יש + the prefix ל-‏

Salvi93

Member
German - Germany
Hey guys,

I've been learning Hebrew for some weeks now. At the moment I have some problems figuring how to use לְ־ (to).

For example:

יש לה כלב = She has a dog

יש לילד חלב = He has milk

This ל means "to" and is a prefix, right? ...יש ל means "XYZ has/have", right?
But why is there a full version like "לה" and why a prefix-version like "לילד"

Where is the difference? I am sooooo confused. Maybe you can help me?! :)


Moderator note: Title changed to reflect better the thread's topic.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    יש לה כלב = She has a dog

    יש לילד חלב = He The child has milk
    לה is an inflected form (f. sing.) of the prefix ל.
    You use the prefix ל before nouns (לילד, לבית, לשמש...), but if there is no noun but a pronoun, you inflect it instead.

    יש לדינה כלב = Dina has a dog (literally: "there's to Dina a dog")
    יש לה כלב = She has a dog (literally: "there's to her a dog")

    יש לילד חלב = The child has milk ("there's to the child milk")
    יש לו חלב = He has milk ("there's to him milk")

    Does it help you?
     

    Salvi93

    Member
    German - Germany
    @amikama

    Thank you soooo soooo much for your stunning explanation. Now it makes sense and I understand the concept behind both forms.
    Such a great help! Thank you again, as you can see it helped a lot :)

    Nevertheless I have three more questions. I did some research after understanding this topic and I found the following sentences.

    1) יֵש לֵאַדַם כַדוּר (Adam has a ball - Spelling the ל as le to "le-adam) and יֵש לאיש בן (The man has a son - Spelling the ל as la to "la-ish"). Why is it sometimes spelled le (first example) and sometimes la (second example). Is there a rule?

    2) Furthermore I found the following sentence: לדניאל יש אופניים יפים (Daniel has a nice bicycle). Why is לדניאל in front instead of יש? I would build the sentence like this:
    יש לדניאל אופניים יפים (There is to Daniel a bike nice).

    3) I know that the word "what" is called מַה and that the word "why" is called לָמָּה (always with the לָ - doesn't matter if I want to express possession or not, the לָ is always there).
    But it seems to me that there are two versions of the word "who". מִי as well as a ל-version (למִי - lemi). If I understand right: If I want to express someones possession I use למִי (for example: ?למי יש עט) and if I want to use the word "who" without expressing someones possession to something I use מִי because I don't need the ל because I don't want to say that someone has something / something belongs to someone. Am I right?

    Thanks again for your help and absolutely great explanation! :)

     

    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    1) יֵש לֵאַדַם כַדוּר (Adam has a ball - Spelling the ל as le to "le-adam) and יֵש לאיש בן (The man has a son - Spelling the ל as la to "la-ish"). Why is it sometimes spelled le (first example) and sometimes la (second example). Is there a rule?
    If the noun has the definite article -ה, the prefix -ל "swallows" it. le + ha = la. לְ + הָאיש = לָאיש

    2) Furthermore I found the following sentence: לדניאל יש אופניים יפים (Daniel has a nice bicycle). Why is לדניאל in front instead of יש? I would build the sentence like this:
    יש לדניאל אופניים יפים (There is to Daniel a bike nice).
    Both are correct and mean the same. It depends on what you want to emphasize:
    יש לדניאל אופניים יפים = Daniel has a beautiful bike
    לדניאל יש אופניים יפים = Daniel has a beautiful bike

    But it seems to me that there are two versions of the word "who". מִי as well as a ל-version (למִי - lemi). If I understand right: If I want to express someones possession I use למִי (for example: ?למי יש עט) and if I want to use the word "who" without expressing someones possession to something I use מִי because I don't need the ל because I don't want to say that someone has something / something belongs to someone. Am I right?
    Yes, you are right :)
     

    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    Would it also be correct to use the definite article ha before yeled? יש להילד חלב
    No, in this case the two prefixes merge as well: יש לַילד חלב (la-yeled).
    (Without nikkud, the definiteness of לילד is deduced by the context.)
     

