1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "My mom is angry."

"My mom is angry."

Translation:אמא שלי כועסת.

July 12, 2016



Why is this not "האמא שלי כועסת"?


It's an Aramaic word and in Aramaic the definite article is at the end of the noun instead of the beginning. It would be redundant to add the Hebrew definite article. Aramaic was the primary Jewish language for centuries from roughly the Persian period to the end of the Talmudic period. Hebrew has always been the sacred language, but there are good reasons that there is so much Aramaic in the Bavli. Anyway, Hebrew nouns that end with א are usually Aramaic.


You don't need to add 'ה' to 'אמא'. Just like you wouldn't say "The my mom is angry". ה is similar to the definite article "the" in English, so it's unnecessary to use it in this sentence since it's obvious who you are referring to, due to the word "My" - My mother.


You shouldn't add 'ה' to these words: אמא, אבא, סבא, סבתא.

It's not like "The my mom is angry", since that is - however badly it sounds in English - the way you usually say it in Hebrew. (for example, הבית שלי = my house, but literally "my the house" or "the my house").

The excuse I've heard is that they are from Aramaic, where they already have definiteness (so adding 'ה' would be double definiteness), but I'm not sure if it's true.


Yeah you're right, I forgot that there are some cases where adding ה is acceptable


I think the equivalent construction in English would be "the x of mine"


Is there any way to tell which words don't get the definite article for possessives, or is it just a "got to know" sort of thing?

Also, just to be clear, are we able to use האמא in other contexts, like "the mom is my favourite character"?


Words that end in aleph (see the examples radagast gives) are Aramaic and so you can omit the definite article as I explain above. However, some people still include the definite article, so it's a matter of learning to recognize that you may encounter both. For general rules for when to use the definite article, see a basic grammar such as Glinert.


But you do add it in "my cat": החתול שלי?


Yes, you're right generally. The post you responded to isn't understanding why ה is added to possesives. There is no "my X" in hebrew, its "the X of me".


One of the solutions was "אמי כועסת". How does that work? Is "אמי" an informal way of indicating that the mother is your mother (possessed by you)? Is "אמא שלי" more formal?


It's actually the other way round - אמי is more formal. It's the possessive suffix, and can be used on any noun, but it is more formal than using "שלי". For example -

My house = הבית שלי/ביתי

My table = השולחן שלי/שולחני

My mother = אמא שלי/אמי

The reason you remove the 'א in "אמא", is because the word in Hebrew is actually אם. (the added 'א comes from Aramaic).


Thank you very much.


can duolingo spare with switching between hebrew and english every other sentence? It is very disruptive!!!!!


Just like life itself.:)


So true, ומדבר עברית, but the more you struggle, the stronger you get. Seems like some people dont know how to change keyboards easily.


I have no problem switching on my cell but its a pain in the tuchus on my laptop, some people have ipads friends of mine struggle with switching.


My hebrew keyboard (on a phone) lets me type in English too. You press a button to switch back and forth, so you don't have to go to the settings each time to switch.

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