"I have four forks and four knives."

Translation:יש לי ארבעה מזלגות וארבע סכינים.

July 11, 2016

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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


[deactivated user]

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


    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


    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.


    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.


    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?

    • 2154

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


    yesh li arba'á mazlegót ve-arbá sakiním.


    is there nt a mistake in gender?


    The numbers ending with a ה are masculine, abscurely enough


    Not quite, is just what they call "reverse agreement". The same with Arabic.


    There is no "reverse agreement". Numbers ending in ה are masculine, just like Chaya wrote.


    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


    תודה רבה - מושלם ועוזר ביותר


    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.


    I was wondering it to and it doesn't hurt to ask for more clarification. It seems both of these nouns are irregular.


    It is fine asking for a clarification, asking a specific question, but asking the same question again makes no sense. The problem is that people don't bother looking through the thread, to see if their question has already been answered. And that just creates clutter in the thread and makes it even more difficult to find useful information.


    Why is it ארבעה מזלגות?


    Can you explain your question? Instead of what? What else should it be?

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