"I have a cat because I love cats."

Translation:יש לי חתול כי אני אוהב חתולים.

July 21, 2016

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I was taught both that בגלל has negative connotations and that it's poor form to use "בגלל ש" so didn't select the option with that for translating "I have a cat because I love cats." Why is a not-fully correct, but sort of roughly correct answer listed here?


That's interesting, someone in another discussion said the exact same thing yesterday, and I don't think I've ever been told that בגלל has negative connotations! I've been using it as neutral by whole life.

As for בגלל ש, it's formally incorrect and I wouldn't use it on an exam. But it's in very common daily usage, enough to make it a part of spoken language. It's sort of incorrect in the same way that, in English, a preposition at the end of a sentence is something up with which we should not put. You know, you are told in class never to use it, and then you go out and use it anyway.


The "no ending with preposition" is a myth though. Actually concoctions like "up with which we should not put" seem to be used by grammarians to demonstrate the absurdity of this "rule".

A better way to compare formal English to colloquial English would be "who" vs "whom" as objective pronoun.


My point is that these rules tend to be absurd, but I agree your analogy is better.


WRT negative connotations, yes, I was definitely taught בזכות as the term to use if there were positive connotations, and בגלל if there are negative. If the sentence here were neutral I could understand using בגלל, but since loving cats is presumably positive, בגלל would have been marked wrong by my ulpan teacher.

WRT בגלל ש, does DuoLingo give the option of having the sentence with בגלל ש accepted if someone types it in, but not including it on the list of sentences for the exercises in which you need to select all the correct translations? That seems like a reasonable response to the "it's not actually correct, but it's common usage."


As far as I know, בגלל is neutral - it can be used either for negative or positive sentences (you can find examples in the Bible for positive uses). There are other negative synonyms - מחמת, מפאת, בעטיו של and others.

Regarding בגלל ש, it's not formally incorrect, see for example here - https://www.safa-ivrit.org/style/biglal.php . I'd also guess it's the second most used word for "because" after "כי" in spoken language.


Yes בגלל does have a negative connotation and isn't appropriate here. When you want to blame someone for causing a bad thing you say it is בגללו or בגללה. In this case i would simply use כי


I think I finally have a hint why some people claim to בגלל has a negative connotation. I doesn't, generally, but when combined with a 2nd person pronoun, בגללך, I believe it does. I think that "because of you" is seldom neutral (as opposed to "because you XYZed something") - it tends to be either positive or negative. בגללך would not be used positively - it will be negative, at most borderline neutral. For positive, it will be בזכותך.


According to Muraoka (Modern Hebrew for Biblical Scholars, xlii), the classical Hebrew כי is still in use (obviously as the sentence here indicates) as a causal conjunction "though always following the main clause." He doesn't write anything about בגלל having negative connotations. I don't think the latter (whether as conjunction or preposition) has negative connotations because none of the modern Hebrew grammars I looked at say anything about that. They do tend to say that בגלל can occur at the beginning or middle of a sentence and is followed by a noun (G. Etzion, Routledge Intro Hebrew Course, 323). He gives as examples: בגלל הרעש, "because of the noise," and בגלל הילדים, "because of the children." If there are any negative connotations related to a specific בגלל + noun construction, it is coincidental rather than grammatical. Etzion also notes that בגלל takes suffixes and so הכול בגללך, "it's all your fault," "it's all because of you," and בגללי, "because of me," i.e., I'm to blame. Those are obviously negative, and so probably Hebrew teachers will sometimes help students with this latter construction by noting the negativity, which is useful, but in wider context the preposition and conjunction are not negative. However, AssafD above says it is negative, so maybe that's it's most common use.


I've seen that "כי" fuses with other words but tried to use "כאני" and i guess it's not doable. Are there rules for when "כי" is supposed to tack onto other words and when not? Cheers!


ll כי can never be fused to words. There is, however, the preposition -כ, which can replace the word כמו (like, as), or in other contexts mean 'around, about'. For example:

Clear as day = ברור כשמש (though literally, "clear as the sun")

I have about a hundred stamps = יש לי כמאה בולים

It's more common to use כמו rather than -כ in speech, as -כ is considered more formal.

As for כאני, that wouldn't work anyway: for "like me", you'd only use כמו with the pronominal suffix, i.e. כמוני (kamoni).


I understand that בגלל is for reasons that don't have (action) verbs. For example, "I can't talk because I am busy.' - אני לא יכול לדבר בגלל אני אסוק׳'


I am a native speaker and I always use בגלל. Verbs, nouns, abstract, concrete... Btw, busy is עסוק


Hi good day/night, so can בגלל be used in any place instead of the other words for because??


Instead of כי you can use בגלל ש, but I don't know if they accept it.

בגלל - in front of nouns

בגלל ש - in front of verb/clauses


I think that I just read in the TIPS section: "The conjunction word "בגלל"(because of) requires the definite article "ה"." And now at the first sentence they ask me for a ש. LOL.


Look at my comment which is right above yours!


Why is there no את after אוהב?


ll את is used before definite objects. 'cats' is not definite, but if it was 'the cats' you'd indeed add את.

I love cats = אני אוהב חתולים

I love the cats = אני אוהב את החתולים


Sounds reasonable.


Why isn't it Lhatulim? Since it refers to cats in general?


Using ל after אוהב doesn't make sense. אני אוהב חתולים - I like cats.

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