Hey Hebrew learners!

In this article we’ll be looking at 12 words/phrases that you can use to reply to just about anything in a Hebrew conversation. They’re super useful and you will find yourselves saying them over and over again.

As with all my articles I’ve made a cheatsheet for you here that has all the words on one pdf.

So let’s get into it:

נֶחְמָד – nekhmad

Here's an image to help you remember what nice is in HebrewMeaning: Nice
Use: An essential word that is similar to English’s nice. Use it when someone tells you that they just ran for 3km or when they ask you how your visit was to your friends.
Example:
1: ekh haya hayom shelkha? – איך היה היום שלך – how was your day (m)
2: nekhmad – נחמד – nice

 

אֵיזֶה כֵּיף – eze kef

 

Here's an image to help you remember what eze kef is in HebrewMeaning: How fun! Lucky you!
Use: Any time someone tells you something that you think sounds really fun or really great say “eze kef – איזה כיף”. If they tell you they just bought tickets to South America or their landlord just told them that he is going to lower the rent (as if that would happen) that’s when you say “eze kef” and in any other number of situations where someone is telling you about something that excites you.
Example:
1: kibalti yomaim khofesh meha-avoda sheli – קיבלתי יומיים חופש מהעבודה שלי – I got two days off from my work
2: eze kef – איזה כיף – lucky you!

 

אֵיזֶה יוֹפִי – eze yofi

 

Here's an image to help you remember what how beautiful is in HebrewMeaning: How lovely!
Use: When something beautiful happens, you see something or hear something lovely, a happy story is told to you. These are the moments where you exclaim in your Israeli accent “eze yofi! איזה יופי”. Yofi יופי means beautiful and איזה eze in this context means “how”.
Example:
1: tir-i et hatmuna ha zot – תראי את התמונה הזאת – look at this picture
2: eze yofi – איזה יופי – how lovely!

 

מַגְנִיב – magniv

 

Here's an image to help you remember what cool is in HebrewMeaning: cool
Use: Magniv is kind of like ‘cool’ or ‘groovy’ or ‘sweet’ in English. Someone tells you something cool, groovy or sweet then your Hebrew go to word is magniv מגניב. A very popular word with younger people, you might not hear your friend’s saba סבא grandpa use it.

 

Example:
1: ha-aplikatzia ha-zot yekhola lekhabot et ha orot babait – האפליקציה הזאת יכולה לכבות את האורות בבית – this app can turn on the lights in your house
2: magniv – מגניב – cool

 

נִשְׁמַע טוֹב – nishma tov

 

Here's an image to help you remember what sounds good is in HebrewMeaning: sounds good
Use: Someone suggests plans to you, you respond nishma tov נשמע טוב. Someone tells you about the elaborate pasta that they’ve cooked for you, nishma tov נשמע טוב. Just like in English really. Tov טוב means good and nishma נשמע means sounds.

 

Example:
1: bo nelekh le-ekhol ba-khutz – בוא נלך לאכול בחוץ – Let’s go and eat out
2: nishma tov – נשמע טוב – sounds good

 

נִשְׁמַע נוֹרָא – nishma nora

 

Here's an image to help you remember what sounds awful is in HebrewMeaning: sounds awful
Use: Sometimes things don’t sound so good. Sometimes your partner has had a rough day or your friends had to wait for 3 hours in a bus because of a huge traffic jam on his way home from work. That’s when you throw out your nishma nora – נשמע נורא
Example:
1:khikiti sha-ata’im be-misrad hapnim –  חיכיתי שעתיים במשרד הפנים  – I waited for 2 hours at the ministry of interior.
2: nishma nora – נשמע נורא – sounds awful

 

אֵיזֶה בָּאסָה – eze basa

 

Here's an image to help you remember what what a bummer is in Hebrew Here's an image to help you remember what that sucks is in HebrewMeaning: What a bummer, that sucks!
Use: One of my favourites – eze basa איזה באסה is for those situations shown in the images here. Make sure you really say it with emotion, it feels good.
Example:
1:khikiti sha-ata’im be-misrad hapnim –  חיכיתי שעתיים במשרד הפנים  – I waited for 2 hours at the ministry of interior.
2: eze basa – איזה באסה – that sucks!

 

אוּלַי – olai

 

Here's an image to help you remember what what a maybe is in HebrewMeaning: maybe, perhaps
Use: When you’re not sure, or you just don’t want to commit to any plans, אולי olai is your best friend. Nothing tricky here. Just as in English. Remember the Hebrew “oo” sound is like English’s “book”. Make sure that it’s a short and sharp “oo”. Think of an Israeli standing with a gun saying “do you like my oozi?”
Example:
1: atem ba-im le-arukhat erev? –  אתם באים לארוחת ערב  – you guys coming for dinner?
2: olai – אולי – maybe

 

בֶּטַח – betakh

 

Here's an image to help you remember what what a sure is in HebrewMeaning: of course, sure!
Use: Much like English. Very common word. Make sure you apply the emphasis on the be בֶּnot the takh טַח. The stronger or longer you say the be בֶּ the more emphasis you are adding. Think – for SUUUURREEEE. The PDF cheatsheet has sound files so you can know exactly how to say it.
Example:
1: at rotza mashu matok? –  את רוצה משהו מתוק  – do you want something sweet?
2: betakh! – בטח – of course!

 

לפעמים – lifamim

 

Here's an image to help you remember what what a sometimes is in HebrewMeaning: sometimes
Use: A great word to have up your sleeve. Do you go out to restaurants? Do you love working on your hebrew ;)? Or, if your son/daughter/friend/you have come back from 7 months in India and you ask them if they shower. Sometimes – lifamim – לפעמים.
Example:
1: ata okhel basar? –  אתה אוכל בשר  – do you eat meat?
2: lifamim – לפעמים – sometimes

 

כן – ken

 

Here's an image to help you remember what what a yes is in HebrewMeaning: yes, yeh, yep
Use: You probably know these last two words but I wanted to include them to speak a little about their pronunciation. Ken כן is a short and sharp ‘e’ sound, think the ‘e’ in pen. Be careful not to drag it out…keeeen.
Example:
1: ata ba-ba’it? –  אתה בבית  – are you at home?
2: ken – כן – yes

 

לא – lo

 

Here's an image to help you remember what what a no is in HebrewMeaning: no, nah, nope
Use: Similar to the ‘e’ in ken כן, make extra sure to do a quick ‘o’ sound in lo לא. Think of it like this…take the word “go” in English and think of the long ‘o’ sound. It’s not sharp or quick, it’s drawn out. We want the opposite in Hebrew. Short, sharp and to the point – like Israelis really. “Lo” לא.
Example:
1: at ovedet hayom? –  את עובדת היום  – are you working today?
2: lo – לא – no

 

This will help you remember all these new Hebrew words

So there you are, 12 words/phrases that you’ll be able to use in endless conversations. If there any other words that you’d like to know how to say in Hebrew just write a comment below and I’ll translate them for you.

If you haven’t yet downloaded the cheatsheet with every word and sound file on one PDF that you can carry with you on your phone or save on your computer then here it is.

Yalla, yom tov – יאללה יום טוב – I’m off, have a good day!

Mike מייק