במה מדובר

Ali Smith

Senior Member
Urdu - Pakistan
Shalom! I know you say במה מדובר? when you want to ask people what they’re talking about. It literally means “What is being talked about?” Should I pronounce the first word as ba-me or be-ma? I always thought it was the latter but today I found out we’re supposed to use the former.

Thanks.
 
  • Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Both forms are correct. Be-ma is much more common.
    That's for modern Hebrew. In the bible "bamme" is the most popular, then "bamma", there's also "beme". I don't find "bema" (could miss it).
     
    Last edited:

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Thank you! I always hear people say “be-ma ata oved?”, never “ba-me ata oved?” (What’s your job?)
    Is the latter more formal?
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    That's for modern Hebrew. In the bible "bamme" is the most popular, then "bamma", there's also "beme". I don't find "bema" (could miss it).
    Thanks! Is there a rule that tells us when the preposition ב is to be pronounced with a פַּתָּח instead of a שְׁוָא‎ in biblical Hebrew? I remember that when the following letter has a חֲטַף פַּתָּח you have to change the שְׁוָא‎ to a פַּתָּח. This applies to all one-letter prepositions. However, this rule does not apply to במה, of course. Is there a rule for במה?
     
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