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לומר להגיד לספר

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by rosemarino, Jun 7, 2009.

  1. rosemarino Senior Member

    U.S. English
    שלום לכולם

    האם מישהו יגיד לי אם אחד מהמשפטים למטה הוא נכון?

    שרה טלפנה והגידה לי שהיא לא תבוא היום.

    שרה טלפנה ואמרה שהיא לא תבוא היום.

    שרה טלפנה וסיפרה שהיא לא תבוא היום.

    תודה רבה מראש.

  2. Kathy1 Senior Member

    Argentina - Spanish

    The second one is correct. You may add lee if you want to indicate that she told you, like the others senteces do.
  3. dinji Senior Member

    Borgå, Finland
    Swedish - Finland
    It appears that in the spoke language לומר 'to say/tell' and להגיד 'to say/tell' occupy more or less a complementary distribution.

    לומר is found mainly in the past and present tense.

    להגיד is found mainly in the future tense as well as in the infinitive.

    Needless to say the verbs are therefore treated as synonymous.

    I know of no other verbs in Hebrew which are coupled like this. I wonder how it came to be?

    PS. לספר carries a different meaning 'to tell something, explain, narrate'
  4. ahshav Senior Member

    English, Hebrew
    While the words do have separate meanings, in this context I would say that all three are correct, and would not sound completely out of place (though הגידה does sound a bit archaic). In any case, I would recommend adding לי after the verb in each of those cases.

    Dinji - I don't have an answer to your questions, but in certain contexts, or by certain people, there are other verbs that basically synonymous (though arguably used incorrectly as such). לרשום ולכתוב and לבצע ולעשות as well as לגמור ולסיים. I am not saying these pairs are actually synonymous, but that they are sometimes used that way.
  5. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    I think they are just like the following tuples are in English write/write down, do/make/effectuate/accomplish, finish/end/conclude/complete...
  6. MaNitma Senior Member

    ישראל (Israel)
    עברית (Hebrew)
    Although all versions are syntactically correct, there are a few things to notice:

    1. The first version sounds pretty archaic. Everyone would understand it, but it is a very uncommon version in the spoken language.
    2. The second version is the best in my opinion, and that's exactly how I would say it.
    3. The third version is also correct, but note that the verb לספר carries a conotation of a "story" (סיפור) and thus the third version implies in some way that Sarah either told you WHY she isn't coming, or some other related story.
    Good luck
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  7. dinji Senior Member

    Borgå, Finland
    Swedish - Finland
    All languages have synonymes. My point is a different one. Let me explain with an example:

    In English the verb "to be" has a three fold origin:
    1) From Indo-European *h1es- 'to be' come the forms am (< *h1ésmi), are (< *h1es-'-) and is (< *h1éssi)
    2) From Indo-European *bheuH- come the forms be and been
    3) From Indo-European *wes- 'to live, dwell, pass the night, (with derivatives meaning) “to be” ' come the forms was (< *wóse) and were

    The different forms have a complementary distribution, thus the forms was and were occupy the past tense, where the other two have no representation at all. The forms am, are and is occupy the indicative of the present tense where in turn the other two have no representation at all. The forms be and been occupy the rest of the paradigm.

    My point is that something similar is about to evolve in spoken Hebrew with the verbs לומר 'to say/tell' and להגיד 'to say/tell'. In literary Hebrew there might be a slight difference in meaning, at least in nuances but in the spoken language the verbs are about to merge as follows:

    אני אומר אמרתי אגיד
    אני אומרת אמרתי אגיד
    אתה אומר אמרת תגיד
    את אומרת אמרת תגידי
    הוא אומר אמר יגיד
    היא אומרת אמרה תגיד
    אנחנו אומרים אמרנו נגיד
    אנחנו אומרות אמרנו נגיד
    אתם אומרים אמרתם תגידו
    אתן אומרות אמרתן תגידו
    הם אומרים אמרו יגידו
    הן אומרות אמרו יגידו

    In normal spoken language the following forms all sounds very literary, and they are very seldom used:

    אני מגיד הגדתי אומר
    אני מגידה הגדתי אומר
    אתה מגיד הגדת תאמר
    את מגידה הגדת תאמרי
    הוא מגיד הגיד יאמר
    היא מגידה הגידה תאמר
    אנחנו מגידים הגדנו נאמר
    אנחנו מגידות הגדנו נאמר
    אתם מגידים הגדתם תאמרו
    אתן מגידות הגדתן תאמרו
    הם מגידים הגידו יאמרו
    הן מגידות הגידו יאמרו

    I guess in a few generations time the two verbs would have merged completely, just as the verbs is, be and were in English.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  8. MaNitma Senior Member

    ישראל (Israel)
    עברית (Hebrew)

    I agree with you completely that "להגיד" has been almost entirely abandoned in the past and in present indicative tenses, but the future form of "לומר" is still used pretty frequently.

    It's true that "היא תאמר" usually sounds more polite or more formal than "היא תגיד", but I wouldn't say they're nearing extinction (I still use them myself sometimes :) ). I think it's more accurate to say that this form is now considered "higher language". You probably won't hear it on an average street in South Tel-Aviv, but it does not by any means sound even slightly weird to hear people use it. :)

  9. rosemarino Senior Member

    U.S. English
    תודה רבה לכולכם.
  10. Aoyama Senior Member

    川崎市、巴里 (黎)
    仏(佛)法語צרפתית Clodoaldien
    maybe "li" is alright, unless that "she" is Chinese or Korean ...;)
  11. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France

    How would you explain that the split is between past and present on one side, and future, imperative and infinitive in the other side ?

    My guess is that, in Qal,
    - past and present pattern on CvCvC (+ optional suffixes)
    Ex:QaTaL, QaTaL-ti, QoTeL, QoTeL-et...,
    - future, imperative and infinitive pattern on CCvC (+ optional prefixe and suffixe).
    Ex: ti-QToL, li-QToL, QToL.

    In Nif'al, it's the other way round : past and present are CCvC (ni-kshar), and fut/imp/inf are CvCvC (hik-kasher).

    So, are those affinities somewhere in an Hebrew speaker's head ?
  12. dinji Senior Member

    Borgå, Finland
    Swedish - Finland
    My guess is a different one. The verb 'omer/'amar behaves perfectly regularly in the present and the past but in the future it is a bit irregular. We do have the forms te'esof 'collect', te'ehov 'love' and te'echoz 'seize' as pretty regular ones but tomar 'say' (and tokhal 'eat') feels difficult. Irregularity often triggers analogy but in this case it has triggered the use of a synonymous verb. This is my guess.
  13. origumi Senior Member

    Another example is root הלך in pa`al (past / present) that becomes root ילך (future / imperative / infinite). In nif`al it doesn't exist, in pi`el / pu`al (?) / hitpa`el it's הלך, in hif`il / huf`al it's ילך.
  14. hadronic Senior Member

    New York
    French - France
    Actually your explanations meet mine I think, as future/imperative/infinitive tend to show the same irregularities, given their similar forms (ie, in the case of א.מ.ר, solving the impossibility of א with schwa nakh).

    Question : is that actually te'ehov or tohav (like tomar )?

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