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  5. "התלמידים ממלאים את התשובות."

"התלמידים ממלאים את התשובות."

Translation:The students are filling in the answers.

September 14, 2016



So does this verb also mean "filling IN" since that makes the most sense in this context and I'm not seeing anything else that would add the "in" part of the sentence? (when I click on ממלאים it just says fill or filling)


You could fill in for someone למלא מקום, or you could למלא טופס, like filling an empty space in a page, ect. למלא תשובה sounds peculiar to me.


למלא תשובה בטופס

It's used backwards too, using the filler as direct object


Why is complete not accepted?




Yes. That's what I used and it was wrong?


Completing is not equivalent to filling in


"Memal-ím," as in "malé" right?


PUPILS= תלמידים


Both students and pupils should be accepted.


I agree! But who does anything about it?


The sentence is literally saying "The students make full the answers," but don't you dare input that lest the green ones burn up your hearts ;)


Could this sentence also mean that the students are full of answers? I guess what really came to mind when I read this was “the students are full of questions.” But I’m not sure if I could say התלמידים ממלאים את השאלות


No. ממלא means to fill something, so it's a transitive verb, like many other pi'el verb. For the intransitive meaning pa'al verb is used, or I should say it is technically a verb, but used as an adjective מלא.

The students are full of questions would be התלמידים מלאי שאלות. (Here מלאי שאלות is a phrase in construct state of מלאים and שאלות, and in construct state the final ם of the plural words is dropped, so we are left with מלאי)


Wow! That was a really good explanation! And it kind of answered some lingering questions I had ever since הכריך מלא בגבינה. Thank you for that!

I have a quick follow up question. You mention that for the intransitive meaning we’d use pa’al. So, when pa’al was introduced, the notes on duo said that all verbs in pa’al are active and transitive. And I questioned that in my mind, wondering whether it shouldn’t say that they are all intransitive. Because they all seem to be able to stand on their own. Meaning, I can say “I eat” and I don’t have to specify what I’m eating. But I don’t have a firm grasp on the grammar yet so I tend to second guess myself. And I give myself permission to relax thinking that what I don’t figure out today, I’ll learn tomorrow. But now I’m back my pa’al question. So are pa’al verbs really all transitive or is there a typo on the pa’al notes? Whatever the answer, I appreciate all input.


I am glad it was helpful!

I checked the notes for pa'al and it does indeed say that they are transitive. However, this may be true as a general statement for the binyan, but it is not true for many, many verbs, including some that are taught in this course - for example ישן "sleep" is absolutely not transitive, nor נח "rest" nor שוחה "swim", עובד "work", כואב "hurt" to name a few. They can become transitive in other binyanim. For example the root נוח becomes transitive in hif'il and מניח means "to place, to set" (literally to cause something to rest); כאב also becomes transitive in hif'il and מכאיב means "to hurt, to cause pain". Interestingly, עבד is transitive in both pi'el and hif'il. In pi'el it gets the meaning "to process" and in hif'il "to employ" (literally to cause somebody to work).

It is also a general statement that all pi'el and hif'il verbs are transitive, but they aren't. For example a pi'el verb מקווה "to hope" is not transitive, or a hif'il verb מצליח "to succeed" is also not transitive. And there are other examples, too. A rule of thumb is that if a verb is intransitive in one binyan, it usually is transitive in another one. But there isn't a strict rule as to which binyan will always be transitive and which intransitive. That is something that I came to realize is specific to each verb.

As for the difference between transitive and intransitive verbs, it's not about whether there is something following the verb - אני אוכל in your example, but whether something can follow it. אוכל is 100% transitive verb, but in Hebrew you don't really need to have an object, especially if it is clear from the context. There is a sentence here in the course that has אני שולח לך and it is driving people crazy, because they feel that את זה is missing, but the sentence works fine in Hebrew without it.


That was incredibly detailed and I’m saving the comment for my personal reference. Yes, I think I still struggle with transitive vs intransitive though I sort of know the general rule. Thank you for clarifying and even expounding on it.

Funny thing, I was doing practice exercises the other day and אני שולח לך came up and I didn’t think anything of it. I thought the exercise was fine until I read the comments and then I started second-guessing everything. Moral of the story, sometimes it’s better not to overthink it.

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