Archive for 'Conversation'

Let’s do something together

Posted on 25. Mar, 2014 by in Conversation, Exercises, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Vocabulary

When you get together with a group of your friends, what kind of activities do you enjoy doing together? Last week some of my friends got together and we went לְשַׂחֵק כַּדּוּרְסַל and afterwards had פיצה וקוקא קולה at one of the guy’s house. It was a great time. So let’s find some activities to do.

What shall we do? – מה נעשה?


Do you want to…? – את רוֹצֶה …?
Yes, I want to… – כן, אני רוֹצֶה …
No, I don’t want to… – לא, אני לא רוֹצֶה …


Do you want to…? – אתה רוֹצָה …?v
Yes, I want to… – כן, אני רוֹצָה …
No, I don’t want to… – לא, אני לא רוֹצָה …

playing, game – מִשְׂחָק (root – ש-ח-ק)
to play football – לְשַׂחֵק כַּדּוּרֶגֶל
to play basketball – לְשַׂחֵק כַּדּוּרְסַל
to play cards – קְלָפִים
to play squash – סְקְווֹשׁ
to play golf – גּוֹלְף
to play tennis – טֶנִיס
to play chess – שַׁחְמָט

swimming – שְׂחִיָּה (root – ש-ח-ה)
to swim – לשחות

walk, walking – ריקוד
dance, dancing – רקוד
to dance – לרקוד

to ski – לעשות סקי

watching – צפייה ב…
to see/watch a movie – לראות סרט
to watch TV – לצפות בטלוויזיה

fishing – דייג
to fish – לדוג

climbing – טיפוס
mountain climbing – לטפס הרימ

reading – קריאה
to read books – לקרוא ספרים

riding – רכיבה
to ride horses – לרכוב על סוסים
a bicycle – לרכוב על אופניים
camels – לרכוב על גמלים

going out – יציאה
to go to a nightclub – לצאת למועדון לילה

going – הליכה
to go shopping – לצאת לקניות
to go to the cinema – ללכת לקולנוע
to go to the museum – ללכת למוזיאון
to go to a concert – ללכת לקונצרט


Conversational Hebrew: A place to start the morning

Posted on 10. Mar, 2014 by in binyanim, Conversation, Food, Grammar, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Vocabulary


Leah and Miri are sitting in a cafe in Jerusalem having breakfast. Daniel comes and asks if he can sit at the table and strikes up a conversation.

דָּנִיאֵל: אֲנִי רוֹאֶה אֶתְכֶן כָּאן לְעִתִּים-קְרוֹבוֹת.אַתֶּן בָּאוֹת לְכָאן כָּל יוֹם?
מִירִי: כֵּן, זֶה מָקוֹם נֶחְמָד לְהַתְחִיל בּוֹ אֶת הַבֹּקֶר.
דָּנִיאֵל: גַּם אֲנִי אוֹהֵב לִקְנוֹת קָפֶה בַּדֶּרֶךְ לָעֲבוֹדָה.
מִירִי: בַּמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה יֵשׁ אֶת הַקָּפֶה הַטּוֹב בְּיוֹתֵר בָּעִיר.
דָּנִיאֵל: אִם כָּךְ, אֲנִי חַיָּב לָבֹא לְכָאן לְעִתִּים-קְרוֹבוֹת יוֹתֵר.
מִירִי: לְאָן אַתָּה הוֹלֵךְ בְּדֶרֶךְ-כְּלָל?
דָּנִיאֵל: אֲנִי אוֹהֵב אֶת בֵּית-הַקָּפֶה שֶׁבַּמִּשְׂרָד, אֲבָל כֻּלָּם הוֹלְכִים לְשָׁם.
לֵאָה: כֵּן, וְהֵם תָּמִיד מְדַבְּרִים עַל הָעֲבוֹדָה.


