masculine plural present tense w/o subject (not impersonal)

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by trigel, Mar 9, 2013.

  1. trigel Senior Member

    English - US, Korean
    I've seen verbs in the present tense masculine plural (invariable gender) with an omitted (personal pronoun or noun) subject, that don't refer to the impersonal ("you/one/they") actions as in:
    "הולכים\זזים\ממשיכים!" (Let's go!) or in expressions like "?מה עושים" (What do we do?)

    If I do not err, the missing subject must be "we" and the meaning of this construction is cohortative "let us.../we should...." Since it does not inflect for gender this usage seems to have already been fossilized in this form for some reason. Where else/in what register is this usage still productive? What are the other usages of the present tense mp with an omitted non-impersonal subject?
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  2. origumi Senior Member

    This can be imperative, hortative, jussive, indicative, question, or other, depending on the tone. Fossilization is unlikely, I think this form is rather new. Probably it never had singular or feminine conjugations.

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