Why? Is there a specific type of verb that demands ב? What other words follow this? And, as asked in another comment, how would you say "I watch [from within] the water."? perhaps אני צופה ממים?
I'm just learning this to but it's not unlike "looking at". So I can't be too mad.
So supposing I wanted to differentiate between "I watch the water" and the somewhat nonsensical "I watch in the water". Couldn't these translate from the same Hebrew sentence "אני צופה במים"?
Why can't "I watch in the water", as in "I watch the children in the water" (while being in the water)? Wouldn't somebody like a lifeguard say that? Where else could it be applicable?
Pretty sure "I watch in the water" is not a valid english sentence. You can't watch into things. But that is the preposition in hebrew anyway.
I imagine this is supposed to be about the sea or the ocean, but all I can think of is this guy staring intently at a glass of water.
Do you hear "ba-" here? I've listened to the audio loads of times but still hear "be-" and thus don't write "the" but it's marked as wrong...
From MODERN HEBREW GRAMMAR by Lewis Glinnert: 4 The definite article ה ‘The’ is usually ה, pronounced ha. It is always prefixed to the noun, e.g. ‘the light’. האור (So, too, are all other one-letter words, such as בְ ‘in’ and כְ ‘as’.) Note: Newsreaders and teachers may pronounce it as הֶwith certain words, but coming from an ordinary person this will sound pedantic. When combining ְב and ְל with ה the’, one has to run them together to make בָ and לָ , thus בַבוקר in the morning (not בְהַבוקר)
לַסוף to the end Not לְהַסוף
No, ב can sometimes mean "in", but other times it simply marks the object of certain verbs (like watch, support, etc.).
It's similar to in English how "I see water" is correct but "I look water" is not correct. We have to say "I look AT water." But when look is used intransitively (i.e. "I am looking") there is not need for the at. It is only added to mark the object of the verb. Similar in Hebrew.
Earlier in the lesson it said this translates to i stare at the water but now it counted that as wrong?
Sometimes you'll get a typo for using it. Welcome to a Duolingo, languages that are not romanized, have slight quirks because they built it/standardized on reading left to right, etc.
Would אני צופה המים be nonsense or just have a different meaning. If so, what might that be?
You can't say that. I'm just learning as well... But above it says you need the bet preposition for that verb. Even if it wasn't needed, you didn't add the direct object marker et, to go before the hey.
Oh I forgot to add that. That does prompt another question though, why is et not needed when bet is the preposition? Ma'im is still the direct object right?