This lesson is available only to Speaking Hebrew: Intermediate Course subscribers.

Each of our lessons includes: 3 audio learning sessions, a quiz, and plenty of interactive learning games and reading tutorials.

Try a Free Lesson

Test your level with the audio and video lessons below to decide which of our full courses is best for you!

-or- Sign Up Today


Hebrew Lesson Number 29:

It's Fun to Run

Jonathan loves to run…especially in the park or on the beach.  Waiting for him to arrive, Eran and Liat discuss how we pronounce the Hebrew letters and Hebrew vowels.  And what is a guttural letter anyway?

Introduction to Lesson 29:

It's Fun to Run

Learn Hebrew Pod - Lesson No. 29

Mile 26, and Jonathan is still going strong . . .  

Of course, in Israel, we don’t measure marathons in miles.  We measure them in kilometers, and the length of a full marathon is 42.195 kilometers.  

Any way you measure it, it’s still a very long way to run.  But Jonathan seems to have it well under control.  He has run in both the New York Marathon and the Tel Aviv Marathon.  Impressive!!


Since Jonathan lost track of time during his run today and will arrive just a few minutes late, Eran and Liat will begin shiur mispar esrim ve-tesha by teaching us all about the five different ways we produce sounds in Hebrew - with the tongue, with the teeth, with the throat, etc.  

So now we’ll finally understand the broader context for a concept we have met several times already--the guttural letter.

Then, once Jonathan arrives, he will share with us his great passion for running and even wax a bit nostalgic about the day he found his first pair of running shoes.  Love at first sight!  

His monologue will give us the opportunity to take a second look at our new Hebrew building block - hitpa-el - and to see the many similarities between its past-tense conjugations and those of the now-familiar pa-al.

נעל ריצה

All in all, it’s the perfect Hebrew lesson to listen to during your next workout.  And Jonathan, we’ll look for you in the next Tel Aviv Marathon!  Have a great run! behazzlacha!

Team Conversation from the Lesson:

ערן, יונתן וליאת

המורים שלנו לעברית

Liat: halo?

Jonathan: hey, Liat.

Liat: ken, Yonatan?

Jonathan: ken. a-halan Liat, ma shlomech?

Liat: shlomi mezzu-yan, toda!

Jonathan: Eran kvar higi-a?

Liat: Eran called a second ago - Eran hitkasher lifney shni-ya. He should be here any minute now - hu zzarich le-hagi-a kol regaWhere are you? - eyfo ata?

Jonathan: I'm so sorry, I'll be a little bit late today - ani kzzat a-acher ha-yom.

Liat: Is everything okay? -  hakol beseder?

Jonathan: ken, everything is perfectly fine - hakol beseder gamur.  I just went out for a run and had such a good time that I kind of lost track of time:)  I just came home, I will take a shower - ani etkale-ach, and I will arrive in a few minutes - ani agi-a toch kama dakot…

ריצה על חוף הים

Liat: Just a second Jonathan - rak shni-ya Yonatan, it's Eran - ze Eran. Let me just open the door for him, just a second - rak shni-ya…

Eran: shalom Liat , ma ha-in-yanim?

Liat: hey Eran, ma kore?

Eran: eyfo Yonatan?

Liat: Yonatan ba-telefonHe just called - hu karega hitkasher to say that he will be a little bit late - hu ye-acher tipa.

הוא כרגע התקשר

Eran: beseder gamur. Ask him if he would like us to start in the meantime? – le-hatchil  beynata-im?

Liat: Yonatan, would you like us to start? - ata rozze she-natchil?

Jonathan: ken, ken, ra-a-yon mezzu-yan. I believe Eran has prepared some notes about the different ways of pronouncing consonants in Hebrew.

Liat: me-uleEran ve-ani natchil la-asot et ze - Eran and I will start doing thisve-ata tizztaref elynu achar kach - and you will join us later.

Jonathan: sababale-hitra-ot be-karov - see you soon.

Liat: achla, see you soon. Eran, Jonathan said that you have prepared some notes about the different ways of pronouncing consonants in Hebrew… nachon? - Is that right?

Eran: nachon! Jonathan asked me to prepare a short lecture that should be very helpful for continuing our discussion on Hebrew verbs conjugations, especially when guttural letters are involved.

Liat: nishma mezzu-yan. Would you like me to read it with you?

Eran: be-simcha! - I would love that!

Liat: kadimabo natchil!

Eran: Speaking a language is actually way of systematically pronouncing spoken sounds.

Liat: When we utter these sounds we are actually using our speech organs as a kind of a musical instrument. 

Eran: The sound is produced by the mouth but it starts with air streaming from our lungs, it moves to our vocal cords, into the mouth and comes out, as speech. 

Liat: When leaving the mouth, this stream of air is briefly, partially or completely obstructed to produce the sound that constitutes a word or a speech sound.

Eran: These sounds are familiarly known as consonants and vowels.

Liat: Combining these systematically, results in a spoken language.

Eran: There are basically five different places in which the stream of air is obstructed before it leaves our mouth as a final consonant.

Liat: We can sort the Hebrew Alef-Bet into five groups of consonants according to these five different areas or locations of aerial obstruction.

*Join us to this Hebrew lesson! Listen to Eran and Liat’s discussion, and fully understand the way we produce different consonants in Hebrew

Some Grammar from This Lesson:

The Hitpael Building Block - Past Tense


Jonathan: toda Eran ve-Liat. We recommend that you review the audio/visual sessions, while listening to the B lessons, at least once. The visual part of the lessons, will assist your learning process. 

In this lesson we have marked in red the places where the Hebrew verb changes to signify the masculine and feminine, and marked in blue, those Hebrew verbs that do not change, regardless of whether the speaker in male or female. 

Eran, which Hebrew building blocks did we use in this monologue?

Eran: Well Jonathan, ata mishtamesh - you use two building blocks in your monologue. mishtamesh – use is actually in one of them: the Hitpa-el. The other building block is Pa-al.

Liat: Jonathan, as most of the verbs in your Hebrew monologue are in the past tense, I believe it might be a good opportunity to learn today, the Hitpa-el past tense conjugation while comparing it to the Pa-al past tense conjugation

Jonathan: ze ra-a-yon mezzu-yan.  The appearances of the Pa-al in my monologue should be sorted into two types. 

The first type consists of regular root letters while the second involves the special guttural letter 'hey' for the third root letter.  

For our comparative demonstration of the Pa-al and Hitpa-el past tense conjugation, we will use only the first type. 

The second half of today’s Hebrew lesson will be dedicated to demonstrating what are the implications of the guttural letter 'hey' when it appears as the third root letter of a verb in the past tense conjugations of Pa-al.

Let's start by sorting the verbs in the monologue into three groups: Hitpa-el and the two types of Pa-al

We will read each verb as it conjugated in the monologue. For each verb we will then state its meaning and the form in which it appears in the monologue.  Immediately afterwards, we will give its third person singular conjugation in the past tense:

Verbs in the Hitpa-el:


*Listen to the Full Hebrew Grammar Discussion and learn the Hitpael verbs taken from Jonathan's monologue - Join the Learn Hebrew Pod Intermediate Speaking Hebrew Program.