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:
Summer’s coming – now’s the time to start enjoying. listen
And here’s one using ליהנות in the sense of to benefit:
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
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
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.
About the Author: Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.
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