"Six is a number."

Translation:שש זה מספר.

July 8, 2016

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Why isn't this correct "שש היא מספר"? The answer said I should have used "הוא" but "שש' is feminine. Mosalf seems to have a similar problem.


Can anyone provide a response to the gender issue in this sentence?


You open Pandora's box, if you ask too much about the copula ;-) Well, when you count unspecifically without naming the object counted, you use in Hebrew the feminine forms, like here שֵׁשׁ. On the other hand, you have מִסְפָּר, a masculine noun, as the predicate. In general declarative sentences, the use of זֶה is strictly casual. It agrees for gender, not number (when the predicate is plural, זֶה remains uninflected) with its predicate, not its subject: הַבַּ֫יִת שֶׁלְּךָ זֹאת דֻּגְמָא טוֹבָה your house is a good example (where בַּ֫יִת is masculine, but זֹאת agrees with the feminine דֻּגְמָא). Therefore זֶה agrees in this sentence with the masculine מִסְפָּר too!


So the Copula matches the object, not the subject?


Is the זה necessary?


Yes. This sentence has a subject and an object. Unlike English in Hebrew it is possible to form a sentence without a verb but there still got to be something that connects between the subject and the object. (Note that if we replace the word "מספר" with an adjective then you can omit the 'זה')


In this sentence, MISPAR is not an object, but a complement (in other words, the noun is used predicatively). For a noun to be an object a verb or another noun is required. And, if it is another noun, it has to refer to an action or process.


Almost correct! שש הוא מספר. But שש is feninine, and הוא is masculine. I wrote ששה הוא מספר. why almost correct?


Well yes, בְּסַךְ הַכׇּל גַּם שִׁשָּׁה זֶה מְסְפָּר All in all, the masculine form of the six is a 'number' too. This sounds a little cheeky. But you could say this in contexts, where the masculine form is triggered: יֵשׁ לְי שִׁשָּׁה כְּלָבִים· שִׁשָּׁה זֶה מִסְפָּר גָּדוֹל I have six dogs. Six (ie. dogs) is a big number or שִׁשָּׁה זֶה הַמּסְפָּר הַנָּכוֹן בַּבַּשְׁבֶּעַ הַזּה Six is the right number in this crossword (because it ends there in ה).


Why isn't this correct "שש היא מספר"? The answer said I should have used "הוא" but "שש' is feminine -- No good answer has yet been given to the discrepancy.


Well, I suppose when you use pure numbers like inשָׁלוֹשׁ הוּא מִסְפָּר רִאשׁוֹנִי three is a prime number, you add mentally the word the number before it, which makes it masculine. You can see this usage (may one find it logical or not) on the Wikipedia pages dealing with pure numbers too, like here 5 (מספר), where you find it even before a feminine predicate: חָמֵשׁ הוּא סִפְרָה five is a digit.


shesh ze mispár.


But isnt shesh feminin? Shouldnt it be hee mispar? Or hee mispara? (I dont know)

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