1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Hebrew
  4. >
  5. "לא לצבוע את החולצה שלה!"

"לא לצבוע את החולצה שלה!"

Translation:Don't color her shirt!

July 14, 2016



So, how does the imperative work here? (They haven't taught us much about that yet, if any at all)


It is historically incorrect, but we use the infinitive tense as a very casual way to state the imperative. It works well enough.

The 'technically correct' ways are either אל תצבע/י (the negative plus the 2nd person future tense "you will not paint!) Or the more forceful option אל צבע/י! (negative plus imperative tense "DON'T PAINT!")

When you're starting out in Hebrew and don't remember a particular 2nd or 3rd person verb tense, using the infinitive gets the message across. It sounds highly informal and slangy, but you can be understood.


Starts with ל, there are few variations.

Here it's לXXוX

To paint/color - לצבוע

Color - צבע


why not?: don't paint her blouse.


Is this an alternative way of saying "...על תצבע"? I've never seen or heard a negative command like this. Perhaps it's more formal?


Yes, it is another form of a negative command. It is actually less formal and less personal. This form is more like what you would expect to hear in the army or to small children. Also maybe in a rushed/hurried/excited context.


לא ידעתי את זה. תודה רבה! זה ברור, כנירא, שאני צריך לצפות יותר תלוזיה.


Hey man, great job on the hebrew! i just wanted to point out a little correction that hopefully will prove to be helpful to you and possibly others. We can't say  אני צופה טלוויזיה, or like you said, אני צריך לצפות יותר טלוויזיה. You can either say אני צופה בטלוויזיה, or אני רואה טלוויזיה. The second option is colloquial, and probably wouldn't be accepted in an essay. so the correct form of what you wrote would be, either 1) אני צריך לצפות יותר בטלוויזיה, or 2) אני צריך לראות יותר טלוויזיה.


Ah, you're right. I've heard it like that a dozen times. Thanks for the correction!


But it would be spelled "אל," not "על."


My errors are more numerous than the correct parts. תודה שתיקנת אותי.


That's the way we learn.


Couldn't this be "Don't color ON her shirt"?


That would have על instead of את


You're right. I guess it comes down to the difference between magic markers and fabric dye. I misread the sentence as "Don't scribble on her shirt."


DL accepted "don't dye her shirt".


Yeah, that's what I did and it said I got it right.


I'm hearing לא as "loo" (rhymes with who) rather than "loh" (rhymes with snow) here - is that correct? If so, is there some rule where it's pronounced loo rather than loh? Or is it a regional thing?


I guess I was misinformed as I was told that it was inappropriate to start a negative imperative with 'lo' as that was a form reserved only for the ten commandments in the bible and could be construed as offensive.

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