"Two years is too much time."

Translation:שנתיים זה יותר מדי זמן.

September 2, 2016

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shnatáyim ze yotér midáy zman.


Could I also use a copula here instead of זה? For example, would שנתיים הם יותר מדי זמן work?


Yes, it works (except it's שנתיים הן יותר מדי זמן, as שנה is feminine).


I used הן which was accepted so it appears that the זה is incorrect and should be זאת


The copulas זה/זאת/אלה usually match the second noun in "<noun> is <noun>" type of sentences. זמן is masculine so זה is right answer.


Thanks for this, Radagast. I had been confused on this point as well.


Are you sure of this? I would have written things like כׇּל עֲבוֹדָתֵךְ הִיא בִּזְבֵּז־זְמַן all your work is a waste of time or אֶצְלוֹ כׇּל הַחַיִּם הֵם חֻפְשָׁה His whole life is a vacation...


I was talking about "z-copula", i.e. זה/זאת/אלה. Also, what I wrote is not 100% accurate, and many times זה is used even when both nouns are not singular masculine. I'm not sure if there are strict rules.


Thanks for this question and the response. Very helpful. The זה copula here is very interesting.


Hey friend, regarding your last example, does it parallel read like the following?

Beside himself, all the life is a vacation.

On his own, all the life is a vacation.

As for him, all the life is a vacation.


Well, אֵ֫צֶל in modern Hebrew usually means at someones home, so here I think it means something like in his personal life, in the circumstances of his living.


Well, because in a sentence a X is a Y, the copula הוּא/הִיא/הֵם/הֵן agrees with the subject and שְׁנָתַ֫יִם is not singular, but dual (treated grammatically as plural), so you would have to use הֵן.


Why does יותר מדי come before זמן? Isn't it an adjective?


It's not an adjective, it's a quantifier.


I thought יותר meant more not much, so I wrote הרבה מדי זמן , which was wrong but I do not know why...


Too much = יותר מדי

Way too much = הרבה יותר מדי

Colloquially, you could use just "מדי" for "too much" and "הרבה מדי" for "way too much", but it is not considered good Hebrew.


Reading through this thread you supplied so much useful information! Thanks


I did אלא in place of זה but it was marked wrong. I thought that אלא was the plural form of זה so I'm a bit confused.


Well, אֶלָּא but rather ≠ אֵלֶּה these.


OK, thanks! I tried it with אלה though and it still didn't work...


Well, Glinert in The Grammar of Modern Hebrew §16.3.6 gives the examples סוּפוֹת רְעָמִים (זֶה/זוֹ) תּוֹפָעָה מוּזָרָה thunderstorms are a strange phenomenon and רוֹפְאִים זֶה מִקְרֶה מְיֻחָד doctors are a special case and explains: זה and its feminine forms are also common (i.e. beside the forms of הוא) ... with an inanimate predicate (particulary where the subject too is inanimate). So זֶה agrees with זְמָן and not the subject שְׁנָתַ֫יִם (or זֶה is used regardless of the form of the predicate).


Can you use the plural copula that would agree with the subject, or is it wrong to do that? Must one always use the copula that agrees with the predicate? (זמן, in this case)


Hi Raptor,

If you're trying to say These 2 years are too much time then you have to put ה in front of אלה and again in front of שנתיים and take away the copula (זה in this case).

השנתיים האלה יותר מדי זמן. (Can someone verify the grammar here?)

Otherwise, it's like this:

שנתיים הן יותר מדי זמן. Two years are too much time

But, I think we are dealing with a single PAIR of 2 years so that is why they put זה.


Is it not the same thing to say מדי הרבה זמן?


Well, יוֹתֵר מִדַּי זְמַן too much time means originally more than enough time, i.e. excessive time, so מִדַּי הַרְבֵּה זְמַן does not make much sense, but people have used it for overly much time. Not sure whether it is just translationese.


I am asking because I have heard it used among Israelis. Are you saying it is linguistically wrong?


Well, I suppose it is wrong from an etymological point of view, but most linguist are descriptivists and would say that מִדַּי transitioned here to the meaning too, overly and all is well.

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