How to say it in Hebrew
Tip #36

I am often asked ... to say "to become" in Hebrew? That's a very common word and it's not altogether clear what's the right way to express it!
"She became a pillar of salt"
Remember who it was, by the way? What was the story of the woman who became a pillar of salt? Well, I trust that this answer you can find on your own, and I'll help you to express the "became" word. In this case what we need is - the verb לַהֲפֹוךְ! Why am I saying "in this case?" Because, as it often happens - or it's just me who is looking for cases like these ;) - there are two ways to say "to become." You saw it coming, probably. :D

Now, be very careful - this verb loves a certain preposition - it must be followed by a preposition ל-. Which is not strange at all! If we use a synonym of "become" - "to turn into" we need a preposition as well! You would never say, "she turned stone," - it should be "turn into stone," right? Same here, in Hebrew. :) לַהֲפֹךְ לָאֶבֶן.

And, moreover, this way of saying it helps us better understand what exactly is implied when we say -לַהֲפֹוךְ ל The thing is that it's used exclusively for transformations!

Like in the following examples:
הַצְּפַרְדֵּעַ הָפַךְ לַנְּסִיכָה יְפֵיפִיָּה - the frog turned into a beautiful princess.
יוֹם שֶׁהִתְחִיל כָּל כָּךְ יָפֶה הָפַךְ לַסִּיּוּט - the day that started so nicely turned into a nightmare.
בַּשָּׁנִים הָאַחֲרוֹנוֹת הוּא הָפַךְ לְבֵן אָדָם מְאֻכְזָב וּמְמֻרְמָר - in the recent years he turned into a disappointed and bitter man.

Attention! לַהֲפֹךְ has also another meaning - to turn over
But when it's used in this meaning no special preposition is needed.

Like in:
הָפַכְתִּי אֶת הַכּוֹס - I turned the cup over.
לָמָּה הַתְּמוּנָה עַל הַקִּיר הֲפוּכָה? - why is the picture on the wall turned (up side down)?

Or the famous קָפֶה הָפוּךְ!
Do you know what it is and why it's called like that? ;) Looking forward to your guesses! ;)
"The sky became dark"
You have already been warned that we have two different verbs for "to become," right? So here it goes! This is the case when we will be using another verb!
It became dark - נִהְיָה חָשׁוּךְ

The first guiding line for using this verb for you is that "dark" here is an adjective. (Unlike "darkness", which is a noun!) With adjective - it's always safe to use נהיה!
Examples:זֶה נִהְיֶה כְּבַד - it's becoming heavy.
הוּא נִהְיָה רְצִינִי וְאָמַר... - he became serious and said...
הִיא נִהְיֵית עֲצוּבָה בִּגְלַל כֹּל בִּקֹּרֶת קְטַנְטַנָּה - she is becoming sad (gets upset) because of any tiny piece of criticism.

The second guiding line for recognizing when to use this verb and not the other is this: if we can substitute it in English with "get/s" - then it's נהיה!
"The sky became gray" - "the sky got gray" -הַשָּׁמַיִם נִהְיוּ אֲפֹרִים
זֶה נִהְיֶה יוֹתֵר וְיוֹתֵר מוּזָר... It becomes stranger and stranger ("Curiouser and curiouser!" :P (c) ).
זֶה נִהְיֶה רְצִינִי עַכְשָׁו - It's becoming serious now.
Now, it's worth mentioning that's it's a strange verb. We use it in present and in the past tense a lot (though it may be a mouthful) -נִהְיֶה, נִהְיֵיתָ, נִהְיִים\ ות, נִהְיֵיתִי, נִהְיֵיתָ.....
But! We do not use it in the infinitive or in future form!
So - no "to become" or "will become" with this verb. :)

Well, luckily, we have another verb - להפוך - in case we get stuck - that one easily takes the infinitive or future shape! Well, we wouldn't expect otherwise from a verb which is all about transformation. ;D

That's it for this Friday!
Hope you are sticking to your New Year resolutions, and hope that one of them has been to improve your Hebrew! ;)

Happy to help you with it,
Tip #36
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