Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 42

Definite and Indefinite

Free Hebrew lessons – October 2010 – Training – Day 42

Hello everyone,

I really appreciate your comments on our Heblish Facebook group.  Here’s a recent question from Helen in France:

Shalom, Yaron.
In lesson 1 you translate “yeled” by ” boy”. In lesson 41 you translate “kshe’haiti yeled” by “when I was a child.” Does this mean that yeled is the same word for “child” and “boy?”
Also in lesson 41 you gave us “mezeg avir” and tell us the rule for “the” in case of two nouns in close proximity. In this case “mezeg” and “avir“, could you tell us what each noun mean in English? Lehitraot.

And here is my response:

Hi Helen,
First, I’m happy to know that you are really “digging deep” with our Heblish course.
1) You are right, for “boy” and “child” the word is “yeled“. (For “son” the word is “ben.“)

2) Weather (mezeg avir) – “mezeg” is “temper” and “avir” means “air,” so when you put that together we are talking about the temper of the air, as we might talk about someone who has a good or bad temper.


In our previous lesson we talked about weather (mezeg avir). I told you that it is autumn (stav) here – now I have to say it feels like summer (kaits) has come back… it’s very hot again. I believe you call this “Indian Summer,” which is the name for those few days of hot, summer weather, that always seem to slip in after stav has begun. It is a pleasant reminder that although leaves are falling and the weather is getting cooler; kaits WILL come again, in its season.


In one of our next lessons we’ll try to “exercise” some words we have already learned. I don’t want to just fatten you with new words and verbs, and then leave you guessing when and how to use them.   


Today’s menu: Definite and Indefinite 

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.


In English you use the indefinite article “a” to talk about someone or something previously unknown to you, as in:

“We spoke to a photographer yesterday.” 

First, let’s learn the words:
   – We spoke:  dibarnu
   – to a (also “with”):  im
   – photographer: tsalam
   – yesterday: etmol


Now that we have introduced the photographer, we can use the definite article “the“:

“The photographer said he can deliver the pictures tomorrow.”

   – The photographer: ha‘tsalam
   – said he can: amar she’hu ya^ol – “said” is amar. Here we actually say “that he can.” For “that” we use “she” in Hebrew; (if you don’t remember how to pronounce the “e” sound, please go back and read lesson 4, or watch this short video on YouTube: The sound of the vowel E (13 seconds).
“he” is hu (you should know that already), and “can” is ya^ol.
   – deliver: lishloa^
   – the pictures: et ha’tmunot
   – tomorrow: ma^ar.

It is important to understand that in Hebrew, there is no word for “a.” 
When we say “tsalam,” we assume “a photographer,” unless it is a specific photographer, in which case we use “ha (the)” before photographer.  So, in Hebrew if you don’t see the “ha” before a noun, you know it is “a”_____ (noun). 


Today we learned a few new words.
We also learned that, although in English we use the indefinite article “a” when we talk about someone or something previously unknown to us, for example “a photographer,” in Hebrew we only use the noun itself (tsalam). Again, in Hebrew there is no indefinite article “a.”    

For a refresher on the use of the definite article “ha,” please look at lesson 7.

“A”… ”the”… what’s the big deal anyway?!  I know, it seems silly to spend a whole lesson on these little words, but a proper understanding of their use is critical.  The holidays are coming up – what if your husband or boyfriend said “do you want A ring,” (any old ring) or “do you want THE ring” (the ring you have been dreaming of, looking at for months)…ahhh, those little words do matter!  😉 


Lehitraot in lesson 43…

You are welcome to join our group on Facebook:


Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 41


Free Hebrew lessons – October 2010 – Training – Day 41

Shalom ^averim (hello friends), 

In our previous lessons we learned some new verbs and short sentences like “what are you doing?”, “I’m eating,”  “what happened?” etc…

While I’m writing this lesson on Tuesday evening, my heart is in Chile. Within a few hours they will start the exciting operation of extricating the 33 trapped miners from a depth of about 700 meters under the ground. When you read this on Thursday I hope that everything is over, and the operation will have been a success.


After two “heavy” lessons, I want to give you a light lesson and to talk about the weather.

Today’s menu: Weather 

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.


You say summer and I say kaits.

Last summer was very hot. We can see that year after year – the weather seems to get hotter. We can all help the quality of our environment by practicing being “green” – recycling, driving cars with lower emissions, etc. 

* Quality of the environment – ei^ut ha’sviva, in Hebrew.

So, kaits has ended and autumn is here.


Autumn / Fall
For autumn we say stav.

Stav in Israel is very short. It only lasts about a month, or less.

I like this season (ona) because it’s not too hot and not too cold, you can breathe and feel alive.

The only problem here is that our government returned to standard time very early. That means it is dark here at 5 P.M…I don’t like that.


For winter we say ^oref.

When I was a child (kshe’haiti yeled), we had a lot of rain here during the ^oref. I remember we sailed paper ships in the puddles, or walked with boots, but today we only have a real ^oref maybe once in five years. It seems like we mostly have rainless years.

That’s bad, but any problem can also be an opportunity to invent and develop new ideas and technology.

Of course there are many ways to create water, like water desalination (hatpalat maim).  Fifteen years ago I invented a way to make water from the air, but I found that someone invented that six months before me…


For spring we say aviv.
Aviv is the favorite season (ona) almost everywhere in the world.

As Passover symbolizes a beginning (the Exodus – yetsiat mitsraim, in Hebrew), and Aries is the first symbol of the Zodiac (galgal ha’mazalot), spring (ha’aviv) symbolizes a beginning… it is no wonder that they are both in the same season.

BTW, another name of Passover is ^ag ha’aviv (the holiday of the spring).


