why is the word "eilu" used for "which" - doesn't "eilu" mean "if"? should it not be "eizeh"
These are two different words, written the same without nikkud: eilu = plural of איזה, and ilu = if
I think, technically, eilu should be spelled אלו
Unless you're a "full nikkud" evangelist
It's written with צירה מלא, so it's with 'י even with nikkud.
(on the other hand ilu is written without 'י with nikkud)
A "full nikkud evangelist" would be someone who actively promotes, advocates, and seeks to 'convert' people to the full, consistent use of nikkud or vowel-pointing (if not other diacritical signs, such as, accents) when writing Hebrew. It's a metaphor drawing primarily on Jesus and his disciples' proclamation of the "good news" (το ευανγγελιον) of the kingdom of God and forgiveness of sins through his death, burial, and resurrection. A "nikkud evangelist" then would tend to depict someone as being highly committed and devoted to their cause (even almost religiously-theologically so). It's become a common, conventionalized metaphor in English.
Hopefully I didn't just ruin the metaphor by explaining it, thereby, stealing its 'punch' and 'thunder'! ;-)
Not only have you not ruined it, but you actually empowered it ! ;-)
Oh my "Fur and Whiskers!" Is punch and thunder a local colloquialism somewhere? I've never heard the expression before!
Although the two meanings of אילו provided in the box (what & which) can be sometimes used interchangeably,
How can אילו be distinguished here, if I intended to ask about the nature of the juices (אילו meaning what), or about a selection of available juices infront if me (אילו meaning which) ?
I mean that in questions, the use of "what" is more associated with a "kind" or "type" of something while the use of "which" is more related to "options" or "choices".
"What juices are they drinking" would be more understood in terms of kinds of juices. An answer would mostly likely be : "They're drinking orange juices" or "carrot juices" (indicating a type of juice)
However, if I ask "Which juices are they drinking?", the most probable meaning intended from the questioner, is to ask about a certain selection of juices, like "Are they drinking the ones which were on the table? Are they drinking the bottled juices or the ones that were freshly made? "
Don't really see a way to make that distinction in Hebrew. Wasn't really aware of it in English, actually.
You might use מאילו to get the "which" meaning, but it's not very clear cut.
Maybe you were but didn't realize it.. That was a good question. I think also you could ask what juices do you sell (in relation to categories of juice - Fruit, vegetable, pre-made)... and then ask which juices are the best selling, etc. Again specifying what = available vs which = selection/choice