חיית = an animal of
the word מחמד usually isn't used alone. It comes from the root ח.מ.ד which is used for חמוד = cute, חמד = something lovely, lovable, nice.
I think it shares the same for Arabic "Hammad", "ha" "mim" "dal"...the same root with Muhammad, meaning the "praiseworthy"
I agree with you - though in Hebrew I don't think the root shares that connotation. The closest connotation to that would be "lovely".
When I look elsewhere, I see the word for pet spelled two different ways, "מחמד חיית ", as well as " חית מחמד". Is there a difference between using one yod or two, and which is preferred?
Sorry, for some reason my word order got switched on my first spelling when I posted this question.
There is an optional convention in writing in כתיב מלא "k'tiv male" to write two yods (or two vavs) to indicate that the potential vowel letter is being used as a consonant. The only cases where it's really important to use it are cases where if you don't, the word might be mistaken for a different one. Still, for many people, it makes it easier if you use this convention.
is חיית a construct state of חיה? Because this form wasn't introduced anywhere before
Yes. חיית = חיה של.
חיית פרא = a wild animal . חיית בית = a domestic animal. חיית נחייה = a guidance animal
You can find this construct with other nouns ending with ה. For example מכונה = machine. מכונת קפה = coffee machine.
which is masculine, does not change in construct state. Also notable is אריה ים
If you meant the children's TV show - it's פרפר נחמד, "nice butterfly". Not the same word, but the same root.
So the pleural of "חיית מחמד" would be "חייתות מחמדות"? Or maybe "חייתים מחמדים"? But I was pretty sure those were both feminine.
In what context would you use it in masculine form? The word חיה is a noun meaning "animal" and is always fem. There's the masc. חי which has a slightly different meaning as a general living thing, or as an adjective.
You would say either: this cat is my pet = החתול הזה הוא חיית המחמד שלי
This is my pet cat = זה חתול המחמד שלי
But usually and more commonly you'd simply say "this is my cat" זה החתול שלי.
ll This is exactly what I typed, and was told I used the wrong word? יש לךָ חיית מחמד?
Maybe I shouldn't have used the niqud? But it does say to type what you hear, and I wanted to be specific. As gender would make a difference, no?
Never mind, I see what I did, and it was a stupid mistake! In the hope that I might prevent someone else from such an error in the future: I typed two apostrophe punctuations, instead of the Hebrew yod. They look very similar on a small keyboard.
If חיה is singular animal, isn't חיית the plural "animals?". So why is it pet and not pets?
Sometimes it's ok without the האם, if it asks the question in English you can translate it to Hebrew without it.. Why the discrepancy?
Mostly, האם is only used in writing or in very formal settings where you are on the less powerful end of a power continuum - for example, if you're an employee talking to the CEO of your company or a student talking to your teacher.