דָּנִיאֵל – Daniel
אֲנִי – I, me
רוֹאֶה – see (masc sing
binyan pa’al – רָאָה)
אֶתְכֶן – you (fem pl direct object)
כָּאן – here
לְעִתִּים-קְרוֹבוֹת – often
אַתֶּן – you (fem pl)
בָּאוֹת – you (fem pl) come (binyan pa’al – root: בוא)
לְכָאן – to here
כָּל – every
יוֹם: – day (masc sing)
מִירִי – Miri
כֵּן – yes
זֶה – this
מָקוֹם – place (m)
נֶחְמָד – nice
לְהַתְחִיל – to start (binyan hif’il – root: תחל)
בּוֹ – in it
אֶתdefinite direct object marker
הַבֹּקֶר – in the morning
גַּם – also, too
אוֹהֵב – love (binyan pa’al – root: אהב)
לִקְנוֹת – to get (binyan pa’al – root: קנה)
קָפֶה – coffee
הַקָּפֶה – the coffee
בַּדֶּרֶךְ – on the way, en route
עֲבוֹדָה – work, labour, job, employment
לָעֲבוֹדָה – to work
בַּמָּקוֹם – in the place
הַזֶּה – this (literally “the this”)
יֵשׁ – there is
טּוֹב – good
הַטּוֹב – the good (this shows agreement with the word הַקָּפֶה)
בְּיוֹתֵר – the most (superlative form of יוֹתֵר (more))
עִיר – city
בָּעִיר – in the city
אִם – if
כָּךְ – so
חַיָּב – have to, must
לָבֹא – come
לְכָאן – to here
יוֹתֵר – more
לְאָן – where
אַתָּה – you (masc)
הוֹלֵךְ – go (masc sing, binyan pa’al – root הלך)
בְּדֶרֶךְ-כְּלָל – usually
בֵּית-הַקָּפֶה – cafe, coffee shop (literally ‘home-coffee’)
מִּשְׂרָד – office
שֶׁבַּמִּשְׂרָד – in the office
אֲבָל – but
כֻּלָּם – everyone
הוֹלְכִים – goes
שָׁם – there
לְשָׁם – (to) there
לֵאָה – Leah
וְהֵם – they (masc pl)
וְהֵם – and they (masc pl)
תָּמִיד – always
מְדַבְּרִים – they talk (masc pl, binyan pi’el – root: דבר)
עַל – on, about

Going to the Dentist

Posted on 28. Feb, 2014 by in Conversation, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Real World, Vocabulary

Initial Vocabulary

רוֹפֵא שִׁנַּיִם – dentist
הרדמה – anesthetic
חוֹר‏ – cavity
נִיב – canine tooth
צַד שְׂמוֹל – left side
לְמַעלָה – upper jaw
סְתִימָה‏ – filling
זְרִיקָה – injection
מַקדֵחָה – drill (noun)

The other day I had an appointment with the רוֹפֵא שִׁנַּיִם. As I’m sitting in the chair and my mouth is being examined and poked, I thought this would be a great opportunity to write about going to the dentist in Hebrew. Let me ask, do you like going to the dentist? Personally, I don’t mind it at all. As long as they give me plenty of הרדמה, I’m fine.

As the רוֹפֵא שִׁנַּיִם was poking around, he found a small חוֹר‏ on the נִיב of the צַד שְׂמוֹל of the לְמַעלָה. It’s going to need a סְתִימָה‏. So he gives me an זְרִיקָה of הַרדָמָה to make it as painless as possible. Once the area around the tooth is numb, here comes the מַקדֵחָה….

Well, the procedure is done and I have another appointment in six months for a checkup. Now, what other things can we find out about the dentist and what procedures are needed to keep the teeth healthy and strong? Let’s take a look:

Parts of the mouth

Gums – חֲנִיכַיִם
Jaw – לֶסֶת
Lips – שְׂפָתִים
Nerve – עֶצֶב
Tongue – לָשׁוֹן
upper jaw – לְמַעלָה
lower jaw – לְמַטָה
left side – צַד שְׂמוֹל
right side – צַד יֶמִין


canine (tooth) – נִיב
incisor – שֵׁן חוֹתֶכֶת
molar – שֵׁן טוֹחֶנֶת

What’s the problem?

abscess – פֶּצַע מוּגלָתִי
bacterial plaque – רוֹבֶד חַייְדַקִּי(ם)‏
bleeding – שֶׁטֶף דַם
blood – דָם
caries – עַשֶּׁשֶׁת‏
cavity – חוֹר‏
dental decay – עַשֶּׁשֶׁת‏
pain – כְּאֵב
pus – מוּגלָה
receding gums – נְסִיגַת חֲנִיכַיִים‏
sensitivity – רְגִישׁוּת
swelling – נְפִיחוּת
tartar – אֶבֶן‏‏
toothache – כְּאֵב שִׁינַּיִים

