"אני צופֶה במים."

Translation:I watch the water.

August 10, 2016

61 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/yolessia

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Or a pot, ... to see when the water boils.
7;->

b006 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarkSteinVT

I stare intently at glasses of water all the time.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/marcocanel10

DEAR JULIE, צופה DEMANDS THE PREPOSITION ב


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandonjatkins

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel495432

I'm just learning this to but it's not unlike "looking at". So I can't be too mad.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

You can say looking in, looking under, looking over, looking to...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillDe

Yes. But all these different prepositions make "looking" have a different meaning. "Looking at" is "צופה ב"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

“Looking at” is better translated as ‏מסתכל mistakel.

Tsofe is watch, and when it’s a transitive verb, it’s usually defined as to observe closely in order to check on action or change. (That’s the meaning that would fit this sentence best).

If you ask a lifeguard to describe her work, she might say I watch the water to make sure no one is drowning.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danny912421

aní tzofé ba-máyim.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Grafdog

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"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoSoyJoseph

Right. Probably context.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mathman2pi

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Michael112818

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Yana846101

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...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

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


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

be+ha = ba. I know there was a good explanation , but I can't find it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Yes, it sounds mostly like "אֲנִי צוֹפֶה בַּמַּיִם" to me.
But it also sounds like "אֲנִי צוֹפֶה בְּמַיִם" to me.
I would certainly prefer that these presumably professional speakers used clearer diction, but this is probably more realistic, normal speech.

b006 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Right. I can see why a native English (or Spanish, or...) speaker would not get the native Hebrew /a/ sound as clear, but I can't imagine how an unstressed /a/ could be pronounced any clearer in Hebrew.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

I think there's a rule when it's be instead of ba. I'll try to find it


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SRP87

Can this mean "I am watching Mayim" as in I am babysitting a girl named Mayim?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Does it work in English? Should you say "I am watching over Mayim"? Anyways, in Hebrew it doesn't work - צופה doesn't have this meaning. Should be שומר or משגיח.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Yes, it does work in English for babysitting, provided that the context is understood.

a909 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Yarden, would you use צופה if you're watching Mayim on TV, instead of watching over her?
edit: assuming I didn't want to use רואה or מסתכל.

b006 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Yes, if you're watching Mayim on TV the most appropriate term would be צופה, a bit formal, מסתכל and רואה would be very common colloquials.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rich739183

Thanks, Yarden, and for some reason this reminded me that צופים are Israeli "Scouts". So now I have a connection to help me remember this verb.

b006 rich739183


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Theresa754142

@Yarden “Watching over” for babysitting is not something I would ever expect to hear anyone say. I usually hear this expression in for instance Angels are watching over me or God is watching over me or You’re lucky! Someone is watching over you.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JulieOlsha

Shouldn't it be ani tzofe ha'mayim?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

Bamayim in the water


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BenSmart2

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

Thanks good explanation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DaveSmith456703

Now that makes sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Mabel544786

I believe that Hebrew uses צופה ב when one is looking at something for a while, like watching Tv, watching a film or a show, or sitting down at a bench and enjoy a beautiful view. Maybe a Hebrew speaker could confirm or correct?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Hebrew speaker here to confirm (-:

Note, though, that צופה is a bit formal. In spoken Hebrew we tend to prefer either רואה (movie, show, TV) or מסתכל על (the view, another person).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Hsn626796

Would "I watch in the water" be the same, or is it אני צופה בבמים ..?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TomerBromberg

Earlier in the lesson it said this translates to i stare at the water but now it counted that as wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jarrettph

Stare is בוהה.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VikaLioraP

I've got a typo for not using nikkudot


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jarrettph

Happens all the time, just ignore it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimCopelan1

Would אני צופה המים be nonsense or just have a different meaning. If so, what might that be?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TeribleT

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.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JimCopelan1

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?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

/et/ is needed with an object that is both (a) determined, (b) direct. With the ב preposition it's not direct.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

At the risk of confusing you further, it's not as nonsense. Because "צופה" is also "predict". You can say "אני צופה שטפון", meaning "I predict flood". I can't quite make it work with אני צופה מים or אני צופה את המים, but it's close...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillDe

This is another case where the clipping of the last sound in the audio makes it impossible to guess what the person is saying. (Most of the time the context of grammar fills in the missing sound.) Here I hear

אני ציפה במאי I was watching for this famous person somewhere...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/emc752906

I can hear the final mem.

Since צופה requires ב for the thing you are watching, without the final mem, it would translate to May - I am watching at May. Watching a director would be צופה בבמאי, because it still needs the preposition ב.

On the other hand, watching for would mean expect, if I understand your point and in that case you would need the root in pi'el אני מצפה לבמאי - I am expecting /awaiting the director.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BillDe

Thanks. So grammar and context would have solved this answer too. I am curious if you hear the clipping elsewhere in the Hebrew course. I hear it often in this course and don't hear it in any other course. So I have assumed the problem was with the Hebrew application. They did not use duolingo's normal voice system but insisted on recording everything themselves. Perhaps there is something in this difference. Do you or anyone else using Hebrew have the same problems? Thanks again.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YoavDothan

I wrote " I watch at the water" - why is it not acceptable? In Hebrew אני צופה המים by the way who would say צופה maybe מסתכל


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danny912421

You can't use "at" after "watch". You look at something, but you watch something. That's why it's "watch the water".

That is also the difference between מסתכל (look) and צופה (watch).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/James376184

Why does the water not require a direct object marker? Aren't we looking at/in THE water, directly? Doesn't צופה have ha mayim as the target?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danny912421

In Hebrew צופה (means watch, not look) is intransitive, which means it doesn't take a direct object, unlike English, where it is a transitive verb. It takes the preposition ב.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Stefanos441240

When would you use "ani mistakel vs. "ani tzofe" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

See my comment above with "a bit formal".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kate990828

Why isn't it "et h'mim" because if it's "I watch the water", water is a direct object, isn't it? I thought the "beth" in front of the noun mean in or to the.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/danny912421

In Hebrew צופה is intransitive, which means it doesn't take a direct object, unlike English, where it is a transitive verb. It takes the preposition ב.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kate990828

Thank you for explaining that to me. I appreciate it but can only hope I will remember it!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Vitalspeak

Знатоки русского языка, всё-таки как правильно переводится с иврита это предложение: я Смотрю на эту воду или я Вижу эту воду? А может третий вариант, я Слежу за этой водой (когда она закипит) ? ותודה


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/YardenNB

Я смотрю на воду.

Learn Hebrew in just 5 minutes a day. For free.