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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777
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how to say “to enjoy” in Hebrew

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Every season has its perks. But with the arrival of summer in the northern hemisphere, now’s the time that people are really starting to enjoy themselves.

The Hebrew word for to enjoy is the same as that for to benefit – לֵהָנוֹת (listen and repeat).

Here’s an example using ליהנות in the sense of to enjoy:

הַקַּיִץ מַגִּיעַ – עַכְשָׁו זְמַן לְהַתְחִיל לֵהָנוֹת.

Summer’s coming – now’s the time to start enjoying. listen

And here’s one using ליהנות in the sense of to benefit:

 שֶׁעוֹרֶכֶת עִירִיַּת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם.

In the summer, one can enjoy/benefit from many events that the Jerusalem municipality is organizing. listen As you can see, the two uses of ליהנות – to enjoy and to benefit – are not so distinct in Hebrew.

ליהנות is a נִפְעַל verb of the non-Biblical root ה.נ.ה (h.n.h). Since the letter ה (h) lacks the hard-consonant quality that other letters such as נ (n), ג (g) and ל (l) have, it tends to disappear or otherwise cause problems with pronunciation.

To help you get your mouth around the different ways of conjugating the verb ליהנות, here are a few examples:

Past tense אֲנִי נֶהֱנֵתִי – I enjoyed listen and repeat

אֲנַחְנוּ נֶהֱנֵנוּ – we enjoyed listen and repeat

?אַתֶּם נֶהֱנֵתֶם – did you (plural) enjoy? listen and repeat הִיא נֶהֱנְתָּה – she enjoyed listen and repeat

הֵם נֶהֱנוּ – they enjoyed listen and repeat

Present tense הוּא נֶהֱנֶה – he is enjoying listen and repeat אַתְּ נֶהֱנֵת – you (a female) enjoy listen and repeat אֲנַחְנוּ נֶהֱנִים – we are enjoying listen and repeat אַתֶּן נֶהֱנוֹת – you (plural, just females) enjoy listen and repeat

Future tense (note the ah vowel, like in the infinitive) אֲנִי אֵהָנֶה – I will enjoy listen and repeat אַתָּה תֵּהָנֶה – you (a male) will enjoy listen and repeat

אַתֶּם תֵּהָנוּ – you (plural) will enjoy listen and repeat

הוּא יֵהָנֶה – he will enjoy listen and repeat

For more background and information on how to spell forms of ליהנות without vowels, see this article.

Ami Steinberger

About the Author: Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.

The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.

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