1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "אין לי בת זוג."

"אין לי בת זוג."

Translation:I do not have a spouse.

July 12, 2016



The person speaking the sentence is a female. If בת זוג really translates as "spouse" or "partner" or "girlfriend", is there an implication of sexual preference as there might be if this were said in English?


Yes, depending on context. She could be talking about a partner for yoga class.

  • 2424

Based on other sentence discussions surrounding בת/בן זוג, I don't think that's right. It seems to always refer to a partner in a romantic relationship (but I am not a native speaker)


Are you speaking from experience in Israel? I believe I've heard it used there for a dance partner also.


When I translated it as "spouse" they wanted "wife". When I translated it as "wife" they wanted "spouse"


The daughter of a couple?


The word בן/בת are used in certain combinations to mean something like: "he or she of the {something}". It's hard to explain and there aren't many examples that I can think of but for example in the Kibbutz the school class were a close-kitted group of children, so they used to be "בן/בת כיתה שלי". Or in fact "בן/בת קיבוץ" is not someone who was given birth by a kibbutz but someone who was born and raised in a kibbutz. Similarly, בן כפר is someone who was born and raised in a rural place.


Another famous term that follows this pattern: When a boy or girl turns thirteen or twelve respectively, they become obligated to follow the biblical commandments and are thus called a בר/בת מצווה


What is בר ? Can it be בן מצווה ?


Bar is Aramaic, and is more often used in some figurative phrases, where you're not really talking about the son of something. Bar Kochba = son of the star. Bar Mitzvah, son of commandment (not meant literally). It's not used in every figurative phrase though.


Like so many things here, it makes sense when I think of Biblical language. It is a language that arose among the Sons of the Covenant, after all.


Right! בן ברית is another example.


בן בליעל! :))


There seems to be some discussion of this. Apparently, בליעל means "without worth," so it could be very much the same thing--"son of worthlessness." In many contexts, though, it is clearly a personification of iniquity. In some of those, where it is translated as idolaters, it is talking about worshipers of foreign gods, so it may be simply referring to foreign gods as "worthless ones." Actually, as I read further, there is even dispute as to the etymology.


That's a great one. Modern Christian translations unfortunately now render it as "idolaters" or "worthless people," which is nowhere near as evocative as sons of Belial.


But isn't בליעל a name of a person? If so it's not the same sort of בן.


Why can't I say "I have no spouse"?


Because you do...? ;-)

Report it


How does בת זוג mean spouse ?


bat zug more closely means "partner." The words bat and ben are used to indicate something is a component of something else. So בת זוג is literally "female-component of couple"


Doesn't this mean wife rather than spouse?


It doesn't really mean wife or spouse. Just female partner.


In the word bank it only gives the answer "spouse," But if you have answered the question "היא בת זוגו, ועכשיו היא גם אישתו." (or other similar questions referring to a partner as apposed to a spouse as בת זוגו) Then it is made clear that the person making the word bank only thinks about the question at hand (as apposed to hebrew in general) and does not realise that for us hebrew learners, this can be rather confusing. But in answer to Jacob723981's question you are still correct. Seemingly you did not take into consideration that we are looking at the word bank to help us translate the words accurately and not a just a possible translation.

I can accept it if you disagree with me about my last sentence, but I am sure you agree with me on the rest, נחון?


Literally it means "part of a couple"


Zug...When I look this word up on Pealim, it’s translated as couple, pair, twosome. There is no mention of partner, so it seems that this cannot be a partner in yoga class or something. That it cannot is also what native speakers are saying.

Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.