"If I were a ten year old girl I would run among the flowers."

Translation:אם הייתי ילדה בת עשר הייתי רצה בין הפרחים.

August 20, 2016

This discussion is locked.


Can't one just say בת עשר without ילדה ?


If you say that, the translation is "If I were ten, I would....". Although I see what you are getting at, that the בן/בת difference gives you more information than you get in the English sentence.

But equally, saying אני קוראת ספר tells you "I (a female) am reading a book", and you don't translate the part that tells you the gender.


I see what you are getting at. Still, I think there are times I would translate your example sentence as "I am a girl reading a book." I suppose my question really was whether the answer here wouldn't be seen as stilted in Hebrew, which it sounds like it would not.


I think this should be accepted (mar19)


Yes you can say that

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I think that הייתי רץ should be accepted, for the speaker could also be a male person.


I sorta think that too, but I realize I don’t know.

Is there a grammatical rule for counterfactual gender? If a man says “If I were a girl, I would run”, should he say “הייתי רץ” according to his actual gender, or should he say “הייתי רצה” according to the gender he would have in the imagined scenario?


A great question that unfortunately no one has yet answered. Maybe a vacuous response like this can get it back on some of the experts' radar?


It is an interesting question, maybe more philosophical than linguistic. But in my opinion since the "if" applies to being female, "הייתי רצה" is the way to say it.


The word 'אילו' is the correct form of the conditional 'if' when it's second or third condition (unrealistic situation) When it's a real condition you use אם and when it's unreal you use אילו/לו


So, here we shouldn't use לו/אילו because it is conceivably possible to be a 10-year-old girl? Or should they be acceptable?


good explanation, thanks!


What do you mean by 'second or third condition'?


@gay I think that אם is not only used for real situations, because in our target sentence here, the person wouldn’t say “If I were 10 years old” if the actual age were ten, so this must be a hypothetical situation.


eem hayíti yaldah bat éser hayiti rátzah ben ha-prakhim


Ok, so לו and אילו are formal ways to say אם in hypothetical conditiones, right? So, if I want to be poetical or formal, when shall I use לו and when shall I use אילו? What are their differences?


Ingeborg mentioned that lule is biblical and ilule is a later formation but either is okay, by which I think he means that both are used in the same way.


אִם הָיִיתִי יַלְדָּה בַּת עֶשֶׂר הָיִיתִי רָצָה בֵּין הַפְּרָחִים

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