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Hebrew Lesson Number 9

The Four Seasons

Some like the rain, some like the sun, some prefer the Spring and some don’t care at all. What about you? Learn to discuss all that, in Hebrew, of course.

Introduction to Lesson 9: 

The Four Seasons

Many people seem to think that in Israel, it’s summer all year long.  But actually, the changing of the seasons is especially important here, since it hardly rains at all until winter arrives.  And even though Israel has developed some of the most advanced irrigation systems in the world, we still depend so much on those winter rains!  Maybe that’s why winter is Jonathan’s favorite season.

חורף - Winter

In Lesson 9A, in addition to learning Eran’s and Liat’s favorite seasons, we will take a look at the use of the prefix ha- in Hebrew, and we’ll connect it to what we learned about the word et in Lesson 6.  So, which is correct? Ani ohev et ha-choref -or- ani ohev et choref?

January - ינואר

Then in Lesson 9B, we’ll learn the Hebrew names of all the months, and we’ll expand our ability to count with the Hebrew ordinal numbers up to twelve.  By the time we’re done, we’ll know how to say “December is the twelfth month, March is the third month, etc.”

דצמבר הוא החודש השנים עשר

So, whether you prefer skiing on Mt. Hermon during yanu-ar or sunning yourself at the Dead Sea during o-gust, there’s a season for everything here in Israel.  And what’s the best season for learning Hebrew?  Right now!  Kamuvan!

Learn Hebrew Pod Lesson No. 9


Team Conversation from the Lesson:

Jonathan: shalom shalomma shlomchem ha-yom? And how is the weather? - eych mezeg        ha-avir… where you’re at? eych - how , mezeg ha-a-vir - the weather , eych mezeg ha-avir? - How is the weather?….Is it cold? - kar? Is it hot? - cham? Is it nice? – na-im? ….Do you remember the word na-im from our second Hebrew lesson? We were using it in the sentence na-im me-od. Which we translated as the expression very pleased to meet you.

!נעים מאוד

So as we can see, the Hebrew word na-im is nice, or pleasant. And when someone asks you how is the weather, if it’s not too hot and not too cold, we just say na-im - nicepleasant.

shalom shuv - hello again Liat ve Eran. In our Audio/Visual lesson number 9-A we learned about the seasons of the year. Can you tell me the word for a season in Hebrew? And also…how many seasons we have mentioned?

Spring - אביב

Eran: The word for a season in Hebrew is o-na.

Liat: And the word for seasons in Hebrew - i.e. the plural form is o-not.

Eran: The word ona, as we very well know, is in a typical feminine form, it ends with a.

Liat: And we have learned the Hebrew names for all the four seasons - arba ha-onot.

Four - ארבע

As you remember Jonathan, Hebrew has different sets of numbers for masculine and feminine form. We have already studied the Hebrew feminine form up to the number twelve, when we were learning how to ask or tell the time.

Eran: So we can use the same set of feminine numbers for saying four seasons - arba onot.

Jonathan: nifla. So the names of these arba onot are?

Autumn - סתיו

Liat: aviv – Spring, kay-izz – Summer

Eran: stav - Autumn , and choref – Winter

Jonathan: Thanks! Now…there is a very popular piece by….Vivaldi….Antonio Vivaldi…which goes…

Liat and Eran: (humming the four seasons)...

*Join Jonathan, Liat and Eran as they discuss the Four Seasons - Arba HaOnot by listening to the Learn Hebrew Pod Audio/Visual Hebrew learning sessions - Lessons A, B and C at the top of this page.

Some Hebrew Grammar from This Lesson:

Definite & Indefinite Articles in Hebrew

Jonathan: toda Liat ve Eran.  Something is very apparent when translating the words we had today.  In most of the translations we included the article “the”. 

As we well know, in English we use two kinds of articles. “The” which is a definite article and is used to refer to specific or particular nouns.  The other is indefinite as in “a” or “an” which we use before non-specific & non-particular nouns.  

This is the same terminology we used when discussing the function of the connecting word “et”.  

We will go back to this shortly but let’s first start with two very simple rules:

chok mispar achat - Rule number one:  In Hebrew there is NO indefinite article. We don't use “a” or “an” preceding the noun.   For example… “a student” in Hebrew is: “student”.   “a  book”  in Hebrew is: “sefer”.   That’s it. Nothing can be simpler than that. Just the noun without anything preceding it.

chok mispar shta-yim - Rule number two: There is a definite article in Hebrew.   It is though, connected to the noun as a prefix and not as a separate word.

Let’s use the definite article “the__” such as in “the summer” or “the winter”…. 

If the word ‘summer’ or ‘winter’ stood alone it would be ’ka-izz’ for ‘summer’ & ‘choref’ for  ’winter’.

BUT in Hebrew we actually connect the definite article ‘ha’ at the beginning of the word.  Therefore it is transliterated as one unit: “ha-ka-izz” which is “the summer” and “ha-choref” …”the winter”.

Summer - קייץ

As we often recommend, you should take advantage of the ‘pdf’s available on our web site.   

When reading the words the actual visualization confirms & reinforces the learned rules.  

For those of you who know & read the Hebrew alphabet, you can see that the letter “hey” which stands for “ha” is connected to the word.  

That’s it! In Hebrew, the definite article is used as a prefix to the word and not as a separate unit from it. This is the same with prepositions which will explore at another time.

Let’s review these words once more…we will say them with and without the definite article ‘ha’...

*Join Liat and Eran as they go through the ‘Definite Article’ List, 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.