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Hebrew Lesson Number 55:

Makes the World Go Round

This is Jonathan’s turn to show up at the Learn Hebrew Pod recording studio, happy and content, sameach umeushar. Let’s join Liat and Dan as they try to find out what is the reason for that.

Some Grammar from This Lesson:

Hebrew Nouns and The Concept of Mishkalim

Jonathan: Exactly! Now, all the Hebrew verbs Liat has mentioned have been transformed into the passive voice of that verb, or simply into an adjective.  

The Pa-ul is very similar to the way we use the past participle adjective or passive voice in English, meaning, it is often translated as a verb added by the ‘ed’ suffix or to whatever the past participle of this verb is:

Dan: lovesh – wear became lavush – dressed

Liat: pores – slice became parus – sliced

לחם פרוס

פרוסות לחם

פרוסות של לחם

Dan: tofes – catch became tafus – caught

Liat: gonev – steal became ganuv – stolen

Jonathan: And exactly as the nouns they describe, Hebrew adjectives have 4 possible options for how they appear:

Singular masculine – Singular feminine


Plural masculine – Plural feminine

The Pa-ul form, as it is being “lent” and transformed from the Pa-al present tense is subject to these present tense declensions. Here is a set of these, for two of the Hebrew verbs mentioned above:

Dan: For a singular masculine – tofes becomes tafuspores becomes parus.

Liat: For a singular feminine – tofeset becomes tfusaporeset becomes prusa.

פשטידה פרוסה

פרוסות פשטידה

פרוסות של פשטידה

Dan: For a plural masculine – tofsim becomes tfusimprosim becomes prusim.

Liat: For a plural feminine – tofsot becomes tfusotporsot becomes prusot.

Jonathan: As learned in Lesson 54, these declensions need to be slightly altered when the first root letter is a guttural one, meaning whenever it is either an ‘alef’ or ‘ayin’ a ‘hey’ or a ‘chet’. 

Dan: nachon! And that is because Hebrew guttural letters, when appearing at the beginning of a word, cannot be uttered with a ‘shva’.

אותיות גרוניות

Liat: As we have just seen, for the singular feminine and plural declensions of the  Pa-ul, the first root letter has a ‘shva’ such as in tfusatfusim or tfusotprusaprusim or prusot.

Jonathan: And according to that, we have practiced a set of declensions, where for the feminine and plural declensions, the ‘shva’ has been replaced by the Hebrew vowel of ‘chataf patach’.  

Dan: The ‘chataf patach’ is actually a vowel designated for exactly this purpose: giving an alternative vowel to guttural letters, when the regular forms require a ‘shva’.

Liat: As for pronunciation, it is simply an ‘a’ sound!

Learn Hebrew Pod - Lesson No. 55

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