"I pass the man."

Translation:אני עובר את הגבר.

July 22, 2016

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ani ovér et ha-géver


in this context, I believe that the more proper term would be עקף, which means to bypass, or surpass. עבר is generally used to mean cross over from one side of something to another.

When my family in Israel speaks of passing someone in another car, they use the term עקף, not עבר.


Can the sentence אני עובר את הגבר be interpreted as "I put someone else in charge of the man" (for example "I pass the man on to my collegue")?


Can you please give an example of the sentence in this exercise as it should be?

I am just learning Hebrew and I want to make sure I don't learn the "wrong" things, as it is much more difficult to unlearn something.

  • 1212

The thing is, "I pass the man" has so many different meaning, and each of them gets translated a bit differently.

Meaning #1: There's this man who stands at the street corner, and every day on the way to work I pass the man. In that case the translation as given is fine, except that I would probably use איש rather than גבר.

Meaning #2: The man is in his car and he's driving slowly. I'm in the car behind him and then I overtake him. In that case I might use the verb לעקוף as David suggested:
אני עוקף את הגבר

Meaning #3: I'm the man's teacher. He's doing poorly in class, but I let him pass anyway. In that case we'll use the same root verb, but with a different form of the verb

אני מעביר את הגבר


Thanks for all your comments during the years, synp!

They help a lot.



I think Meaning #1 should be rendered in English as “I go past the man” rather than “I pass the man” which sounds a bit weird to my ear.


It's totally fine in Canada. Where are you from?


I am a Russian teacher of English and translator who lived and worked for 2 years in the USA, but live in Russia now.


so would i say that. I live in England


What's the difference between גבר and איש?

  • 1212

gever is decidedly male. איש can be used as a generic human


So איש is like "person"?

  • 1212

It's ambiguous. For example:

האיש שמוכר כרטיסים נקרא קופאי

I can say this even if I don't know what gender the cashier is.

האישה שמוכרת כרטיסים נקראת קופאית

I would never say this unless I know for a fact that the cashier is a woman.

In a way, English is similar: "Man does not live by bread alone." Does this apply to females? Probably. You're not required to convert it to "person" or "one" because "man" is also used as a generic in a way "woman" never is.

But you can definitely use "man" when you know that it is a male, and even when maleness is necessary. For example (and ignoring gay marriage):

איש ואשה הם חצי ועוד חצי וביחד אדם שלם

This quote from chabad is using ish as necessarily male just as if they had written גבר ואישה.

In summary איש is a close approximation of "man"


Ok, now it's clear! In my native language, Portuguese, we use "homem" (man) this way, too, and it's more often than in English! Thank you! :)


Why אני מעביר את הגבר is not acceptable?


Should it be? מעביר is hif'il and this is a skill on pa'al after all...

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