"כלביהם של הגברים שותים מים."

Translation:The men's dogs are drinking water.

June 30, 2016

55 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/evelyn3981

I haven't seen the redundancy of יהם- with של... before; is it frequent, and when does one choose to use it?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChayaDoppelt

Its mostly formal but sometimes used informally


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DL-Trolls

I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest that this double possessive usage is how to emphasize that something is one's own. In English we say "my own car" or "their own business," etc. So, I feel inclined to translate this exercise to: The men's own dogs are drinking water (perhaps as opposed to someone else's dogs who might be at the same lake at the same time).

Am I right, my guys?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Nice, but as a native, the double possession doesn't feel to me any more emphatic than the common way. Maybe it is when the 2nd possessive structure is just the inclined של with no additional noun: כלבי שלי שותה מים. Here it's definitely more emphatic, like "my own", probably because שלי is otherwise completely redundant.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DL-Trolls

Thank you. Would it help to say the following?

הכלבים של הגברים עצמם שותים מים

The dogs of the men, themselves, are drinking water. Is this like saying "The men's own dogs are drinking water"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Yes, that would work. It's ambiguous as to whom you stress here - the men or the dogs. But it's the natural way to put it either way, and context probably clarifies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

Thanks, YardenNB. You confirmed my hunch. Your comments are very helpful.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Agatha229532

Nice try. Another (similar) possibility is stressing the ownership of "the men" in opposition to " other men". Like this: "Their dogs, (the ones) of the men (the men here, the men we were talking about etc.) are drinking water." It does include the option of a "high register" mentioned by Theresa because stresses someone's possession eg. shows respect for the person.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/trevorist90

So if I wanted to say that it was the men drinking the water would I use -ש to create the subordinate clause?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radagastthebrown

Yes, כלביהם של הגברים ששותים מים = the dogs of the men who are drinking water


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChayaDoppelt

I think this sentence means the dogs of the men who are drinking water, as in the men are drinking water. I would say כלביהם של הגברים הם אלה ששותים מים


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radagastthebrown

That's what he asked though ("...it was the men drinking the water...).

Your sentence means "the men's dogs are the ones drinking the water", which doesn't mean the men drink the water.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yeled_chara

From this sentence I infer that you can use both possessive construction at the same time?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlmogL

Not exactly, although I see why it looks like that. You can say כלביהם or הכלבים שלהם, these are the two forms, so far you are right. But if you want to specify whose dogs particularly, you need to add של הגברים. If you used הכלבים שלהם, it would become הכלבים של הגברים. If you used כלביהם, you could say, כלבי הגברים, that's formally correct but not in daily use. Or you could say כלביהם של הגברים.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rokssolana

Well, this is confusing. Such redundancy in languages (like repeating the possessive twice, as a suffix and as a של-phrase) is not a common thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlmogL

I don't know about common, but I'm sure examples can be found in any language. I would argue that all languages seem strange when we are not used to them.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamReisman

I've never heard of this in any other language. Hebrew seems to use the possessive pronoun suffix and then also include the actual possessed noun in the same sentence. For example, ספרו של האיש and הספר של האיש seem to mean the same thing and be used equally.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AlmogL

I'm not a linguist, nor do I know many languages, but I remember coming across the ne+pas combination in French and thinking: why do we need to negations? And when you say "I am", why do you need the "I"? "Am going" would be a perfectly unambiguous sentence if it were considered grammatical. In Hebrew where the verb is unambiguous we can drop the pronoun, for example, הלכתי. What's with the redundancy, English? :-)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mgrdAT
  • 1146

There is a German dialect (not hochdeutsch=standard German, though) where instead of "das Buch des Mannes" (the man's book) or "das Buch von dem Mann" (the book of the man , the dative with preposition is often used as a substitute for the genitive in spoken German) one would say "dem Mann sein Buch" (of the man his book).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BarakSaltz

Patricia Kaas has a song called:

Mon Mec à moi.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mon_mec_%C3%A0_moi

I would like comments on Hebrew translations of:

A. My own ...

B. My very own ...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamReisman

Good point! All languages have redundancies.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/giovannico325125

The exact same construction is found in Syriac, which May point to an aramaic influence on Hebrew. In classical syriac you can write:

ܟܠܒܗܘܢ ܕܓܢܒܪ̈ܐ

[kalb-hon d-ga(n)bre]

Kalb= dog Hon=their D= hebrew shel Ga(n)bre= men

As you can see even the single words are very similar.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boltushka

Turkish and Finnish are the examples


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ChayaDoppelt

I've definitely seen it in Spanish


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IngeborgHa14

Right, but be aware that ܓܰܒ̈ܪܶܐ [gavre], Hebrew גְּבָרִים means men, but ܓܰܢ̄ܒܳܪ̈ܶܐ [gabore], Hebrew גִּבּוֹרִים, warriors or heros.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/boltushka

Turkish and Finnish are the examples.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PiperDeck

