בשביל vs. ל vs. עבור

David S

Senior Member
English - US
What is the difference between these two words when you want to say "for"? And are there other words for "for"?

For example:
"This fork is for the salad"
"You're smart for an 8-year-old"
"I'm doing a favor for you"
"This course is too hard for me"
"I came back for my keys"
"I was gone for 5 hours"
"I'm helping you for free"
"This letter is for Rob"
"Take this for good luck"
"I'm running for autism"
"You're getting punished for spitting"

Thanks
Dave S
 
  • trigel

    Senior Member
    English - US, Korean
    ל is used usually for indirect objects and experiencers. Also for certain constructions like "Institute/laboratory for research/development", "school for blind children", "cure for cancer".
    בשביל is more specialized than ל, "for someone's benefit"/"corresponding to", and from English influence it has accrued other meanings such as the "from X's perspective" meaning of "for".
    Thank/punish/reward etc. for is translated as על.
    עֲבוּר is a higher register word mostly interchangeable with בשביל (also for "from X's perspective"), except for example in לשלם עבור "pay for".
    לְמַעַן is "for [the sake of]".
    בְּעַד is "in favor of".
    בְּמֶשֶך is "for [a time duration]".

    Here's my attempt at translating:
    "This fork is for the salad" "המזלג הזה בשביל הסלט"
    "I'm doing a favor for you" "אני עושה לך טובה"
    "This course is too hard for me" "הקורס הזה יותר מדי קשה לי\בשבילי\עבורי"
    "I came back for my keys" "חזרתי לקחת את המפתחים שלי"
    "I was gone for 5 hours" "נעדרתי חמש שעות" (?)
    "This letter is for Rob" "המכתב הזה בשביל רוב"
    "Take this for good luck" "קח את זה בשביל מזל טוב"
    "You're getting punished for spitting" "אתה תיענש על שירקת"
     
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    origumi

    Senior Member
    N/A
    In many cases both are good. Nevertheless, native speakers minimize the use of בשביל and reserve to emphasize "for the benefit of". For example: אני עושה את זה בשבילך.

    There are cases that בשביל sounds unnatural or requires some change:
    * "I'm running for autism" (does it sound good in English? If it was "I'm running for those who suffer autism" then בשביל would be appropriate)

    Some of your sentences cannot be translated as בשביל because they contain a different "for". English speakers may have difficulties to tell this difference:
    * "I was gone for 5 hours" (time measurement)
    * "I'm helping you for free" (idiomatic)
    * "You're getting punished for spitting" ("as a result of" rather than "in order to" or "for the benefit of")
     

    Tararam

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    What is the difference between these two words when you want to say "for"? And are there other words for "for"?

    For example:
    "This fork is for the salad" = "המזלג הזה נועד לסלט"/"המזלג הזה הוא לסלט"
    "You're smart for an 8-year-old" = "אתה חכם בשביל ילד בן 8"
    "I'm doing a favor for you" = "אני עושה לך טובה" and בשבילך and למענך can be used also.
    "This course is too hard for me" = "הקורס הזה קשה מדי בשבילי" / "הקורס הזה קשה לי מדי"
    "I came back for my keys" = "חזרתי בשביל המפתחות שלי" though we'd usually say "חזרתי כדי לקחת את המפתחות שלי"
    "I was gone for 5 hours" = "נעדרתי למשך 5 שעות" / "הלכתי ל5 שעות"
    "I'm helping you for free" = "אני עוזר לך בחינם" or "אני עוזר לך ללא תמורה"
    "This letter is for Rob" = "המכתב הזה נועד לרוב" / "המכתב הזה הוא לרוב" / "המכתב הזה הוא בשביל רוב"
    "Take this for good luck" = "קח את זה למזל טוב" / "קח את זה בשביל מזל טוב"
    "I'm running for autism" = "אני רץ למען אוטיזם" both ל and בשביל are not possible here in my opinion.
    "You're getting punished for spitting" = "אתה נענש/תיענש על היריקה" as origumi mentioned, in this example "as a result of" will be used (instead of the "על")

    Thanks
    Dave S
    Little note for trigel, "key" is a masculine noun "מפתח" , but in the plural it takes the suffix "ות". So it's actually מפתחות and not מפתחים.
     

