The identical twins


New Hebrew students have started asking recently - What is going on with the"ָKaָmatz"?


We all know how to recognize the Kamatz in Hebrew- We read it as an A vowel like in -

מִכְתָּב, מַדְבֵּקָה, סִפְרִיָּה, שָׁלוֹם, תִּקְוָה, חָבֵר


But once in a while we encounter a strange happening -

חָכְמָה, תָּכְנִית


Mysteriously, the exact same vowel (or so we think...) Appears as an O vowel!

They look like they are the same, but ladies and gentlemen - they are actually identical twins!

We have two types of Kamatz - small and big.


The small Kamatz has an O sound and is considered a short vowel.
אָפְנָה , עָרְמָה, בְּחָזְקָה, אֳנִיָּה, תָּכְנִית, קָדְקוֹד. צָהֳרַיִם, נָעֳמִי

The big Kamatz has an A sound and it is considered a long vowel.
אֲרוּחָה דְּאָגָה מַחְשָׁבָה הִתְקַדְּמָה.

So how can we recognize it when we read?


The long answer is - You will remember with time the meanings of the words and also how to read them even without the Nikud. Some memorisation is an inseparable part of practicing a new language.....

The short answer is that we can recognize the small Kamatz inside some structures which look a like-

1.

אָפְנָה , עָרְמָה, חָכְמָה


Is a part of a structure containing many many nouns which are structured into ( O - A vowels).

2.

צָהֳרַיִם, מָאֳשָׁם, נָעֳמִי


When you see them in pairs together - The Kamatz and the Hataf-Kamatz right after it - then it is a small Kamatz and the word will have two O sounds in a row (For example : TZO-HO-RAIM).


To sum it up - the two siblings can definely confuse some new Hebrew readers, but with some practice - they are definitely distinguishable!

Happy learning!!


December 6, 2019
LEARN HOW TO LEARN!
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