Future tense – Eitan letters
Free Hebrew lessons – October 2010 – Training – Day 43
Today we have a long and very important lesson.
If you only have a few minutes, you can just read the summary at the end of the lesson, but if you really want to learn Hebrew, let’s start…
In our previous lesson we talked about Definite and Indefinite articles. I taught you that in Hebrew there is no indefinite article “a,” and I showed you that we use the sound “ha” (which is only one vowel in Hebrew), instead of the word “the.”
Today we will talk about the future…
It would be amazing if we could sit together and guess what the future has in store for us… but, we will leave that for astrologers and concentrate on our Hebrew lessons. 😉
BTW, here is one of my astrology websites.
Today’s menu: Future tense – Eitan letters
Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.
Today we will talk about the future tense and we’ll taste a bit about “roots.”
We’re only going to use one verb for our examples today – close.
We learned this verb in lesson 39, and many of you did homework about it.
As you have already seen, in Hebrew we don’t use “am, are” and “is.” So, from now on I won’t need to write: “I am,” “you are,” “he is” etc… I will only use “I, you, he, we” etc. in my tables/examples.
Look at this table and read the following explanation.
Close – soger
|English Pronouns||Verb||Hebrew Pronouns||Hebrew Verb||Future Tense|
Now, after you read the verbs in the table above, I will teach you the rules for future tense, step-by-step.
1. In Hebrew every verb has a root.
Most roots consist of 3 consonants.
At this point we won’t discuss word roots in detail, because the concept of word roots is not easy to understand, especially since I can’t show you the root letters in Heblish (meaning, in English letters). However, one day we will try to learn more about roots.
The only thing I want to say about roots is that the root of the word “close,” (soger) is “s.g.r.”
What do I mean by that?
Look at the verbs above. You can easily find the letters “s,” “g” and “r” in each verb. This is the root of the verb “soger.”
That’s true for past tense, present tense and future tense.
2. In the future tense, there are four possible prefix letters before the root.
If you learn them, you will be able to conjugate almost every Hebrew verb in the future tense.
The letters are: e, i, t and n, and in Hebrew the name of this group of letters is “Eitan.”
Most of the time we use these 4 prefixes as the Eitan letters.
In the future I will show you some exceptions.
Let’s look again. I capitalized the root’s letters “S,” “G” and “R” and bolded the four special prefix letters.
Close – soger
|English Pronouns||Verb||Hebrew Pronouns||Future Tense|
|I (m)||close||Ani||esgor eSGoR|
|I (f)||close||Ani||esgor eSGoR|
|You (m)||close||Ata||tisgor tiSGoR|
|You (f)||close||At||tisgeri tiSGeRi|
|He (m)||closes||Hu||isgor iSGoR|
|She (f)||closes||Hi||tisgor tiSGoR|
|We (m)||close||Ana^nu||nisgor niSGoR|
|We (f)||close||Ana^nu||nisgor niSGoR|
|You (m)||close||Atem||tisgeru tiSGeRu|
|You (f)||close||Aten||tisgorna tiSGoRna|
|They (m)||close||Hem||isgeru iSGeRu|
|They (f)||close||Hen||tisgorna tiSGoRna|
In the future tense, there are four possible prefix letters before the root.
1) The letters are: e, i, t or n.
2) This rule is for all future tense Hebrew verbs, in all 7 Hebrew forms.
3) Every verb in the future tense must have one of the “Eitan” letters as the first letter of the word.
Here it is in detail.
Don’t try to remember it, yet. I will give an easy way to remember the rules.
– For “I” (ani) we add the letter “e” before the root.
– For “he” (m) (hu) and for
“they” (m) (hem), we add the letter “i” before the root.
– For “you” (m) and (f) singular and plural (ata, at, atem, aten) and for
“she” (hi) and they (f) (hen), we add the letter “t” before the root.
– For “we” (m) and (f) (ana^nu), we add the letter “n” before the root.
Here it is on a table:
|English Pronouns||Hebrew Pronouns||Eitan letters||Future Tense||Remarks|
|You (m)||Ata||t||tisgor||Only the “t” is one of the “Eitan” letters. The “i” (the second letter) is just a vowel.|
|You (f)||At||t||tisgeri||The same|
|You (m) plural||Atem||t||tisgeru||The same|
|You (f) plural||Aten||t||tisgorna||The same|
|She (f)||Hi||t||tisgor||The same|
|They (f)||Hen||t||tisgorna||The same|
|We (m)||Ana^nu||n||nisgor||The same; the “i” here is just a vowel.|
|We (f)||Ana^nu||n||nisgor||The same|
|Person||Hebrew Pronouns||Eitan letters|
|First person (singular)||Ani||e|
|Third person (masculine)||Hu, hem||i|
|Second person + third person (feminine)||Ata, at, atem, aten, hi, hen||t|
|First person (plural)||Ana^nu||n|
Summary (and a simple way to remember):
– For every verb in the future tense in Hebrew, we use one of the “Eitan” prefixes: e, i, t or n before the root.
– The Eitan prefix letter will be always the first letter of the verb.
– This rule is for ALL 7 forms of verbs in Hebrew – meaning, all Hebrew verbs!
The best way to remember which of the Eitan prefixes to use is:
– First person (singular) – e
– First person (plural) – n
– Third person (masculine) – i
– All the others – t
Is your head spinning? Don’t be discouraged! If you just keep studying the table and memorize which “Eitan” prefix letter goes with which personal pronoun, you will quickly master the future tense.
Lehitraot in lesson 44, I promise you an easier lesson…
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