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  5. "מה עושים?"

"מה עושים?"

Translation:What do we do?

July 10, 2016

29 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alexkrule

If this can be translated as 'what are you doing' (you being אתם) then why can't it also be 'what are they doing' (הם being assumed)?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AyeletReiter

I think because the "you" here is the universal you, as in "What do you do when this happens." So if you're using "you" to address someone or "they" you need to use a pronoun to clarify it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaftaliFri1

Though it would then need to be only "what do you do", not the progressive form


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mberry923

Sometimes Duolingo wants "we", sometimes "they", sometimes "you"...I have to memorize the specific translations for each question because there doesn't seem to be consistency


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adamsolo

Agreed, why can't it be they?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bpzlearner

It seems that Duo uses the subject “we” with the plural present tense of verbs when there is no explicit subject. I noticed Duo did this in other cases, such as “למה אומרים "שלום"?” translated as “why do we say hello?” or “איך אוכלים פיל?” translated as “How do we eat an elephant?” Is there a grammar rule that specifies “we” in these cases instead of “they” or “you”? Or is this a matter of context. And if so, shouldn’t “they” or “you” be accepted in these cases where there is no context?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabrielPen6

Agreed with alexkrule, if there is no subject it can be translated by : "what do we do, what do you (plural) do, what do they do".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rblackwelder

Why is מה עושים with an assumed 1cp subject, but קוראים לי with an assumed 3mp subject? Just is? Any tips to know?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnthonySer365691

there is no pronoun.So how are we supposed to know the correct translation


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

This fourth lesson of the determiner section wants us to practice the “impersonal plural”, which has no pronoun and by that, we are supposed to know that the idea such as “why does one eat food?“ is being practiced.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/langaugeartist

can I not say, "what is one doing"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/NaftaliFri1

Maybe "What does one do"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cody434366

needs to be plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Duo accepted “what does one do” and in a sense that’s plural because that “one” is similar to the universal “you”.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/babytair

why this is " what do we do?" and no" what are we do?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnneMcLeod3

Because in English we need to use "what are we doing" or "what do we do"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/6g5k1

Why cant we say "what can we do"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

There's no can in the sentence, but I'm learning too so a native might say something opposite.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua52221

wouldn't it be מה אנחנו עושים?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDivah

Why can't this be "what do you do"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MDivah

Or "what are you doing"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Joshua52221

I’m not a native speaker, but from my understanding, I think it wouldn’t be what are you doing or what do you do because it’s not addressing one person (את) with עושים, it is talking about people in general so you could say what does one do, but not you. Again this may not be correct because I am not a native Hebrew speaker.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JasonFries2

You can be plural


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mabel544786

Could this expression be used in a situation where you think that you just have to accept the situation, you think there isn't any thing to about it, semantically like for the English: so, what to do? (What can we do about it??)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Close: for that we use מה לעשות or מה אפשר לעשות.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WojciechCy4

Is this construct a way to ask about a general rule or about something that's generally done?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Of these two, it's more about something generally done than about a rule, but the two seem to me almost the same, no?

Actually without more words in the sentence, it would usually be used for the opposite of these two, something like "What shall we do now, given this surprising situation?"

(I'm tempted to mention the reputation of Israelis as bad rule followers, good improvisers...)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/es58_1

Why not: "what are they doing?"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

es58_1, the rule we are practicing here is about what a person or what people do in a general situation, such as “what do you do when you have a headache? You take an aspirin.”

If you say “what are they doing?”, that implies not a general situation such as what we’re practicing here, but a specific situation.

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