"אני אוכלת את הפיצה."

Translation:I am eating the pizza.

August 11, 2016

10 Comments
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https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iggyl

I am confused about את again. Here I understand why it's needed: the pizza is getting something done to it - it's being eaten. In a previous sentence however ("You don't like chocolate?"), there was no את. Why? The chocolate was being liked (or not liked, as the case might be). Is it because in that sentence it was "a" chocolate and not "the" chocolate, which is why we don't use את when talking about it? I promise, some day I'll get it! :-) Thanks in advance!


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

You are correct :) את is used before the direct object in Hebrew, but only when we use the definite article ה (the). In Hebrew we call such nouns שמות עצם מיודעים. So for example -

אכלתי פיצה אתמול

אכלתי את הפיצה שקניתי בתל אביב


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

She is speaking very fast, don't you think?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shai324331

"I'm eating pizza" should be acceptable


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David__21

Apparently not due to the את.


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

aní ochélet et ha-pítza.


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

The article "את" is used, in conjunction with "-ה" to specify a certain thing, correct? How exactly does it operate in the language, tho? If two kids were arguing over a football, would they use the two articles mentioned above to denote that specific ball? Would they use the articles only if there were other balls in the area, or also if there were not?


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

The word את is the (definite) direct object marker, not an article. That means that it is used only when you have a transitive verb, which takes direct object, which then needs to be definite. The first examples of such verbs we are introduced to are "to like, to drink, to eat" but there are many more that we will encounter. On the other hand, there are transitive verbs, which don't take a direct object or intransitive verbs and את can never be used after them - examples of such verbs include "to walk, to sleep, to sit".

A very important thing to note here is that if a verb is transitive in one language, it doesn't necessarily mean it will be transitive in another, or if they require a direct object in one language, it doesn't necessarily mean they will require a direct object in the other language. The verbs "to touch, to use" are good examples of those. Even though they require direct object in English, in Hebrew they require the preposition ב.

Now, about your example. If we are talking about a specific ball, yes, את would be used, but only if we use a transitive verb. For example, if we say that he stole it, hid it, passed it, threw it, gave it back (=transitive verbs), you'd need את, but if we say he looked at it, touched it, kicked it, kept it, sat on it... (=intransitive verbs or transitive that require indirect object), then you wouldn't use את, but some other preposition. So, it depends on the verb, not the object.

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