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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…  😉


Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 64

All About Adjectives 

Free Hebrew lessons – April 2011 – Training – Day 64

Shalom lekulam (Hi everyone), 

In our previous lesson we talked about the future tense and about “you,” and I taught you how to use some verbs in both genders. Thanks, to everyone who sent me sentences using the words from our last lesson.  I’m glad to see you are learning so much Hebrew… we are on the right track!  😉

Today we will learn some new Hebrew adjectives.     

Today’s menu: All About Adjectives.

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

First, although it’s not so important in English, gender is very important in the Hebrew language. We appreciate our ladies… 😉 

So, in Hebrew a masculine noun requires a masculine adjective, and a feminine noun requires a feminine adjective. 

In English you say good.
In Hebrew you should say tov. I taught you this word in our first lesson.

English Hebrew – Feminine Hebrew – Masculine
Good Tova Tov


In English you say bad.
In Hebrew you should say ra.

English Hebrew – Feminine Hebrew – Masculine
Bad Raa (ra-a) Ra


   – This boy is a good boy – Ha’yeled ha’ze hu yeled tov,
   – But his brother is badAval a^ shelo ra.
 More words: Boy-yeled, but-aval, brother-a^, his-shelo.

In English you say big.
In Hebrew you should say gadol.

English Hebrew – Feminine Hebrew – Masculine
Big Gdola Gadol


In English you say small.
In Hebrew you should say katan.

English Hebrew – Feminine Hebrew – Masculine
Small Ktana    Katan  


   – His cake is bigHa’uga shelo gdola,  (uga is feminine, that’s why we must use the feminine form, “gdola,” for “big”)
   – So, why is mine small? – Az lama sheli ktana?
More words: Cake-uga, so-az, why-lama, mine – sheli.

In English you say happy.
In Hebrew you should say samea^.

English Hebrew – Feminine Hebrew – Masculine
Happy Sme^a samea^


In English you say sad.
In Hebrew you should say atsuv.

English Hebrew – Feminine Hebrew – Masculine
Sad Atsuva  Atsuv  


   – Now I have a big cake too, so I am happyA^shav gam li yesh uga gdola, az ani samea^.
   – But why is my brother sad?… – Aval lama a^ sheli atsuv?…
 Because I switched our cakes!… 😉

 More words: Now-a^shav, I have-yesh li, too-gam.

I think this lesson will really enrich your Hebrew vocabulary; we need adjectives, even simple ones, to bring any language to life.  We’ll explore more adjectives in the future.   

Next week will be Passover, a very important holiday in Israel (and for Jews everywhere), so we will not have a lesson.  Have a blessed week and I’ll see you here on April 28th. 
Happy Holidays!

Lehitraot in lesson 65…

Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 62


Free Hebrew lessons – March 2011 – Training – Day 62

Shalom, ma shlom^em? (Hi, how are you (in plural)?) 

In our previous lesson we talked about the future tense. I chose a sentence from the Beatles song “All My Loving” and taught you how to say tisgeri (close, in the future tense – speaking to a woman), anashek (I will kiss) and etgaagea (I will miss (you)).

In our next lesson I will teach you how a woman would say the same sentence to a man, but in lesson 61, when I mentioned the sentence “And I’ll kiss you,” I promised to talk about the word you, today …     

Today’s menu: You and with you.

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

In English you say:
You are my love
– I love you
– I want to dance with you

In Hebrew, “you” is expressed using at least three different words…
A woman speaking to a man
You are my love – Ata ahuvi
– I love you – Ani ohevet ot^a
– I want to dance with you  – Ani rotsa lirkod it^a
Ata, ot^a, it^a…

It will not be easy to explain “when” to use “what,” because I don’t really want to teach you complex Hebrew, it is not what we are trying to do here, but I will say this:

1) You use “ata” when “you” is a person doing something (an action, like drinking coffee), or when you would say “you are…” (like, you are wonderful).  I think the best way to learn this concept of “you” is to look at examples.

Here are some examples (speaking to a man):
   – You are going – Ata hole^
   – You are handsome – Ata nae
   – Are you drinking coffee? – Ata shote ca? (I can also ask “ha’im ata shote ca?“)
   – Where do you live? – Eifo ata gar?

2. Ot^a is when “you” isn’t doing an action, but an action IS being directed toward “you”.

Here are some examples (speaking to a man):
   – I met youPagashti ot^a
   – I see youAni roa ot^a  (a woman speaking to a man)
   – She photographed youHi tsilma ot^a  
   – He will catch youHu itpos ot^a

3.  It^a is simply “with you.”

Here are some examples (speaking to a man):
   – I am going with youAni hole^et It^a (a woman speaking to a man)
   – She is coming with youHi baa It^a
   – They will do that with youHem yaasu et ze It^a

Is it just me, or did this seem like the longest month ever? Maybe it’s because February is a short month; I don’t know, but wow, tomorrow is finally April and I’m ready to say “hello Spring!”  😉

Lehitraot in lesson 63…

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