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  5. "A rabbit and snake are anima…

"A rabbit and snake are animals."

Translation:ארנב ונחש הם חיות.

July 18, 2016



I see שפן but I thought I learned ערנב or something like that for rabbit. I'm confused.


There are some differences between ארנב and שפן;
A Rabbit is ארנב, and Hyrax is שפן!

Funny fact:
Lots of native speakers have this mistake as well (because they don't know this fact)


If I had to guess, I would have guessed it right on a test, but שפן was not introduced. They just sneaked it in there. I only picked the answer that seem the most obvious, and got it wrong, because שפן was also a correct answer. Now to be honest, I am not even sure I know the difference in English either, or in any other language for that matter.

  • 1790

Seems that one of those native speakers who can't tell the difference between a rabbit and a hyrax is writing this course…


What is שפן and how is it said? I don't remember learning this word.


Hyrax. "Shafan"


Interesting, I've never heard this word before. Looking at pictures on Google I have to say there appears to be no relation to the rabbit, any more than there is to a horse and a cow. It should be removed as a suggested answer.


I don't know what are the suggested answers (where?), but if you see it you should report it.
As far as I know, lots of native speakers don't know there's a difference at all..


I didn't know it was wrong because I didn't know what the word was. It was a "Choose all correct answers" excercise and the one with shafan I did not select.


I reported the suggested solution with שפן for rabbit as a mistake, because a hyrax is defenitely not a rabbit.


Why do I need to put "they" in the sentence? Is it because without it, it's not clear which part of the sentence is the subject?


Not exactly, in this type of sentence the first noun phrase is the subject. The "they" is a copula, it is required here.


I only heard of a "hyrax" when I saw this, and Googled it. That's definitely not a rabbit!


: חיות Is this word gender specific ? 'Cos " חיות " appears to be feminine gender. Obliged if someone could clear this doubt. Thank you.


I'm confused by this as well. I think the root of the word comes from the verb לִחְיוֹת meaning "to live"

Different forms of the verb can also be used as nouns, the masculine חי and חיים mean life, whilst the feminine חיה and חיות mean animal/animals

I think this should be much better explained in the notes.


Isn't s hyrax a different animal?


שפןis still accepted as. rabbit, August 16, 2017


Jan 6th 2018 as well, reported it once again


I don't think multiple reports will speed the process. Either they are very backlogged with reports, or they disagree that a hyrax is not a rabbit.


All of the creators of the course are on 0 day streaks in Bronze league. They are not active anymore.


Being on a 0 day streak doesn't mean they are not active. I've received an email a few days ago that my suggestion for an alternate translation was accepted. They do have lives outside of Duolingo and they are just backlogged. Or in this case, they just don't agree with the suggestions.


Is there any way to tell when a copula is necessary? I left out הם and it was wrong.


When you have a sentence "noun" is "noun" then you need a copula. Here both "rabbit" and "snake" and "animals" are nouns. Since it's two animals they are talking about, הם is needed. It is not needed when you have "noun" is "adjective".


Hyraxes are also called daisies. Nothing to do with a rabbit


Hyran? Never heard of that one before. November 17 and it is still required as an answer


So why is it הם and not זה?


We need to use a plural pronoun because there are two animals. Literal translation: A rabbit and a snake, they are animals. :-)


In this instance both animals are masculine, thus I understand the use of הם, what if the animals were different genders? Does masculine supersede femininity in this case, thus still הם?


Yes, that's correct :-)


Is that an hoax ???


Never heard of a "hyrax" - quite interesting. They claim on this site that the hyrax is the elephant's closest extant relative! SEE https://www.awf.org/wildlife-conservation/hyrax


This answer does not exist in the proposals (or there is a missing sign in the correct proposal)


Fun fact: Hyrax are more common in South Africa, and are related to elephants rather than to rodents.


Can one also say ארנב ונחש זה חיות? Asking this because I was told that זה, when used as a copula, must agree with the predicate for gender, not number, and when the subject is generic, then it tends to be uninflected (this is from the book of Lewis Glinert on modern Hebrew grammar, as quoted by IngeborgHa14 in a comment on some other question here).


No, זה can't be used here. I don't think this sentence counts as generic. But either way, it's two animals, so it has to be הם.


I disagree...only answered this way so it would be counted correct!


What (or rather who) exactly do you disagree with?

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