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Learn the Hebrew Alphabet - Lesson 4
Lamed & Vav

By Jeff A. Benner


ל The "lamed" is pronounced "l" as in long. When the lamed is prefixed to a word it means "to" or "for".

ו The "vav" is pronounced "v" as in visit. When the vav is prefixed to a word it means "and".


אְ The Sh'va. This vowel is usually used as a syllalbe break and is silent, but when it is not used as a syllable break it is pronounced "e" as in elephant.

אֶ The Segol. This vowel is pronounced "e" as in elephant.

  1. When a syllable includes one of the "a" vowels and is followed by the consonant "yud", the pronunciation is "ah-y", which, when said quickly sounds like "ai" as in aisle. An example is the word lai-lah (Vocabulary Word #1). Note that this rule does not apply to words like ma-yim (Vocabulary Word #3) as the "a" is at the end of the first syllable and the "y" is the beginning of the second syllable.

  2. In some languages nouns are masculine, feminine or neuter . Hebrew is much the same, all nouns are either masculine or feminine (there is no neuter).

  3. The "yud-mem" combination is the masculine plural ending, similar to the the "s" ending for English plural nouns.

  4. When the dagesh (the dot in the middle of a letter) is placed within some letters, such as in the nun in the word for "Here [am] I" in the vocabulary list below, it doubles the letter. Therefore, this letter would be pronounced "hin-ney-niy" rather than "hi-ney-niy".

לֵ וַ לִ לָ וֶ וִי לִי לָי וַי וֵי .1 Audio
וֶו וֵל וַל לֵה הֵל לָה הָל .2 Audio
לִבָּה לַיִל לֵבְמָה מָלֵא מְלָה .3 Audio

Night (Masc. Noun) לַיְלָה .1 Audio
God (Masc. Noun) אֵל .2 Audio
Water (Masc. Noun) מַיִם .3 Audio
Amen אָמֵן .4 Audio
Here הִנֵּה .5 Audio
Sea (Masc. Noun) יָם .6 Audio
Here am I הִנֵּנִי .7 Audio
To me לִי .8 Audio

Night came. לַיְלָה בָּא .1 Audio
My son came to me. בֵּנִי בָּא לִי .2 Audio
Mother came in the night. אֵם בָּאָה בַּלַיְלָה .3 Audio
My father and my mother are here. אָבִי וְאֵמִי הִנֵּה .4 Audio
Water is in the sea. מַיִם בַּיָם .5 Audio
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