What is your name? Posted by Sean Young on Nov 23, 2012 in Conversation, Learning Hebrew, Phrases, Vocabulary
Have you been remembering to hover your mouse cursor over the Hebrew words?
In your life, you’re going to find that you’ll be asked for some personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, etc. So I’ll be going through a few lessons to help you learn how to give out this information and also how to ask for it. Before we go on, download and print the personal information card I attached to this post.
What is your name? This is pretty much a question that is asked when meeting someone for the first time, right? In Hebrew, the word “name” is שֶׁם. What is your שֶׁם?
Saying “your” is done by adding a possessive suffix to it. If you’re asking a male, the suffix would be ךָ, if you’re speaking to a female, it would be ֵךְ. So now you can say “What is שִּׁמְךָ? (or What is שְׁמֵךְ?)
Now here is in interesting note: in the present tense, there really is no equivalent to the word “is“. There isn’t one for “am” or “are” either. So when asking for someone’s name, you’re actually saying “What your name?“. We already learned to say the ‘your name’ part. So all we have left is saying “what“. In Hebrew it’s מַה.
Now, let’s bring it all together. To ask “What is your name?” in Hebrew, we say מַה שִּׁמְךָ? if you are speaking to a male, and מַה שְׁמֵךְ? to a female.
My name is…
Now it’s your turn. Tell me what your name is. You already know there is no word for ‘is’ in Hebrew. And you know the word for ‘name’ is שֶׁם. Now we’re going to add on another suffix meaning “my“. It is ִי. So “My name” in Hebrew is שְׁמִי
You may have noticed that שֶׁם changed in spelling and pronunciation. This is normal for many verbs in Hebrew whenever a suffix, and sometimes a prefix is added to it.
If you haven’t already, download and print out the information card below. Write in your שֶׁם and your שֵׁם מִשְׁפָּחָה (last name) on it. We’ll be using it to fill out information in future posts.