Earlier lessons introduced masculine words that also have a feminine form. For example, you learned that the feminine of ôÌÈ÷Äéã (pakid – male clerk) is ôÌÀ÷éãä (pkida – female clerk) but the feminine of ùÑåÉôÅè (shofet – male judge) is ùåôÆèÆú (shofetet – female judge). Knowing about noun patterns may, in some cases, help you “guess” the feminine form and other pattern changes, and thus quickly expand your vocabulary.
Hebrew nouns and adjectives can be grouped by their sound pattern. For example, there are widely used words that follow the pattern i..a..on: æÄéëÌÈøåï (zikaron - memory), áÌÀéèÈçåï (bitahon - security), øÄéùÑÈéåï (permit). Many patterns convey a meaning. For example, most profession names can be grouped into patterns such as a..an (ñÇôÀøÈï – safran - librarian) or o..an (öåÉìÀìÈï – tsolelan - diver).
Patterns help us in learning the vowel changes in certain cases, such as when converting the word to the plural form. In addition, in some cases the pattern helps us guess the feminine form of nouns and adjectives. As you know, most feminine words end with ä or ú. Some pattern-awareness may help us to guess correctly the letter (actually, the suffix) to add to a masculine word in order to obtain its feminine counterpart.
There are a rather large number of noun patterns. This lesson presents several examples. It is primarily designed to introduce you to the subject.