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Hebrew Consonants and vowels

"O" class vowels

The "O" class vowels

All the "O" class vowels are pronounced with an "oh" sound. "O" class vowels are usually transliterated with the letter "o". The vav of holam vav is a matres lectionis—it is not a consonant but acts as a vowel. This is an ancient tradition known from exilic times before the Masorites added nikkud to the Hebrew text.

The hataf kamats only occurs with the guttural letters [א ה ח ע].

consonant symbol

"A" class Vowels

The kamats hatuf is sometimes called kamats katan (small). It is important to note the visual similarity to the "a" type vowel kamats (sometimes called kamats gadol, meaning "big"]. The two vowels have very different sounds.

Practice. ...Putting things together.
Listen to and practice saying these consonant-vowel combinations. Each combination, whether open or closed, represents a syllable.


OPEN syllables


CLOSED syllables


Now for some real Hebrew words


vowels WORKSHEET to accompany
Lessons 8-13. HERE.

continue to Lesson 12: Hebrew "U" class Vowels. HERE.

 Page Updated: 17 October, 2011
    Last Site Update: 28 March, 2017 | 1 Nisan, 5777
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