"האמא טובה!"

Translation:The mom is good!

July 4, 2016

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/BasCostBudde

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

July 4, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paceaux_

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?

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Emobg

Ha-ima ha-tova האמא הטובה The good mother

August 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BasCostBudde

האם הטובה

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

האמא

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

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Paceaux_

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.

July 12, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/BasCostBudde

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.

July 12, 2016

[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.

    December 11, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/JayStanton

    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

    May 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/YardenNB

    (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.

    October 7, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/davidrojaselbirt

    Still not clear

    October 17, 2016

    https://www.duolingo.com/1OwOl

    Tells me "the good mother" is wrong

    December 17, 2017

    https://www.duolingo.com/JayStanton

    The good mother = האם הטובה

    The good mom = האמא הטובה

    May 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/Adnan797032

    I said האם את טובה.

    May 4, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/JayStanton

    The sentence doesn't take the word את

    May 26, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/evyatar201887

    Its the good mother

    July 5, 2018

    https://www.duolingo.com/DavidDias403971

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

    November 7, 2018
    Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.