As we have seen in the introductory article the פָּעַל is the “basic” verb pattern in Hebrew. However , this does not mean that the פָּעַל is simple. In order to cover the main regularities and irregularities of this pattern, I have decided to split the explanations for פָּעַל in two articles to enhance clarity.

Continue reading “the verb pattern פָּעַל (part I)”

When my oldest daughter was 5 years old she was supposed to start learning how to read in Hebrew in her preschool, but we were about to move to a different city so it didn’t work out. That’s how I ended up teaching her how to read in Hebrew. Our primary language is Hebrew, but we also speak in English.

From my experience, it is best to start with memorizing the letters (including the ending letters like Nun Sofit – נון סופית) again and again, until you know them 90% at least. 

Continue reading “The best way to learn to read in Hebrew”

I am working on a post on real and irreal mood.  It is really long, so I think I’m going to cut it into further parts. Besides, Jason reminded me that “No one knows what real and irreal moods are!” So, that’s what this post is for.

Real and irreal mood is more or less the same thing as the indicative and subjunctive moods in English. Real mood (indicative) is a statement grounded in reality.  Most often, this is a simple statement.

Irreal (subjunctive) mood includes sentences or statements that are one step removed from reality, i.e., something that may or may not have happened. “Irreal” is a linguistic description derived from the Latin irrealis. Irreal mood may also be called “unreal” mood.

Continue reading “Mood and Word Order in Biblical Hebrew, pt. 1”

Verbs are certainly one of the hardest parts of modern Hebrew. This article starts a series of articles on the פְּעָלִים that are the nightmare of any Hebrew learner, not only for beginners. This introductory post will discuss the basic characteristics of Hebrew verbs; while in the following articles, we will dig deeper into each one of the בִּנְיָינִים.

All verbs in Hebrew consist of two things:

  1. Pattern (בִּנְיָין): this is the “body” or the “structure” of the verb, what gives each פֹּ֫עַל (verb) its form. 
  2. Root (שׁ֫וֹרֶשׁ): this is the three- or four-letter system that gives meaning to each פֹּ֫עַל.

Continue reading “Verbs in Modern Hebrew (Introduction)”

It might surprise some to learn that I have more in common with Nehemia Gordon than not. After all, I spend a lot of time talking about why I believe he is wrong about the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. It’s truly not a feud that I have with him personally, since I would agree with the great majority of his stances on biblical issues (as far as I’ve understood them). In this post, I want to enumerate the ways in which I agree with Nehemia Gordon so that people don’t think that I oppose everything he has to say.

Continue reading “How I Agree with Nehemia Gordon”