how to say “boyfriend/girlfriend” in Hebrew

how to say “boyfriend/girlfriend” in Hebrew

having trouble seeing the print?
חָבֵר, חֲבֵרָה

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.
For example:

יֵשׁ לוֹ הַרְבֵּה חֲבֵרוֹת.
He has a lot of girlfriends/female friends (depending on context).
To refer to someone of the opposite sex as just a friend with the confidence that no one will misunderstand, use a different set of words: יָדִידfor a male friend and יְדִידָה for a female friend.

Make this dose of Hebrew yours by using it in a sentence. You can write your sentence on the wall of our Facebook page, and we’ll correct it for you if it’s got errors.

You can further build your Hebrew vocabulary with…
with a special discount for Ktzat Ivrit enthusiasts like yourself

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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *