StreetWise Hebrew Podcast

How to Fall for Your Hebrew Teacher

The root “nun-pei-lamed” is all about falling – “lipol” means “to fall.” It’s used in so many different expressions it can be easy to forget where it came from.

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The root “nun-pei-lamed” is all about falling – “lipol” means “to fall.” It’s used in so many different expressions it can be easy to forget where it came from. Host Guy Sharett takes us through the most common usages, taking us from meteors to waterfalls to shooting down planes.

Words and expressions discussed:

Nafalta hazak – You went down hard – נפלת חזק

Kochav nofel – Falling star; shooting star; meteor – כוכב נופל

Lipol – To fall – ליפול

Ma nafalt alay? – How did you suddenly come into my life? – ?מה נפלת עליי

Nafalti al mis’ada tova – I stumbled upon a good restaurant – נפלתי על מסעדה טובה

Ma hu nafal alay achshav? – Why did he come to me with this now? (negative) – ?מה הוא נפל עליי עכשיו

Ma nafal aleycha ha-yom? – What’s the matter with you today? – ?מה נפל עליך היום

Nafalta al ha-sechel/ha-rosh? – Are you out of your mind? – ?נפלת על השכל/הראש

Ze/hu yipol – It/he will fall – זה/הוא יפול

Im yipol ha-kochav sheli – If my star falls – אם ייפול הכוכב שלי

Eize nefila – What a flop – איזה נפילה

Eich nafalnu im ha-mis’ada ha-zot – What a flop, this restaurant – איך נפלנו עם המסעדה הזו

Nefila chofshit – Free-fall – נפילה חופשית

Nofel, noflim – Fallen soldier – נופל, נופלים

Nafal ba-milchama/ba-krav – He fell in the war/battle – נפל במלחמה/בקרב

Kmo hatul ani nofel al ha-raglayim – Like a cat I fall on my feet – כמו חתול אני נופל על הרגליים

Nafal lecha ha-kesef – You dropped your money – נפל לך הכסף

Nafla lach ha-mitriya – You dropped your umbrella – נפלה לך המטרייה

Naflu lachem ha-kartisim – Your tickets fell out – נפלו לכם הכרטיסים

Hu hitnapel al mishehu – He went at (ie. “attacked”) someone – הוא התנפל על מישהו

Eize hitnaplut al ha-ochel, anashim, terag’u, god – What an “attack” on the food, chill people, god – איזה התנפלות על האוכל, אנשים, תירגעו, גוד

Lehapil – To drop; to have an miscarriage/abortion; to bring down (eg. a plane) – להפיל

Hi hipila – She had a miscarriage/abortion – היא הפילה

Hapala – Miscarriage/abortion – הפלה

Mapil – Hilarious (causes us to fall down to the floor laughing) – מפיל

Ha-matos hupal – The plane was shot down – המטוס הופל

Mapal – Waterfall – מפל

Nefel – Dud, failure – נפל

Eize nefel ata – You’re such a failure – איזה נפל אתה