"הכלב נפל למים."

Translation:The dog fell into the water.

September 18, 2016

11 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/stan369045

In English this would usually be "the water"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Larry824711

Couldn't you also say "הכלב נפל במים" or is "ל" the required preposition?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamOlean

That's a really good question. The phrase "נפל ב" is used for many things especially when the subject falls, for example, in some kind of situation, state, circumstance, or location (e.g., "in the bathroom", "in the shower", "in the woods", "in battle", and "in love") or perhaps sometimes when the location or object they fall into is conceptualized as some kind of container (or at least a location), even if it's only partially enclosed (e.g., "in a/the pot"). I'd want to investigate more examples of the latter.

That said, there does seem to be a strong tendency(/affinity/preference) for using prepositions like "ל" and "לתוך" when paired with (bodies of) water, which would be closer to English prepositions such as "to" and "into", which indicate a direction along a trajectory to/into some kind of a goal, destination, or reference point/location (including a container). Anyway, I'm sure a native Hebrew speaker could give a quicker, more definitive answer with examples. The difficulty is that preposition use and established phrases/constructions don't always overlap perfectly between languages. Hebrew often doesn't even use a preposition with locations/destinations (similar to an English example like "I'm going home").

Reverso provides some interesting examples: https://context.reverso.net/translation/english-hebrew/fell+in+water https://context.reverso.net/translation/english-hebrew/fell+in


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamOlean

It might also be helpful to see what kind of verbs and phrases tend to occur with "במים" (or vice-versa): https://context.reverso.net/translation/hebrew-english/במים


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Its-me.

I think using במים here would imply that he started in the water and then fell, while למים suggests that he was on land and landed in water when he fell


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Larry824711

אני מודה לך. זה עוזר לי הרבה.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JMjoQk

It would depend if the last word is "l'mayim" (indefinite) or "lamayim" (definite). Both are fine in both languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AdamOlean

Indeed, we use both in English depending on what we want to communicate in a given context/situation. It's most important then to accurately understand the ideas that are communicated by the Hebrew expression and then to translate that accordingly whenever possible. That's in large measure how Duolingo gagues comprehension.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThinkFred

Audio does not sound like "במים"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/zion11dotcom

that's because the audio says למים la-máim


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GabeGewurt

the speaker slurs her words so much that I cannot distingush one word from another. Why would it not be "במים"? That would make much more sense, instead of "למים" - to water.

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