"Don't dye her shirt!"

Translation:לא לצבוע את החולצה שלה!

July 20, 2016

This discussion is locked.


So can infinitives always be used as imperatives?


You can use the infinitive as an order, if you are a person of authority or in written instructions. So a museum attendant may say: לַעֲבוֹר בְּבַקָּשָׁה "move along, please", or a teacher to pupils: כֻּלָּם לָקוּם "all stand", or a mother strictly to her child: לֹא לִנְגּוֹעַ "no touching". לֹא לְצְבּוֹעַ sounds like a washing instruction written on a label to me.


Thanks for explaining. I expect it comes later on in the course, but speaking of instructions on labels, what form of לא is ללא?


Well, לְלֹא (i.e. לְ־ + לֹא) meaning without is used in a higher language register instead of בְּלִי and must always (unlike בְּלִי which also takes the infinitive) be followed by a noun. It is especially found in some fixed expressions like לְלֹא רוּחַ חַיִּים lifeless, לְלֹא רְבָב flawless or לְלֹא פֶּ֫גַע unscathed.


Thanks also -- meant to write this sooner -- for all your many other explanations.


Thank you very much!


I don't understand why there is a ל in front of the צבוע. I don't think we were taught this in this lesson.


It's an infinitive.


Lo litzboa et ha'chultza shela!


As someone who grew up with Hebrew and is now relearning it, this stuck me as a weird way to say it.


i thought the same - אל תצבע את החולצה שלה seems better


Can you use "אל" instead of "לא"? If so, what form should the verb be to match it?



אל תצבע את החולצה שלה!

the future form


I thougt, the infinitive is only used for orders when adressing nobody in particular. E.g. on a washing maschine: לא לצבוע בגדים: "do not dye clothes"? But this is a specific order to someone and would require a negated future form.


This is a completely wrong Hebrew translation.

"Don't dye her shirt" should be: "אל תצבע את החולצה שלה" (of course, תצבע can also be תצבעי/תצבעו)

What Duo suggests to be the translation: לא לצבוע את החולצה שלה should be "Not to dye her shirt"


What's the difference between לא and אל?


You use לא not for declarative sentences, but אַל not for orders.


From my understanding, in a sentence like this - אל + future tense (אל תצבע) - regular negative imperative and לא + infinitive (לא לצבוע) - a formal and indirect order, which one might find on signs.


When I lived in Israel I always heard אל for an instruction such as this, at least verbally. Written general directions I saw with לא followed by an infinitive.


So imperatives don't need a subject? There is an "understood you," like in English?


There are several different ways to express a command (imperative). To say "don't do X", you can use this construction, with לא followed by the infinitive verb. Other forms are taught in the imperative section.


This is not a correct way to express an imperstive. The infinitive can only be used to express a command in a "suggestive expression" with a statue constructus such as "עסור".



(Just so people know, a'sur means "it is prohibited.")


OK, I can agree that the infinitive looks good in imperatives like "don't dye the ducks" or "don't paint the wall". But the phrase don't paint HER shirt looks strange. It can't be a poster or a sign in public. Rather something a mom would tell her kids. Why should it be so official? Besides I'd say it as אל תצבעו or אסור לצבוע. Even then her shirt is out of place here. Sounds stupid.


I have a theory that Duolingo is trying to provide a fast track way for beginners to express commands since this level is so early on in the course. It's not technically correct to say לא + infinitive to give an order, but it does work if you don't know Hebrew yet and I think, from this perspective, it is very kind of the staff to unlock a huge skill this way for beginners.


Why is it wrong to say לא לצבוע את חולצתה


Well, the forms with suffixed possessive pronouns like חֻלְצָתָהּ her shirt, being quite formal, are not fed in for all sentences, but you can report it.


Is the real imperative rare? Wiktionary says the imperative is "צְבַע", but this sentence uses the infinitive "לצבוע", and the comments recommend "תִּצְבַּע" which I think is a future form.


Yes, it's not used much for most verbs, and the Future tense is used instead. However, there are a few verbs which still use the proper imperative. For example: תן (ten) - give! בוא (bo) - come! לך (lech) - go!


My answer was marked correct, but a note that there was a typo, and the typo appears to have been my inclusion of את since that was underscored. But why is that a typo? Isn't it necessary to put an את before a definite direct object?


I have 2 typos there using the predefined stamps


אל תִּצְבַּע / תִּצְבְּעִי / תִּצְבְּעוּ את החולצה שלה!


I still find this really confusing and likely in the wrong lesson.


What specifically is confusing for you?


Could this be translated as, "No to coloring her shirt!"? That's how my English speaking self sees it anyway, though it sounds like someone learning English. But is that what this pretty much means?


No. It means what it says above: "don't dye/color her shirt".


Why is the--more usual--אל תצבע את החולצה שלה?--rejected?


Well, I suppose because it is in a lesson about the infinitive, when the future tense is not yet introduced.


Actually, this is the skill on colors, and the sentence Judith wrote is actually accepted. She must have made another mistake she didn't notice, or it was some kind of a glitch.


אל is not given as an option

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