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לומר, לדבר, להגיד,

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by airelibre, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Can somebody tell me the difference between the three verbs in the title (there is a fourth that I know which is like to say or speak but I can't remember it right now).
    Can you also tell me the prepositions (right word?) for each. Eg: תגיד לי for להגיד
    Many thanks.
  2. arielipi Senior Member

  3. Albert Schlef Senior Member

    BTW, there's a verse, "כה תאמר לבית יעקב ותגיד לבני ישראל" (Exodus 19:3), in which the sages say G-d commands Moses to speak to the women softly (תאמר) and to the men harshly (תגיד).

  4. arbelyoni Senior Member

    לדבר – to speak
    להגיד, לאמור/לומר – to say

    להגיד and לאמור/לומר (both are legitimate infinitive forms of אמר, although לומר is far more common) have the same meaning and are pretty much interchangeable, but they show some irregularity in Modern Hebrew. We prefer one verb over the other for different tenses:
    Past: אמר (almost never הגיד except for fixed phrases)
    Present (participle): אומר (almost never מגיד)
    Infinitive: להגיד (a little less common: לומר)
    Future: יגיד (a little less common: יֹאמר). For passive voice we prefer יֵאָמֶר over יוגד
    Imperative: in colloquial (new) imperative we prefer תגיד over תאמר. For "proper" imperatives אמור and הגד are fairly the same.
    לדבר עם מישהו על משהו: talk with someone about something
    לדבר אל/ל: talking to (at) someone (as if they don't listen)
    להגיד/לומר למישהו משהו say something to someone
    Perhaps your fourth is לספר (to tell)?
  5. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Thank you for the stanford exercises link, that was very helpful. Yes! לספר was the fourth one. Is the difference between לספר and להגיד : tell (as in a story) and tell (as in command someone to do something + and tell me תגיד לי). ??
    With לספר would it be לספר ל or לספר את ?
    Thank you
  6. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    It would be either or both. As in English, Hebrew verbs can have both direct and indirect objects. In English, we would tell a story (the story is the direct object) to someone (that person is the indirect object). In Hebrew, use לספר את for the direct object (the story; הוא ספר את הספור ) and לספר ל for the indirect object (the person; הוא ספר את הספור למשה).
  7. arielipi Senior Member

    i object to arbelyoni.
    look at my post, there is no preferred verb over the other, only desired harshness, if to command or to tell or to say.
  8. arbelyoni Senior Member

    I object your objection :)
    I don't see any semantic difference between להגיד and לומר. The only thing is that in Modern Hebrew we use them in different tenses.

    Past:אמרת שהגשם ישטוף את הדמעות
    Present (participle): רוני, את אומרת שהכל נגמר
    Future: שירים לא יגידו כלום
    Infinitive: רציתי להגיד לך שבכל מקום את איתי
    New imperative: תגיד את זה כבר

    All of these phrases can be translated using "say" or "tell". I don't see how it has anything to do with harshness.
    We convey the very same idea using these two verbs in different tenses:
    אמרתי לה שאני אוהב אותה (not הגדתי לה
    אני אומֵר לה שאני אוהב אותה (not אני מגיד לה
    אני אגיד לה שאני אוהב אותה (not (אני אומַר לה
    תגידי לי שאת אוהבת אותי (not אמרי לי)

    This phenomenon is nothing unique to Modern Hebrew.
    In Egyptian Arabic the future of لقى is not *يلقي (as it should have been) but يلاقي - different Binyan, different verb.
    In English, the past tense of "go" is "went", when in fact it is the simple past form of the verb "wend".
  9. arielipi Senior Member

    Again, lomar is softer and lehagid is more commanding/decisive/strict/sharp.
  10. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    This may be a personal view, rather than a consensus formed by all Hebrew speakers?

