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Demonstrative Pronouns in Biblical Hebrew

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Function of the Hebrew Demonstrative Pronoun

The Hebrew demonstrative pronoun functions much like a pointing finger — it singles something (or someone) out. It draws attention to the object. In English we have, in the singular, "this" and "these" for objects that are near us. For objects farther away, we say, "that" and "those."  Hebrew functions in the same manner, but unlike English, Hebrew has forms for both the masculine and feminine forms.

Demonstrative Pronoun Paradigm

Below you will find the paradigm for the demonstrative pronoun in Hebrew:

Building Off the Hebrew Independent Personal Pronouns

If you have already learned the independent personal pronouns (IPPs), you will see the similarity between the two paradigms.  In fact the 3rd person singular and plural forms of the IPPs match the the demonstrative pronouns for "that" and "those," leaving you to only have to learn the Hebrew forms for "this" and "these" for the masculine and feminine forms. 

Finding and Memorizing a Logical Pattern

As you may have noticed, the singular forms of "this" begin with the zayin for both the masculine and feminine forms. In the plural, "these," both begin with the Hebrew letter alef.

If you associate a word in English with the same phonetic vaule as the Hebrew letter — such as "Zebra" for the Hebrew zayin, you can create simple rhymes that function as mnemonics to help you recall Hebrew grammar and paradigms. 

A simple mnemonic to remember the pattern for singular Hebrew demonstrative pronouns: "A Zebras sits on this when leafs fall from these trees." 

The "zebra" functions as a mnemonic value for the zayin and the "leafs" functions as a mnemonic value for alef ("leafs," plural for "a leaf" sounds similar to alef).  Try creating your own values and rhyme to remember!

More Biblical Hebrew Memory Helps!
I hope this article on learning the demonstrative pronouns in Hebrew has helped you! For more powerful memory helps in learning Biblical Hebrew grammar, vocabulary and Hebrew paradigms be sure to visit Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! Or visit my author homepage, Boost Your Memory! While you're there, be sure to sign up for our newsletter that has exclusive discounters for our members!
 
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Biblical Hebrew Independent Personal Pronouns
Similar to English, Hebrew independent personal pronouns (IPP) are written as separate forms when used as the subject.  When the Hebrew personal pronoun functions as the object, it appears as a suffix attached to the noun, verb or preposition. 

This article will deal with the independent personal pronoun as the subject.

Predictable Patterns for the Hebrew Independent Personal Pronoun
Anything that has logical and predictable patterns is easier for the memory to recall. Looking at the chart for the Hebrew IPP, lets see what predictable patterns we find:
  • ALL first and second forms, singular and plural, begin with the א
  • ALL third person forms, singular and plural, begin with ה

Mnemonics to Remember Independent Personal Pronouns
Continuing to look for consistent patterns, we find the following memory helps:
  • The plural masculine form always takes the mem (מ,ם). This is easy to remember — just recall that "male" starts with the phonetic Hebrew equivalent of mem !
  • The plural feminine form always takes the nun (נ,ן). How to remember? Just recall that the Hebrew nun sounds like the English word, "nun." As you know "nuns" are always feminine!
  • To recall that ALL first and second forms, singular and plural, begin with the א, simply remember that the first letter in English is "a" just as א is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • To recall that ALL third person forms, singular and plural, begin with ה, simply think of "3-H"!

Advanced Memory Helps to Recall the Hebrew Independent Personal Pronouns
Outlined in my book, Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! The Triad System (and included in The Complete System), is a complete mnemonic method for imprinting the IPPs onto your memory. By creating "icons" for the IPPs and placing them on  "locations" you can easily recall all the IPPs by use of  The Triad System. To learn more about the Triad System click here.

More Biblical Hebrew Memory Helps!
I hope this article on learning the gender and number of nouns in Hebrew has helped you! For more powerful memory helps in learning Biblical Hebrew grammar, vocabulary and Hebrew paradigms be sure to visit Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! Or visit my author homepage, Boost Your Memory! While you're there, be sure to sign up for our newsletter that has exclusive discounters for our members!