    airelibre

    Senior Member
    English - London
    When used in בשביל ש (so that) I suppose ל can't be substituted in, but 'bishvil she' is also not "correct language", even though it's common.
    Also, בשבילי, as used before making a statement of opinion can't be substituted by לי. I'm sure there are plenty of other instances. As for formality, I suppose bishvil is slightly more formal but neither is very high register.
     

    arielipi

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    This is because modern Hebrew is closer in several aspects to the Biblical language than to the Talmudic or Maimonides.
    ב של בשביל היא כמו ב של בראשית, ואכן אינני זוכר את המונח ל שביל וראשית (תיאור פועל?) אבל אסור לבוא אחרי כזה דבר ש.
     

    elianecanspeak

    Senior Member
    English - EEUU
    >>> NEW QUESTION - threads merged by moderator <<<

    Morfix translations for ל : to, toward ; of ; for ; until, till ; into

    Morfix translations for בִּשְׁבִיל : for, to, so as to, for the sake of

    Both "בִּשְׁבִיל" and "ל" have "for" and "to" listed as translations.

    Are there distinct differences as to situations where one translation of the English "to" or "for" can be only "ל" (while "בִּשְׁבִיל" would not be appropriate), or where you would use " בִּשְׁבִיל" (but never "ל" )

    For example, would the choice of the Hebrew word create a difference in meaning in the context "I am repairing some books for my uncle" ?

    -- Thanks for any help
     
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    bazq

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    Many views but no answers, I don't think I have a definitive answer as well...
    I can't think of any difference when ל refers to purpose. Of course, when there's a subordinate clause ל isn't possible as [le she...] is impossible. If anything comes to mind I'll be sure to write it down here.
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    There is no simple answer to that.

    בשביל is used when there is a beneficiary, and it's NOT a required preposition (if that is the term) that is the verb doesn't require a complementary by this word.

    ל is used when a) the verb, the adjective or the noun require it.

    b) when there is a sentence pattern that obliges its use: כואבת לי הבטן - the sufferer is indicated by the ל + pronoune. Mind you that בטן is an inalienable part of speech

    thus c) when there is an inalienable part of speech, like brain, in sentences where there are sufferers (english use of on: on me - as a sufferer) ל will be used - הוא בלבל לי את המוח,

    d) on me - but not necessarily using an inalienable word, like in: הוא מת לי פתאום - he suddenly died on me.
    הוא הכניס לי אגרוף - He punched me

    And when you want to say that you did something for your own benefit or amusement, like I was wandering in the streets: הלכתי לי ברחוב...
     
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    origumi

    Senior Member
    N/A
    רוזנטל כותב:
    השורש שב"ל, בעברית ובשפות שמיות נוספות, מתייחס להתמתחות, התקדמות וזרימה. מכאן נוצרה 'שביל', המופיעה פעמיים במקרא, מהן פעם אחת במשמעות 'שבילי מים'. מאותו שורש נמצא את 'שובל' הנשרך אחרי הבגד, ואת 'שיבולת', שהיא זרימת הנהר המוכרת ממבחן הש' של בני שבט אפרים. 'בשביל' היא מילת יחס תלמודית המורכת מ'ב+שביל', ופירושה המילולי הוא 'בדרך אל'. "עשיתי את זה בשביל לקבל הערכה": עשיתי את זה בדרך או במטרה לקבל הערכה.
     

    talmika

    New Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    'בשביל' is 'for' but also 'in order to'. You can also say 'כדי' ('kdei') for the same meaning.
    'ל' is mostly 'to'.
    As for the example - "I am preparing some books בשביל/עבור/ל my uncle"
    All three options are correct, but I would choose 'בשביל' in this case.
     
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    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    As for the example - "I am preparing some books בשביל/עבור/ל my uncle"
    All three options are correct, but I would choose 'בשביל' in this case.
    I agree that all three are correct, but I'd say that עבור is somewhat more formal than the other two.
     

    theunderachiever

    Member
    English - United States
    I'm a little tardy, but I always took בשביל to reflect a deliberate kind of intention. I understand the distinction, but it's hard to describe.

    -on the account of
    -in order to
    -*specifically* for *reason*
     

    Shekt

    New Member
    English - England
    >>> NEW QUESTION - threads merged by moderator <<<

    Hi everyone

    Still struggling to understand when to use which 'for' word in which context. I have to translate this sentence "For many young people, the idea of buying a home is merely a dream", and I'm think it's ל, is this correct?

    Thanks all.
     
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    slus

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    Yes, the simplest one is the best one, although all of them can be used here.
     
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