Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 34

Tenses

Free Hebrew lessons – August 2010 – Training – Day 34:

Shalom,

I really don’t understand why everybody says it’s hot. I’m sitting here at my computer, drinking a cup of hot tea, listening to beautiful music, the air conditioner is on… and everything is OK… ;-)

In our previous lesson we learned how to say maim (water) and shamaim (sky). We learned the word for “of / belonging to”, shel and its inflections, and we mentioned again the 3 tenses in Hebrew: past, present and future.

Today we’ll take another step ahead and learn 3 new words and their inflections.

Today’s menu: The present – singular form

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

In Hebrew there are 7 different forms of verbs.

Let’s imagine seven different buildings, each building holds one form.  If you know how to conjugate one word in a building, you can do that for all the other “neighbors” (the other verbs in that building).

Hebrew is a very structured language, but I’m not sure if I’m going to teach you in the traditional way, like I learned in school. Now you might want to say, “goodbye Yaron, it was nice to meet you, see you one day – maybe…”

So what I’m going to do is, teach you the main rules which effect the most conjugations, or persons.

The present

Rule number 1
In the present – there are only 4 inflections for EVERY Hebrew verb:
- Singular for (m) – (m) means masculine
- Singular for (f) – (f) means feminine
- Plural for (m)
- Plural for (f)

Today we will learn only the singular form.

English subject pronouns Hebrew subject pronouns
I / I am Ani
You / you are (m) Ata
You / you are (f) At
He / he is (m) Hu
She / she is (f)  Hi (remember, the “i” sounds like “ee”)

 

Where is the “it” subject pronoun?
You sometimes say that Hebrew is a difficult language, but I’m not sure about that… in English there is a subject pronoun “it,” but there is no “it” in Hebrew.

Dogs and men are the same… oh, wait… wait… I wanted to say… OK, dogs and men are the same ;-) … but I meant to say that human beings, animals and objects are the same, in Hebrew. There are no words like “it“, “which” or “who,” which can tell us if we are talking about a man or about his dog…

NOTE:  Remember, in Hebrew there is no word for “am/is/are” – it is inferred in “ani, ata, hu,” etc.  In other words, “ani” means “I” and/or “I am”; “ata” means “you” and/or “you are”; “hu” means “he” and/or “he is,” and so forth.  It takes a little getting used to for the English speaker, but it is really a great feature of the Hebrew language.

Today’s new words: sit, write & learn

Masculine:

  I / I am (m)Ani You / you are (m)Ata He / he is - Hu
Sit / sitting yoshev yoshev yoshev
       
Write / writing kotev kotev kotev
       
Learn / learning lomed lomed lomed
       

 

I, you, he:
Sit – Ani yoshev, ata yoshev, hu yoshev.
Write – Ani kotev, ata kotev, hu kotev.
Learn – Ani lomed, ata lomed, hu lomed.

 

Feminine:

  I / I am (f)Ani You / you are (f)At She / she is - Hi
Sit / sitting yoshevet yoshevet yoshevet
       
Write / writing kotevet kotevet kotevet
       
Learn / learning lomedet lomedet lomedet
       

 

I, you, she:
Sit – Ani yoshevet, at yoshevet, hi yoshevet.
Write – Ani kotevet, at kotevet, hi kotevet.
Learn – Ani lomedet, at lomedet, hi lomedet.

From the two tables above you can see two things:

1. In Hebrew there are no “present simple” and “present progressive” tenses – there is only one form of “present,” and the verb remains the same for the singular persons, depending on the gender.

2. The difference between masculine and feminine is the “et” on the end of the feminine verbs. “Et” is the suffix for most feminine singular verbs. Most, but not every…

 

After you worked so hard today, I have a beautiful story about a “present” to show you. It is more a gift than a present… You are welcome to read it here: The present.

Lehitraot in lesson 35 …

You are welcome to join our group on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=230884728509 

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