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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