"I am not eating meat, but cheese."

Translation:אני לא אוכל בשר, אלא גבינה.

August 5, 2016

This discussion is locked.


When do you use אלא and when do you use אבל for the word but? Does it matter?


You use אלא in a very specific type of sentence, between two contradicting statements, where the first is negated. The best translation to English is "but rather". If you can change the "but" to "but rather", you can use אלא.


Is it important to use אלא? Would אבל or אך really be considered wrong by mother tongue speakers?


If you wanted to use אבל , you'd need another verb for it to make any sense. For example: I'm not eating meat, but the cheese is good -- or: I'm not eating meat, but I've got some cheese here... It's like the difference in German between aber (this thing happened, but then that other thing happened) and sondern (not meat but cheese).


Thank you. Please also explain between אך and אבל.


They're more or less synonymous, but I think אבל is just more common in everyday speech. Also אך appears in some set phrases like אך ורק - a sort of more emphatic version of "only", like "exclusively".


aní lo ochél basár, éla gviná.


Can anybody please explain the situation? Is cheese considered as... meat here?


No it's a contrast = (not this, but that) , I'm not eating meat but cheese. Not this = meat, but that = cheese

(Kind of like):

I don't want Puppy but (rather) a kitten. This isn't a fruit but (rather) a vegetable.

21 Dec 2018


What makes you think that?


Am I being dumb or is this not necessarily a "rather" situation? Do you want meat - no I'd rather have cheese, I get that, but if you just say in a general way I don't eat meat, but I'm not a vegan, I do eat cheese, is that still "rather"?


Many Hebrew speakers follow Jewish kosher rules, by which one would not eat meat if already eating dairy, and vice versa, until the following meal. For instance, lunch might be dairy-only, no meat, and dinner might be meat with no dairy allowed.


note how it is translated as "am eating," which suggests not what the speaker eats in general but what the he is eating right now, this moment. As such it is a contrast. You are correct that since Hebrew doesn't distinguish between the English "I eat..." and "I am eating..." that such a sentence could be used to speak generally about the kinds of things one eats, but you are also correct that that sort of interpretation wouldn't really make sense here. :-)


I got this right but duolingo keeps saying it's wrong what can I do?


Copy the correct sentence (like the one top of this discussion page) and paste it the next time you get this question. Sometimes there are bugs like that. Or maybe you didn't see your mistake.


Why can't I use אך instead of אלא?


אבל and אך are synonymous, but אלא and אך are not.


Why offer אבל as a possibility if it's going to be marked as wrong?


That's the challenge, to see whether we remember it correctly or are trying to imitate machine translation

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