    Salvi93

    Member
    German - Germany
    @amikama

    After learning a little bit more Hebrew if have two/three more questions if you don't mind?

    1. Not a real question. I think the most common ways expressing possession is the inflected version (for example לה) and the version in combination with a noun / ה (for example לאיש : la-ish). I think the version without ה ( "the" ) at the beginning (spelling it le instead of la) is commonly used when referring to a name (le-adam for example) or referring to no particular person (le-yeled for "a boy" instead of la-yeled "the boy"). Is it so?

    2. A question about the prefix ו (ve). For example איש ואישה (ish ve-isha / man and woman or a man and a women). If I use a ה in front of the nouns to say "The man and the woman" instead of "(a) man and (a) woman" - does the ו swallows the ה again to האיש ואישה (spelling it ha-ish va-isha instead of ha-ish ve ha-isha) simmilar to the ל for expressing possession?

    3. A question about the יש without a form of ל. Now I just want to say "There is hope for example" (יש תקווה). I use the yesh without the ל because I don't want to express possession. Now I want to say for example "There is a man over there / in the garden / wherever" - can I also use the yesh? For example ...יש איש (a man is ... over there or wherever) or יש האיש (the man is ...)? Or is there another way expressing that someone or something is at a certain place?
     
    Last edited:

    amikama

    a mi modo
    עברית
    1. Yes. Proper names and indefinite nouns don't have the ה prefix, so when they have the ל prefix it's le- and not la-.

    2. No, only the prefixes ב כ ל swallow the ה prefix, all the other prefixes don't. So it's והאיש (veha-is), מהאיש (meha-is) etc., but באיש (ba-is), כאיש (ka-is) and לאיש (la-is).

    3. יש is used to express existence (among other things), i.e. "there is/are <something>". So it's correct to say יש תקווה for "there is hope", and יש איש בגן for "there is a man in the garden". However, if what you're trying to say is "the man is in the garden" then יש האיש בגן is wrong - the correct translation is האיש הוא בגן.
     

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Just to point out the logic:
    יש כלב = there is a dog
    יש כלב פה = there is a dog here
    יש כלב בגן = there is a dog in the garden
    יש כלב לאיש = there is a dog belonging to the man (i.e. the man has a dog)

    In the last three sentences, the underlined part can occur in any position, depending on what you are trying to emphasize:
    יש כלב פה = יש פה כלב = פה יש כלב
    יש כלב בגן = יש בגן כלב = בגן יש כלב
    יש כלב לאיש = יש לאיש כלב = לאיש יש כלב
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    1. Yes. Proper names and indefinite nouns don't have the ה prefix, so when they have the ל prefix it's le- and not la-.

    2. No, only the prefixes ב כ ל swallow the ה prefix, all the other prefixes don't. So it's והאיש (veha-is), מהאיש (meha-is) etc., but באיש (ba-is), כאיש (ka-is) and לאיש (la-is).

    3. יש is used to express existence (among other things), i.e. "there is/are <something>". So it's correct to say יש תקווה for "there is hope", and יש איש בגן for "there is a man in the garden". However, if what you're trying to say is "the man is in the garden" then יש האיש בגן is wrong - the correct translation is האיש הוא בגן.


    האיש בגן is much more commonly used.
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    In the last three sentences, the underlined part can occur in any position, depending on what you are trying to emphasize:
    יש כלב פה = יש פה כלב = פה יש כלב
    יש כלב בגן = יש בגן כלב = בגן יש כלב
    יש כלב לאיש = יש לאיש כלב = לאיש יש כלב

    The unmarked expression would be:

    יש פה כלב that is when you don't emphasize anything.

    So are לאיש יש כלב, and if I may add: יש לו כלב
     

    Salvi93

    Member
    German - Germany
    Thanks for helping guys @utopia , @Drink and @amikama .

    However, if what you're trying to say is "the man is in the garden" then יש האיש בגן is wrong - the correct translation is האיש הוא בגן.

    Why exactly is it האיש הוא בגן and why is there a הוא? I understand this sentence like "The man, he, is in the garden" - If I am right: When addressing to a non-specific person (like a man) I use yesh + the person without ha (like יש איש בגן) but when I address a specific person I always have to use the construct ha + noun + personal pronoun (like הוּא or הִיא for example). Is it right and always the way to express that a specific or non-specific person is somewhere?

