"אחרי בית הספר היא תשתנה."

Translation:After school she will change.

August 26, 2016

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The school - בית הספר?


In Hebrew you use the definite article: "in the school". In idiomatic English often not. To use someone other's examples:

"You drop the article and say at school, in school (or to school) if you want to talk about school in an abstract way. Saying that Johnny is at the school tells you where he is. Saying that Johnny is at school tells you what he's doing.

My favourite example of this (using to) is with kids who are homeschooled. You can say, for example: Johnny goes to school at home (Meaning Johnny receives his education at home).

In contrast: Nelson's father has to go to the school each week to explain his son's behaviour to the headmaster. (Nelson's father is not receiving an education, but goes physically to his son's school.)"


Is this like, she will change her clothes, or she will change herself (like become a different person)? Since hitpael is reflexive and about progress, I am guessing it is like the later.


Logically you're right, but in reality the English sentence "after school she will change" is about a billion times more likely to mean "change her clothes" than "become different [in herself]"; probably because "after school" strongly suggests at the end of the day, not at the end of her education. But I think in Hebrew you'd have to say היא תחליף את הבגדים -- maybe someone can please confirm or deny this?


Well, usually the article is dropped or you use a suffix: הִיא תַּחֲלִיף בְּגָדִים / אֶת בְּגָדֶ֫יהָ (change clothes or change her clothes). I do not suppose הִשְׁתַּנֶּה is intrinsically about clothes. Duolingo likes strange sentences, you see.


In daily Hebrew you wouldn't use תחליף את בגדיה (and will never use תשתנה for clothes). It's much more likely to say: להתלבש. Or if you want to specify the clothes: היר תחליף לבגדים יותר נוחים, לבגדי עבודה...

Anyway in this case there is just one reasonable meaning: She we be different after she finishes the school period in her life. (And forgive me for grammar errors in English).


Speaking of "changing clothes": אחרי can also be understood locally as "behind", thus: She changes (her clothes) behind the school. Right?


Well, not right. Local behind is מֵאֲחוֹרֵי, but אַחֲרֵי is only after. These prepositions look similar, because both are derived from the root אחר.


Babylon gives for behind: מ"י: מאחורי, אחרי How do you explain that?


Well, in expressions of sequence like עָמַד בַּתּוֹר אַחֲרֵי stand in line behind or expressions of persuit like עָקַב אַחֲרֵי follow or רָדַף אַחֲרֵי chase this preposition has a spatial meaning and you could say f.e. when driving אַחֲרֵי הַמִּנְהָרָה נִמְצָא הַבַּ֫יִת after the tunnel (=behind) is the house, but for static behind, giving the location, where something is, I would not use it in neutral Modern Hebrew, even in the Tanakh local אַחֲרֵי was always connected to movement, like הריקתי אחריכם חרב Lev 26.33 I will draw the sword out after you or נעל הדלת אחריה S2 13.17 bolt the door after her. But maybe someone else may chime in, because I only share my personal impressions here. PS. I wondered why you added the abbreviation for מְדִינַת־יִשְׂרָאֵל after the preposition, until I realised this means simply מִלַּת־יַ֫חַס preposition, literally word of relation ;-)


Ingeborg, your 'personal impressions' as you call them, are always really knowledgeable and helpful


"The Gershonite families shall camp אַֽחֲרֵ֧י ‘behind’ the Mishkan", Bam3:23. // "And Sarah heard from the entrance of the tent, and it was אַֽחֲרָֽיו ‘behind him’." Br18:10. // "and behold אַחַר ‘behind’ [him] a ram caught in a thicket", Br22:13. // "it is a gift sent to my master, to Esau, and behold, he himself is אַֽחֲרֵֽינוּ ‘behind us’", Br32:18, cf. v.21. // "even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that [is] אַחַר ‘behind’ the mill", Sh11:5


Oh yes, thanks, while I could argue in Gen 32 that they move one behind the others, in Gen 18.10 שרה שמעת פתח האהל והוא אחריו there is certainly no movement of the tent door implied. Between all the examples of running, descending, chasing, turning around and following behind another person in the Tanakh I did not see these examples, especially if you also take the synonymous אַחַר as the unaugmented form of the preposition into account too. So would you think expressions like this are still usable in (literary?) Modern Hebrew? There is also an article of the Language Academy about this topic.


Well, הַיֶּ֫לֶד הוֹלֵךְ אֲחַרֵי הַיַּלְדָּה is an example for אֲחַרֵי used with a verb of movement and pursuit, so I feel supported in my views at least for the Modern Language ;-)


עברית ילידי אשר איתי אומר: כן עדיין ”אחרי” יכול לשמש במרחב. אפשר להגיד ”הילד הולך אחרי הילדה” לדוגמה


What's wrong with: "She will change after school"?


It should be accepted.


What does "she will change" refer to in this sentence?


It's a very unlikely sentence, but that's nothing new on Duolingo (it's silly when it can actually mislead users).

The obvious answer would be "she will change her clothes", but this is wrong.

  1. To change clothes is: להחליפ בגדים

  2. To change yourself (behave better, etc.) is: לשנות את עצמך (pi'el) or simply להשתנות (hitpa'el)

[After a very perceptive and useful reply by emc752906, I've edited my original comment accordingly.]

Since the sentence does not use the verb of 1, then clothes cannot be implied. Instead, it uses the hitpa'el option from 2, so she changes her behaviour in some way. The choice of "after school" in the sentence was surely a bad idea, since changing from a uniform into casual cloths seems likely. The sentence would have to be construed as "after her schooldays".


לשנות את עצמו = להשתנה

This would be number two on your list. So, not changing into a frog, but rather her thinking, acting, behavior... would change.


Excellent, emc, thank you - this is surely the explanation everyone was looking for. Unless Duolingo has changed the verb since I wrote (unlikely), then I had overlooked the fact that it was hitpa'el rather than pi'el. Once that's understood, then it's obvious why the sentence is grammatical without the addition of any further words.

It's still misleading for the reasons I gave, since a school pupil would be expected to change out of her uniform after school. But you've made a crucial addition to the discussion, and I'll edit my comment accordingly (with full acknowledgement to you). I've also changed an embarrassing spelling mistake that you tacitly corrected.


Is it pronounced as "Acharei" or "Achare"?


Well, historically the Jodh only indicated that the word has final צֵירֵה as niqqud and was therefore silent. But in Modern Hebrew under the influence of the habits of Ashkenazi speakers this combination is often pronounced [-ey], in the word אַחֲרֵי after I would say nearly generalised, although in the normative pronunciation this would not be considered correct, so I would recommend to follow popular usage.


Thanks for the info, I think I get it now. What about words like "אלהינו", is it "eloheinu" or "elohenu", or בין, I'm guessing it's the same rule right?


Yes, it is the same rule. In the first case it has an additional morphological load, because it distinguishes the singular from the plural for speakers who use this pronunciation (אֱלֹהֵ֫נוּ versus אֱלֹהֵ֫ינוּ, well, bad example I guess) and the second (an etymological spelling, being the construct of בַּ֫יִן interval) helps it differenciate from בֵּן son. But among the eight diphthongs of Biblical Hebrew there was no [ey], and the pronunciation of this diphthong today is on a spectrum.

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