| Lessons on the |
|1 א בּ ת • E|
|2 ב ה נן • E|
|3 מם שׁשׂ • E|
|4 ל ו • E|
|5 ד ר י • E|
|6 ג ז ח • E|
|7 ט ככּך • E|
|8 ס ק • E|
|9 ע פפּף • E|
|10 צץ • E|
|Test • Answers|
|edit template • talk|
Welcome to the fourth lesson of the Hebrew alphabet! In this lesson you will learn the two new Hebrew letters - ל and ו, and two new niqqud symbols - ħolam and shuruq.
This lesson we will learn two letters, each has only one form:
ל The twelfth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Lamed. It makes the "l" sound (IPA: /l/, "l" as in "lamb"). It is the only letter in the print Hebrew alphabet that rises above the line.
ו The sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet is Vav. It makes three sounds:
- The "v" sound (IPA: /v/, "v" as in "violin").
- The "o" sound (IPA: /o/, "o" as in "gore").
- The "u" sound (IPA: /u/, "u" as in "flu").
- When doubled (וו) it makes the "w" semivowel (IPA: /w/, "w" as in "well"), but only in foreign words.
You might remember that we learned that the letter Aleph has three purposes: 1) It makes the glottal stop 2) When at the beginning of a word it means the word starts with a vowel and 3) When preceded by any "a" vowel, when at the end of a word (there are exceptions) and in foreign words (because in most texts there are no marked vowels) it makes the "a" sound (IPA: /a/, "a" as in "spa").
Vav plays the same roles as Aleph (except for 2., that's reserved for Aleph): it makes the "v" sound and when charged with an "o" or "u" vowel or in foreign words (because in most texts there are no marked vowels) it makes the "o" or "u" sound. More about that in the next section.
How do we know if Vav makes the "v", "o" or "u" sound?
Two niqqud signs are there to help us:
וֹ The ħolam is the dot above the Vav.
It produces the "o" sound (IPA: /o/, "o" as in "gore"). It can appear as a dot in the top of the space between two letters (xֹx) and then it's called Ħolam Ħaser ("empty ħolam") or on a Vav (וֹ), and then it is called Ħolam Malei ("full ħolam"). In modern Israeli Hebrew there is no distinction between the two save spelling.
וּ The shuruq is the dot to the left of the Vav.
It produces the "u" sound (IPA: /u/, "u" as in "flu").
When charged by any other vowel Vav is pronounced as a "v".
Connection Vav - Vav Haħibur
You remember the Definite He? We learned then that while in English the definite article exists as a separate word ("the"), in Hebrew it exists as an affix, namely the letter He. So if bat means "a daughter", habat means "the daughter".
The same is true for the conjunction "and". While, in English, "and" is a separate word, in Hebrew it appears as an affix, a letter that you add to the beginning of any word and functions as a separate word. For example:
אָב av father
אֵם em mother
אָב וָאֵם av va’em father and mother
שָׁלוֹם shalom peace (masculine, singular), hello, goodbye
בּוּל bul postal stamp (masculine, singular), bull's-eye, spot on!
שֵׁן shen tooth (feminine, singular)
מַתָּנָה matanah gift, present (feminine, singular)
מָלוֹן malon hotel (masculine, singular)
מִלָה milah word, circumcision (feminine, singular)
אוֹת ot letter (alphabet), sign (feminine, singular)
In this lesson, you have learned:
- The letters Lamed ל and Vav ו.
- The niqqud symbols Ħolam (ֹ) and Shuruq (ּ).
- The words שָׁלוֹם, בּוּל, שֵׁן, מַתָּנָה, מָלוֹן, מִלָה and אוֹת.
- The conjunction "and" in Hebrew - Vav Haħibur.
Practice what you've learned in the exercises.
- At this point you know the letters necessary for most of the vocabulary in the first lesson on family in Hebrew.
- There are two forms of the Hebrew alphabet: a print form for printing and reading, and a handwritten form for reading. Since the purpose of this level is to learn how to read Hebrew, the print version is taught. In the handwritten alphabet some other letters rise above the line.
- In some browsers, the dot may appear in the wrong place. It should show up on the left of the vav about vertically midway.