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  5. "This comes through hard work…

"This comes through hard work."

Translation:זה בא על ידי עבודה קשָה.

July 12, 2016



This sentence had already appeared in a Hebrew to English translation, and it used דרך. But now this time instead of דרך it used על ידי. As far as I can remember, this construction (על ידי) has never been used before. So how do you expect learners to recognize it?


I think דרך os an adverb here and means "by the means of" . It is interesting that על ידי is used here, because it shows a particular relationship when the two objects in the sentence change which one of them affect which one, without loosing central concept of what was said. Example: מיכאל כותב אגדה Michael writes the folk story. האגדה ניכתבת על ידי מיכאל The folk story is being written by Michael. While in both cases Michael is the cause and the folk story is an effect of his actions, second example is more literature way to say something and is a higher Hebrew you will probably not hear on the streets. Definitelly above the level of what have been studied so far.


What's the difference between דרך and על ידי ?


Well, sometimes they seem interchangeble, but דֶּ֫רֶךְ by means of doesn't combine with people, and עַל יְדֵי is strongly associated with the agent in a passive sentence.


Can't we also say זה בא בדרך עבודה קשה? In what situation do you say it without the ב prefix?


Saying בדרך isn't grammatically correct here. בדרך means "in a way", "in the way (meaning method), "on the way", "on the road", etc. דרך in this case means "through", for example: היא מבינה דרך מוסיקה - "she understands through music". If I wanted to use בדרך in this sentence, it would be היא מבינה בדרך מוסיקלית - "she understands in a musical way". In the selfsame way, if we wanted to use בדרך in the sentence above, we would eliminate the word עבודה, and leave only the adjective - זה בה בדרך קשה. This would give us a different meaning altogether - "this comes in a difficult way".


Are there other cases of Hebrew nouns being used as prepositions, or is דרך unique?


Well, I think there is a strong tendency for nouns being used as prepositions not to use them as the original nouns: עֵקֶב due to or סָבִיב around for example are never used as reward or sourrounding.


Can one not say, also, זאת בא מעבודה קשָה? What is the incorrect part? זאת ? Or מעבודה?


If you use זאת you also need to make the verb feminine - באה. But, from what I understand, generally, masculine זה is used for general statements such as this.

Also מעבודה means "from work" or "of work" (for example אני לא מפחד מעבודה קשה - I am not afraid of hard work) which is not what the sentence says, therefore it's not correct. It says "through work" which in Hebrew is דרך עבודה or in this context I think בעזרת עבודה might also work, but I haven't tried it so I don't know if it's accepted.

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