    And if I understand @utopia right the more commonly used version is האיש בגן instead of האיש הוא בגן - so you drop the personal pronoun and distinguish between יש איש בגן for "There is a man in the garden" and האיש בגן for "The man is in the garden" - right?

    Just to point out the logic:
    יש כלב = there is a dog
    יש כלב פה = there is a dog here
    יש כלב בגן = there is a dog in the garden
    יש כלב לאיש = there is a dog belonging to the man (i.e. the man has a dog)

    In the last three sentences, the underlined part can occur in any position, depending on what you are trying to emphasize:
    יש כלב פה = יש פה כלב = פה יש כלב
    יש כלב בגן = יש בגן כלב = בגן יש כלב
    יש כלב לאיש = יש לאיש כלב = לאיש יש כלב

    Thanks for pointing out! As I see the hebrew language is very variable in relation to building sentences. I think the expression יש פה כלב (for expressing that someone/something is somewhere) and לאיש יש כלב (for expression that something belongs to someone) is the most commonly used version in every day life because you don't drop emphasize on something whereas פה יש כלב and יש כלב פה as well as יש לאיש כלב and יש כלב לאיש are used to drop emphasize, right?


    Another question. During my daily hebrew-training and lesson I wrote some "simple" sentences, maybe you would be so kind as to tell me if they are right?

    איש והאישה קורימ עיתון (ish ve-ha-isha qorim iton) (A man and the woman read newspaper) (There is only one exemplar so both read the same)
    Is it possible to combine an article (ha-isha) with a non-article (ish) in a sentence to express that there is a specific women (you know here) and an unknown guy?
    Whereas it's always ve-ha because ve doesn't swallows the article ha and is still ve instead of va as @amikama already explained.

    איש ואישה קורים עיתון (ish ve-isha qorim iton) ("A man and a woman" read newspaper or "man and woman read newspaper")

    האיש נוהג במכונית (ha-ish noheg be-mechonit) (The man drives with a car)
    האיש נוהג במכונית (ha-ish noheg ba-mechonit) (The man drives with the car)
    איש נוהג במכונית (ish noheg ba-mechonit) (A man drives with the car)
    In the second sentence the bet swallows the ha and becomes ba.

    יש לאיש מכונית (yesh la-ish mechonit) (The man has a car / the car belongs to the man)
    יש לאיש מכונית (yesh le-ish mechonit) (A man has a car / the car belongs to the man)
    יש לאיש (ה)מכונית ("yesh la-ish ha-mechonit" or "yesh le-ish ha-mechonit") ("The man has the car" / " The car belongs to the man"or "A man has the car" / "The car belongs to a man")
    יש לו (ה)מכונית (yesh lo (ha)-mechonit) ("He has a / the car" or a / the car belongs to him)
    I could also change the order to לאיש יש מכונית or יש מכונית לאיש - right?

    -> I know the next two sentences don't make any sense but they were the first to come in my mind while practicing :-D
    יש לאיש (ה)מכונית בגן (yesh le/la-ish (ha)-mechonit ba-gan) (The man / a man has a / the car in the garden)
    יש לאיש (ה)מכונית בגן (yesh le/la-ish (ha)-mechonit be-gan (The man / a man has a / the car in a garden)

    Thanks in advance again guys and best regards!
     

    utopia

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew
    "האיש הוא בגן" us ok, but I think Israelis would say more commonly "האיש בגן".

    A sentence with a non specific person would be: יש איש בגן

    A sentence with a specific person would be: "האיש בגן", "דפנה בבית" etc.

    Thanks for pointing out! As I see the hebrew language is very variable in relation to building sentences. I think the expression יש פה כלב (for expressing that someone/something is somewhere) and לאיש יש כלב (for expression that something belongs to someone) is the most commonly used version in every day life because you don't drop emphasize on something whereas פה יש כלב and יש כלב פה as well as יש לאיש כלב and יש כלב לאיש are used to drop emphasize, right?

    right!

