This man is also riding an alephant (use Aleph to spell). My mnemonic: “My name is Ishmael”. A famous literary allusion! Moby Dick captain. “Ish is a Male” Think: “Ishmael is a man, a male, and "eesh" in Hebrew is man!
Some people may forget the yod between aleph and shin. Just remember that most Hebrew words have a three-letter root, called שורש shoresh.
The vowel with the aleph is Chireq yod : חירק יוד. This one is a single “dot” under the letter, followed by the yod, which has no vowel attached because it is part of the vowel. I think of it this way: a dot looks like an egg. The word egg begins with “e”. So, the sound of one single dot under a letter is “ee”, as in : “EEE! I laid an egg!”
So here's our entire picture: A man, named Ishmael, is riding an alephant, and suddenly an egg drops out from under him and he exclaims: “EEE! I laid an egg!”
This mnemonic helps you remember the definition AND the spelling. What a special bonus. Yes, I do have fun thinking this crazy stuff up!!
Make Hebrew Fun today!!!
peace & blessings,
קרן מורה עברית
Keren, morah ivrit (Teacher of Hebrew)