"If he is eating, then he is probably hungry."

Translation:אם הוא אוכל, אז סביר להניח שהוא רעב.

September 3, 2016

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is there a way to say this in hebrew that follows the word sequence and direct sense of the english? I would translate the second part of this hebrew as "then it is probable/likely that he is hungry."


Interesting... what you are looking for is an adverb parallel of "probably", right? We just use סביר להניח as an idiom, it's probably because there is no verb in the Hebrew sentence. You can just think about סביר להניח as a fixed form translated to "probably".


The tricky thing is the use of ש. "He probably is hungry" versus "it is probable THAT he is hungry". English uses "probably" a lot more than "it is probable", so I was very surprised to see שהוא. Can you say בסביר להניח הוא רעב to mean something like "in all probability he is hungry".

A separate question: Is אז really necessary? In English I would normally say "If he is eating, he is probably hungry", without the word "then".


Have a lingot for noticing the nominal clause. It's the key in relation to בסביר להניח.


Let's really get this broken down:

אם הוא אוכל, אז סביר להניח שהוא רעב.

If he is eating, then (it's) logical to concede that he is hungry.

Here's my reasoning regarding סביר להניח ש:

We know the verb להסביר means to explain something/illustrate it/make it clear. So, סביר being the adjective yields explainable/illustrative/made clear. I simply deduce "logical" from this lineup.

The verb להניח is trickier to get "concede" out of, but you can see how it derives. We know נח means resting and, when one rests, he is reclining back, letting go of his worries, and lying down becoming as passive as possible. In other words, he is conceding/giving in to the belief (at least) that relaxing is most important at this time for whatever reason. This quality is definitely coloring the word להניח. Imagine a person reclining back, saying "Ok, whatever." He is being so passive that he's conceding anything. In this case, this passiveness is also סביר logical.

This is my 2 cents. Seem ok, guys?


DL-Trolls, I pursue your thinking further: "niyah" = to immobilise, to settle "If he eats - at that time it is clearly settled - that he is hungry."


"Settle" is a great translation, Agatha! We say this in English all the time: It is settled (debate closed/problem solved). Thanks for bringing this up :D


So why wasn't the English translation, "... then probably he is hungry"?

I'm not clear what the word order rules are for the Hebrew or why the English is written in a different order when it doesn't have to be.


DL Hebrew is inconsistent about this. In many sentences they use really clunky English to match the Hebrew structure, especially word order, but here they picked a more natural English phrasing that doesn't match the Hebrew word order. It isn't an algorithm. It's just a question of what the sentence creator was thinking when he added the sentence to the bank.

FWIW, English is much more flexible (and imprecise) about placement of adverbs than Hebrew or most European languages. Probably modifies is, not hungry, but most of us say is probably hungry, not probably is hungry.


Until Duo I always translated סביר להניח as it's safe to assume. Also just wondering if כנראה would have been accepted


I used כנראה (because it was offered as an option) and it was indeed accepted.


Interesting - that didn't work for me.


Im hu okhel, az savir lehaniakh she-hu ra’ev.


Bon les étudiants en Hébreu à partir d'une autre langue que l'anglais peuvent aller se faire teindre les cheveux en vert ! Passionnant !


Thanks, it's enlightening!


This word order makes no sense to me


wasn't accept for some reason אם הוא אוכל אז הוא כנראה לא רעב


Try אם הוא אוכל אז הוא כנראה רעב


yeah I caught that, took out the lo and it still didn't work

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