1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "ילדיו של הרופא רוצים עוגה."

"ילדיו של הרופא רוצים עוגה."

Translation:The doctor's children want cake.

June 22, 2016



Could the Hebrew sentence also have been "הילדים של הרופא רוצים עוגה"? The double use of the 'genitive' (once with the 3.m.sing. possessive suffix, and once with של) seems a bit strange to me. Maybe someone could explain it to me.


You're right.

Both options are valid and commonly used. "ילדיו של הרופא" is a bit more formal.


Well, that's good to know. Thank you for your quick response, Yaniv!


The "double use of the genitive" is indeed strange but you get used to it.


I've noticed a lot of similarities between Hebrew and Turkish when it comes to some specific parts of grammar (like the use of to be/ to have; This "double genitive" is also one of them. It reminds me a lot of the Turkish genitive/possessive constructions). It's quite surprising since these are the languages from different families. Do you think there is any reason for that or is it just my need to see something familiar and an illusion of my "sore Indo-European eyes"? :)


I'm not sure what the similarity is that you're seeing. Could you give an example?

In Turkish, as far as I know, the only way to say "the doctor's children" is doktorun çocukları - the word order is different to Hebrew, and both doktor and çocuklar are marked with inflections to show their relationship to one another. There's no word equivalent to של.

In Hebrew, you can say:

הילדים של הרופא

ילדיו של הרופא

ילדי הרופא
(But this last one is not so natural in Modern Hebrew for this particular sentence [more like "the doctor-children"], although I believe it's entirely natural in Biblical - in modern Hebrew this type of construct is reserved for closely related objects: water bottle, birthday cake, hospital, and so on, but as in Arabic, in Biblical Hebrew the construct can be used for simple possession. I guess though that in modern Hebrew this last type is more like Turkish construct nouns, eg. בקבוקי יין şarap şişileri and not şarabın şişeleri [wine bottles versus the wine's bottles]).


I didn't mean they really have the same constructions but that they just look or feel similar or contain similar ideas. For example you use the to have constructions like של and var for expressing possession as well as for there is/are... construction. This marking of both the possessor and the thing possessed is also quite a similar concept. You can add to it the lack of to be. For example Russian also uses it in a similar way but the things I mentioned before are completely different.

I want to point out again that I know it may seem silly since these aren't, in most cases, any real linguistic similarities. I still know very little about Hebrew grammar so I can't list many examples (only such general naïve ones) but I've seen things or structures in Hebrew (mostly details, not necessarily the ones I've mentioned before) that felt like Turkish. It's a very nice feeling, that's why I thought it was interesting.


There are a few similarities between the two languages, but there are also several similarities between Turkish and English, like the positioning and non-inflection of adjectives (mavi elbiseler - blue dresses), which is a nice change from all the other major languages.

I don't see the connection with possessives (של means "of" and has no direct equivalent in Turkish, but there is a slight similarity between the ways of saying "he has", "I have" and so on, making use of "there is":

Benim çocuklarım var
יש לי ילדים

Doktorun çocukları var.
יש לרופא ילדים

I must note that I don't know much Turkish, and there may well be more natural ways of writing those sentences (using çocuğu for example) but this just serves to highlight the fact that the words var/יש are used.


Shouldn't it be pronounced יְלָדָיו instead of *יַלְדָיו


how to write it in singular? The doctors son?


Well, keeping the double possessive this would be יַלְדּוֹ / בְּנוֹ שֶׁל הָרוֹפֵא רוֹצֶה עוּגָה the child / son of the doctor wants cake.


Is it not better to say ילדי של הרופא? I don't know what is the function of ו at the end of ילדיו.


Check the table in the notes again: https://www.duolingo.com/skill/he/Possessives-2

Plural object possessed by a singular male possessor: "-av"/"יו-".


Thank you. But I mean we can say this sentence in two ways ילדי הרופא ילדים של הרופא I don't understand why by using של we should omit the ם and further why we should add a ײוײ to have ילדיו של הרופא. So why?


Is it "children" and not "child"?


Well, in this construction child would be יַלְדּוֹ, i.e. literally his child, (the one) of the doctor.

Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.