Epistemic constructions

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by trigel, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    What construction in Hebrew expresses the idea that an effect would have occurred by implication if something else was true (contrary to fact)?
    How do you say "If it rained, the grass should have been wet [but the grass isn't wet]"? Would the second clause in Hebrew be different from the second clause of "Since it rained, the grass must/should be wet" apart from tense?

    EDIT: And this is also because I just am unsure what degree of certainty and register the different epistemic adverbs (bevadai, vadai, betax/lavetax, kanir'e etc.) have...
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  2. anipo

    anipo Senior Member

    Spanish (Arg)- German
    You don't need any of those adverbs to say your sentence, as you didn't need them in English either.
    אילו ירד גשם, הדשא היה רטוב Had it rained, the grass would be wet.
    אילו ירד גשם, הדשא היה צריך להיות רטוב Had it rained, the grass should be wet (or have been wet).

    About the certainty of the adverbs: bevadai and lavetakh are relatively high register and show certainty. In everyday language you say betakh.
    Kanir'e is very usual and means probably, presumably.
  3. airelibre

    airelibre Senior Member

    English - London
    If you pull kanir'e apart, you can see that it literally means "as it seems", so it's fairly easy to remember its meaning, just like כמובן etc.

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