Lesson 9: Final Call
The five letters we will learn in Lesson 9 — MEM, NUN, CHAF, FAY, and TSADI — become what we call final letters if they are the last letter in the word. These final letters have the same sound as their counterparts but look different.
Final Mem (ם)
The first final letter we are going to take a look at is FINAL MEM. Once again, you will only see a FINAL MEM if it is the last letter in a word. FINAL MEM is probably the most common final letter you will find. Just like in Spanish, Hebrew has masculine and feminine words and masculine plural words end with a FINAL MEM.
FINAL MEM most closely resembles a square although the edges are a bit rounded. Make sure you don’t confuse FINAL MEM with SAMECH! This is a common mistake since the two do look quite similar.
FINAL MEM is also the only final letter that doesn’t go down to the vowel line. Let me explain what that means exactly: The next four final letters are so long, that they extend all the way down to be level with the vowels underneath your regular letters.
Final Chaf (ך)
Final letter number two is FINAL CHAF. It is also a common final letter because the word “Baruch” ends in a FINAL CHAF. So yea, you’ll see it come up quite a few times. People always confuse FINAL CHAF with DALET but there is ZERO reason to make this mistake if you know the few telltale signs to differentiate the two.
- The most obvious sign is that you will always find either the AH vowel shaped like an uppercase T or the STOP SIGN vowel inside a FINAL CHAF. You will see this every. single. time.
- FINAL CHAF is longer than DALET. If the vertical line ends level to the vowel line, then it is a FINAL CHAF. If the vertical line stops before the vowel starts or has a vowel underneath it, then it is the letter DALET.
Final Nun (ן)
Final Fay (ף)
The fourth and fifth final letters FINAL FAY and FINAL TSADEE both have a similar shape to their regular letter counterparts. Draw FAY and TSADEE as you normally would but eliminate the horizontal bottom line
פּ and צ. For FINAL FAY, continue the vertical line down to the vowel line and for FINAL TSADI, continue the diagonal line to the vowel line as well. These two final letters are rare; you won’t see them in every prayer like you will FINAL MEM and FINAL CHAF.