Posts Tagged 'plural'

Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 58

Singular and plural

Free Hebrew lessons – March 2011 – Training – Day 58

Shalom lekulam, (Hi everyone,)

In our previous lesson we learned how to use the word “say” in past simple tense. Since in Hebrew there is only one form for the past tense, you now know how to use this word in the past tense. 

The translation for “say” and “to say” to Hebrew is not easy, but very important.
We will learn it during our lessons as you read many sentences and examples, until finally you catch it. Anyway, one of the tenses (the past simple) is behind us and it wasn’t difficult.

Today (hayom), we will have fun.

Today’s menu: Singular and plural

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

In Hebrew, the suffix for plural usually tells us the gender of the word. Usually, but not always… 😉

We already learned some plural words, but hayom (today) plural words will be the main subject for our lesson.

Most of the suffixes for plural words in masculine will be “im” – sounds like “eem.”
Most of the suffixes for plural words in feminine will be “ot.”

Below, you can see a funny video, where the mother gives her child, who is 3 years old, a word in singular form and the child is trying to guess the plural form…

Of course there are many mistakes and you don’t really have to listen to all of the video, but it is funny, and you can also hear some of the Hebrew accent…

1) At 33 seconds into the video, Nufar, the mother, says “one life,” how do you say “a lot of lives?” – and Osher, the little boy, answers “^aim.” Actually, he said it correctly, since there is no plural for “life” (^aim), but his mom just wants to document his mistakes and is not really trying to teach him this time… so she almost forced him to make a mistake… 😉

2) At 41 seconds into the video, the mother asks “one picture, a lot of?…” (when she actually wanted to ask: how do you say “a lot of pictures?”) – “tmuna a^at, harbe?…” and Osher answers “tmunot” which is correct.
Next… “one watch,” – “shaon e^ad,”  how do you say “a lot of watches?” and his answer is correct again “sheonim“. The next question is “one dolly, which is “buba” – and his answer is also correct – “bubot.”

Now you can click below and watch the video:
Singular and plural form on YouTube by Osher and Nufar.

English Hebrew – singular Hebrew – plural Suffix
Words from the video      
Life ^aim (m) ^aim  —
Picture Tmuna (f) Tmunot Ot
Dolly Buba (f) Bubot Ot
Words you should know      
Book Sefer (m) Sfarim                Im – sounds like “eem”
Bottle Bakbuk (m) Bakbukim          Im
Bracelet Tsamid (m) Tsmidim            Im
Dress Simla (f) Smalot               Ot
Cake Uga (f) Ugot                  Ot
Ring Tabaat (f) Tabaot               Ot
Some new words      
Pen Et (m) Etim Im
Orange (the fruit) Tapuz (m) Tapuzim Im
Dog Kelev (m) Klavim Im
Boy Yeled (m) Yeladim Im
Envelope Maatafa (ma-a-ta-fa) Maatafot Ot
Sofa Sapa (f) Sapot Ot
Lioness Levia (f) Leviot Ot
Girl Yalda (f) Yeladot Ot


I hope you enjoyed this week’s lesson.  I thought the video was very charming, however, I might be a little prejudiced. The little boy is my great nephew, my sister’s grandson. It’s a great picture of how we learn to speak Hebrew here, but since we can’t all learn this way… hello,!  😉

Lehitraot in lesson 59…

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Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 36


Free Hebrew lessons – September 2010 – Training – Day 36

Shalom mi-Israel (Hello from Israel),

Wow! It was a good vacation. We were in Berlin, and if you haven’t visited there yet, this is the time to think about it… No, I didn’t get a commission from the iriya (city council) of Berlin…  

In our previous lessons we had a refresher, but before that, in lesson 34, we learned some tenses. We learned that verbs in the present tense singular form remain the same, like: I sit, you sit, he sits –
Ani yoshev, ata yoshev, hu yoshev for masculine, and: I sit, you sit, she sits:  
Ani yoshevet, at yoshevet, hi yoshevet for feminine.

Today we’ll take another step ahead and learn the plural form.

Today’s menu: The present – plural form

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

Remember “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)

If you remember, when we talked about the singular form, we used the following table.

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”)

 * I hope you remember: There is no “it” in Hebrew


Today we will learn the plural form.

English subject pronouns Hebrew subject pronouns
We / We are Ana^nu
You / you are (m) Atem
You / you are (f) Aten
They / they are (m) Hem
They / they are (f)  Hen


Let’s see how to say the last 3 words we learned: sit, write and learn, in the plural form:


   We / we are (m)Ana^nu You / you are (m)Atem They / they are (m)
Sit / sitting yoshvim yoshvim yoshvim
Write / writing kotvim kotvim kotvim
Learn / learning lomdim lomdim lomdim


We, you, they (masculine):
Sit – Ana^nu yoshvim, atem yoshvim, hem yoshvim.
Write – Ana^nu kotvim, atem kotvim, hem kotvim.
Learn – Ana^nu lomdim, atem lomdim, hem lomdim.



  We / we are (f)Ana^nu You / you are (f)
They / they are
Sit / sitting yoshvot yoshvot yoshvot
Write / writing kotvot kotvot kotvot
Learn / learning lomdot lomdot lomdot


We, you, they (feminine):
Sit – Ana^nu yoshvot, aten yoshvot, hen yoshvot.
Write – Ana^nu kotvot, aten kotvot, hen kotvot.
Learn – Ana^nu lomdot, aten lomdot, hen lomdot.

I already said it, but I will say it again – There are two things you must remember:

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 plural persons, depending on the gender.

2. The difference between masculine and feminine in the plural form is the “ot” on the end of the feminine verbs and the “im” for the masculine verbs.
In the present – ot” is the suffix for all feminine plural verbs,  and “im” is the suffix for all masculine plural verbs. Again – I’m talking about the present!


To really “get” this, you must look at the tables above over and over and over… let it soak in and you will find it’s not that confusing.  If you want to talk about “confusing,” let’s talk about learning English.  Ha!… 

Lehitraot in lesson 37 …

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