"I do not keep anything except for my dog."

Translation:אני לא שומר שום דבר מלבד הכלב שלי.

July 2, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Is אני לא שומר כלום מלבד הכלב שלי also possible? (i.e. with כלום rather than שום דבר)


Where in the Hebrew question does it say: "for" my dog? Shouldn't there be a בשביל or another word somewhere to indicate that its "for" my dog, not "the" dog itself?


The English sentence is ambiguous. It could mean "My dog is the only thing I keep." It's this meaning that's translated into Hebrew here. For this meaning, the English could use "except" instead of "except for", and "except for" means nothing more than "except". But it could also mean "The only things I keep are things that I use to take care of my dog", in which case I think that בשביל would be part of the translation, and "except for" would be shorthand for "except things that I use for".


What confuses me is that if we're talking about my keeping my dog, then my dog is a definite direct object. Why doesn't the sentence have an את in it? Does Hebrew make an exception for negative sentences like "I don't keep my dog"?


It's not wrong to add את here as far as I can tell, i.e. אני לא שומר שום דבר מלבד את הכלב שלי. However, unlike most sentences with a direct definite object, it does sound better to drop the את here, at least to my ears.

There isn't an exception for negative sentences - "I don't see my dog" = אני לא רואה את הכלב שלי. The 'exception' is probably just for sentences with 'except' like - "I don't see anything except for my dog" = אני לא רואה כלום חוץ מהכלב שלי/אני לא רואה כלום חוץ מאת הכלב שלי (but it's more common to drop the את here).


Thanks. That's very helpful, as usual.

The more I learn about how את is used in practice, the more complicated it gets!


My understanding of grammar is slowly growing and now I wonder: Could the reason for the feeling about the את before the כלב be that the the direct object of the sentence is the "nothing/anything" and the dog is indirect object?


See my comment just below.


I agree with radagastthebrown that adding את is possible, and less common/natural. I think the reason is that את is used when the direct object is a (well) direct complement of the verb. Here the direct complement is חוץ מ, and הכלב שלי is direct complement of the חוץ מ, so in the syntax tree it's one level separated from the verb.

In this light, it's maybe surprising that את can be used at all... Disclaimer: this explanation is deep linguistics territory, and I'm just an amateur linguist...


Can you elaborate? I'm not familiar with the term direct complement.


Actually, "direct complement" is probably not the conventional term linguists use. Are you familiar with syntax trees? https://essentialsoflinguistics.pressbooks.com/chapter/8-2-tree-diagrams/ is a crash intro. My conjecture is that את is used if the definite thing is the sibling node to the verb. Here the sibling node is rooted at חוץ, and the definite thing (הכלב שלי) is one level down inside the subtree of חוץ. Does it help? /-:


"Except for" has a meaning together. We don't translate each word separately, but the whole sentence.


אינני =אני לא שום דבר =על דבר


aní lo shomér shum davár milvád ha-kélev shelí.


Someone was a fan of 'The Jerk'.


Or does the word "for" in the Enflish question, a part of "except for", and the thing that is kept really is "the" dog?


You're right. "Except" and "except for" can be used interchangeably as prepositions -


and מלבד is a correct translation for both.


Awesome! Thank you :)


אפשר להגיד שאני לא שומר שום דבר ״חוץ מי הכלב שלי״


Almost, "חוץ מהכלב שלי", the word "מי" means "who".


Okay, so I made a spelling mistake, but my question was about the "chutz" and not the "mi". It said I was wrong for putting "chutz"


I meant that you were right except the spelling, ...חוץ מ fits here


Thank you for the insight! I was wondering if one is more formal or used more often than the other in everyday speak. תודה רבה!


ll חוץ מ is used much more often than מלבד in speaking. מלבד is more formal. There are at least two other formal ways to say it, BTW.


If you are going to matk a word as typo then put the correct word in the answers


you have כלום written as כולם and then marked it wrong!


There is no כולם in this sentence - it means "all of them" or "everyone", so it doesn't fit here. Where did you see it written?


Is except my dog not enough? Why for my dog? This would be much more understandable to me...


The word "except" usually takes either "for" or "that" before whatever it is that you're excepting. That said, it's pretty common to drop the word "for" in spoken English and I'm pretty sure that most grammarians would agree that it's OK to do so.

Unfortunately, Duo isn't "most grammarians". DL Hebrew has a severe shortage of accepted English translations for most of their Hebrew sentences. So while "except my dog" should be accepted, it isn't surprising that it isn't.

Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.