"There are flies above the cows."

Translation:יש זבובים מעל הפרות.

September 18, 2016

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yesh zvuvim me'al ha-parot


why can't use "זבובים נמצאים מעל הפרות"?


Interesting question. As a native I can say it sounds unnatural.

They variation would be used for a definite subject, as in

הזבובים נמצאים מעל הפרות

I can't point out exactly why it's wrong, though. You would be understood if you said it.


I think because one noun is definite while the other is not. You can get away with saying זבובים נמצאים מעל פרות, as a general rule flies can be found over cows. Or you can use the sentence that you proposed, as the two nouns are definite. It appears that using one and the other doesn't work.


This is weird why doesn't it require את I thought i was getting better


It's a prepositional phrase (מעל), not a direct object.


Do any modern Hebrew speakers think we could use prolepsis here? Either יש זבובים מעליהן הפרות or perhaps ישנם זבובים מעל הפרות. Muraoka (Modern Hebrew for Biblical Scholars, xxvi) says is a highly frequent feature of modern Hebrew. I didn't try it with מעליהן, but I think it probably will be accepted.

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