"השוטר אוכל לעתים קרובות."
Translation:The cop eats often.
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Both translate to "times", but they have very different meanings.
The word פעמים refers to repetitions. So for example: I visited the US five times in the last ten years. ביקרתי בארה״ב חמש פעמים בעשר השנים האחרונות
It is the plural of the word פעם meaning once.
On the other hand, עיתים refers to actual time, as in the fourth dimension. It is the plural of the word עת, which is a synonym for זמן - time. You don't use the plural form much, except in some Talmudic thing about לקבוע עיתים לתורה (setting time to study the Torah).
Although these are distinct words, add a ל before them and they become synonyms. לעיתים = לפעמים = sometimes.
I have a question: I looked up לעתים in the dictionary, and the meaning given was "sometimes". I looked up קרובות and it means "often". Why would you need to include both words? Does it emphasize the oftenness, or reduce the frequency, or is it just one of those things people say? Thank you for all your answers. Much appreciated :-)
No, קרובות does not mean "often" on its own. Only together with לעיתים.
x עת - time, עיתים - times (even though it ends in ים, it's a feminine noun)
x לעיתים = לפעמים - sometimes
x קרובות is the feminine plural form of קרוב - close, near
so, לעיתים קרובות literally means "to/for close times" = often.
The same logic applies to "rarely" - לעיתים רחוקות, where רחוקות is the plural feminine form of רחוק - far, distant, or לעיתים נדירות, where we have נדיר which means rare, uncommon.
I just checked that and it really says that "often" is the translation of קרובות. That is really not correct.
I really recommend context.reverso. They put the translation in context, which is crucial when learning a new language.
You can also check translation of many words on pealim:
I could understand people complaining about it being disrespectful if an offensive slang term was being used, but in the UK a lot of members of the Police force call themselves coppers. The term originated in the UK because the first police uniform included a rather fine protective helmet which was made from copper, hence the term "coppers". It's not disrespectful at all here. Any UK Police learning Hebrew here who could verify this?
The DL sentence is "The cop eats often", Its-me's sentence is "The cop often eats". It sounds to me like the latter, if that's the whole sentence, expresses some surprise that the cop eats at all... To make that funny notion in Hebrew, you might say לעתים קרובות השוטר אוכל.