You in Hebrew: confused

Hi all,

I am a bit confused as I've seen different ways of writing "You".

I kind of get this:

You singular masculine: אתה AND אותך (otcha)

You singular feminine: את AND אותך (otach)

"I love you" (use otcha/otach)

"You and me" (use atah/at)

The confusion:

You plural masculine: אתכם OR אותכם OR אתם

You plural feminine: אתכן OR אותכן OR אתן

It appears that אותכם/אותכן is technically incorrect.

Who can provide me a consolidated explanation?


October 25, 2018


No problem! אתם and אתן are the plural equivalent to אתה and את. The plural equivalent to the masculine אותך (Oat-cha) is אתכם, and the plural equivalent to the feminine אותך (Oat-ach) is אתכן. There is no אותכם or אותכן, though it is understandable to want to create this as it seems like the logical way to make the plural forms (but isn't, and is wrong). Hopefully that helps! By the way, you are correct about when to use אתה/את and when to use אותך/אותך - the difference between the subject and the object of the sentence, to use the grammatical terms. In slightly older English, this was represented as "thou" and "thee", but now we use "you" for both the subject and the object. For 3rd person singular we still have different words for "he" and "him", "she" and "her".

October 25, 2018

Note that Hebrew speakers usually say אותכם instead of אתכם/אתכן even though it's incorrect.

October 29, 2018

Or, more simply, the difference is the function of each word in the sentence. "Atah" and "at" are subjects. "Otcha" and "Otach" are objects.

October 29, 2018

Thanks for the clear explanation. It does makes sense. It was just a bit confusing me as I constantly translate to English where there is only 1 way of writing "You"...

October 29, 2018
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