Hebrew OnlineLesson One Lesson Two Lesson Three Grammar Notes Culture Notes Learning Exercises

  • Greetings:

    The most common, general greeting in Hebrew is םולש.
    It can be used during the daytime, at night, for a greeting, and for a parting word.

    In daily informal speech, others greetings are used as well:


    Hi! (from English) !ייה
    Ahalan! (from Arabic) !ןלהא
    Good morning! !בוט רקוב
    Good evening! !בוט ברע

  • Introducing Oneself:

    It is a common practice for Hebrew speakers to introduce themselves as "I am", followed by their name.


    I am Rona Tamir. .רימת הנור ינא
    I am Dr. David Cohen. .ןהכ דוד ר”ד ינא

    A more formal introduction may be preceded by the phrase "my name is" ימש (shmi).


    My name is Binyamin. .ןימינב ימש

    A common informal style is the expression "I am called" יל םיארוק (kor'im li).


    I am called Anat.
    or (change word order)
    .תנע יל םיארוק
    .תנע םיארוק יל

  • Speaking Style:

    Both Binyamin and Rona speak in a very informal style. Let's see the differences in this monologues between what is the way in which they speak, and how more formal Hebrew sounds:

  • Notes: Informal Speaking Style

    The combination of "I love to read books and also (I love) girls," violates written Hebrew rules, but not necessarily the spoken medium, where people have more freedom with language forms.

    In a more formal style, one would say "I like to read books." (.םירפס אורקל בהוא ינא) and "I like girls" (.תונב בהוא ינא). These are two distinct sentences.

    Binyamin says that he hates all dentists. The meaning being conveyed here is that he hates going to the dentist rather than having anything against all dentists.

    .םייניש-יאפור אנוש ינאו

    Ronna uses the greeting "Hi" which is taken from English and is common in the spoken idiom, especially among teen-agers.



    .תוביסמ תבהוא דואמ ,דואמ ינא

    Literally, this sentence reads "I very, very (much) like parties." Ronna puts the adverb "very" before the verb, when it normally should follow it. She does it to emphasize how much she like parties.

  • INTRODUCTIONS (formal & informal):

    In formal speech, Ronna would have said, "My name is Ronna Tamir," (רימת הנור ימש)
    and Anat would have said, "My name is Anat" (תנע ימש),
    but Ronna introduces herself informally by saying "I am Ronna" (הנור ינא),
    and Anat says "and I am called Anat" (תנע םיארוק ילו).