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  5. "הכלב שלי אכל לי את שיעורי הב…

"הכלב שלי אכל לי את שיעורי הבית!"

Translation:My dog ate my homework!

July 19, 2016



Someone must stop these dogs. This is evidently an international problem.


כן, אבל בינתיים, בתאבון להם!


What is the purpose of לי here?


The expression "הוא אכל לי" means that someone ate something that belongs to you, and it implies that it was without permission or against his will. For example, "מישהו אכל לי מהדייסה" = "someone ate from my porridge".

This kind of structure is common in Hebrew (at least, Modern Hebrew?), with other verbs as well -

Who moved my cheese = מי הזיז את הגבינה שלי/מי הזיז לי את הגבינה

He did our homework = הוא הכין לנו את שעורי הבית/הוא הכין את שעורי הבית שלנו

The difference between the two alternatives is very small and nuanced in my opinion.


Great explanation.


This structure is also common in other languages. French: Il a volé mon ordinateur/Il m'a volé l'ordinateur Arabic: سرق حاسوبي/سرق لي الحاسوب


Greek as well: έκλεψε τον υπολογιστή μου / μου έκλεψε τον υπολογιστή

Or even both: μου έκλεψε τον υπολογιστή μου


sara' 7ābi and sara' li l7āsūb?


Yes, very good! But I don't know if you're referring to the Q sound with the apostrophe, but if yes, then you're right. sAraqa 7āsūbi, and sAraqa li l7āsūb.

Funny thing to look at, is that all the letters of mikhshav and 7asub share the same grammatical roots. ח which could either be pronounced as "kh" or as "7", and it meets the Arabic خ which is pronounced as "kh". ש which could either be pronounced as "s" or as "sh", and it meets the Arabic س which is pronounced as "s". ב which could either be pronounced as "b" or as "v", and it meets the Arabic ب which is pronounced as "b".

So there you go, you have the same roots and they mean the same thing but they ended up sounding completely unrelated. Mikhshav, and 7asub.

Hence the beauty of studying related languages :)


Duolingo didn't let me reply to your last message, so I am replying here instead.

First, thanks for correcting me for makhshev :)

Second, very good analysis! Except that there are spoken dialects and fus7a mixed together in your answer. Let me clarify it.

In Fus7a, it is always the hard Qaaf sound. And yes it is always three syllables. The only time it ends with حركة السكون is when it is in imperative: إسرق! "Is-reQ!". Otherwise, it is always three syllables. Hence, in the example given above, it would definitely be three syllables, as: sAraqa.

In spoken dialects though, yes it could either be used as a glottal stop by all dialects, kind of like the modern prononciation of ע in words, and yes it could also be pronounced as ג, and sometimes it should be pronounced as Qaaf, to avoid any confusion with another word that doesn't contain the Qaaf, for example: قلم which means pen, as opposed to ألم which means ache. We sometimes make sure to pronounce the Qaaf so we won't end up asking the other person if he has pain, instead of a pen.

Now back to the example, in dialects, you're right, we could just say sara' or sara'et for female. However, we never say حاسوب in spoken dialects. We say كمبيوتر, pronounced grammatically kom-byu-tr, but with harsh Arabic accents becomes kam-byo-tar.

Therefore, it is either: sAraqa 7asubi (Fus7a), or sara' kom-byut-ri (Spoken dialect).

Makes any sense?


Great explanation, very clear!


With the apostrophe I meant the glottal stop, as used in Levantine Arabic (eg. 'albi for قلبي - we write this as אלבי, unless we're using the Yemenite dialect where it becomes גלבי), but I understand that it's not always possible to pronounce qaaf as a glottal stop, and sometimes you have to use the FusHa pronunciation, the uvular plosive.

So is it always three syllables, saraqa? Or can it be two, saraq, in spoken Arabic?

By the way, I think you mean makhshev (computer).


This makes my brain hurt.


Somebody ate my computer and a dog stole my homework


So not to be mistaken with "בשבילי". ;-)

"כלב טוב!"

No, rather best to just do your homework!


ate my homework


Would it be wrong if I said הכלב שלי אכל את שיעורי הבית שלי


Not wrong, just less colloquial. See radagastthebrown's excellent explanation way back at an earlier point in this thread, from some time in 2017

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