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Hebrew Lesson Number 8

Hebrew Phone Call

Every Israeli has a relative abroad. You might even be that relative! This audio/visual lesson will prepare you for your first Hebrew phone conversation with your Israeli family and friends.

Introduction to Lesson 8: 

Hebrew Phone Call

Before you pick up the phone to call Israel, though, you’d better check the time!

If it’s 5 p.m. in L.A., it’s 8 p.m. in New York.  But that means it’s three o’clock tomorrow morning in Tel Aviv.  It’s enough to make the “time zone challenged” pull their hair out!  But relax . . . ha-kol beseder.  Jonathan, Eran, and Liat are here to save the day (and our hair!) as they help us learn to tell time the Hebrew way.

זאת היא

But first, in Lesson 8A, we’ll get to listen to Liat’s Hebrew conversation with her uncle - dod Moshe in Los Angeles.  This will give us the opportunity to focus once again on the importance of gender in Hebrew.  For example, would Liat say, “ze Liat” or “zot Liat”?

זה הוא

This review of gender pertinence will come in handy as we start, in the B lesson, to learn how to tell the time in Hebrew, using the feminine set of Hebrew cardinal numbers.  

Whoa . . . wait a minute!  Feminine numbers??  

מספרים נקביים

אחת, שתיים, שלוש, ארבע, חמש, שש, שבע, שמונה,תשע, עשר

Yep, Hebrew uses two different sets of words for numbers--one set for masculine and another for feminine. 

So why do we use the feminine for telling time?  By the end of Lesson 8, you’ll know why.  You’ll also know how to count up to twelve and use that knowledge to tell time in Hebrew.

So whether it’s shmone baboker or shmone ba-erev where you are, Lesson 8 is sure to be achla!  Because any time’s the right time for learning Hebrew with Learn Hebrew Pod!

שיעור מספר 8

Learn Hebrew Pod - Lesson No. 8


Team Conversation from the Lesson:

Jonathan:  Hello and welcome to - shalom uvruchim ha-ba-im.

Welcome to lesson eight of the first conversational Hebrew course by podcasts and audio/visual lessons. My name is Jonathan. I am your host for this program, and as always my colleagues - and your Hebrew teachers -  Liat and Eran, will be joining us.  

Eran, Jonathan and Liat

Our Beginner Level Hebrew Teachers

Hi, nifla lir-ot et-chem shuv! - Wonderful to see you again! - nifla lirot etchem shuv! ma shlomchem?

Eran: shalom, Yonatan. ani margish mezzu-yan, toda!

Liat: shalom, Yonatan!  ani margisha ne-hedar, toda! ma shlomcha?

Jonathan: achlah!  ani margish achla.  achla is a slang word taken from Arabic and used very often by Hebrew speakers in Israel, it means “GREAT”.  It can be used for describing that you are feeling ‘very good’ or whenever you would like to just say “Great” about something.  For example, Eran, how was the movie that you saw yesterday?

Eran:  achla seret! Remember the word “seret”? movie? achla seret! - great movie! I had a lot of fun. 

Jonathan:  achla!  I’m very happy that you had a good time.  

Okay. So in today’s lesson we are going to listen to Liat speaking with her uncle who is in L.A.

אני מתקשרת לדוד שלי באמריקה

Liat: ze nachon, Yonatan - That’s right, Jonathan. Today I am going to speak with my uncle Moshe from L.A.  Using this Hebrew conversation, we are going to learn how to ask about and say the time Hebrew.

Eran: And all of that by using quite a bit of Hebrew vocabulary we are familiar with already!-+

Jonathan:  ne-hedar!  Let’s start, but today… with your permission, I will participate in the conversation by giving the opening sentence.

Eran: kamuvan, Yonatan - Of course, Jonathan.

Liat: be-simcha! - With pleasure.

?דוד משה, מה שלומך


ביום חמישי בלילה, ליאת התקשרה לאמריקה

On Thursday evening, Liat called America:




Some Hebrew Grammar from This Lesson:

Telling the Time, Translating Expressions & Gender Pertinence.

?מה השעה בישראל עכשיו

Eran: ma hasha-a achshav be-Israel? - What is the time now in Israel?

Jonathan: This question is composed from the Hebrew word “ma” - “what is”…..“ha-sha-a” – “the hour” meaning “the time”, the word achshav” meaning “now”  and  “be-isra-el”  “in Israel”.

The answer was:

?שבע או שבעה

kan ha-sha-a sheva ba-boker”  - “Here, it’s seven in the evening”  … “The   time here is seven p.m”  

Notice that in Hebrew, we do not indicate a.m or p.m.  In Hebrew Instead, we say the time of day.  Therefore “seven p.m” - seven in the evening…“shevea  ba-erev”.  And  “seven a.m” – seven in the morning… “sheva  ba-boker”.

שבע בערב

 שבע בבוקר

Those of you who have listened to all of the preceding podcasts, have probably noticed  that in many cases, when a Hebrew sentence does not translate word for word to its English counterpart, we then try to provide you with the translation of the expression,  as well as the word for word version.  

This is a very unique feature in our method of teaching, which you will not find in most of the other Hebrew teaching techniques. Why do we insist on doing so?  Why not give you just the English translation for the Hebrew expression, and make life easier for all?

The answer is, because we really do want you to learn, understand and know the Hebrew language!  We want to avoid your making mistakes that might occur when one knows only the translation as a whole.   We believe that in time this approach will make your future Hebrew studies much easier:

Let us remind you of one Hebrew grammar rule we studied:

Gender Pertinence

Liat: Every word in Hebrew has a GENDER PERTINENCE. Every  word!

Eran: This rule is very important when choosing the right adjective for a  Hebrew word. 

If the word has masculine pertinence, the adjective following it should be in the masculine form

If a word has feminine pertinence, the adjective following it, should be in the feminine form!

Liat: The same applies when using Hebrew numbers and for counting in Hebrew.                                                        The word sha-a as we have learned in lesson 7B, is in a feminine form.  It ends with an “a” vowel.

?אחד או אחת

Jonathan: Hebrew uses two different sets of words for numbers.  One set for masculine and another set for feminine. Please note that they do sound similar.

For example, the masculine form of the number one is “echad”. And “achat” is the feminine form.

Knowing this, what is the correct way of saying “the time is one?”

Is it :

ha-sha-a  echad?

Or is it:

ha-sha-a  achat?...


*Find the answer and read the full grammar discussion by using the Learn Hebrew Pod unique Audio/Visual Hebrew learning sessions - Lessons A, B and C at the top of this page.