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  5. "האמא טובה!"

"האמא טובה!"

Translation:The mom is good!

July 4, 2016



i make this translation mistake constantly. I think it means "the good mother". what would be the correct way to say "the good mother" in Hebrew?


Ha-ima ha-tova האמא הטובה The good mother


האם הטובה

I would say that. A native please confirm the use of


Edit: extra line feeds added because this time I really screwed up the sequence.


I thought about this last night. There is a difference in meaning between "the mother is good" and "the good mother" in English. This is because you cannot assume the verb "to be" in English.

However, in Hebrew and other semitic languages (and Russian, too, I think), "To be" can be assumed in most cases. Which makes me wonder if there is any way to make a distinction between "the good mother" and "the mother is good".

Regardless, I think we need a native to confirm if there is a way to make the distinction. I'm going to keep making this mistake until I know the correct way to distinguish.


I know that distinction exists.

If you add ה before טוב, it means you mean the attributive form (the good mother)

The mother good -> 'to be' implied, predicative form the mother the good -> "the" can be "taken outside parentheses", the attributive form.

[deactivated user]

    You're right, but in this case it's little bit different.

    The word "אמא" is not Hebrew but Aramaic in origin. And the letter alef at the end ("imA") is the definite article in Aramaic. In other words, alef at the end of "אמא" makes this word already in the definite state ("the mother").

    That's why - from the grammar point of view - "האמא" literally means "the the mother".

    BUT it might be that this form is used in every day speech by Israelis. That's why it would be crucial to hear from a native here.


    Not native but fluent. In Hebrew, אמא means "mom" or "mum" rather than "mother" - in other words it is informal. And although it has the Aramaic definite article א at the end, that is treated in Hebrew as part of the word, which is definite by its nature.

    If you don't add the Hebrew definite article, the assumption is that you are speaking about your mom or the mom of the person you're talking to. If you do add the Hebrew definite article, you're likely talking about "the mom" which is a character in a story or someone else's mom.

    And there's a difference between:

    האם טובה The mother is good

    And האמא טובה The mom is good

    Just like there is in English in many dialects, where mom is more informal


    (Native Hebrewer here) The long explanation by JayStanton is very good. A couple of comments:

    1. It's true that אמא is less formal than אם, similarly to mom-mother, but the borderline is I think different from the English I know. In spoken Hebrew אם is no longer used at all except in some set phrases. So in many contexts "אמא" and "mother" would be the correct translations of one another.

    2. Saying "אמא" and not "האמא" (and not "אמא של...") is indeed used for the speaker's or the interlocutor's own mother, but it's used only in very specific contexts:

    i. Speaking to a small child, referring to his/her mother

    ii. Spoken by a small child, referring to his/her mother

    iii. Among siblings (of any age), referring their common mother

    iv. Between a father and a child (of any age), referring to the child's mother

    v. I'm not sure how it works in a family with two mothers.


    I find "the mom" feeling strange, as if it had double definiteness. Does this sentence has a use case?


    Why do you say "the mom is good" why not the mom is being good.


    Tells me "the good mother" is wrong


    The good mother = האם הטובה

    The good mom = האמא הטובה


    "The good mother" "The mother is good" ... Sounds nice..


    I cannot hear what the speaker says again and again


    Does this mean the mother is nice as well?


    Not really. Well, just like there are two different words in English - good and nice, there are also two different words in Hebrew - טובה and נחמדה.


    When I want to write in english it do not alowe me to change the keyboard


    when i get this sentence, i always think it says : האם את טובה

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    Should not it point a typo on האמה?

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