to say or to write הם and would be incorrect to leave it out.

Is that correct?

Thursday at 04:17 AM
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Hi YItzchak,

Thanks for posting! well done!

First, allow me to correct your phrase a little:

התחביבים שלי הם קריאה, ציור, נגינה בגיטרה, ורכיבה על אופניים.

You got almost everything right! note that "playing the guitar" should also be written on the infinitive form ("I play" but the hobby is "playing") and the missing "the" at the beginning of the sentence.

Keep up the great work 👍


Team HebrewPod101.com