Present Continuous in Hebrew

Discussion in 'עברית (Hebrew)' started by ivanch1984, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. ivanch1984 New Member

    Español Argentina
    Hello everyone, my name is Ivan and I'd like to know how to say sentences in present or past continuous in hebrew.

    For example:

    I am watching TV (rather than: I watch TV)


    I was watching TV when you called

    תודה רבה לכולם ושנה אזרחית טובה
  2. MiamianIsraeli Senior Member

    English Israel (originally from the US)
    Like French, there is no continuous tense in Hebrew. The concept of continuity vs. simplicity is understood within the context of the sentence.
  3. chaya Senior Member

    english (UK) French Spanish Italian
    The present continuous in French is rendered in a roundabout way: ENTRAIN/E DE .....+....(infinitive verb) .

    example: I was (in the middle of) eating when.....
    J'etais entrain de manger quand .......

    In Hebrew I would say 'haiti b'emtsat ochel ka'ashe........' (sorry I cannot print Hebrew ).
  4. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Hello again, Chaya. :)

    Your Hebrew sentence could use a bit of tweeking.
    באמצע, as you see now that it's written in Hebrew, ends with an ayin and not a heh. Therefore nothing changes in the compound form. We can say באמצע הכביש or באמצע הארוחה (in the middle of the street, in the middle of the meal).

    אוכל, as you know, means "food". In your example, I would be more likely to say ארוחה, meal.

    It's probably just a typo, but the word you want at the end is כאשר or ka'asher, with a final R.

    It would also be correct in this instance to say אכלתי כששמעתי בום אדיר. The simple past in Hebrew often does double duty as past continous.

    (Considering that you live in the US and, if I recall correctly, are learning on your own, you are doing a fine job! Keep it up!)
  5. chaya Senior Member

    english (UK) French Spanish Italian
    Shalom Nun-translator-

    As you see my French is much better than my Ivrit especially in the spelling department. ( I am an ex-lyceenne) My problem (one of them) is that one needs to know in advance how a word is spelled before making a s'mikhut. Therefore unless I use a dictionary evey time it is very 'hit and miss' .

    As for ka'asher - it often SOUNDS as if the final R is dropped - hence the confusion.
    Anyway, many thanks for your help (from London not the US).

  6. MiamianIsraeli Senior Member

    English Israel (originally from the US)
    Something important to point out here is that you can say אני אוכל in Hebrew or Je mange in French and they could mean "I am eating in addition to "I eat." However, in English you cannot say "I am eating" unless the action is current or the near future and you cannot say "I eat" unless you're speaking generally.
  7. thestandard Member

    English - Australia
    This is probably off topic but; the form in French "en train de faire quelque chose" is more equated to the English "in the middle of doing something".

    "Je suis en train de manger" is like saying "I'm eating right now" as opposed to "I'm eating". Therefore, I don't think of it as being in the present continuous but rather as emphasising the currentness of the action.
  8. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Seriously? You felt the need to revive a 6.5 years old thread for this?
  9. thestandard Member

    English - Australia
    In fact, yes. It was misleading information. It is now corrected for other people who shall stumble across it on the future. So yes "seriously".

Share This Page