Construct State 1 is the thirty-second skill in the language tree for Hebrew (assuming read left to right). It has six lessons and teaches how to form compound nouns in Hebrew.

Grammar NotesEdit

The construct state in Hebrew allows you to take two nouns and use them to create a new noun. In Hebrew, this state is called סמיכות (smichut). The two nouns also have names, with the first (right) one being the נסמך (nismach) and the second (left) one being the סומך (somech).

The gender of a construct state noun is determined by the nismach. For example, בית ספר ("school") is masculine because בית is masculine.

Grammar and SpellingEdit

When a construct state noun is definite - in other words, has "the" in front of it - the -ה is attached to the somech and not the nismach:

  • עורך דין = lawyer
  • עורך הדין = the lawyer

For plural constructs, the nismach is pluralized and not the somech. If the ending is masculine, it only gets a י- instead of a ים-:

  • כוס קפה = cup of coffee
  • כוסות קפה = cups of coffee
  • עורך דין = lawyer
  • עורכי דין = lawyers

Types of ConstructsEdit

There are two major uses for the construct state.

The first is to make a phrase using "of". כוס קפה, for example, uses the nouns כוס ("cup") and קפה ("coffee") to make "cup of coffee". If the nismach ends in a ה, then it is replaced with a ת. "Cheesecake" is then עוגת גבינה (literally "cake of cheese").

The other is to make entirely different nouns that aren't quite so simple. בית ספר, from earlier, is an example of this, as "school" is literally "house of book".


בית or "house" is one of the most common nismachs. However, it is irregular in its pronunciation and its plural is also irregular:

  • בָּיִת = house (bayit)
  • בֵּית סֶפֶר = school (beyt sefer)
  • בֵּתֵי סֶפֶר = schools (beti sefer)


Duolingo Lesson:

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