"She wants to eat fish."
Translation:היא רוצָה לאכול דג.
Fish is used in English for both plural & singular (countable and uncountable). You can say I had a lot of fish for dinner, or I caught fish today. Using the plural, fishes, is generally limited to the activity of fishing OR (less likely) if you have a variety of fish. The same rules apply to many foods: we have a variety of jam (not usually jams), I ate a lot of cake, or: they had a great cake selection (or great selection of cakes). The same applies to fish. You might say I ate a lot of burgers (or strawberries, etc.) tonight, (but you'd say: I ate a lot of fish (not fishes) tonight.
Bret is right but also because only proper names don't need "the" before the direct object, so: wants to eat Mike,
רוצה לאכול את מייק
Wants to eat THE fish, רוצה לאכול את הדג, ... Lamed= ל, is used as a prefix, TO make it "to VERB" , It's not the only prefix. Bet,ב, ("in" is another. As is מ,mem, ("from").
From ebook "COLLOQUIAL HEBREW" page 345: Prepositions Inseparable prepositions In Hebrew the prepositions ‘in/on’ B: ,(letter bet) ,ב ‘to/for’ l’ ל (letter lamed) : and ‘from’ מ (letter mem) mi’ are single letters attached to the word they precede. These are known as ‘inseparable prepositions’ (indicated by an apostrophe in our transliteration): in Tel Aviv b’tel-aviv בתל אביב for a month l’khódesh לחדש from when? mi’matay ממתי
Because it's not a direct object. Also, If you wrote "the fish" you'd need et, but just fish you can't use it. A direct object, is a specific thing.
Duolingo (from the tips and notes) אֶת The Hebrew direct object is only strictly direct when it is indefinite, as in:
take a chair - קַח כִּיסֵא
take meat - קַח בָּשָׂר
When definite (eg הַכִּיסֵא 'the chair'), it is generally introduced by the special preposition אֶת . This is known as the direct object marker. By definition we mean:
a. a noun with הַ
b. a name
c. a definite pronoun
I'm not sure if this is an all cases, since I'm learning too... But from the book COLLOQUIAL HEBREW: verb has to agree in number and gender with the subject of the Hebrew sentence (not of the English sentence).
But: From the same book:
The infinitive a Form of the infinitive The infinitive cannot be inflected. Whether one is addressing males or females, one person or many, it is unchanged. The infinitive’s distinguishing mark is a prefixed Lamed ל , לקום thus לקום ‘to get up’ vs get up
לאוכל , אוכל. To eat /eat. .... קום....
Do you mean to eat? Well, the root never changes, it's א.כ.ל. What does change is the form for gender, number, tense...
In the present tense, the group of verbs to which "to eat" belongs acts in the following way:
Masculine singular, you insert ו (vav) between the first and the second letter of the root: אוכל. It would be the same with many other roots, such as א.ה.ב (to love) -> אוהב or ר.צ.ה (to want) -> רוצה.
Feminine singular keeps the vav and adds a ת in the end אוכלת. The same as אוהבת. But רוצה is an exception and it stays written the same as masculine, but pronounced with "a". All verbs that have ה is their third root letter act this way - שותה (shote for masc. and shota for fem.).
Masculine plural: again, we keep the vav and ad ים at the end: אוכלים. The same as אוהבים or רוצים (here you can see that רוצה "lost" the final ה) or שותים.
Feminine plural: we keep the vav and add ות at the end: אוכלות or אוהבות or רוצות and שותות (again, they "lose" the final ה).
As far as לאכול is concerned, it is infinitive, meaning "to eat". You take the root of the verb, add ל before it and add vav between the second and the third letter of the root and you get the infinitive: אכל becomes לאכול and אהב becomes לאהוב. As far as רוצה and שותה are concerned, their final ה turns into ת and you get לרצות and לשתות.
ChanaFriend, in English the infinitive doesn’t change either. “She runs” “They run”. The verb “run” has changed and so that means that “run” is conjugated. “She wants to run” “They want to run”. “to run” doesn’t change because it’s the infinitive, here the second in a pair of verbs, the same pattern as “wants to eat”.