    Again, Is the difference between לספר and להגיד : tell (as in a story) and tell (as in command someone to do something + and tell me תגיד לי). ??
  11. arielipi Senior Member

    Quick proof: when youre under pressure you wont say saper/emor li ma kara, youd say tagid li ma kara.
  12. arbelyoni Senior Member

    לספר: "tell" (story). להגיד: "say" or "tell" in all other contexts. Here are a few examples:
    אז מה רצינו להגיד בעצם?
    תגידי לו שזה נגמר, תגידי לו שאת עוזבת
    אני לוקח בחזרה דברים קשים שאמרתי לך ואמרת גם לי
    כולם אומרים עלייך כל מני דברים

    לכי תספרי לכולם שאת מתחתנת
    אתם תשבו ואני אספר איך הכל היה כאן ים
    מספרים על ציפי פרימו מחולון
    רק על עצמי לספר ידעתי
    ומה שעדיין אסור לספר, אולי נספר לנכדינו ברטט
    That's because we prefer the verb להגיד over לומר in future and imperative.
    Quick proof: when was the last time you heard אמור לי מה קרה in a real conversation between two Israelis? The truth is that in a "neutral" (colloquial) register Israelis would never choose אמור לי over תגיד לי, no matter how harsh or soft their intention is.

    לספר is not the same like להגיד/לומר.

    You may also read a previous thread about this subject: http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1427826
  13. arielipi Senior Member

    thats because you have general decline in use of tzivuy forms. the use of a word doesnt change the spot it takes on a scale.
  14. arbelyoni Senior Member

    Me personally?;) I don't think so. The new imperative is widely prevalent in Modern Hebrew and much more dominant in the common register than the "proper" imperative. But that's a different story; even if we put both verbs in the new imperative form, Israelis still prefer תגיד לי over תאמר לי.
    If we're talking about "proper" imperative forms (אמור לי vs. הגד לי) then they sound equally good and poetic to me.
    Please, do explain.
  15. arielipi Senior Member

    you as in general person.
    lets take the scale of beauty:
    shit-hideous-awful-ugly-regular-pretty-good looking- handsome....
    if more people would prefer using shit instead of ugly, it doesnt change where the word is on the scale.
  16. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Actually common usage of the word would lessen its shocking power as an insulting swear word, thus placing it closer to ugly in the scale.
    I understand the point that you are making but your example wasn't the best.
  17. arielipi Senior Member

    but then again,de facto it doesnt happen.
  18. arbelyoni Senior Member

    1) There's no semantic distinction between להגיד and לומר in Biblical Hebrew or any other historical phase of the language. In the Bible, לומר is used for direct speech and להגיד is used for indirect speech.
    2) Words do change their meaning and intensity all the time, but that's irrelevant to this case.
  19. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    In register, are the imperatives in the order of

    haged > emor > tomar > tagid?

    Especially for the higher registers could you give some "reference points" to demonstrate exactly how high they are?
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  20. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I'm not Israeli but I'm inclined to stand behind arbelyoni : I've read that לומר/להגיד complementary distribution all over the place many times, from different sources. And well, arbelyoni gives much much more arguments and examples. Arielipi, why don't you provide examples of הגדתי, etc.. ?
  21. arielipi Senior Member

    When I say harsh/strict vs soft - the meaning is, how demanding the word is.
    So, in truth, the tzivuy form of these is viewed as high register, leading to it being left out.
    About the other forms:
    d-b-r root is closer in meaning to [x] conversation.
    n-g-d root is closer in meaning to inform/tell(as in letting know)
    s-p-r root is to tell(as in story or sharing knowledge)
    a-m-r root is to say.
    d-b-r and s-p-r are rather neutral in demand, but a-m-r and n-g-d are not - that is, when you *want* to know something, you will use the word tagid, and not any other word of these.
    When angered by something someone shouldnt have told, you will use amarta - showing your anger.
    So it is not true to say they do not bear any kind of deliverance, but to give a concrete example is just not as simple as you think.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  22. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I'm just asking for a sentence with הגדתי in context (of natural speech, of course).
  23. arielipi Senior Member

    Well, higadeti is just not natural anymore, but:
    הגדתי לדני שיבוא לפה אחר כך.
  24. David S Senior Member

    Richmond, VA, USA
    English - US
    Not sure I understand this example. If it means "Go tell everyone that you're getting married", wouldn't you use "לכי תגידי לכולם ש"? Since you would just tell them "אני מתחתנת!", which isn't a story or explanation. Now if it was "Go tell everyone about you getting married" then I wouldn't be as confused.
  25. arielipi Senior Member

    now i can ask the same question in mirror: what is the difference between
    1)Go tell everyone that you're getting married
    Go tell everyone about you getting married

    the next lines in the song though expand what she is to tell,
    ואת מאוהבת
    במישהו אבדאי

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