https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

Is האמא שלי EVER grammatically correct?

To my understanding, mum and dad never take the definite article because they're inherently definite. So when I saw האימא שלי, האבא שלי in a learning resource, it makes me wonder if either I have completely misunderstood, or it's an actual error in which case I need to treat that resource as being decidedly fallible. I have tried Googling to check, but all I can find backs up the "they don't need the definite article" hypothesis, and I don't know what to Google to figure out if there are exceptions.

November 16, 2016

16 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/inbarggg

Well, no. I mean, people would understand you, but no (and it sounds strange). האימא is already definite. It's actually the Aramaic definite suffix א added at the end of the words אם and אב. So there's no need to add the definite prefix :)

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

Ahhh, that's interesting - I know the words אם and אב, but I didn't realise those forms were made with an Aramaic definite suffix! That's very interesting, thanks!

November 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shmueldabomb441

What are you talking about? א at the beginning of a word in Aramaic means 'on', or 'about'. I have never seen it used as a direct article, nor have i ever seen that brought down in works on Aramaic grammar. If you have a source, please feel free to share.

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/inbarggg

The internet is full of resources. Just one example. https://he.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D7%90%D7%9E%D7%90 מארמית: אִימָּא. אל"ף בסוף מילה בארמית משמשת כה"א הידיעה בעברית. מכאן: ארעא = הארץ, אורייתא = התורה, סייפא = הסוף ואימא = האם.

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/inbarggg

Also notice I said "suffix", not "prefix". Suffix comes at the end of the word, not at the beginning.

July 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/eliranh

I think it is grammatically ok, but no one ever says it like that, and it sounds very unusual to native ears.

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

I know before I got used to leaving it out, if I said it to a native, I was always corrected.

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ido_

you never use ה before mom and dad and it also makes sense as you said. the only time I heard it was by non native speakers.

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

I know any time I've said that to a native, I've got corrected. (I think I have broken the habit now...;))

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/UriyaBA

As a native Hebrew speaker, "האבא שלי" or "האמא שלי" sounds okay.. for Hebrew slang. The proper way to write "My father", for example, would be "אבא שלי", or the short, more comfortable version (which sounds better) - "אבי".

I hope I clarified things up a bit :)

November 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Psollett

Well, as a native speaker it sounds proper for me

November 17, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/flootzavut

In what context is it okay, then? Everywhere I've read about it, it says family members don't need ה with the possessive. So is there a situation in which it's particularly right or wrong? I'm really confused/curious.

November 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh

It is correct, sure, but you’d only use it for rhetorical purposes, often comical ones.

"כל האמהות מציקות לילדים שלהם לבוא לסדר בפסח, כ־ו־ל־ן! והאמא שלי מעדיפה אפילו ללכת לכנסיה, רק לא להתקע עם זה..."

‘All mothers nudge their kids to come to the seder on Passover, all of ‘em! And my momma would rather go to church even so long as she ain’t stuck with that...’

November 26, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Shmueldabomb441

That is really sad! I love Passover!

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/AnCatDubh

For many Israelis it’s somewhat of a hassle, having to read the whole Hagada when everyone’s starving. Not to mention the family gathering, which for some people is an extra hassle because there are some members they want nothing to do with. (And that’s before we go into cases of abuse.)

June 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/Shmueldabomb441

Oy.

June 28, 2017
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