Quartz Hill School of Theology

Lesson 3: Introduction to Grammar, Gender, the Conjunction, and the Definite Article


aunt דּוֹדָה
prophetess נְבִיאָה
mare סוּסָה
woman אִשָּׁה
mother אֵם
daughter בַּת
law תּוֹרָה
candlestick מְנוֹרָה
animal, cow, beast    בְּהֵמָה
ewe, Rachel רָחֵל
door דֶּלֶת
and -וְ
the -הַ
house (m.) בַּיִת
uncle דּוֹד
prophet נָבִיא
horse סוּס
man אִישׁ
father אָב
son בֵּן
day יוֹם
morning בֹּקֶר
evening עֶרֶב
night (m.) (לַיִל rarely) לַיְלָה
scroll, book סֵפֶר
song שִׁיר
field שָׂדֶה
sound, voice קוֹל

Introduction to Grammar

Many people taking a foreign language for the first time become confused when the textbook begins discussing nouns and verbs, adjectives and adverbs, and things like subject and object.

So, to try to limit any confusion you might have, here is a very short outline of the basics of grammar:


Noun: a person, a place, or a thing. Examples: dog, Iowa, lawyer, chair, field.
Verb: expresses an action, an occurance, or a mode of being. Examples: run, kill, am, are, is
Adjective: modifies a noun. Example: the word ugly is an adjective in the phrase "an ugly duckling", where duckling is a noun and it is being modified by the word ugly.
Adverb: modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. Example: the word slowly in the phrase "he works slowly", where works is a verb and it is being modified by the word slowly.
Subject: the actor in a sentence. Example: "The dog threw the bone to the boy", where dog is the primary actor.
Direct Object: the noun that is being acted upon directly by the subject. Example: "The dog threw the bone to the boy", where bone is the direct object, that is, the thing being acted upon directly.
Indirect Object: the noun that is being acted upon indirectly by the subject. Example: "The dog threw the bone to the boy", where boy is the thing being acted upon indirectly.
A summary to illustrate:
    The hungry dog threw the ugly bone hard to the boy.
Dog is the subject. Threw is the verb. Bone is the direct object, and boy is the indirect object.
Hungry and ugly are adjectives.
Hard is an adverb.
Dog, bone, and boy are nouns.
Threw is the verb.

Introduction to Gender

English is unusual among the world's languages in being mostly gender neutral. That is, only animate beings are thought of as either masculine or feminine. Most English nouns are neuter, and our verbal system does not distinguish between masculine or feminine subjects.

Hebrew, on the other hand, is not gender neutral at all. All nouns in Hebrew are either masculine or feminine and there is no neuter at all. Make a note of that.

Additionally, the verbal system distinguishes between the masculine and feminine gender of the subjects in a sentence, as we will discover in later lessons. For the moment, you only need to think about the fact that all nouns, animate or not, are classified as either masculine or feminine.

Introduction to the Conjuction

The conjunction and is usually expressed in Hebrew with a vav וְ prefixed to the word which follows it in the sentence. The conjunction in Hebrew is never alone. It is always attached to the word that comes after it.

Examples: (remember to read right to left)

וְ + סוּס = וְסוּס
and a horse

וְ + אִישׁ = וְאִישׁ
and a man

Introduction to the Definite Article

The definite article in English is the. In order to express this concept in Hebrew, a he (pronounced "hay") with a patah הַ is prefixed to any noun we want to make definite. The הַ is then followed by a dagesh (also called a strong dagesh; it is just a dot) which is placed in the first letter of the word.

Examples: (remember to read right to left)

הַ + לַיְלָה = הַלַּיְלָה 
the + night = the night

הַ + קוֹל = הַקּוֹל
the + voice = the voice


Please read pages 40-43 in Biblical Hebrew Step-by-Step.


1. Memorize the vocabulary.

2. Do the Exercises on page 43.

Contact Details

Telephone: (661) 722-0891
Email: info@theology.edu
Website: www.theology.edu

Quartz Hill School of Theology
43543 51st Street West
Quartz Hill, CA 93536

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