Heblish – Hebrew lessons: Day 61

Future tense

Free Hebrew lessons – March 2011 – Training – Day 61


In our previous lesson we talked about Japan and its tragedy.

Lately, there have been a lot of disasters, but we must always look forward to the future and hope the best for us and for our families.

Therefore, today we will talk about the future, and I also have a beautiful story for you at the end of the lesson… 😉     

Today’s menu: Future tense

Attention: The underlined letters represent the accent.

In lesson 43 we learned about the Eitan letters, and I taught you how to conjugate the word “close” in the future tense for all of the English pronouns.

As I told you, in Hebrew every verb has a root, and 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.”

Today I will only give you some examples with some new verbs.
Let’s have fun today, and use a sentence from the beautiful Beatles song, “Close your eyes”…

“Close your eyes and I’ll kiss you, tomorrow I’ll miss you…”

A man speaking to a woman

1. Close your eyes – Tisgeri et ha’einaim shela^

   – Close – Tisgeri  
   – Your – Shela^
   – Eyes – Einaim

The word “close” in English is not in the future tense, but in Hebrew when I use “close” for “close your eyes,” or for any similar sentence, I use an imperative form.

Since in Hebrew we don’t use the imperative form very often, most of those words will be in the future tense. That’s why the word “close” for this example is in the future tense.

If you want to know how to say it in high (very proper) Hebrew, you can read the following explanation. Otherwise, simply go ahead and read the next paragraph.
For “tisgeri,” as an exception to what I said about the Eitan letters, I also can say “sigri.” Sigri is the imperative form of “tisgeri.”
For “ha’einaim shela^” (your eyes), I can say “einai^” which is only one word, so the whole sentence for “close your eyes” will be “sigri et einai^.”

Now leaving the high Hebrew aside, let’s learn the rest of the sentence:

2. And I’ll kiss you – Va’ani anashek ota^

   – And I – Va’ani
   – I will kiss – anashek (The prefix “a” indicates the first person, even though I already said “ani“.)
   – I will not talk about the “you” (ota^) today. We will talk about it in our next lesson.  It is not hard, it just needs some more detailed explanation. 

Here, for “anashek,” you can see that I used “a” instead of “e” for “I will kiss”. I don’t want to dwell on the reason, but in Hebrew it is always the same letter “alef,” translated as the “e” letter. In Heblish it will be either “e” or “a” depending on the root. 

So, to expand on the rule I taught you in lesson 43:
– For every verb in the future tense in Hebrew, we use one of the “Eitan” prefixes:  e, i, t or n before the root. For first person (singular) it will either e or a.

3. Tomorrow I’ll miss you – Ma^ar etgaagea elai^

   – Tomorrow – Ma^ar
   – I will miss – etgaagea
   – (I will miss whom? I will miss…) you – elai^

Now, here is the story I promised:
One of our famous Israeli writers, Meir Shalev, wrote a short article about his father.  Mr. Shalev’s story went something like this:  “In WWII my father volunteered in the British army. During his service, he shared a truck with another soldier, who was a devout Christian believer. Although he was a Jew, my father did not practice orthodox Judaism. When the Christian driver heard that his companion was from Jerusalem, he started talking to my father about the stories in the Bible. They drove four days; my non-orthodox Jewish father and the orthodox Christian, “together with” Abraham and Moses, Rachel and Sarah, King David and more heroes from the Bible.

The Christian driver, who knew a lot about the Bible, was surprised to discover how much my father knew about the Bible. At the end of the journey, when they arrived in Alexandria (Egypt), he hugged my father and said: “I knew that the Bible was translated to many languages, but I never dreamed that it was also translated into Hebrew…” ”

Lehitraot in lesson 62…

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