how to say “to convince” in Hebrew


To succumb or to surrender, in Hebrew, is the נפעל verb להיכנע .

For example:

אנחנו לא ניכנע!

We will not surrender!

להיכנע appears in Biblical Hebrew, where it means to humble oneself, which is what one does when surrendering. The word’s root is כ.נ.ע .

But since the causative הפעיל usage of this root was already taken with the Biblical להכניע – to subdue, Modern Hebrew had to come up with a new word, to convince or to subdue with words – לשכנע .

For example:

הוא לא ישכנע אותי בקלות.

He won’t convince me easily.

לשכנע adds a ש to the original root of כ.נ.ע, creating what I like to call a superroot: ש.כ.נ.ע. Other examples of words with superroots using ש in the beginning include לשדרג – to upgrade and לשכפל – to photocopy. These words follow the פיעל verb form.

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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