how to say “boyfriend/girlfriend” in Hebrew
English distinguishes clearly between “just friends” and friends of a romantic nature.
Hebrew, however, doesn’t have a special word for boyfriend/girlfriend, making interactions sometimes confusing or embarrassing, especially for those who don’t know the nuances.
Here’s what you need to know.
The words חָבֵר referring to a male and חֲבֵרָהreferring to a female, mean both friend and boyfriend/girlfriend. Whether the word carries a romantic air depends on context and tone of voice.
Rules of thumb:
- When referring to a member of the same sex, חבר/חברה means friend, unless the person might have a romantic partner of the same sex.
- When referring to a member of the opposite sex, חבר/חברה means boyfriend/girlfriend, unless tone of voice or context indicates otherwise.
- When used in the plural, חֲבֵרִים/חֲבֵרוֹת means simply friends, unless context indicates otherwise.