    To tell you the truth, to combine a a definite noun with a non-definite noun is strange in Hebrew, at least. It sounds as if you made a mistake.

    איש ואישה קוראים עיתון sounds like an axiom, or a generic sentence.

    האיש נוהג במכונית (ha-ish noheg be-mechonit) (The man drives with a car): the man drives a car - haish noheg BImechonit / BImchonit.

    האיש נוהג במכונית (ha-ish noheg ba-mechonit) (The man drives (with should be omitted) the car) - ok

    איש נוהג במכונית (ish noheg ba-mechonit) (A man drives with the car) - I would say, מישהו נוהג במכונית - if you don't know who drives the car, then why use איש? if you want a non-definite noun in the place of איש, how about a child: ילד נוהג במכונית.

    יש לאיש מכונית (yesh la-ish mechonit) (The man has a car) - ok, the car belongs to the man - no. It's not a specified car you're talking about.

    יש לאיש מכונית (yesh le-ish mechonit) (A man has a car /) - I'd say - yesh leish kolshehu יש לאיש כלשהו מכונית. the car belongs to the man - Again - it's not THE CAR and it's not THE MAN

    יש לאיש (ה)מכונית ("yesh la-ish ha-mechonit" or "yesh le-ish ha-mechonit") ("The man has the car" / " The car belongs to the man"or "A man has the car" / "The car belongs to a man")

    In colloquial Hebrew you'd say יש לאיש ת'מכונית. yesh laish ta-mechonit. and even then לאיש - laish sounds forced.

    In standardized Hebrew you'd have to use Hamechonit etsel haish. Hamechonit bidey haish.

    And yesh leish hamechonit - well I don't think any hebrew speaker would use such a sentence.
    Either יש למישהו מכונית, or למישהו יש מכונית or המכונית אצל מישהו. another way would be - יש לאדם כלשהו מכונית.

    I could also change the order to לאיש יש מכונית or יש מכונית לאיש - right? -

    If it's not definite (leish) only leish (mesuyam) yesh mechonit לאיש (מסוים) יש מכונית - when you start a discourse about a hypothesis or assumption, like "let's assume a man has a car".


    יש לאיש (ה)מכונית בגן (yesh le/la-ish (ha)-mechonit ba-gan) (The man / a man has a / the car in the garden)
    יש לאיש (ה)מכונית בגן (yesh le/la-ish (ha)-mechonit be-gan (The man / a man has a / the car in a garden)

    I'd say:

    יש בגן מכונית לאיש מסוים / כלשהו: yesh bagan mechonit leish mesuyam / kolshehu
    but when the man is definite - I'd say: יש לאיש מכונית בגן - yesh laish mechonit bagan. That's because the man is a person you were talking about, so it's the theme of the sentence, and the new idea in this sentence is that the car is in the garden.

    When the car is definite I'd say - hamechonit / hamchonit shel haish bagan: המכונית של האיש בגן. using both haish and hamechonit makes it clear that the car belongs to the man.
     
    Last edited:

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    What about יש + ל followed by an infinitive? For example,

    כדי להפעיל את התוסף מחדש, יש לאשר את ההרשאות החדשות: לקרוא ולשנות את הנתונים שלך במספר אתרים

    I think this is derived from לאשר 'to confirm'. What does יש לאשר mean?
     
    Last edited:

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    It's לאשר, not לאישר.

    But anyway, the יש ל means "one must" or "it is necessary to" or something along those lines.
     

    Ali Smith

    Senior Member
    Urdu - Pakistan
    Sorry about that. I've corrected the spelling.

    So, does יש + infinitive mean the same thing as il faut or man muss?

    כדי להפעיל את התוסף מחדש, יש לאשר את ההרשאות החדשות: לקרוא ולשנות את הנתונים שלך במספר אתרים
    In order to activate the add-on from the beginning, one must confirm the new permissions: to read and change your data on a number of sites.
     
    Last edited:

    Drink

    Senior Member
    English - New England, Russian - Moscow
    Yes.

    In older texts it can also mean something more like "(to resolve the given problem) it is possible to". If you think about it, this even fits your example without changing the meaning.
     
    Top