Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: ?"איש" ברבות

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Native language
    English - US, Korean
    Posts
    278

    Can איש be used as feminine indefinite

    ניתן לומר "איש" במשמעות "אף אחת" או שיש "אף אחת" בלבד?
    (just so you understand, I do have a major avenue of use for feminine indefinite/plural in real life... I live with my mom, sister, aunts and grandmother, seriously,
    אז זה לא סתם שאני תמיד שואל על רבות\צורות נקביות)
    Last edited by trigel; 25th March 2013 at 8:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Native language
    English - London
    Posts
    1,296

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    ??? As far as I know איש means man. Do you have any examples of what you're asking about?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Native language
    English - US, Korean
    Posts
    278

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    As far as I know איש can be used like אף אחד to mean "no one" (it's higher register than אף אחד):
    דיברתי איתם בקשר לבעיה שלי אבל איש מהם לא הבין

    I'm asking if איש can be used as feminine indefinite:
    דיברתי איתן בקשר לבעיה שלי אבל איש מהן לא הבינ\ה
    because apparently אישה isn't used this way.
    Last edited by trigel; 25th March 2013 at 9:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Native language
    English - London
    Posts
    1,296

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    Ok I see, it's an interesting question. From a quick google search there aren't any relevant results for "איש מהן" or "אישה מהן". To me, "איש מהם" seems idiomatic, so אישה wouldn't necessarily be used in the same way, but lets see what the native speakers have to say.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Native language
    Hebrew
    Posts
    341

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    Not really, "אף לא אחת מהן" / "אף אחת מהן" are used in these specific situations when referring to females only.
    When you speak in general, "איש" means "no one" and it can include females too.
    "איש לא יודע" / "אין איש יודע" = "No one knows" (be it men or women).

    חג שמח

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Native language
    English - US, Korean
    Posts
    278

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    What did you mean by "Not really"? You're saying ish is always generic and can't be used for a specific set of people? or ish can't be used for feminine plural?
    Last edited by trigel; 25th March 2013 at 10:50 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Native language
    Hebrew
    Posts
    341

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    You might hear "איש מכם" / "איש מהם" meaning "not one of you/them (males)" but the most common use is indeed universal.
    What comes to mind is "personne" in French, which is the female noun for "person" but in negation it simply means "no one".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Native language
    Hebrew
    Posts
    402

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    Quote Originally Posted by trigel View Post
    As far as I know איש can be used like אף אחד to mean "no one" (it's higher register than אף אחד):
    דיברתי איתם בקשר לבעיה שלי אבל איש מהם לא הבין

    I'm asking if איש can be used as feminine indefinite:
    דיברתי איתן בקשר לבעיה שלי אבל איש מהן לא הבינ\ה
    because apparently אישה isn't used this way.
    By the way,
    Both איש and אף אחד/אחת mean ¨anyone¨, not ¨no one¨ (although they´re used mainly in negation); that´s why they require a negation word after them, similar to the way כלום and שום דבר (literally ¨something¨) are used.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Native language
    English - US, Korean
    Posts
    278

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    Can you give an example of איש used affirmatively?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Israel
    Native language
    Spanish (Arg)- German
    Posts
    1,102

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    איש עמד בתחנה . A man stood at the station.
    The "affirmative" use of איש simply means "man".
    In the negative it means nobody "איש לא עמד בתחנה"- Nobody stood at the station.
    If you wanted to say "somebody" you would use מישהו עמד בתחנה .מישהו.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Native language
    Hebrew
    Posts
    2,781

    Re: ?"איש" ברבות

    Quote Originally Posted by trigel View Post
    Can you give an example of איש used affirmatively?
    Take any Bible search engine and look for איש in Genesis. About half of the cases are איש = someone, everyone, each one, many instances with no negation.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •