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  5. "אנחנו תומכים בחיות."

"אנחנו תומכים בחיות."

Translation:We support animals.

June 25, 2016



Which meaning of the verb "support" is this?


all of them - could be either physically (as in "the steel beams support the bridge) or metaphorically (as in "i support this political party")


and how do you say ''I support''?


masc. - אני תומך - aNi toMech

fem. - אני תומכת - aNi toMechet


תודה רבה אחי! עברית זה סבבה!


Why can this not be "we support THE animals"?


This just in from the Hebrew speaking wife: this should be accepted as an alternative since you can't tell the difference from the written sentence without the vowel dots.


True, but the audio has "be" and not "ba."


True but that's not something you can tell without the audio.


I hear be and not ba, and so it is indefinite in this case. But it is absolutely a great point that in written Hebrew without pointing the clause is ambiguous.


But seghol and sheva sound very similar.


You only use the article הֶ־ with סֶגּוֹל, if the חֵית is followed by a קָמֵץ. Therefore it is הֶחָכָם the sage, but הַחַיּוֹת the animals.


All true ;-) but it's a hearing exercise. If both answers were equally accepted you might not learn to listen to the slight difference in "ba" and "be" and maybe you might even miss the concept of "be"+"ha"="ba" but most likely we never would have had this discussion at all. So I think it is better this way.


Actually each sentence seems to be linked to several exercises. Sometimes you get audio somtimes not. Sometimes its hebrew to english, others its english to hebrew. I often get the same sentence multiple times in the same lesson just with different exercises. They alwats link to the same set of comments. Just because you got audio this time doesnt mean everyone always does. This why other words with same spelling but different pronunciation and meaning get the nikkud but for some reason they dont do this with the "be" and "ba" prefixes.


why בחיות not את החיות ? are the animals the object not the subject, and why ב?


The verb תומך is used a lot more often in the abstract sense (support a party, support a family member) than in the physical sense (one thing leans on another); for the physical sense there are other verbs that are more commonly used.

In the physical sense, it's sometimes used as a direct object (העמוד תומך את הקיר), more commonly העמוד תומך בקיר. In the abstract senses, it's always with ב. It seems that in the bible both are used, but spoken Hebrew obviously prefers ב.


I think this verb just takes the preposition ב for no particular reason. An example in English is "revel in something" instead of "revel something".


So would this be like "supportive of" instead of directly support? Like in English I can support a wall and I can support a political party. Are there different Hebrew verbs for those different meanings of support?


Well that's because revel is an intransitive verb. Is תומכ similarly intransitive?


I understand what you mean but I don't find that example particularly useful. You revel in something because it's like (to me at least) basking IN it. The way you'd warmth of the sun. If you revel without the "in" you're having a raucous time! I am lectiophile but I don't know all the grammatical language they teach linguists and grammarians (I went to a kind of Fame high school & college, so no help there). However, https://www.usingenglish.com/reference/phrasal-verbs/ .

With that said, sigh... Does Hebrew treat prefixes the same way?


I found grammatical errors in my comment, but there's no editing capability in the app. (So apologies, usually I check but just had surgery...).


Could this mean 'we look after animals'? Ie caring feeding etc?


No. That would be מטפלים בחיות.


What about raising animals


Well, that would rather be אֲנַ֫חְנוּ מְגַדְּלִים חַיִּים.


I'm wondering about this too.


So, if i don't use audio (which I usually don't in public) these sentences are really going to be annoying... Wish it would just count those like a typo.


I've been asking around about this sentence, and here is what i found (hopefully it will help other people):

  • The preposition "ב" clearly doesn't ALWAYS works as "in the" does in English, and explaining it in a logical way is somewhat impossible. It is what it is, and every language has this kind of thing, so just learn where to put it and deal with it.

  • This sentence states that "we" give "abstract support" TO animals in general (like a pro-animal organization, and not like holding literal animals on your literal shoulders).

  • Although it WOULD make "logical sense" to say "אנחנו תומכים את החיות", it is grammatically WRONG (meaning a native Hebrew giggle and deal with your mistake much like anyone deals with people that are not native in our language). So just learn that "to support (smth)" is "לתמוך ב". Learn them together; not apart.

  • What really gives the direction of the "support" is the verb. " לתמוך ב" is to support whatever comes next; "להיתמך ב" is to be supported by what comes next.

  • There is also the preposition "על", that, at this point, we did not learn yet.


Ulpanoya, explains it in her video, "Hebrew expressions you've been saying wrong": https://youtu.be/2_H-x4kFcLk Certain verbs use "in"

You watch "in" TV, you use "in" the phone, you use "in" the toilet.

5 August 2019


There's actually some generalization to your last examples. Another general meaning to the preposition ב, in addition to "spatially contained" and "temporally contained", is "using (an instrument), for which English generally uses "with". Indeed, in your three examples English wouldn't use "with", but it may seem less strange - "watch with TV", "use with phone", "use with toilet".


Since the sentence says be-khayot rather than ba-khayot, then the sentence can be specifically understood as " We support (certain) animals " rather than " We support all animals" .

Is this right ?


Exactly the opposite, I believe, with be-khayot implying all animals, and ba-khayot implying certain ones.


Well, the definite article too can serve to make the ecxpression generic: הַנָּמֵר צָד בַּלַּ֫יְלָה The leopard hunts by night (= all leopards). So I think ony context can clear up ambiguity in the latter case.

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