Chataf Kamatz Chataf Patach Chataf Segol

The Short Vowels

There are some vowels that in Hebrew are called "short vowels" because they're literally just regular vowels pronounced a bit shorter. Sometimes in modern Hebrew you can't really tell the difference, but if you're reading you'll need to know how to pronounce them.

The short vowels are created by taking a regular vowel and gluing it together with the Shva vowel, which is how they sound: like a cross between Shva () and another vowel.

Reading Practice

(ahavah) - Love!

(be'ahavah) - With love!

(ne'eman) - Faithful, true, trustworthy.

This next one is special because it contains both kamatz katan (the A that sounds like O) and also a short vowel!

(tsoharayim) - noon!

Now here's the kicker: a short Kamats is ALWAYS a Kamats Katan, so it always sounds like OH and not AH. Here's an example:

(oniyah) - Ship!

And here are a few more practice words:

(kol) - All! As in "I want ALL the jelly beans!"

(sam) - Put, as in "he put the wine on the table." This word sounds closer to "sum" than the English name "Sam."

(sichah) - conversation.

(lechem) - Means bread.

(chochmah) - Wisdom!

(tsel) - Means shadow

Anyhow, we're about to FINISH the Alefbet! Let's look at the last letter...