1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "אבא שלי לא עובד ביום שלישי."

"אבא שלי לא עובד ביום שלישי."

Translation:My dad does not work on Tuesday.

July 7, 2016



We keep getting "dad" as the translation of אבא. Is there some reason we can't learn the formal word for father yet?


The more formal version is אב, (av), but it's more formal than "father" in English, so אבא can be dad or father.


So, if one is, for instance saying "The president's father came from Kenya," one could use אבא?


It gets a bit more complicated because of the formal language. It would be:

אביו של הנשיא בא מקניה

His-father of the-president came from-Kenya.

avív shel hanasí ba mikénya.


So, then, if talking about some third party's father, we would use the formal אב, right? Maybe the president was a bad example. What if I wanted to say that my student's father also went to the university? I wouldn't say "dad" there in English, but would one say אבא in Hebrew?


OK, I think I have it. It has to do with the formality of the situation I am speaking in, rather than a distance of relationship or something.


Well, it's more like if you were talking with friends you'd say אבא שלו מקניה

And if you're making a professional documentary or reading the news it would be אביו של הנשיא


But that's only because of the added possessive


To avoid the possessive issue, one would say

הנשיא הוא אבא

to mean the president is a father


the use of אב is like "Father" in Christianity: the Holly Father : האב הקדוש.


I wouldn't say that. It's just the word father.


Query: Does the sentence in Hebrew potentially refer to all Tuesdays in general (ie, "My father does not work on TuesdayS" ) or is it really focused on the coming Tuesday (ie, "My father is not working on Tuesday") ? The English sentence (" My father does not work on Tuesday"), I think, can admit either meaning depending on the context.


There are 2 ways of saying:

אבא שלי לא עובד ביום שלישי אבא שלי לא עובד בימי שלישי

The first can be both - according to context and the second is only in general, because the days are in plural.


I have not figured out something : how do we build the ordinal adjective from the basic form of the numbers ?


Either the form XiXXi like תשעי ninth tish'i or XXiXi like שלישי shlishi, or something completely different like first ראשון or second שני. Basically, learn each one individually, because there are only similarities between them, not regular patterns.


Is this true for all numbers, even huge ones? Or it starts to behave regularly from a certain number?


For larger numbers you just say the number:

הספר העשרים בסדרה
the twentieth book in the series
הספר המאה שלה
her hundredth book


Does "בחמישי יום" mean "on the fifth day"?

Would "בחמש יום" be "on day five"? Or do you need the number to be in the masculine form, "בחמישה יום"?


Well, as cardinals behave like adjectives, you write them after the noun: בַּיּוֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי on the fifth day. Notice that unlike בְּיוֹם חֲמִישִׁי on Thursday the definite article is used.

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