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Hebrew Lesson Number 18:

The Coffee Shop

Israel is famous for its many coffee shops and delicious desserts. In this online Hebrew lesson, Eran and Liat will teach us the words in Hebrew to order coffee, chocolate cake and (yum!)…a cheesecake.

Introduction to Lesson 18:

The Coffee Shop

No question about it, we Israelis love our coffee.  Not so much the grab ‘n go variety like at Staks . . . no, we like to savor it--sitting in a coffee shop, with a real cup, and maybe a slice of that cheesecake over there . . .

Cheese Cake - עוגת גבינה

For Learn Hebrew Pod shiur mispar shmone-esre aleph, Eran and Liat have invited us to join them at the coffee shop right across the street.  While we’re there, we’ll learn lots of Hebrew vocabulary we can use whenever we’re in a restaurant or beyt kafe.  Come on . . . what good is learning a language if you don’t know how to say chocolate . . . or cheesecake . . . or ice cream??  (And to all those out there with a sweet tooth, make sure not to miss the three vocabulary games on this website dedicated exclusively to dessert--the most important meal of the day!)

Coffee Shop - בית קפה

We’ll also take a look at “contiguity”--a special type of possessive adjective unique to Semitic languages like Hebrew.  Then, in Lesson B, we’ll learn even more useful restaurant Hebrew words and expressions, and we’ll meet an expanded version of our old friend, the “cheese cream rule!”

Learn Hebrew Pod - Lesson No. 18

So take a stroll out to Rechov Dizengof, or Sheinkin, or Ibn Gvirol.  Pull up a chair and relax over a cup of coffee in your favorite beyt kafe.  And don’t forget to tell ‘em Learn Hebrew Pod sent you!

Team Conversation from the Lesson:

Jonathan:  Shalom Eran, shalom Liat, you look very happy today!

Liat:  ken Yonatan, Eran and I met an hour ago to discuss today’s lesson.

Eran:  We had a great time together. We went to the coffee shop across the street - me-ever larechov.

Liat:  haiita sham Yonatan? Have you been there Jonathan?

Jonathan: Oh…I have heard about this coffee shop, I know they serve great coffee…

אני אוהבת לשתות קפה

Liat:  Not to mention the cakes. Hmmm…that was kol kach taim, so delicious, nachon Eran?

Eran:  ken. They have very tasty cakes! Ugot meod teimot!  Do you know, Jonathan, there are a lot of wonderful batey kafe, coffee shops in many cities throughout Israel.

Liat:  nachon!  beYerushalaim, beCheifa, beTel-Aviv. Actually, in almost every city in Israel bechol ir be-IsraelAnyway, as I was talking to the waiter, ha-melzzar Eran took some notes and wrote…

בית קפה

Eran: the Hebrew conversation between Liat ve ha-melzzar. So it would be a great idea to read it together, beyachad.

Jonathan:  nehedar, achla!  I would love to hear it!

Liat:  mezzuyan, I will be myself, ani eheye ani,

Eran:  and I will be the waiter, ani eheye hamelzzar.

Some Grammar from This Lesson:

The word ‘bevakasha’


Jonathan:  We have ‘met’ the word bevakasha several times in our Hebrew lessons, and it has usually been translated as ‘Please’, or when appears at the end of a conversation, as ‘you’re welcome’. Let’s give examples of these uses. The first meaning, ‘please’, is used in contexts such as the following:

Can you help me please? ata yachol la-azor li bevakasha?

Or whenever we use the English word ‘Please’.


An example of the second meaning, ‘you’re welcome’ might be when thanking someone for helping us. We say toda or toda raba, and the helper answers, bevakasha, meaning, you’re welcome.

As we can see, this Hebrew word already has two different English translations and two different conversational functions.


In today’s Hebrew conversation, we see another use of this word, right at the beginning of the dialogue. Remember, prior to this dialogue, Eran and Liat have asked for a coffee and lemonade, which are now being served to them at the beginning of the scene. The best way to translate ‘bevakasha’ as it appears here is with the expression ‘here you go or here you are’, meaning “here is the thing you were asking for”, in a polite way.

Let’s listen to the way Liat uses bevakasha in the fourth sentence of this lessons Hebrew dialogue:

נשמע טוב! אנחנו נקח פרוסה אחת מכל סוג בבקשה וגם שתי כוסות מים.

Sounds good!  We will take one slice of each please and also two glasses of water.

Jonathan:  In this case, bevakasha is translated as ‘please’.


As we very well know, every noun in Hebrew has a gender pertinence. When the waiter, ha-melzzar brings the coffee and lemonade to the table he says,

Eran:  ze hakafe – this is the coffee.

The word kafe, coffee, has masculine gender pertinence in Hebrew. We use the word ze, meaning This is (when referring to a masculine noun).

כוס קפה לקחת

Jonathan:  And for the lemonade he says,

Liat:  zot ha-limonada. This is the lemonade. As we have learned in our previous lessons, the word limonada, since it ends with an ‘a’ sound, is very likely to have a feminine pertinence in Hebrew. We use the word zot, meaning This is (when referring to a feminine noun).

פרוסת עוגת שוקולד

Jonathan:  toda Liat. I have another question for you. How do you say cake in Hebrew?

Liat:  Cake is uga.

Jonathan:  But when you asked for chocolate cake, you said…

יש לכם עוגת שוקולד?

Do you have chocolate cake?

By saying ugat shokolad, I’m literally saying ‘a cake made of chocolate’ or ‘a cake of chocolate’.


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