"A plate is not food."

Translation:צלחת זה לא אוכל.

June 28, 2016

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Why not "צלחת זאת לא אוכל"?


It's either צלחת היא לא אוכל which is a bit stilted for fluent speech or צלחת זה לא אוכל. In the first case, היא is a copula which agrees with צלחת. In the second case, זה is a copula/demonstrative that agrees with אוכל, in a similar construction of the English sentence "This is he". You could think of it like צלחת, זה לא אוכל A plate - that isn't food, if that helps you with the agreement.

Hope that helps


כן תודה


I read through all the comments here and still don't understand why זה agrees in gender with אוכל and not צלחה because זה refers to the plate not being food. Thus shouldn't זאה be used instead of זה?


A friend, native speaker told me to avoid using זאת as copula, because in most cases sounds totally out of place.

In this case, היא would be the most appropriate copula to use, to match צלחת. However, in colloquial language, people very often use זה, regardless of the gender of either nouns. So, what Jay is saying is only partially true. זה is used, not because it matches the gender of אוכל, but because it is what people say. Even if there was plural on either end, people sould still use זה.


Thanks Danny for the explanation. So just to clarify, should זה rightfully be translated as "It" in this Hebrew sentence צלחת זה לא אוכל and generally when זה is used as copula? Because I'm imagining a person A talking to another person B. Person A (an adult or mother) is pointing to a plate and telling Person B (a toddler) that "A plate! It's not food!"


No, copula, זה here, is translated as "is", not as "it". That is because the verb to be is not used in the present tense, so copula is used instead. Its gender and number agrees with that of the subject, or as I mentioned זה can cover any of them, colloquially.


Danny, Thanks for your reply.

I'm beginning to understand this more from your reply and as I progress, encountering other such sentences. A lingot for you for your helpfulness and patience to do your best to explain to me. :)


Is צלחת לא אוכל correct? How about ?צלחת לא היא אוכל


This can work: צלחת היא לא אוכל.


plate not food - צלחת לא אוכל, plate not is food - צלחת לא היא אוכל

it is incorrect grammar and sentence structure in 1st and 2nd (respectively) sentences


The copula in Hebrew can be implied. צלחת לא אוכל is not incorrect grammar, and should be accepted.


Well, unusual constructions can work, given the right intonation. But with a different intonation, yours could mean "no, I just want a plate, not food." It's important for learners to grasp the potential for confusion, if they are to cut corners effectively ;)


Why is צלחת לא אוכל wrong


You need a copula here because you could translate צלחת לא אוכל as "a plate does not eat"


What?! I thought it was!!!


Huh... I guess that's why my stomach is in horrible pain.


Aw well, I really enjoyed those jagged shards of china while they lasted.


tzaláchat ze lo óchel.

[deactivated user]

    I thought היא ment she?


    In this case, היא serves as a copula


    But it's feminine because plate is feminine.


    Im having a hard time with these copulas. I dont know im suppose to use them.


    In the exercise where Duo gives you cards to match, I had no option for an appropriate copula and was marked wrong for צלחת לא אוכל.


    "ze" is missing in the proposals!


    I looked for

    זה but it was missing from the selectable words. Please fix!


    It doesn't give you the option to put in the word "Zeh"


    Is plate maybe one of the masculine trick words with feminine endings ? That would explain why it's זה but but not why it will accept היא too...


    No. Plate - צלחת - is a feminine word. One can also say צלחת היא לא אוכל, but for some reason it sounds a bit funny..


    Thanks for the response.


    Why is the correct answer צלחת היא לא אוכל? Why is היא in it? Doesn't היא mean "she"?


    In this case, היא is a copula


    Are there multiole copulas? I see זה and I see היא being used.


    Why does היא have to be there?


    Why is this the one sentence that actually has a word for "is"? Like, all the other sentences never required a word in there to represent "is".


    When you have a sentence "noun" is "noun" you need copula. Since here, both "plate" and "food" are nouns, a copula is needed. If it were "noun" is "adjective" then you don't need copula. Example:

    the dog is big הכלב גדול

    a dog is an animal כלב הוא חיה


    Why is there a היא ??? I don't get it??


    When you have a sentence "noun" is "noun" you need copula. Since here, both "plate" and "food" are nouns, a copula is needed. If it were "noun" is "adjective" then you don't need copula. Example:

    the dog is big הכלב גדול

    a dog is an animal כלב הוא חיה


    It’s saying צלחת היא לא אןכל and I don’t know why that’s right.


    What specifically don't you understand?


    I guess I'm confused by the היא in the sentence. Not sure when you need the pronoun added.


    It's always good to read the posts in a thread before posting, because this question has already been discussed and answered.


    OK, I guess I need a primer on grammar. I saw זה was an option and היא also an option. Not sure why you can use either, or if it's just a flexible choice. The correction to my mistake (היא) wasn't even an option in the selectable words but זה was and I'm not even sure how I would have been aware of these varying options. Thanks for the help.


    A lot of learners have problems understanding the copula. It's normal. Generally, copula must agree with the gender of the first noun, which would be היא here. However, זה is also widely used, regardless of the gender.

    Try remembering the specific examples, in the beginning, write them down and review them and after some time you'll get a better feel for which copula to use when.


    this is not the first one here on the Hebrew placement test that can be phrased different ways and it calls one wrong with the wrong phraseology


    the word "זה" is missing, fix it please


    That's what I thought! זה מה שחשבתי!


    crazy incorrect as your word DOES NOT APPEAR to be used


    The word zeh was not in the words to pick from.


    Your יcorrect answer' does not make any sense. Thanks


    I'm trying to learn the grammar rules. Why do we put היא ?


    Read my comment to Avery. I've explained it there.


    Why does it say " she not food" not "this not food"


    I wrote זה instead of היא, why did I get it wrong?


    What exactly did you write?


    Why add היא?


    There are several posts in here already explaining that!


    I don't understand this business about a "copula". Why is it necessary? Why can't my sentence be correct without one?


    This is just how Hebrew works. Because the verb to be is not used in the present tense, pronouns are used as copula, to link two nouns, usually two nouns and sometimes a noun and an adjective. Copula is needed because otherwise the sentence becomes ambiguous. For example in this example, if copula were left out, it would mean "a plate, not food", so it would be a different sentence. The copula, therefore, stands for "is", rendering the translation as "a plate is not food". On the other hand, if the sentence were positive צלחת היא אוכל would mean "a plate is food" (which is silly, I know), but leaving out the copula makes the sentence mean "a plate of food", putting them in a special kind of relationship called smichut. So, as you see, copula is necessary here, because it changes the meaning.

    The copula always needs to match the gender and the number of the noun it follows, which is why there is היא in this example, to match צלחת which is feminine. Although, as it was pointed out, זה here is more on the colloquial side. If we had plural here, it would say צלחות הן לא אוכל (tzalachot hen lo ochel) "plates are not food".

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