Hebrew Vowels -

Simple E-Type Vowels

The next vowel group you will learn is sometimes called the "E-type" because it indicates an "e" sound (as in "red" or "eight") when combined with a letter. The "simple" E-type vowels have the following pattern:

Simple Vowel  Schema

Note that the "X" refers to any Hebrew letter (for example Aleph, Bet, and so on) and the rectangular box below the letter refers to a one the following types of vowel marks (nikkudim):

Simple E-Type Vowels

Notes:

  • Although these vowel marks look different, they all represent an "e"sound.
  • Note which vowel is long (Tsere) and which are short (Segol, Chateph Segol).
  • The Chateph Segol is sometimes called a "half vowel" and is the shortest of all vowels: it can only appear under the guttural letters.
  • There is a slight difference in pronunciation between Tsere and Segol (Tsere has a longer "e" (as in they) sound, whereas Segol has a shorter "e" (as in red) sound).

Basic Syllables

A syllable is called "open" when it does
not end with a "stopping" sound:

Open Syllable

A syllable is called "closed" when it ends
with a "stopping" sound:

Closed Syllable

Open Syllables:

Open Syllables

Closed Syllables:

Closed Syllables

Full E-Type Vowel
In addition to the three simple E-type vowels, there are two variations that you should be aware of: Both Tsere and Segol may have a Yod immediately following it (the Yod then functions not as a consonant, but as a vowel letter):

Full Vowel  Schema

The "X" refers to any Hebrew letter (for example Aleph, Bet, and so on) and the rectangular box below the letter refers to a vowel mark location. When the letter Yod follows a letter with a Tsere or Segol, it functions not as a consonant, but as a vowel letter. This is called a "consonantal vowel" and the result is called a "full" vowel.

Full E-Type Vowels

Practice Readings

One syllable:

Practice Readings

Two syllables:

Readings

Three syllables:

Readings

Quick Summary Card

E-Type Vowels

More Practice
Pages

Transliteration Practice:

Practice

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