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  5. "I still do not know why he s…

"I still do not know why he says this."

Translation:אני עדיין לא יודע למה הוא אומר את זה.

June 30, 2016



The rule in "Tips & notes" says "When using question words as conjunctions, ש is essential", yet we don't see "ש" in this sentence ("...למה הוא..."). Is "למה" somehow privileged or is there some general grammar thing exposed in this case?


I think it's because of the word את


I don't think so: אני עדיין לא יודע למה הוא אוכל תפוח, אני עדיין לא יודע למה הוא אוכל את התפוח. Neither can have ש.

It seems to me (off my sleeve, maybe I'm wrong) that if the question word is subordinate to a verb such as "know", "say", "think" etc., they don't take ש. For example, אני יודע איפה הכלב שוכב vs. השמיכה נמצאת איפה שהכלב שוכב. Which is confusing, because if the phrase subordinate to "know", "say", "think" does not begin with a question word, it does require ש! For example, אני יודע שהכלב נמצא שם.


Maybe easier to remember that למה and מדוע never take a ש. Indeed, it's hard for me to imagine them used subordinately to verbs that are not "know" etc.


yeah i thought the ש was necessary too. is the below not acceptable?

אני עדיין לא יודע למה שהוא אומר את זה.


Think of it this way: ש means "that". The sentence "אני עדיין לא יודע למה שהוא אומר את זה" would be translated to "I do'nt know why that he says that"


One of the accepted answers ends with ’למה הוא אומר זאת’. Why is it acceptable to omit the את before זאת?


I saw on another discussion that it had something to do with זאת being formal. I don't know,why, but it's acceptable. You can also say את זאת, btw.


ani adain lo yodea lama hu omer et zeh


מדוע and לָמָה are synonyms in hebrew!


It's my understanding that למה is a much more casual and everyday word that מדוע, though, right? I'm not a native speaker.


It is treating writing in the masculine rather than the feminine as a 'typo' when the English does not distinguish which sex is narrating.


What's the difference in usage between עוד and עדיין?


Same meaning, עוד is a bit colloquial.


Not exactly. עוד can be used in different context, rather then עדיין. If you would like to replace עדיין with עוד, you would need to write עוד לא. This is just complicating things, I reccomend you to avoid it.


Thanks for the clarification - I didn't mean that עוד is generally interchangeable with עדיין, just that עוד לא is generally interchangeable with עדיין לא.


The sentence would be "אני עוד לא יודע למה הוא אומר את זה"


I am getting confused. Is זה a definite direct object in the sentence? Is this why it is אומר את זה rather than just אומר זה?


Yes. It's never only זה, but את זה when it's the direct object.


I wrote עדיין before אני and was marked incorrect. Is there a reason the order can't be switched?


Well, you also don't say "Still I don't know...". Why would you switch them in Hebrew, then?

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