Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 67

Practice Hebrew – A popular question

Free Hebrew lessons – May 2011 – Training – Day 67

Ma nishma?

In our previous lesson we learned how to say “please speak slower” in formal and informal ways. We also mentioned the phrase “ma nishma” (what’s new?).

Today we will learn the common questions for “how do you feel?”

Today’s menu: Practice Hebrew – Some common questions

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

In our previous lesson I told you that today we will learn how to ask someone how he/she feels, except for what we already learned “ma nishma?

When we meet someone, we usually ask him/her about his/her situation.

Let’s see the difference between English and Hebrew:

English Hebrew
What is new? Ma ^adash? We use it just between very close friends.
What’s going on? Ma hole^?  It’s slang. Don’t use it in Israel!!!
How are you? Ma shlom^a? (m), ma shlome^? (f) The best way to ask someone this friendly question.
How are you doing? Ei^ ata ose (m) / ei^ at osa (f). It makes no sense in Hebrew.
What’s up? Ma ha’matsav? It’s slang. Don’t use it.

So, when you meet someone and want to ask him this polite question, it is best to use:

Ma shlom^a for masculine and ma shlome^ for feminine, but what if you want to ask about someone’s else situation, like “how is your mother?”

In lesson 21 we learned to say “mom, father, brother, sister, grandmother” and “grandfather,” and in lesson 26 we learned how to say “daughter” and “son.” You can take the table below as a semi refresher for those relatives, and also to learn how to ask the right question.

In these cases, the first two words will be “Ma shlom…” – look at the table below:

English Talking to a woman Talking to a man
How is your mother? Ma shlom ima shela^? Ma shlom ima shel^a?
How is your father? Ma shlom aba shela^? Ma shlom aba shel^a?
How is your brother? Ma shlom a^ shela^? Ma shlom a^ shel^a?
How is your sister? Ma shlom a^ot shela^? Ma shlom a^ot shel^a?
How is your grandmother? Ma shlom savta shela^? Ma shlom savta shel^a?
How is your grandfather? Ma shlom saba shela^? Ma shlom saba shel^a?
How is your daughter? *ma shlom ha’bat shela^? *ma shlom ha’bat shel^a?
How is your son? *ma shlom ha’ben shela^? *ma shlom ha’ben shel^a?

* Even though “son” is “ben” and “daughter” is “bat,” we have to add the “the” (the “ha” letter) before the words “ben” and “bat” because they need a “definite article.” We learned about the “definite article” in lesson 7.

Although number of today’s lesson is “67,” the most important number this week is “63.”  Why?  Because, two days ago Israel celebrated its 63rd(!!) Independence Day (Yom Ha’atsmaut).

I wasn’t around yet on our first Independence Day in 1948, but in my lifetime I have seen Israel grow from a tiny, almost friendless country struggling for survival every day, into a strong, independent democratic country that is a shining example of what can be accomplished with hard work, perservance, and God.  I hope you will join me in this joyous celebration of freedom.

Lehitraot in lesson 68…  😉


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