"סוף סוף הוא נזכר שהיום יום ההולדת של אישתו."

Translation:Finally he remembered that today is his wife's birthday.

July 16, 2016

27 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/spikypsyche

Why is nip'al appropriate for this rather than pa'al?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mazzorano

That's an excellent question. Semantically it's obvious that nifal should be used here, but when I thought about it in more depth I couldn't really put my finger on why. The best explanation I can deliver at this stage is that the action of recalling something spontaneously (as in something popped up) is using nifal, while paal (זכר, זוכר) should be used when he had and retained this knowledge throughout. You can definitely say הוא זכר שהיום יום ההולדת של אשתו, but using סוף סוף indicates there is some action which happened immediately after this adverb, meaning, his recollection of his wife's birthday. Is it any clearer now?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShiloGeva

נפעל is often used for processes like: נמשך, נגלה, נחלש...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/omeran1

The meaning of "סוף סוף הוא זכר" could be in the context of "for years he used to forget his wife's birthday but last year he finally remembered"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rBhr5
  • 1328

For the first part of the sentence I wrote 'He finally remembered ...' simply because that word order sounded natural to me in English, and was marked wrong. There's nothing wrong in English with the word order in the given answer ('Finally he remembered ...) but my answer should be accepted as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dlk69

לא נעים...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

Sof sof hu nizkar she-hayom yom ha-huledet shel ishto.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/IW2LH

Why is recalled not considered a valid translation?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/t-hero

Should accept both past and present tense but it doesn't.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rBhr5
  • 1328

If you mean that the last part of the sentence can also be validly translated into English as 'that today was his wife's birthday' then I completely agree with you. Although there are contexts in which 'is his wife's birthday' is correct, the past tense would be more generally used and is grammatically correct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShiloGeva

By the way, distinguish between סוף סוף and בסופו של דבר. I heard עולים חדשים (not necessarily English speakers) that say something like: סוף סוף איבדנו את הסבלנות.

Use סוף סוף just for positive connotation...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shimkelevine

Outrageous -- A sentence beginning "He finally remembered... " was rejected! This is the standard word order in English. You could begin with finally but that would imply a tone of impatience, frustration or such with the lack of attention of the man. Does the Hebrew sound like standard word order or is it also pointed?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShiloGeva

No. There is no impatience implied here. But, you need to understand that finally has two meanings in Hebrew:

  1. The first is בסופו של דבר which means "in the end of the story", after everything was done. Without positive (or negative) connotation. בסופו של דבר, חזרתי הביתה עייף ולא קניתי כלום בדרך. בסופו של דבר לא הזמנו אוכל מהמסעדה.

  2. The second is סוף סוף! Always with exclamation mark. With a strong positive connotation/feeling of relief (or impatience if it was car keys that you've been looking for 30 minutes).

סוף סוף יוצאים מהבית! סוף סוף בבית!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shimkelevine

Impatience might not have been the best word to describe my meaning. Since he has finally remembered, there is no more impatience. In English, if we start with finally, it can as you point out express relief at the successful performance of whatever you were impatient about. "Finally you come home! At 5 in the morning! Where were you?" "I waited for a nervous couple of weeks. Finally I got my acceptance letter from Harvard." In this sense, yes, it is positive. OTOH, it can also be an indirect reproach. "Everyone was on time. Finally, after 30 minutes, you came straggling in!" In this case the feeling might not be unadulterated relief; it could also imply irritation at the person's tardiness -"I've had it up to here with your selfish behavior!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ShiloGeva

Anyway, in Hebrew, I think the best way to differ סוף-סוף from בסופו של דבר is the exclamation mark. For example in the example of the acceptance letter I would say: אחרי שבועות של מתח וציפייה, בסופו של דבר קיבלתי את מכתב הקבלה מהרווארד. But if it would be in "a movie" like scene it would be: סוף סוף!!! מכתב הקבלה מהרווארד. כמה חיכיתי!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shimkelevine

Thank you, Shilo, for this clear and detailed explanation. I can now imagine hearing these sentences in real life and not just on a page.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/altan570786

For the sake of passive voice must be 'he was reminded'. When you say 'he remembered', it is grammatically incorrect in Hebrew (?) and incorrect translation in English!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dsjanta

As it was stated a few times before, when translating nif'al into English, it doesn't necessarily have to be passive in English, too. This would be one of those cases. Or נכנס - entered. You can't translate it as passive in English, because it's not passive even in Hebrew, even though it's in nif'al.

As Mazzorano explained, nif'al נזכר talks about something coming to one's mind, not about being reminded. For reminding, Hebrew uses hif'il (binyan often expressing causative action): הזכיר - he reminded (someone) (or if you will: he caused (someone) to remember), and its passive counterpart huf'al הוזכר - he was reminded.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DL-Trolls

Bolozky's 501 Hebrew Verbs has "was reminded" as a definition for נזכר. I like your context of "something coming to one's mind," which is passive. Perhaps this sentence can be parallel translated as "Finally, he was caused to remember that..."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shimkelevine

That may function to explain the precise nuance of the Hebrew verb, but it is not good English.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/altan570786

I believe there is a grey area here. Since there is no corresponding "structure" in my native language and English, nifal is confusing for me. While the teachers are insistently stressing that nif'al is not passive voice of Paal (Qal), it is easier for me to learn it this way (although GRAMATTICALLY wrong it is SEMANTICALLY correct for me). In the Biblical Hebrew lectures by Michael Carasic, he says there was probably a passive voice for qal (paal) in olden days but now it is gone. And he lists nif'al as SOMEWHAT a reflexive structure, like hitpael. My two cents though!...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DL-Trolls

Deep analysis. Well, somehow, his recollection of his wife's birthday happened on its own, without effort on his part. Ds brought up that the thought popped into his mind. Maybe he was walking around the house and happened to notice a trigger: the gift he got her last year, a birthday text message from someone on her phone, etc... In this case, הזכיר works if you say המתנה משנה שעברה הזכירה לו The gift from last year reminded him. This is strong causitive. The passive nifal would be בגלל המתנה משנה שעברה הוא נזכר ביום ההולדת של אישתו Because of the gift from last year, he was reminded of his wife's birthday. The ב is the preposition, in this case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/nicoleehirch

אשתו and אישתו same thing in fact most Israelis use אשתו


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Roni783363

אני דוברת עברית. אפשר לכתוב סוף סוף, אבל לרוב דוברים יכתבו סופסוף.

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