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  5. "זה לא אותו הדבר."

"זה לא אותו הדבר."

Translation:It is not the same thing.

July 26, 2016



I don't think I've ever heard this sentence with the definite article before the דבר, it usually sounds like זה לא אותו דבר. Is it just me mishearing, or do the locals actually often make this mistake? Or is it not a mistake at all, but depends on context?


Locals user both interchangeably. Your hearing is excellent for a foreign language.


What you’ve heard is the less formal version.


Can דבר also mean "word"?


there is דָּבָר (da-var) meaning something; דַבְּר (da-ber) meaning speak (order someone to talk); דֶּבֶר (de-ver) meaning plague disease; and דוור (da-var) meaning mail carrier.


Not in modern Hebrew, but in older texts you will find that.


Well, in the Tanakh it could mean word beside thing (ויהי כל הארץ שפה אחת ודברים אחדים Gen 11.1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words), but nowadays one uses מִלָּה word for this.

  1. Is "now" equivalent to "ו" in ויהי ?

  2. Why not ל"כל" ?

  1. Well, many chapters (like here the eleventh) in the Tanakh begin with a ו that does not connect sentences like and, but marks the start of a new episode, a new turn in a narrative or the introduction of a new character: והנחש היה ערום מכל חית השדה Gen 3.1 Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field or ויהי אחר הדברים האלה והאלהים נסה את אברהם Gen 22.1 Now it happened after these things that God tested Abraham. This English now does not indicate the present time, but tries to express a change of circumstance, many translators leave it simply out. My gosh, the deceptive simplicity of Hebrew syntax really overloads the ubiquitous conjunction ו.
  2. Well, in reality Gen 11.1 is not a possessive sentence, but a nominal clause, i.e. the earth was language and words. Now the substantival predicate is often used in a broader sense, like a noun of material (הַמִּזְבֵּחַ עֵץ Ez 41.22 the altar (was of) wood), the thing contained (הַדּוּד אֶחָד תְּהֵנִים טֹבוֹת Jr 24.2 one of the baskets (was full of) good figs) or an abstract quality (כׇּל־נְתּיבֹתֶ֫הָ שָׁלוֹם Pr 3.17 all her paths were (of) peace or אֲנִי תְפִילָּה Ps 109.4 I (am a man of) prayer). So less sloppy translated the sentence is worded the whole earth was (of) one language (or lip) and (of) the same words.


This אותו is the same as the direct object "him" right?


Why is there no את before אותו ?


The word אותו means את in 3rd person, singular, masculin.


You are right, but that does not answer his question. There is no את because "the same thing" is not a direct object here.


Thanks for this question and the two excellent responses. According to Muraoka (Modern Hebrew for Biblical Scholars, xxi), both אותו בית and אותו הבית mean "the same house." I'm guessing that the latter is going to be used if it follows את. If there is a prepositional phrase, of course, then את is not needed, e.g., הוא הולך לאותו הבית כל יום, "he walks everyday to the same house." I bring in Muraoka because he makes two helpful comments about אותו: this sort of usage comes from Mishnaic Hebrew and it is often indistinguishable from the definite article, which may help explain why the two (אותו בית = אותו הבית) are interchangeable.


The output of this Japanese Hebraist Takamitsu Muraoka is incredible. I already own a heap of his books, but I will have a look at this too. Thanks!


Shouldn't it be "the same thing" ?


That's what I see...


I think some weird thing happened that didn't let the word "thing" appear when I was practicing. I was looking for it but didn't find it.


Maybe because the English sentence can work without it


Pronounciation: ze lo odo hadavar. Why odo instead of oto?

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