Redundancy is actually a critical componant of all languages. children use it to learn without explicit instruction through a process called bootstrapping, where they infer the meaning or grammar of a new element based on the familiar elements in the rest of the utterance. It also makes it easier for adult speakers to comprehend what someone is saying, even if some of the words are undiscernible or if part of the utterance is cut off, as happens frequently when people speak to each other in real time. This is probably why inherently redundant things like agreement and double negation are common among the world's languages :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

DL introduces us to an important feature of Hebrew--the redundant or anticipatory pronoun. It's common to Semitic languages (Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac) and is found in late classical Hebrew (Can 3:7). It was common in rabbinic Hebrew. Thus, when Hebrew was being revived, it would be odd to not have it be a feature of modern Hebrew. It's good to get used to it out of respect for the deep tradition and to be able to spot it when you see or hear it. E.g., אמה של הילדה, "the mother of the girl." Anticipatory pronoun is a feature of modern Greek. Spanish redundant indirect object pronoun has some similarity.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Redundancy is very common in languages, often for emphasis. Added bonus Bright sunny day Cease and desist Each and every End result Free gift Honest truth Never ever ever New innovations Null and void Past history Plan ahead Regular routine Rough estimation Sum total Beck and call Unexpected surprise


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

It's a good point about emphasis in some languages and "often" is an impressive nuance. My understanding is that Spanish requires redundant indirect object pronoun and so it's not really redundant for a Spanish speaker and is not emphatic, emphasis would be done through intonation, whereas Italian (to my knowledge) does not employ the anticipatory pronoun, and so when it occurs in Italian it is for emphasis. E.g., with 'Le traje el refresco a tu madre' one cannot omit 'le,' but in the equivalent Italian sentence, there is nothing equivalent to Spanish 'le' but Italian must have 'a tua madre.'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel495432

Well, we do have "a friend of mine" where, logically speaking, you might expect "a friend of me". Even, colloquially "a friend of mine's" which appears to be a triple redundant possessive. This is still weird, though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mia_rc

So is הכלבים של הגברים also correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hannah649004

Please would you explain "כלבי הגברים" (your penultimate example). I thought that would mean "My dog the men".

Do you know if "כלביהם של הגברים" would be used in normal speech or communication. "הכלבים של הגברים" seems much more elegant to me but then my brain thinks in English not Hebrew!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamReisman

כלבי (kalbi) = my dog


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamReisman

כלבי (kalvei) = dogs of


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radagastthebrown

It's actually kalvey (and most native speakers would use kalbey).

As for what is used in normal speech, הכלבים של הגברים is the most common in this case.

ll כלבי הגברים is not great, would rarely be used if at all.

ll כלביהם של הגברים could be used, it's very common in newspapers, books, speeches, etc. when you want to sound more formal.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IngeborgHa14

I thought "their dogs" is pronounced כַּלְבֵיהֶם, i.e, [kalveyhem], not with [b]. Only the singular forms have a plosive, like כַּלְבִּי [kalbi] or כַּלְבְּכֶם [kalbkhem].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Kalveihem shel ha-gvarim shotim mayim.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimCopelan1

What if you wanted to say, "The men's dog is drinking water?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IngeborgHa14

Well, using the Aramaic construction with the anticipatory pronoun that would be כַּלְבָּם שֶׁל הַגְּבָרִים שׁוֹתֶה מַ֫יִם [kalbam ...].


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Indeed; the canonical literary example is כלבם של בני בסקרוויל - "The Hound of the Baskervilles"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mgrdAT
  • 1146

why not kalbo?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IngeborgHa14

Because the dog is not possessed by one man, but by several men: their dog [כַּלְבָּם], i.e. the one of the men


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kris239916

Putting the conjugation of nouns this early on in the course might be a bit discouraging for beginners. It was at this point that I gave up 3 years ago. What are your thoughts my fellow hebrew learners?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AniOhevYayin

I'm OK with it, because anticipatory pronoun is common to a lot of languages, as we've discussed above, and because it's OK to introduce people to important concepts inductively. But I'm not a beginner and so maybe it's something DL Hebrew might delay until later. Not sure.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimCopelan1

Wouldn't it be the same to say, "כלבים של הגברים?"

The כלביהם feels like an unneeded complexity


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

University professors, lawyers, scholars...many professions have people who love to use unusually complex or obscure words and you might think they do so in order to seem especially intelligent. But often their speech is switched into this higher stratosphere merely because it’s expected. A college student uses this kind of vocabulary when he’s writing his term paper and that’s proper; it gives his writing a dignified ring, less like the speech of a high schooler. Would you think that “Fourscore and seven years ago” is unneeded complexity? When Lincoln gave his Gettysburg address in 1865, this way of counting was not in common use, but his words evocative of a former age gave his speech just the right level of grandeur. Yes I know that a speech is not quite comparable to regular talking, but sometimes people just like to make their words a little fancier than usual.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/radagastthebrown

You can say הכלבים של הגברים.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dedee395090

Bad prononciation !!!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gina295903

Why isn't it כלבים


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

That is the regular way of saying the phrase, but in this skill you are learning a more formal way. If you had read the comments, you would’ve seen that radagastthebrown explained this three years ago.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gina295903

Ok. Thanks, but I think I'll stick with the easier way.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mtuJ4U
  • 1245

Cute tortoise

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