Demonstrative Pronouns in Biblical Hebrew
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:
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!
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