Shva is yet another of those letters that poses a slightly annoying problem. The thing is, those two dots under the Alef, like this - - really don't sound like anything much at all. It's basically somewhere between an "uh" sound and a very short "eh" sound -- a lot like if someone asked you what sound the letter B (or ) makes. You'd probably say "buh" - just enough of a vowel so that the letter makes a sound. That's Shva for you, just enough to barely count as a vowel.

Naturally it was a little weird trying to think up a picture for this one. I could have used a Zen monk, representing the "sound of no sound" but I figured that was a little obscure. Luckily I realized that the "uh" sound that Shva makes is a lot like the U in button, which gives us:

Now let's try some reading practice again.

(buh) - In, with. This is a prefix, so it should really be at the beginning of a word.

(b'dag) - With or in a fish. Remember, I never said the examples had to make sense.

(vuh) - And. This is another prefix, so it goes at the beginning of a word.

(hu ba veaba ba) - He's coming and Dad's coming.

Wow, we're getting into real sentences now!

(chet) - sin. Usually translated as "sin" but its real meaning is closer to "mistake" or "miss."

Ok, let's try to keep a lighter tone for the next letter...