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Maríe F.
Hebrew Teacher
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Mandarin
TutorMe
Question:

How important are tones and pronunciation in Mandarin?

Maríe F.
Answer:

Tones are very important. Depending on which tones you use, the meaning of a word can change radically. While you mean to say one thing, something completely different may be understood.

Hebrew
TutorMe
Question:

Hi. I'm having difficulty with Hebrew verb endings. Can you explain how verbs work in Hebrew? How do you know when to use the plural or the singular, the masculine or the feminine? It's all very confusing.

Maríe F.
Answer:

That is a good question. I will illustrate the answer using the verb 'הולך'. Masculine singular: הולך Feminine singular: הולכת Masculine plural: הולכים Feminine plural: הולכות Look at the four Hebrew words above. Each of them have a different ending. The first one, הולך, looks different because it ends with a kaf sofeet. This is not directly related to the verbal conjugation. All the other endings, however, are part of the conjugation. The gender and number of the Hebrew verbs (that is to say, whether they are masculine or feminine, singular or plural) changes the suffix (ending) of the verb. If the verb is feminine singular, it get an ת- or an ה- at the end. If it is feminine plural, it gets and ות-. If the verb is masculine plural, it ends with ים-. The verb has to agree with the noun. In other words, the form of the verb depends on the subject - the person or thing that is carrying out the action. So, if the subject is feminine singular (e.g. the woman) then the verb should also be feminine singular. (e.g. האישה הולכת).

English
TutorMe
Question:

Dear teacher. I am struggling to comprehend the English tense system. Can you help me to understand why the present perfect tense refers to an action completed in the past?

Maríe F.
Answer:

The English verbal tense system seems complicated from afar, but upon closer investigation is not such a horror. The 'perfect' tense refers to verbs that happened in the past, but their effects remain. If their effects are felt in the present (e.g. I have seen that movie [so NOW I know what it is about]) then the tense is called the Present Perfect tense. If the action's effects were felt in the past, (e.g. I had seen the movie [by that time]) it would be called the Past Perfect tense.

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