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  5. "אם הייתי צריך עזרה, הייתי מב…

"אם הייתי צריך עזרה, הייתי מבקש."

Translation:If I needed help, I would ask.

August 20, 2016



What about:

"If I was needing help, I would ask"?


I've seen similar questions pop up a few times now throughout this couse. I just hope that more people come across this post.

It sounds rather strange to native English speakers' ears to hear certain verbs in their continuous form. Language is so flexible that it's hard for me to draw the line between right and wrong, but I would highly caution against saying "...I was needing...".


I assure you, "I was needing" is perfect English. Maybe some people do not use it as such, but using "need" in continuous is acceptable. It may be strange to some English speakers, but not to all and it certainly doesn't break the rules.


Did you read the example website I linked to? I believe you that it may be fine to say in English, but there are well known linguists out there that stand by the observable rarity of stative verbs in the continuous. It only came to mind because that is what my linguistics professors at university taught.

I'm not saying it's wrong, I'm saying it is rare.


"Rarity of stative verbs in the continuous". Therefore you admit they are still possible.

Personally, I think it's silly to define stative verbs as verbs that can't be used in the continuous. I'd prefer to say that they're the only verbs that can be used in the simple present without there being a repetitive or general meaning:

If you say:

"I swim." It's general. Doesn't sound natural if you're doing it at that moment. "I am swimming." It means you're doing it at that point in time.

"I need water." Not necessarily general. Usually means at that point in time. "I'm needing water." Redundant, since "I need water" already covers its meaning.


Well put! As linguist Ronald Langacker shows, even the most protypical stative verbs can have non-stative construals under the right conditions or in the proper communicative contexts/situations. The opposite is generally true of prototypically non-stative verbs as well. Many verbs (and their corresponding ideas/conceptions) fall somewhere in the middle of these extremes and are often used with greater flexibility.


The reason I root for this translation to be accepted is because if it is possible and grammatically correct(in other words, correct), then it should be counted right, regardless of how "rare" it may be.

I understand it is not often used that way, but it can be.


I don't think this sentence is subjunctive or even if it CAN be. Probably what you might have meant was "If I was IN NEED of help." If they don't accept that, you might want to try reporting it and see if they start accepting it, even though it technically is not an exact translation


Maybe, but I am pretty sure "I needed help" and "I was needing help" only has one difference, and that is the progressive tense which doesn't exist in Hebrew.

If I understand what subjunctive means(imagined or not actually real; Hypothetical), than this sentence is subjunctive.

I got that sentence this way(trying to follow the pattern):

אם הייתי צריך עזרה If-I was-need(ing)-help

I could be wrong, but wouldn't "If I was in need of help" be: אילו הייתי זקוק לעזרה


why is, "If I would need help .... " not accepted?


It doesn't sound like correct English to me. If you can provide a full sentence as an example maybe I'll change my mind.


I think he means "If I would need help, I would ask." And yes, that is correct English.


Well, I stand corrected! Considering I'm a native English speaker - ouch! lol


אם אצטרך עזרה...


Yes, more or less "If I ever need any help", looking ahead to the future.


Hi Ingeborg,

How do we get "ever" from this? I would love to be able to start using "ever" in hebrew :)


"I would HAVE asked"


It's already an accepted alternative.


Those have different meanings. 'Would have asked' is referring to a particular situation in the past whereas 'would ask' refers to a future, as of now, hypothetical case. Is there any such distinction in Hebrew?


No, the distincion between hypothetical questions of the present and the past is not grammaticalised in Hebrew, you have to infer this from the (here missing) context.


It didn't accept "if I needed help I would ask" because i didnt write, "any help." Is this necessary or even implied?


Is the following translation acceptable? "If I should need help, I would ask."

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