"אני צריך את זה ליום רביעי."
Translation:I need this for Wednesday.
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Wouldn't "עד יום רביעי" mean that I need it "until" Wednesday? I need it by Wednesday would mean I have to get it no later than Wednesday, and is very similar to I need it for Wednesday.
What's the difference between "by Wednesday" and "until Wednesday"?
If you say you need it by Wednesday, Wednesday might be the deadline at which time you must have it, but you might use it later. If you need until Wednesday, that means you don’t need it after Wednesday.
Why do we use "et" here? Is it because "this" is one specific thing? I'm trying to understand why we sometimes use "et" in the absence of the definite article "ha."
No, it's not about THE fourth day of the week. It's because את זה always comes together, because whatever you need is a specific thing, therefore it is definite.
Is there a regular rule to derive רביעי from ארבע? Are some numbers irregular?
If you’re talking only about how to say the numbers in the days of the week, then Wednesday is not day four, but day fourth...yom revi’i.
His question was, how did we get from ארבע to רביעי when initially they look very different, compared to, for example חמש and חמישי.
There are many instances where initial א ia not part of the root, but a prefix added for some reason. That is also the case here. So, you take the א and you're left with רבע which is the root for things quadrilateral, or quarters and so one - in other words things that have to do with 4. So, רבע becomes רביעי - fourth.
From what I understand, בשביל means "for", in the sense "for the sake of", so it wouldn't work here
Google translate says that it’s pronounced yom rəvi’i, so does that sh’va get pronounced as a schwa or an e?
Shva is either pronounced as e or not pronounced at all. It's marked like you wrote, because it's pronounced "yom revi'i", but in certain instances, shva becomes silent. And marking it with the special letter helps us realize when "e" sound is segol or tsere, an actual e sound, and when it is shva.