"אנחנו רוצים את שני הספרים."

Translation:We want both of the books.

June 30, 2016

30 Comments
This discussion is locked.


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

I put in "both books" and got marked wrong with a little note that I need a definite article, but I feel like the English "both books" conveys the definiteness just fine without it. Is there a reason it's necessary to have a "the" in there?


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

I put "both books" and now it is accepted! XD


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

I think you're right but I'm not a native English speaker.


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

Native English speaker here.

When you're using "both" or "both of" generally, they are synonymous:

-"Both my students passed the exam." ✔ Correct -"Both of my students passed the exam." ✔ Correct

Both (no pun intended) of these sentences mean that you have only two students, and two of those two passed the exam. Sometimes one may feel more natural to use, and sometimes the other will.

The only exception where you have to use one or the other is when using pronouns, such as:

-"Both of us passed the exam." ✔ Correct -"Both us passed the exam." X Wrong

The exception is when the pronoun in question is an object, then you can put the pronoun before the word "both" and be alright:

"I saw them both." ✔ Correct "I saw both of them." ✔ Correct "I saw them of both." X Wrong


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

This formats very strangely when I post it; I hope it's readable lol


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

I put "We want two books," but it was wrong. How can you differentiate between two books and both books?


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

I want two books would be אני רוצה שני ספרים


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

if you put:"We want THE two books, maybe it would have been good then?


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

Yes, that is accepted (tried it). This makes sense because the Hebrew has a definite article and “the two” is equivalent to “both”.


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

Yes, that makes sense.


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

I agree with you. it should be 2


[deactivated user]

    "We would like both books" is unfortunately not accepted. In most of the previous lessons want and would like can be used interchangeably. Please correct it here too - I sometimes feel as if my English were getting somewhat, er, impolite after practising too much Hebrew with Duo :)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaftaliFri1

    It's an interesting construct. Report it.


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

    I think "רוצה" is also not the polite hebrew manner. I think I read about it something. I do not know what was the polite way anymore. maybe someone else????


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

    this is what i meant: הייתי רוצה


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

    I fear a real צַבָּר would not use such a level of polite language. I suppose אֲנַ֫חְנוּ רוֹצִים is already the improved version of תֵּן לָ֫נוּ! Some languages make very much ado about the right way to address someone (think of Korean), others are rather brusquely in our ears, amongst them Hebrew.


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

    I do hear occasionally הייתי רוצה, and רציתי לבקש, even from Sabras... Depends on the speaker and the social context.

    I wonder if using the past tense (in two forms!) for politeness is just influence from European languages, or is there something inherent / psychological in effect.


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

    I think this psychological factor is in play. When I use the past tense, I’m implying “If it’s possible” or “In the hypothetical event that it’s not too much trouble for you...”, and of course for a hypothetical, the past tense is used. For example, If I could, ‏אם הייתי יכולה Im hayiti yekhola. The fact that there’s hesitancy in my request shows a lack of my presumption on your time and trouble in helping me.

    Imagine a student visits his professor’s office. He knocks, she flings open the door and asks rather abruptly “What do you want?” His request would most ordinarily be phrased as I’d like to ask a question or I wanted to ask a question, (past tense is used), rather than “I want to ask a question.” Past tense, with its “If it’s okay with you” vibe, smoothes out communication by the implicit ground rule: We’re in agreement. I “asked permission” to engage you in conversation, you “granted permission” by engaging in conversation with me, so we’re in agreement.

    From what I’ve seen in this course, Israelis just say I want coffee please (no past tense) and that’s usually seen as sufficiently polite. “I want coffee please” seems to upset a lot of Westerners though because they want to default to what they would ordinarily say: “I would like a cup of coffee please”. It’s hard for many Westerners to accept that their baseline level of politeness is not the same the whole world over.


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

    Theresa, I still don't understand why you consider it natural that past tense implies politeness, or even uncertainty. To me it seems like an arbitrary language convention.


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

    Anakhnu rotsim et shnei ha-sfarim.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Heysoos1

    Shouldn't it be hasfarAYim? Because it's dual?


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

    You'd think but there aren't actually a lot of common nouns that work that way.


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

    Well, in Archaic Hebrew the Dual seems to have been used freely as in Ugaritic or Classical Arabic (Jdg 5.30 יחלקו שלל רחם רחמתים לראש גבר have they not divided the spoil? A concubine, two concubines to every man is seen as an example for this), but already in Classical Hebrew this was restricted to nouns which come in pairs naturally. Books do not.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mark436414

    How is of "both" pronounced?Also are there masculine and feminine constructs for plural and singular?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julie874766

    I think you're asking about the word "שני." It sounds like shnay to me. I was wondering if it can be used for male and female but I don't know. Technically it is masculine for "two" (or perhaps more technically "two of") and the feminine form would be "שתי" (pronounced shtay). If you haven't heard of "construct state" you might want to look it up. Basically when you have two nouns (or more) in a row they are often translated with "of" in between them. This is referred to as a construct chain. Many nouns have a special form when used in this way. The special form is called "construct state." All nouns in a construct chain will be in their "construct state" (provided they have such a form) except for the last noun in the chain. So in the case of:

    שניים The construct state is:

    שני

    Which roughly translates to "two of" instead of just "two."

    If I didn't explain it well maybe there's a website somewhere that would do better.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KeismerEsc1

    Way to go listening to the exercise without seen the sentence, gives a plus to your ear


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sun.of.GOD

    Can it also be "we want two books"?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danny912421

    No. But it can be "We want the two books". את makes it definite and in Hebrew "both = the two"

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