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  5. "סבים וסבתות."

"סבים וסבתות."

Translation:Grandfathers and grandmothers.

November 28, 2016



Why "B" in saBim but "V" in vesaVdot? I still don't understand this pronounciation rule fully. Is it because of the ו at the begining of the word?


The general rule (there are exceptions) is that at the start of a syllable it is b and at the end it is v:

sa-ba, sa-bim

sav-ta, sav-tot

Same goes for כ and פ, start of syllable: k, p, end of syllable: kh, f.


That's misleading. The general rule is that it's /b/, /k/ and /p/ at the beginning of a word or after a closed syllable. Compare כבד /ka-ved/. /saba/ is just irregular, due apparently to it's Aramaic origin.


No, there's no trick here. They are just the plural forms of, "סבא" (saba) and "סבתא" (savta).


For grandfather you have סָב (pl. סָבִים), for granddad סַ֫בָּא (pl. סַבִּים) or more rarely סָבָא (pl. סָבִין). For grandmother there is סָבָה (pl. סָבוֹת) and for grandma סָ֫בְתָּא (pl. סָבְתּוֹת). A bit confusing with all these aramaisms, but I think the Hebrew language was in need of some endearing expressions which Yiddish is so rich of...


ll סב is rare in modern Hebrew, and סבה is never used. You only use סבא and סבתא.


whew! This is good to know, as a non-jewish grandpa to jewish granddaughters (who started me on this Hebrew journey, so I could interact with their religion) I had my granddaughters call me סבא, a word I had just learned in Hebrew class. They couldn't say it when they were little--it came out Baba, and "baba" I have remained for many years! In their circle of friends there are many סבים, but only one "baba". BTW--always appreciate your thoughtful input!


Sabim ve-savtot.


Something that just occurred to me to wonder - if you were saying grandparents, is there a way to say that? Could the masculine סבים ever refer to a mixed group, or would it always just mean grandfathers? I guess I'm asking if there's a gender neutral term like grandparents, like there is הורים for parents.


I don't think there is one. You'd usually use "סבא וסבתא" or "סבים וסבתות".


Okay, I thought that was likely the case but I wasn't sure! Thanks :D


I beg to differ - I think סבים quite commonly applies to a mixed group. If I ask someone "ספר לי על הסבים שלך" it should be understood as grandparents of all genders.


Why is "Grandfather" incorrect but "granddad" not?


Obviously I can't know for sure, but it sounds like you missed that the word is plural. Granddads and grandfathers should both be accepted.


האם יש מילה "grandparents?"


Well, you can say סָבִים for grandparents, especially with personal pronouns like הַסָּבִים שֶׁלִּי, if the context makes it clear not grandfathers are meant and you do not mind using a generic masculine, but to name both persons separately, i.e. סַ֫בָּא וְסָ֫בְתָּא, is very common.


So which is it: savim or sabim? Forvo has savim recorded by a female Israeli. Duolingo offers sabim. Should we stick with Duolingo's version?


Well, סָבִים grandfathers is the official plural for סָב, but סַבִּים granddads a colloqial plural of סַבָּא.


To add to Ingeborg's answer, /savim/ is not used at all. It might not be recognized by many native speakers.


Only the plural or the word in general? A headline from three days ago was סב מכפר סבא מואשםבעבירות מין בנכדתו הקטינה a grandfather from Kfar Saba is charged with sexual offenses against his minor granddaughter.


Only the plural it not really used. The singular סב will be preferred in the media over סבא. Never mind the comic sounds of that particular title if סבא was used. What if the media requires it plural? It's probably quite rare to require this particular plural in news reports and suchlike; if it's written text, it's written without niqqud and the issue doesn't arise. In the very rare case that the plural is needed in radio or TV in a formal context (news readers), I expect them to say /savIm/.

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