Gender and construct form of numerals in Modern Hebrew

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by trigel, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Why do I see forms like ארבעת/ששת הנשים a lot? Isn't ארבעת the masculine construct form and shouldn't it be ארבע הנשים? If this is an error, then how formal is the correct usage?
     
  2. origumi Senior Member

    Hebrew
    This is an error.
     
  3. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Most of the Israelis are doing a lot of mistakes involving numbers and numerals.
    ששת הנשים is a prevailing error which sounds "correct",
    שש אנשים is a prevailing error which sounds to most of us incorrect.
     
  4. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    How high register is "shesh hanashim" compared to "sheshet hanashim"?
     
  5. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    ששת הנשים isn't correct but a lot of people use this form and that is why it sounds "correct".
    שש הנשים is the correct option, but would probably sounds a little bit formal.
     
  6. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Why do there seem to be masculine construct numerals modifying feminine nouns in the Bible? For example:
    וּשְׁלֹשֶׁת נְשֵׁי-בָנָיו
     
  7. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    Maybe because they didn't have yet the Academy of Hebrew Language.. :)
     
  8. TalomedIvrit Junior Member

    Does that mean if I want to say "Six women ate dinner", that שש נשים אכלו is incorrect, and that the two acceptable forms are שש הנשים אכלו and ששת נשים אכלו
     
  9. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    Shesh is the correct feminine for both absolute and construct (construct numbers are only used with definite nouns like so: "sheshet ha-anashim", except 2 which is always shney/shtey when modifying a noun regardless of its definiteness: shtey (ha)nashim).

    Hence shesh nashim akhlu means "six women ate", shesh hanashim akhlu is "the six women ate". Sheshet hanashim is an erroneous, but frequent informal variant of this construction.
     
  10. GeriReshef

    GeriReshef Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    I checked (with some experts) and thought a little bit about that: you may find today a lot of "errors" in the Bible.
    I write "errors" because there were no grammatical rules to the Hebrew in those times.
    Today if somebody have sayed ששת הנשים we (=those who know the grammatical rules and are aware to them) would treat it as an error though to most of the native Hebrew speakers it would sound OK.
    The modern grammatical rules are derived from the "main stream" of the Bible language.
     

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