how to say “unbelievable” in Hebrew

לֹא יְאֻמָּן, לֹא יֵאָמֵן

To believe – in Hebrew – is להאמין , an active-causative הפעיל verb. It would follow, then, that unbelievable would be לא יואמן , as יואמן is of the passive-causative הופעל form.

But what most Israelis say is לא יאומן , where יאומן is of the passive-intensive פועל form.

For example:

איזה סל! לא יאומן!

What a shot (basket)! Unbelievable!

But that’s the colloquial usage. The more correct term and the one that the Academy of the Hebrew Language wishes to promote is לא ייאמן , where ייאמן is of the נפעל form.

For example:

לא ייאמן כמה אנשים הגיעו להפגנה.

It’s unbelievable how many people came to the demonstration.

After having studied literature and linguistics on the bachelors level and psychology on the masters, Ami decided to draw upon his hobby of learning languages, his understanding of human thought processes and his skill of explaining complex ideas in simple terms, to found a program that enables people to speak Hebrew with confidence.

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