1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "מה את מחפשת?"

"מה את מחפשת?"

Translation:What are you looking for?

June 25, 2016



Is "for" just implied by the sentence structure, or does the word "for" come from את being used as a direct object? Or is את being used here as the female "you"? And if את means "you" here, with מחפש being conjugated for a single female, is the את unnecessary or redundant?


it means 'you' here. and you can't drop it in this case, just like you can't say "what looking for?"


so then where does the "for" come from does the verb מחפש mean "to look for"?


i think it's coming from the english language lol

that's how you say it in english, you can't leave out the "for". in hebrew you don't need extra words, just the verb "search"

אני מחפש = i am searching/looking

אני מחפש אותך = i am searching/looking for you


Yes, מחפש means "to look for" or "to search" , 'for' should be added next to 'looking' in the translation.


I hated the "for" so much I tried "what are you seeking". But it didn't like it :/


Everyone's just got to stop translating it as "looking for." There is no implied preposition. The word מחפש means "searching out."

"What are you searching out?"

To have it make sense, flesh out an answer:

"I'm searching out the old water well they said was here, but i can't find it anywhere."


Why not "את מה את מחפשת?" ? In other similar sentences the definite object marker את was needed.


Excellent question.

I think by removing the word את you are changing the object to be not definite, e.g. something to drink, in oppose for her water bottle.


In my experiance, your sentence is used often


So מחפשת is specifically looking for? Because the "for" wasn't in the hint, so I went with "what are you looking at" and was marked wrong.


It means "to search (for)" more than "to look (at)"


Yes, מחפשת specifically means looking for


looking at is מסתכל ב/מסתכלת ב mistakel b- (m.s.)/mistakelet b- (f.s.)


Is ?על מה אתה מחפשת also used? Is it better with or without על ?


I almost wrote "not used", but then I thought that maybe it would be used when searching Google etc, a bit colloquially - like "what are you searching about?".


For what are you searching- should be accepted!


I'm pretty sure that what are you searching for, and what are you seeking should also be accepted.


Ma At Mechapeset?


I wrote "For what are you searching?" which is more accurate, grammatically and otherwise, I think, than "What are you looking for". But I know most people don't bother to say it correctly. Any thoughts?


"What are you looking for?" and "what are you searching for?" are both correct and are good translations here. "For what are you looking/searching?" is OK too, if a bit unusual and stiff sounding.

For what it's worth, pretty much all modern style manuals are fine with ending with a preposition. The Chicago Manual of Style calls the prohibition "an ill-founded superstition," and Strunk & White say that "not only is the preposition acceptable at the end, sometimes it is more effective in that spot than anywhere else." The case against it probably started from an attempt to apply Latin syntax to English in the late 17th century.


Was it Churchill? I think it was Churchill... declared that the prohibition against ending sentences with prepositions was the sort of nonsense "up with which I will not put."


Well. I remember that my friend once declared a prohibition against bad weather with full agreement all of us! :-)


According to tradition, Churchill said this, but more than one source I researched said that it almost certainly did not come from him. Nevertheless, a lot of people attribute the quote to him.


John Dryden, a great literary figure in the 17th century, chided a fellow playwright for ending his sentences with prepositions, which Dryden called inelegant. Dryden didn’t set out to make his preference a rule, but that’s what it became for a few centuries.


I tried "Wherefore lookst thou, thou whoreson?" and was marked incorrect! :'( Should I have used "whoredaughter" instead because the sentence is in the feminine?


Is that really how you talk?


We're using up-to-date English here.


This is not the usual way to express this in English. Searching is not exactly the same as 'looking for'.


Searching is not exactly the same as “looking for” because searching is the less common term.


No sound. How are we supposed to guess?


A less confusing English verb to use here would be "seek" because it doesn't need the particle "for." I seek the holy grail = I am looking for the holy grail. So here the question translates to "what do you seek?" It sounds a bit quaint, but it works.


עדיין לא מצאתי את מה שאני מחפש


Most of these comments are not new (though still relevant). I see by the flags that there are Romance learners here. Remember that in Spanish, for example, that pedir means to ask FOR and buscar means to look FOR.


Does the speaker’s voice sound neutral here? To my American ears, he sounds suspicious, but I suppose that is just because different cultures use different intonation in questions.


You're right. He sounds a bit negative - either suspicious or scorning.


I like when the speaker puts emotions into the sentences. My favorite was ‏ ‏איך הוא עושה את זה?! (Eikh hu OSE et ze?! How does he DO that?!) I imagined him watching someone do a magic trick.

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