"We ask them what they want."

Translation:אנחנו שואלים אותם מה הם רוצים.

June 25, 2016

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I don't think we've been taught the אנו that was used in this multiple choice.


אנו = אנחנו = we


Are they always interchangeable?


anáchnu sho'alím otám ma hem rotzím.


Why not את מה?


It doesn't make much logical sense, but מי takes את while מה doesn't. Just one more thing to get used to.


How to say 'about' in "we ask them about.." ?

  • 1214

It's "על" or "אודות". Some other words like "בעניין" can also be appropriate.

We ask them about the book

אנו שואלים אותם על הספר

אנו שואלים אותם אודות הספר

אנו שואלים אותם בעניין הספר


Thank you, and how do the three differ from each other ? (even in the slightest way..)

  • 1214

They're similar enough that you won't be wrong in using any of them in any situation.

The word על is most common, while אודות is slightly more literary, but it's common to see "אודות החברה" or "אודותינו" on corporate websites where "about us" would be in English. The last one, בעניין, is kind of slangy, because the word עניין (matter) can be used as a stand-in for anything.


FOR A CONDITIONAL CLAUSE, I THINK "THAT YOU ARE CORRECT" the preposition you is preceded by ש. Why is that not the case for "they" in "what they want?"

  • 1214

That vs What ש vs מה

The pronoun "that" precedes a statement of fact, which you may think is true or false. The Hebrew equivalent is the word אשר, or its short form - the prefix ש.

The pronoun "what" precedes a pronoun clause, which takes the place of the noun. In this case the noun is a question - the question that we asked them. The Hebrew equivalent is מה.


Yes, but the question (or at least my question) isn't why we use מה instead of ש. It's why we don't say מה שהם רוצים. After all, we are asking WHAT it is THAT they want.


I'm not sure there's a good reason, it might have gone as you suggest, but it didn't...


I'm still unsure why it is that "מה שהמ" wasn't accepted and why it has to be "מה הם" that precedes רוצים. As someone else pointed out, the meaning is "what it is that they want" and, whilst in English, it is common to drop the word "that" I didn't think this was the case in Hebrew.


First of all, note that it's not just Duo that won't accept "מה שהם רוצים", it's sounds completely wrong to a native Hebrew speaker. So please think of your question as a linguistic enquiry, not a report against Duo...

I don't have a full answer, but maybe there's a hint: actually, אנחנו שואלים אותם מה שהם רוצים is a valid Hebrew sentence, but a different one - it would mean "We ask them whatever they want [us to ask them]".


Is "they" necessary? Can't i write rotsim instead of hem rotsim?


Yes, it's necessary. Third person pronouns are never left out.

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