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  5. "הם עונים לי."

"הם עונים לי."

Translation:They are answering me.

July 5, 2016



How is this verb conjugated? What would be its singular form?


Masc. עונֶה Fem. עונָה Works like רוצה and others with ה "hey" as the final root letter. With the plural forms the "hey" disappears.

This is nearly always the case with a "hey" on the end of a singular form of a word. Same thing with יפה which becomes יפים in the plural.


Thank you! I haven't thought it could be one of these ה-ending verbs. Fortunately, I even know already how they work! :) It's time to work out the rest.


I would just like to repeat your comment.



= answer (male, plural).

The singular male is עונֶה (o-ne)

and the singular female is עונָה (o-na)


Why לי not אותי ?


In Hebrew, when using a direct object on "to answer" you would use the answer itself. A non direct object can be the question or the asker.


Can you explain it in another way ?


The difference between them is that אותי is a direct object (just saying "him") לי is indirect (when you would add a preposition in English like" to him", "at him" etc.)

In English, the verb "to answer" is transitive (takes a direct object) so it's "answer him". In Hebrew לענות is intransitive (takes an indirect object) with the preposition "ל-" so it's לענות לי.

Verbs have a somewhat idiomatic relationship with their prepositions, it doesn't translate directly.


Thank you. Doesn't אותי mean "me" rather than "him" ?


Yes, you are correct


So we have to remember each verb type and the rules that go along with them? It seems I've learned more technical grammar rules here than I ever did in school. Perhaps this is a case of just learning a native language naturally?


Yes, there's some linguistic "logic" we absorve more by using them (hearing, writing etc.) than studying the grammar. That's how kids learn, and how we can get it faster.

But, after get the languages in a subliminar way, it is very important to understand their grammar, to improve your understanding and, naturally, to can express yourself better.

Most of the school time, we're too young to value this grammar studies properly, and so we lost many opportunities to improve the learning of our own language. But, when we the interest to learn another language we finally feel that calling, showing us we need it. By trying to learn the other languages somehow we often discover our own language in a way we didn't ever experience.


Could this mean "they answer to me," i.e. "I am their boss" ?


No. That would use something more along the lines of "they report to me"


I thought the pronouns with direct object implied "with" pronoun. That's how it's written in the Memrise Duolingo Hebrew vocabulary course. Example: translation of oti: with me. Translation of li: to me.


"with me" - איתי /i-ti/ (or formally עמי /i-mi/).


How would you say "they answer TO me"? I understand ל to mean to, but also needed here to make the sentence work.


"They answer to me" might be translated in different ways, depending on context (in many context it might be hard to come with a translation that will be both precise and concise). In any case, not with עונים.


I answered "הם אונים לי" and only caught my mistake later, this should be corrected, right?

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