For weather we say mezeg avir.

In Hebrew, when a sentence has two nouns in close proximity, like “mezeg + avir,” and you want to emphasize “the weather,” you should use the “ha” sound before the second noun, like this “mezeg ha‘avir“, not “ha’mezeg avir“.


It looks like we’ve learned only 5 words today:
Kaits – summer
Stav – autumn
^oref – winter
Aviv – spring
Mezeg avir – weather

But we’ve learned more:
Ona – season
Ei^ut ha’sviva – quality of the environment
Kshe’haiti – when I was
Yeled – child
Hatpalat maim – water desalination… there’s one you won’t use very often.  😉
Yetsiat mitsraim – the Exodus
Galgal ha’mazalot – the Zodiac
^ag – holiday


That’s it. We talked about the four seasons we have in a year (shana), and you learned a little bit about mezeg ha’avir and seasons in Israel.  I really hope you all get the chance to visit Israel one day – it is a beautiful country, with friendly people and plenty of history to see and study.

And one more thing before the end of this Hebrew lesson…
After our previous lesson I received three important comments by Bob, Judy and Conny on our Heblish Facebook group. I think that’s it’s a great way to learn more Hebrew. If you haven’t yet joined our Heblish group on Facebook, this is the time to do that (link below).

Lehitraot in lesson 42…

You are welcome to join our group on Facebook:

Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 40


Free Hebrew lessons – October 2010 – Training – Day 40

Boker tov (good morning),

In our previous lessons we talked about verbs, I gave you some homework to do and you sent me your answers. Hooray! Most of you sent perfect answers, and I’m really proud of you.

In lesson 39 I promised to tell you why I call our course a “challenge.”

I think the “challenge” was actually more for me than for you, since in the beginning I didn’t know if I could really teach you Hebrew using English.

But, here we are, 40 lessons later, still going strong!  Now that we (you AND me) know what we’re doing, I’d like to “challenge” each of you to send four of your friends the link to our Heblish website or our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=230884728509.  Let’s get the group growing… I think the more students we have, the more we will interact and learn.

Ok, now that I’ve got you thinking about challenges instead of verbs and nouns, let’s get cracking!


Today’s menu: Common short sentences and some new verbs 

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

Some of you have asked me to explain how to start and continue a conversation, so let’s see an example:

English Talking to a man Talking to a woman
What are you doing? Ma ata ose? Ma at osa?
I’m eating Ani o^el Ani o^elet
Have you seen the news? Haim raita et ha^adashot?
can be also:
Raita et ha^adashot?
Haim rait et ha^adashot?
can be also:
Rait et ha^adashot?
No, what happened? Lo, ma kara? The same since there is no verb here: lo, ma kara?
The earth stopped rotating Kadur ha’arets hifsik lehistovev The same.
Now I understand why I have headache A^shav ani mevin lama yesh li keev rosh (ke-ev) A^shav ani mevina lama yesh li keev rosh



Let’s look at the verbs in the past and present tenses. Again, I will use orange for feminine.

English Masculine Feminine
Do Ose Osa
Eat O^el O^elet
Have you seen?/ Did you see * Raita? Rait?
Understand Mevin Mevina

*) A verb in the past tense.


Do / did (singular)

English: Present / past Hebrew: Present Hebrew: Past
I do (I’m doing)/ I did – (m) Ani ose (o-se) Asiti (a-si-ti)
I do (I’m doing)/ I did – (f) Ani osa (o-sa) Asiti (a-si-ti)
You do (you’re doing) / you did – (m) Ata ose (o-se) Asita (a-si-ta)
You do (you’re doing) / you did – (f) At osa (o-sa) Asit (a-sit)
He does / he did – (m) Hu ose (o-se) Hu asa (a-sa)
She does / she did – (f) Hi osa (o-sa) Hi asta (as-ta)



Eat / ate (singular)

English: Present / past Hebrew: Present Hebrew: Past
I eat (I’m eating)/ I ate – (m) Ani o^el A^alti
I eat (I’m eating)/ I ate – (f) Ani o^elet A^alti
You eat (you’re eating) / you ate – (m) Ata o^el A^alta
You eat (you’re eating) / you ate – (f) At o^elet A^alt
He eats / he ate – (m) Hu o^el Hu a^al
She eats / she ate – (f) Hi o^elet Hi a^la



See / saw (singular)

English: Present / past Hebrew: Present Hebrew: Past
I see / I saw (I’ve seen) – (m) Ani roe (ro-e) Raiti (ra-i-ti)
I see / I saw (I’ve seen) – (f) Ani roa (ro-a) Raiti (ra-i-ti)
You see / you saw – (m) Ata roe (ro-e) Raita (ra-i-ta)
You see / you saw – (f) At roa (ro-a) Rait (ra-it)
He sees / he saw – (m) Hu roe (ro-e) Hu raa (ra-a)
She sees / she saw – (f) Hi roa (ro-a) Hi raata (ra-a-ta)



Understand / understood (singular)

English: Present / past Hebrew: Present Hebrew: Past
I understand / I understood – (m) Ani mevin Hevanti
I understand / I understood – (f) Ani mevina Hevanti
You understand / you understood – (m) Ata mevin Hevanta
You understand / you understood – (f) At mevina Hevant
He understands / he understood – (m) Hu mevin Hu hevin
She understands / she understood – (f) Hi mevina Hi hevina


Please, if you don’t completely understand everything in the tables, send me a message through our Heblish Facebook Group at: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=230884728509.

Believe me, I put a lot of time and effort into our lessons and I really want you to understand, so lay it on me, tell me what’s on your mind, I’m always open to your suggestions. 

Lehitraot in lesson 41…

You are welcome to join our group on Facebook:

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