עִם זֹאת If you want to sound really smart, use words like nevertheless – in Hebrew, עם זאת. For example: אומנם היא לא צודקת, עם זאת יש אמת במה שהיא אומרת. Although she’s wrong (isn’t right), nevertheless there’s truth to what she’s saying. עם זאת means literally with this.
בְּמִדָּה מְסֻיֶּמֶת In English, we cut down the absoluteness of a claim by saying to a certain extent: we use the metaphor of length to describe how “far” something will go. In Hebrew, when we want to simmer down what we’re saying, we might use במידה מסוימת – literally, by a certain measure. For example: במידה מסוימת, […]
לְגַמְרֵי If you remember when in the nineties Americans would say things like totally radical, dude!, raise your hand with me. Hebrew has a few words for totally and completely (one of them is בהחלט, made famous by Shulem Shtisel), but the one that best matches the slangy tone of totally is לגמרי. For example: אני לגמרי אוהב את […]
בָּרוּר ברור (use ברורה for something feminine such as the Mishnah) means clear both in the literal sense… יש לכתוב בכתב יד ברור! Write in clear (legible) handwriting! …as well as in the figurative, explanatory sense: אמרתי ככה, וזהו – מה לא ברור? I said it like this, and that’s it – what’s not clear?
מְקוֹמוֹת מְסֻיָּמִים The Hebrew word for place is מקום, while the word for certain or specific is מסוים when describing something masculine and מסוימת for something feminine. Now, מקום is a masculine word, so that a certain place is מקום מסוים. But when speaking about places, מקום suddenly gets an ending that makes it look feminine: מקומות are places, with […]
חֲזָרָה In American English, a rehearsal is what actors do (many times) before they go on stage in front of a live audience. But in British English, rehearsal also means a review of material that one would like to know well. Hebrew’s word חזרה encompasses both meanings, as it comes from the simple verb לחזור – to return. Here’s […]
חֹמֶר לְשִׁנּוּן Review Material You spent time on your Hebrew this week. Use these review materials to make it yours to keep. To take full advantage of the review material, click on “Choose a study mode” in the bottom right corner of the box above. שבת שלום, וסוף שבוע נעים! Shabbat Shalom, […]
לְסֵרוּגִין Bars protecting your window from intruders – סורגים – have large gaps between them to let in the light and air. This is the idea behind the originally-Mishnaic Hebrew word לסירוגין, on and off or intermittently: there are gaps in time between events, such as moments of sleep. For example: היא זקוקה למנוחה – היא ישנה […]
זָקוּק ל… The basic way of saying I need in Hebrew is אני צריך if you’re male and אני צריכה if you’re female. But to say that someone is in need of something, we use another word that expresses greater urgency: זקוק for a male and זקוקה for a female. For example: אתם לא רואים? הוא זקוק לעזרה! You guys […]
מְנוּחָה You may know the Hebrew word for to rest – לנוח, a simple hollow verb of the root נ.ו.ח. You may also know rest the noun, מנוחה, from Shabbat songs and prayers. Here’s the word in a sentence: בישראל כל עובד זכאי ליום מנוחה שבועי. In Israel every employee is entitled to a weekly day […]