Hebrew/Basic/4

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Basic Lesson 4 — אֵיפֹה אַתָּה גָּר?
Har Megido, better known by its Greek name, Armageddon, in northern Israel.

Welcome to the fourth basic lesson of Hebrew! In this lesson we will begin to learn how to conjugate Hebrew verbs and form questions.

Dialogue[edit]

Sarah and David meet again on the street. This time they are in a hurry so they speak briefly before moving on.

דוד: שלום! אֵיפֹה את גָּרָה?
שרה: אני גָּרָה בִּיְרוּשָׁלַיִם.
דוד: אני גָּר בִּנְיוּ-יוֹרְק.
שרה: טוב, להתראות!

Transliterate the dialogue (new vocabulary underlined).

David: Shalom! Eifoh at garah?
Sarah: Ani gara biyrushalayim (beyerushalayim).
David: Ani gar binyu-yorq (benu-yorq).
Sarah: Tov, lehitra’ot!

Asking for Residence[edit]

אֵיפֹה אתה גָּר? and אֵיפֹה את גָּרָה? both mean “where do you live?” (lit. “where [do] you reside?”). This question is replied by the preposition בְּ... + your residence, or the statement אני גָּר בְּ... + your residence, but the latter also declends with gender.

Examples

  • Someone (to Boy): אֵיפֹה אתה גָּר?
  • Someone (to Girl): אֵיפֹה את גָּרָה?
  • Boy: אני גָּר בְּ...
  • Girl: אני גָּרָה בְּ...

Introduction to Verbs[edit]

In the previous lesson, we learned that roots of radicals fall into “moulds” to form verbs and nouns. There are 7 “moulds” used for verbs, and these are called בִּנְיָנִים.

In this lesson we will start learning the first and most basic בִּנְיָן, qal. But before beginning with regular verbs with 3 radicals in their roots, we shall start with 2. This is because the most archaic and basic verbs (“to live”, “to come”, “to reside”, etc.) have just two letters.

In Hebrew, verbs conjugate in gender, number, and, in the past and future tenses, person. Unlike English, which has many progressive and perfect tenses, Hebrew has just 3: past, present, and future, as well as the imperative mood.

The verb גָּר (to reside), which has two radicals (root: ג-ר), conjugates in the present tense as follows:

Hebrew Verbs • ?אֵיפֹה אַתָּה גָּר
To reside Flag of Israel.svg לָגוּר

Singular Plural
m גָּר גָּרִים
f °גָּרָה גָּרוֹת

Notes

  • The declension of adjectives and the pluralization of nouns is identical. This is because verbs in the present tense can also be nouns and adjectives.

Other verbs that conjugate the same:

Hebrew Vocabulary • ?אֵיפֹה אַתָּה גָּר
Verbs Flag of Israel.svg פְּעַלִים

English עִבְרִית
Sing שָׁר
Come בָּא
Live חָי
Sense חָשׁ
Put שָׂם

Grammar: Questions[edit]

In English, when we would like to form a question out of a statement with no auxiliary verbs, we add the verb “to do”:

  • You like chocolate.
Do you like chocolate?

When we do have a statement with auxiliary verbs, we switch the location of the subject and the verb:

  • She can read a book.
Can she read a book?

In addition, we can add an interrogative pronoun at the start of the sentence:

  • She reads a book.
What does she read?

In Hebrew, the auxiliary verb “to do” is nonexistent. Because of this, the verb in question does not change its conjugation:

  • She reads a book.
What she reads?

To sum it up, when we want to form a question out of a statement in Hebrew, we need not change the sentence at all, all we have to do is raise the voice at the end of question (higher intonation) and add the interrogative pronoun at the beginning of a sentence if needed. The auxiliary verb retains its location.[1]

Hebrew Vocabulary • ?אֵיפֹה אַתָּה גָּר
Questions Flag of Israel.svg שְׁאֵלוֹת

English עִבְרִית
What? מָה?
Why? °לָמָּה?
Who? מִי?
Which? °אֵיזֶה?
Where? °אֵיפֹה?
When? מָתַי?
How? אֵיךְ?
How much/many? °כַּמָּה?

Vocabulary[edit]

Transliterate and translate the following Hebrew expressions to English:

גרים

garim
Live (m pl.)

.אני גר בירושלים

ani gar beyerushalayim
I live in Jerusalem.

?כמה

kamah?
How much?

חש

ħash
Feel (m sg.)

?איך

ekh?
How?

?איזה

eizeh?
Which?

?למה

lamah?
Why?

?איפה אתן גרות

eifoh aten garot?
Where do you (f pl.) live?

שמים

samim
Put (m pl.)

?מה

mah?
What?

.היא גרה בניו-יורק

hi garah benyu-yorq
She lives in New York (City).

חיה

ħayah
Live (f sing.)

?מי

mi?
Who?

?מתי

matai?
When?

שרות

sharot
Sing (f pl.)

באים

ba’im
Come (m pl.)

Translate the dialogue from the beginning of this lesson.

?דוד: שלום! אֵיפֹה את גָּרָה

David: Hello! Where do you live?

.שרה: אני גָּרָה בִּיְרוּשָׁלַיִם

Sarah: I live in Jerusalem.

.דוד: אני גָּר בִּנְיוּ-יוֹרְק

David: I live in New-York.

!שרה: טוב, להתראות

Sarah: Well, see you later!

Summary[edit]

In this lesson, you have learned:

  • How to say and ask where you live (אני גָּר בְּ...).
  • How conjugate biconsonantal (two radicals) verbs in the present tense, binyan qal.
  • How to form questions.

Practice what you've learned in the exercises.


Next lesson: Basic 5 >>>

Notes[edit]

  1. In the question בֵּן כַּמָּה אתה? the interrogative pronoun כַּמָּה is at the middle of the sentence. This is because it is in construct with word בֵּן, something we shall learn later.