עִבְרִית

Chapter 1

Nouns: Masculine and Feminine Gender

Please note that I have used mem soffit as a generic place holder meant to represent any letter. It looks strange, but I don't yet have another character that I can use for this purpose.

Nouns are either masculine or feminine. This applies to all Hebrew nouns.

The word סֵפֶר is masculine.
The word כִּפָּה is feminine.

Masculine nouns in singular form end in many ways:

student תַּלְמִיד
uncle דוֹד
book סֵפֶר
holiday חַג
Joseph יוֹסֵף

The feminine singular noun frequently ends in םָה

student תַּלְמִידָה
aunt דּוֹדָה
Torah תּוֹרָה
year שָׁנָה
Rebecca רִבְקָה

For some words, the feminine singular ending is ת.

daughter בַּת
prayer shawl טַלִּית
door דֶּלֶת
notebook מַחְבֶּרֶת

Nouns: Singular and Plural

Nouns are either singular or plural. In Hebrew plural nouns have distinct endings for each gender.

Ending plural singular
masculine םִים תַּלְמִידִים תַּלְמִיד

Masculine nouns form the plural by adding םִים to the singular.

Ending plural singular
feminine םוֹת תַּלְמִידוֹת תַּלְמִידָה

The Definite Article ה

a book סֵפֶר
the book הַסֵּפֶר

In English the indefinite article is "a". Hebrew does not have an indefinite article.

English has a definite article "the". It tells you we are speaking about a specific object. In Hebrew the definite article ה is attached to the beginning of the word to make it definite.

Verbs

Present Tense (הֹוֶה): Masculine Singular

David sits, is sitting, does sit דָּוִד יוֹשֵׁב
a man says, is saying, does say אִישׁ אוֹמֵר
a teacher stands, is standing, does stand מוֹרֶה עוֹמֵד

Each of these present tense verbs is a masculine singular form. Each verb follows a masculine singular noun.

Each verb has three consonants and a similar vowel pattern:
the vowel (חוֹלָם) between the first and second consonants
the vowel םֵ (צֵירֶה) under the second consonant.
We call the three consonants a root (שֹׁרֶשׁ).

The pattern for the masculine singular in the present tense is:
םוֹםֵם

Other examples of masculine singular verbs are:

writes כוֹתֵב
walks הוֹלֵךְ
asks שׁוֹאֵל
learns studies לוֹמֵד

In Hebrew, each present tense verb form has several potential English equivalents.

writes, is writing, does write כּוֹתֵב
asks, is asking, does ask שׁוֹאֵל

Present Tense: Feminine Singular

Esther sits אֶסְתֵּר יוֹשֶׁבֶת
the daughter walks הַבַּת הוֹלֶכֶת
the teacher stands הַמּוֹרָה עוֹמֶדֶת
a student studies תּלְמִידָה לוֹמֶדֶת

This is the feminine singular form of the present tense.
The שֹׁרֶשׁ and the (חוֹלָם) are similar to the masculine םוֹםם. A ת (the sign of the feminine) has been added at the end, and the vowel םֶ (סֶגּוֹל) is under the second and third consonants of the שֹׁרֶשׁ.

The vowel pattern is םוֹםֶםֶת.

Here are examples of feminine singular verbs.

כּוֹתֶבֶת אוֹמֶרֶת שׁוֹאֶלֶת לוֹמֶדֶת

Present Tense: Plural

Masuline Plural

the teachers stand הַמּוֹרִים עוֹמְדִים
the students sit הַתַּלְמִידִימ יוֹשְׁבִים
the boys walk הַיְלָדִימ הוֹלְכִים

Feminine

the teachers stand הַמּוֹרוֹת עוֹמְדוֹת
the students sit הַתַּלְמִידוֹת יוֹשְׁבוֹת
the girls walk הַיְלָדוֹת הוֹלְכוֹת

In the plural form of the verb, a plural ending has been added.

masculine םִים
feminine םוֹת

The basic vowel pattern is םוֹםְםִים םוֹםְםוֹת

Here are examples of plural verbs.

Feminine Masculine
לוֹמְדוֹת לוֹמְדִים
כּוֹתְבוֹת כּוֹתְבִים
אוֹמְרוֹת אוֹמְרִים
עוֹמְדוֹת עוֹמְדִים

We can organize these four present tense forms in a table.

Feminine Masculine
Singular יוֹשֶׁבֶת יוֹשֵׁב
Plural יוֹשְׁבוֹת יוֹשְׁבִים

Basic Verbal sentence

In Hebrew, as in English, a sentence is a string of words, arranged in acertain order to convey a complete thought. Each word in a sentence has a certain function.

Normally a sentence has two major parts: a subject s and a verb v.

Ruth says אוֹמֶרֶת רוּת
subject verb verb subject
Dan walks הוֹלֵךְ דָּן
subject verb verb subject

Noun-Verb Agreement

As in English, the subject and the verb must agree.

In gender, we match masculine with masculine, and feminine with feminine.

In number, we match singular with singular, and plural with plural.

The student (m) sits. הַתַּלְמִיד יוֹשֵׁב
The student (f) sits. הַתַּלְמִידָה יוֹשֵׁבֵת
The students (m) sit. הַתַּלְמִידִים יוֹשְׁבִים
The students (f) sit. הַתַּלְמִידוֹת יוֹשְׁבוֹת

עִבְרִית