"There is nothing to do there."

Translation:אין מה לעשות שם.

July 10, 2016

This discussion is locked.


?אין שום דבר לעסות שם


I do not know how to explain it properly, but is sounds awkward using "שום דבר" like this. if someone would have asked me "what can I do there?" and there is nothing to do I would say "שום דבר" or "אין שום דבר שאתה יכול לעשות שם" but I wouldn't usually say "אין שום דבר" in a row (unless it stated itself, as a complete answer, or as specify of supplies situation of something "אין שום דבר לאכול" or "אין שום דבר לעשות" but bot "אין שום דבר לעשות שם")


Would your answer be the same for saying אין כלום לעשות שם ?


I was marked wrong for writing it this way. Doesn't כלום mean nothing?

April 11th, 2020


Is this from Yiddish? I left out מה. Does anyone know where מה comes from? Also, why is אין כלום rejected? Hamutaltul does not address that question. I will see what I can find through Hava Farstey, “Yiddish Influence on Hebrew” in Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics (2013). If anyone has read Ghil‘ad Zuckermann's Israelit Safa Yafa, please let us know if he says it's a Yiddishism.


ein mah la'asot sham


Why is this rejected?

אין כלום לעשות שם


What is wrong with ”אין שם מה לעשות.‏” ?


The (He) sentence structure is incorrect


What is wrong with אין דבר לעשות שם


You simply can't say it that way. The same goes with כלום or שום דבר.


Those who have kindly replied explain that this is the way to say this and that כלום and שום דבר cannot be used. Perhaps, additionally, a reason is that using אין with these words would make a double negative e.g. 'there isn't nothing to do'?


Hebrew uses double negatives all the time. In Hebrew, you don't say "I have nothing" (יש לי כלום). You say "I don't have nothing" (אין לי כלום). Bottom line: I trust Hamataltul and Danny912421 when they say that אין שום דבר לעשות doesn't work, but it's still a mystery why it doesn't work, or how "what" (מה) got into the mix. One more counter-intuitive thing about Hebrew that we just have to accept.


Why? אין מה לעשות Why not say אין כלום לעשות


Please read the comments. Hamutaltul already answered that question.

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