PREPOSITIONS IN HEBREW
” Moshe and Kalev” letters — אותיות: משה וכלב
Today we will learn about the letters we use as prefixes before a word to indicate; FROM, THAT, THE, AND, AS, TO, IN.
In English, they function in a sentence as words for themselves.
Pay attention: this is not the case in Hebrew. In Hebrew, we put one of this letters [מ,ש,ה,ו,כ,ל,ב] in front of the word we want to indicate the desired preposition. Don’t worry examples coming soon below 😉
In order to remember them easily. we normally call them “משה וכלב” — Moshe & Kalev ” letters. Which literally means ‘Moshe and a dog’. (many Hebrew books and teachers call them Moshe & Kaleb the two biblical characters. But I prefer to refer to them as Moshe & dog )
So let’s start:
מ – this letter added before a word means: from
for example: –from where—מאיפה/ from there– משם/ from here— מפה / from here and there — מפה ומשם.
Pay attention: the letter must be connected to the noun.
A single letter that stands on its own in a sentence is rare action. To learn about this more check this link
ש – this letter added before a word means: that
for example: – the one that comes – מי שבא/ what (ever) comes-
—- מה שבא / a student that learns Hebrew —- תלמיד שלומד עברית
pay attention: some times the ש can appear as “shall” in a form of suggestion. Normally before a verb.
for example: shall we go? — ?שנלך? שנזוז,
shall we come– – שנבוא
ה– this letter added before a word means: the
for example: the boy— הילד/ the book – הספר/ the student that learns Hebrew — התלמיד שלומד עברית/ today (“THE day”)— היום / from today — מהיום
PRO TIP: The words that have the “מ.ש.ה” letters as a prefix get a strong emphasis on the letter that comes after the prefix. This rule can help you read the right sound with letters that can have two different sound. So if there is a “ב” it will be with a “b” sound and not a “vha” sound, the letter “פ” will get a “p” and not a “ph” and the letter “כ” will get a “k” sound.
ו – this letter added before a word means: and
for example: from here and from there — מפה ומשם/ salt and paper—מלח ופלפל/ you and me — אתה ואני
pay attention: you can put more than one prefix letter before a word.
כ– this letter added before a word means: like,as
for example: like this, such as this —– כזה/ like these, such as those—- כאלו, כאלה/ apparently (which it’s literal trans’: as seen, like it appears) — כנראה
ל– this letter added before a word means: to
for example: to the beach — לים/ to there– לשם/ from here to there— מפה לשם/ to where— לאן, לאיפה/ from New York to Israel — מניו יורק לישראל
Pay attention: all infinitives in Hebrew start with the letter – ל
for example: to eat– לאכול, to drink – לשתות, to learn – ללמוד. although in both cases the ל indicates “to”. in one the letter ל comes before a noun and on the other, it’s a part of a grammatical structure of a verb.
ב– this letter added before a word means: in, at
for example: at home– בבית, out side– בחוץ, inside—בפנים, in/at order, o.k — בסדר —
pay attention: There is a combination of two letters “כש” that function as a prefix for the word when. When – כש
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