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  5. "יש לו חברים בעולם התחתון."

"יש לו חברים בעולם התחתון."

Translation:He has friends in the underworld.

June 22, 2016



So this is not referring to where Greek mythology then...


Could one also translate this as "in low places," or is that getting a bit too free with the translation?


Not really, עולם תחתון refers to the criminal underworld.


Would this always be referring to a person in a negative way?


I thought it was in the Netherlands...


It's talking about the criminal underworld.


עולם תחתון is not construct state? He said 'ba-olam' and not 'be-olam'. I don't understand why some commonly used word combinations are not construct state. Mobile phone is another one.


It is not a construct state. Like with mobile phone, it's a noun followed by an adjective:

  • What kind of phone? A mobile phone
  • What kind of world? A lower world (literally)

As a rule of thumb (not a strict rule, but it will give you an idea), you can tell a construct state by putting של between the words to see if it makes grammatical and contextual sense:

  • House of books: בית של ספר => בית ספר
  • Cake of cheese: עוגה של גבינה => עוגת גבינה

For noun + adjective combinations it doesn't work though:

  • World of single underwear (?): עולם של תחתון
  • Eh?: טלפון של נייד

This works even in cases where even native Israelis have trouble. For example, יושב ראש = chairman, and many native speakers think it's a construct state, but it's actually just a compound noun. יושב של ראש indeed makes no sense.


"ba-olam" is "in THE world" and "be-olam" is "in A world." That's usually the difference between "ba" and "be", when "ב" is the prefix meaning "in".

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