Procedures and things to fix any problems

anesthetic – הַרדָמָה
braces/bridge – גֶשֶׁר
crown – כֶּתֶר
extract a tooth – הוציא שן
extraction – עֲקִירָה
false tooth – שֵׁן תּוֹתֶבֶת‏
filling – סְתִימָה
implant – שֶׁתֶל ‏
injection – זְרִיקָה
root canal – טִיפּוּל שׁוֹרֶשׁ‏


brush one’s teeth – me’tzach’tze’ach shinayim – מצחצח שיניים
brush one’s teeth – tzitze’ach shinayim – ציחצח שיניים
Close gently – Lisgor be-adinut – לסגור בעדינות
Close your mouth – Lisgor et ha-peh – לסגור את הפה
Do you have a temperature? – Yesh lecha chom? – יש לך חום?
Open your mouth – Liftoach et ha-peh – לפתוח את הפה
The girl is brushing her teeth. – Ha-ishah metzach’tzachat et shineyah. – האישה מצחצחת את שיניה
Very bad pain – Ke’ev chazak me’od – כאב חזק מאד
Well Done – Kol HaKavod – כל הכבוד
When your tooth hurts, it is important to go to the dentist. – k’she-ha-shen shel’cha ko’evet, zeh chashuv lalechet la-rofe shinayim. – .כשהשן שלך כואבת, זה חשוב ללכת לרופא שיניים
Where does it hurt? – Eifo ko’ev lecha – איפה כואב לך?
Which side? – Be’eize tzad? – באיזה צד?

Verbs in Action: The Seven Binyanim

Posted on 27. Jan, 2014 by in Conversation, Grammar, Learning Hebrew

Hebrew vocabulary is quite flexible when you think about it. This is because Hebrew words are based on roots consisting of 3 consonants; you may find some with 2 or 4 consonants, but you won’t find them very often. From these roots you can modify them by changing the vowels, or adding certain prefixes, suffixes or infixes (changes made inside the word). These modifications can increase your vocabulary greatly. I wrote details about this in an article about roots and patterns earlier in this blog.


A request was made to me recently about Hebrew verbs and if I can help explain them a little bit more so they can be understood. I have a series of articles that I’ll be putting up to help explain the different forms of the Hebrew verb, or as they are called – בניינים “binyanim”. There are seven of them, so I’ll be going over them one at a time and keep it as simple to understand as possible.

Don’t let the dictionary fool you

When you look up a word in a language dictionary, the verb forms you see are usually in the infinitive form – the most basic form of the verb you need on which to build. In a Hebrew-English-Hebrew dictionary, you may find something a little different.

For example, I’m going to use the root שׁ-מ-ר. This root gives the concept of guarding, watching, supervising, etc. Looking this up in my dictionary, I see שָׁמַר, which says it translates as “to guard, to supervise”. In reality, שָׁמַר is not a true infinitive; it is the base form of the verb. It is what’s called in the linguistic world the 3rd person masculine singular of the perfect (past) tense. In other words, שָׁמַר actually means “he guarded” or “he has guarded”. This is the form you start with and is called פָּעַל “pa’al”.

In tomorrow’s article we’ll look more at the פָּעַל form and how it’s used. Get out your notebooks! 😀

A Look at Grammar: The Direct Object

Posted on 22. Jan, 2014 by in Conversation, Grammar, Learning Hebrew, Vocabulary


In this article, we’re going to look at a part of Hebrew grammar that beginning students often want to know. There’s a particle in Hebrew (אֵת) that isn’t translated into English. This particle indicates that a ‘direct object’ is ahead in that sentence. A direct object answers the ‘what’ or ‘whom’ in a sentence (for our readers who are familiar with linguistic terms, this is also known as the accusative case):

    What are you writing? I’m writing a letter.
    Whom do you see? I see a waiter.

In Hebrew direct objects can be either indefinite (a waiter, a letter) or definite (the waiter). In this article we are focusing on the definite direct object. A definite direct object is always preceded by the particle אֵת (pronounced like the ‘et’ part of bet).

    I see the waiter – אני רוֹאֶה אֵת המֶלְצַר
    I see the book – אני רוֹאֶה אֵת הסֵפֶר

Since proper nouns are by nature definite, they too are preceded by אֵת
    I see Moshe אני רוֹאֶה אֵת מֹשֶׁה

The Indefinite Direct Object

As I mentioned above, Hebrew also has an indefinite direct object. To talk about that, you simply omit אֵת.
    I see a waiter – אני רוֹאֶה מֶלְצַר
    I see a book – אני רוֹאֶה סֵפֶר

Think of the indefinite article “a” in English: this word has no meaning by itself, it’s simply an indefinite marker. As there is no indefinite articles in Hebrew, this word is simply ignored while translating from English to Hebrew.

Check Yourself

Which of these sentences are definite?

  1. אני רוֹאֶה אֵת הספר
  2. הייתי צריך את זה
  3. היו צריכים יותר
  4. התרצה לדעת אֵת האמת?