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  5. "אני רוצֶה את זה, אלא אם כן ה…

"אני רוצֶה את זה, אלא אם כן היא רוצָה את זה."

Translation:I want it, unless she wants it.

January 23, 2017



I can't understand the אלא אם כן structure.


אלא negates the preceding phrase. אם כן makes it conditional upon the following (if yes = if the following is true)

So taken together it means "the preceding phrase is false if the following phrase is true" or simply "unless."

Hope this helps!


would it mean if she DOES want it? or if she wants it in general, without the emphasis? because I know in Hebrew you say כן to say does!


Would help if this was said a little slower.


You just think they're talking fast. It's something that happens to all language learners: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-bilingual/201302/why-are-they-talking-so-fast


I agree with you. It is said very fast. Almost mumbling. However, on YouTube there is even a native speaker who explains that is done on purpose and that if an American speaks Hebrew which is very clearly well enunciated, it sounds stupid in his ears. I prefer to speak and hear my language as clearly as possible (Dutch) but the Jewish people have a history of being hunted if they say something wrong so maybe it is wise and cautious not to speak too clear. Just a thought, though....


Why not " I want that, unless she wants it."?


Yep, that should be accepted, report it. I wrote "I want this, unless she wants it" and it wasn't accepted, but it should be.


Is אלא אם כן like a phrase? The words individually don't make sense to me


Yep it's a set construction.


I spent a long time looking into this and i feel that כן here means "indeed" and אלא here means "saving" or "barring." We know that אם means "if." So, I see the sentence like this:

"I want it, saving if, indeed, she wants it."

"I want it, barring if, indeed, she wants it."

Both these word for word translations are basically saying: "I want it, unless, she wants it."


That is what I thought, in Spanish is salvo si en verdad or salvo si sí ella lo quiere


Can you, please, share where you found that אלא means "saving" or "barring"? I have never seen that. The thing I found is that אלא is a contraction of אם לא, literally "if not, unless". At least that is what Klein in his etymological dictionary claims.


Its said a little to fast


My husband is studying Polish here on Duolingo and there's a "slow" option for pronunciation in his lesson. Why isn't that offered here in the Hebrew? I think it would be very helpful to many students here. Thank you.


I can't hear the אם in the audio. Played it many times and it sounds like "אלא כן"


this presenter is NOT clear ever. even if this IS how Israelis speak. For learning purposes there should be a way to make him enunciate better. CANNOT discern the אם


why isn't 'this' accepted in place of 'it'?


Really to fast!


aní rotzé et ze, éla im ken hi rotzá et ze.


How do we pronounce "אלא" please ?


When this is said, is it always pronounced "élām kén", with אלא and אם running together? That's what I hear.


They do run together, but I can hear the "i" in אם. It really depends on the person.


That sentence is a bit scary!

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