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  5. "I have four forks and four k…

"I have four forks and four knives."

Translation:יש לי ארבעה מזלגות וארבע סכינים.

July 11, 2016



Can someone explain why ארבע סכינים and ארבעה סכינים are both correct? Also, why is it ארבעה מזלגות? Is מזלג one of those masculine nouns with a feminine plural form?


The word סכין can be either male of female, I guess for historical reasons. There are a few words like that. I usually refer to it as male so would say ארבעה סכינים. The word מזלג is indeed one of those masculine nouns with ות plural form.


Another word that is both is



I don't understand, the genders should be switched? Why would יש לי ארבע מזלגות וארבעה סכינים be wrong?


Because forks is masculine, so it needs the masculine = ארבעה


Read it before to make the questions: 1- סכין is a noun which can be masculine such as femine as well. So it's kinda be said both " ארבע סכנים או ארבעה סגנים" In the other hand we have מזלג being a masculine noun with a femine plural though. We learn with each other.

[deactivated user]

    I must remember: knife is ambiguous and fork is masculine with a femenine ending... Thaks a lot. Cheers!


    The "Numbers" in Hebrew are by far the most confusing lesson that's teach here at Duolingo. And it gets worse and it comes to the irregular nouns.


    is there nt a mistake in gender?


    The numbers ending with a ה are masculine, abscurely enough


    Which one is feminine? I thought it was "מזלג" . If it is right shouldn't it be "ארבע מזלגות וארבעה סכינים"?


    The word מזלג is masculine. סכין can be either.


    Why is מזלג masculine if when plural it ends in ות?


    It's one of the words that are irregular. Like bird, tsipor, it is female but plural is male ending. There is a list and this has been discussed on a few of the discussions. To search them go to duolingo.com , make sure your browser is in desktop view /mode. If you don't see discussions on the top as an option you aren't in desktop mode but mobile mode. (You don't have to be on a computer for desktop view, but you usually have to change your browser setting on a smart device as it's usually set to mobile view).

    You can also go to a link someone has provided before https://www.safa-ivrit.org/irregulars/pluralml.php

    In the future you can also search morfix. Or a really helpful site I've found is wiktionary.org/ then just put in the Hebrew word and it'll (usually) give you what gender it is. For verbs there's Pealim.com


    The Hebrew and Irish words for 'knife' are strikingly similar, 'סכין' and 'scian'. Also Welsh uses the construct state. Different language families, so just coincidences?

    • 1509

    Just coincidence. scian comes (via Proto-Celtic skiyenā) from Proto-Indo-European skei- ‘to cut’. סכין is a loan from Aramaic.


    Why doesn't this match the rule that מזלגות should go with the feminine form of four ארבע and סכינים should go with the masculine form ארבעה?


    It is a good idea to check out the comments in the thread before posting, because this question has already been discussed at lengths and answered.

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