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-it/-iyah and -im/-iyim

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by Drink, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    For adjectives ending in -i (for example צָרְפָתִי), what is the difference between the feminine singular endings -it and -iyah (צָרְפָתִית and צָרְפָתִיָּה)? And what is the difference between the masculine plural endings -im and -iyim (צָרְפָתִים and צָרְפָתִיִּים)?

    My gut feeling is that for the feminine singular, -it is used for inanimate objects and -iyah for people, and that for the masculine plural, -iyim is the adjective and -im is only if it is used as a noun.

    For example, are the following grammatically correct?:

    האישה הצרפתיה מכינה ארוחה צרפתית.
    הצרפתים הם אנשים צרפתיים.

    And are there any other rules about the usage of these variants?
     
  2. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    Correct.
    You can simply say
    הצרפתיה מכינה ארוחה צרפתית
    without אישה

    And the second sentence is a bit strange ("The French are French people") but all the same correct.
     
  3. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Thanks for confirming that the sentences are correct, but they are really just examples to illustrate my perception of the difference between the endings. I am more interested in why they are correct and the more general rules of how to use these these endings.
     
  4. ystab Senior Member

    Hebrew
  5. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    תודה רבה!

    I can read Hebrew but with difficulty. I understood the first link about the feminine singular. It says that there is no hard rule but in general people prefer -it when the masculine singular has non-final stress and -iyah when the masculine singular has final stress. But this does not explain the difference between אישה צרפתיה and ארוחה צרפתית.

    I did not quite understand the second link about the masculine plural. It seemed to say that -im is used for people and -iyim for everything else, but then it gave a lot of counterexamples.

    I would really like to understand the rules behind these counterexamples.
     
  6. arielipi Senior Member

    Israel
    Hebrew
    I think that arukha tsarfatit - the -it suffix acts as a meta'er, while isha tsarfatiya is a fact.
     
  7. ystab Senior Member

    Hebrew
    Regarding the masculine plural, what they say there is that צרפתי can be either a noun (a Frenchman) or an adjective (French). Therefore, for persons you can say: חיילים צרפתיים (French soldiers) and חיילים צרפתים (soldiers who are Frenchmen), while for inanimates you say: מטוסים צרפתיים (French planes). In practice, a single Yod is for people and a double Yod for non people.

    Regarding the feminine singular, check also this related link from the same site: http://hebrew-academy.org.il/2011/07/דתית-או-דתייה-סיומת-םִית-לעומת-סיומת/. Its principle is basically similar to the people-non-people above.
     
  8. Drink Senior Member

    New England
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    תודה רבה! אני חושב שאני מבין כרגע.
     
  9. amikama

    amikama sordomodo

    ישראל
    עברית
    Moderator note: The discussion about the word כרגע has been moved to a new thread.
     

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