to leave an inheritance

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Gavril, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    In English, you can use the verb leave (or the more archaic-sounding bequeath) when talking about inheritance:

    My grandfather left this clock to me. / My grandfather left me this clock.

    Here, the item being inherited (the clock) is the direct object, and the person receiving the inheritance ("me") is the indirect object/dative.

    In Icelandic, the verb arfleiða has a similar meaning to leave / bequeath, but the syntax associated with this verb is different:

    Afi minn arfleiddi mig að þessari klukku. "My grandfather left this clock to me."

    Here, the direct object is the person receiving the inheritance, whereas the indirect object is the property being inherited. A more literal translation of the above sentence would be, "My grandfather inherited me to this clock".

    How do you express "to leave (an inheritance to someone)" in your language?
  2. Словеса Senior Member

    Are you sure there are only two ways to say it in English?
    Russian: many ways, but they all seem to respect the item in the accusative case, and the receiver in the dative case (or in the nominative case, of course). Often, the noun наследство, inheritance (в наследство, по наследству) is used.
  3. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)
    Also: My grandfather willed this clock to me.
  4. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    There are definitely other synonymous (or semi-synonymous) verbs you can use, but I'm interested here in the syntax of the construction: i.e. which semantic component is the direct object and which is the oblique/indirect object.

    I just found out that English inherit originally meant "to make someone an heir", so perhaps the inherited property would have been in the dative (e.g., "My grandfather inherited me to the clock").
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2014
  5. Radioh

    Radioh Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia
    để lại tài sản thừa kế = to leave an inheritance (leave = để lại; inheritance = tài sản thừa kế). And this the only way I can think of, maybe because we don't have the verb "inherit" in my language.
  6. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    In Chinese, we also use 'leave': 鐘是我祖父留給我的。
  7. Словеса Senior Member

    Thank you very much, interesting.
    All verbs that have to do directly with inheritance that I can think of (оставить в наследство, передать по наследству, завещать, отписать) use the syntactical pattern of the modern English, as I said. I can think only of indirect ways of saying that which would use the combination: (heir in the accusative) + (item in instrumental). Also, of course the verb унаследовать places the heir in the nominative case, the deceased after the preposition у in the gentivie case, the item (again) in the accusative case.
  8. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we say:

    «Ο παππούς μου, μου άφησε αυτό το ρολόϊ» [o pa'pus mu mu 'afise af'to to ro'lo.i] --> the-masc. sing. definite in the nominative grandfather of-mine-post-nominal clitic genitive pronoun that expresses possession to-me-pre-verbal clitic genitive pronoun that expresses indirect object left this clock.
    The weak pre-verbal clitic genitive pronoun has replaced in Modern Greek the obsolete dative (in Katharevousa the «μου άφησε» is «μοὶ-pre-verbal clitic pronoun in dative ἄφησε»).

    Τhe verb is «αφήνω» [a'fino] --> to let loose, give up something, get rid of < Classical v. «ἀφίημι» ăpʰíēmĭ --> to let loose, give up something, get rid of < compound; prefix and preposition «ἀπό» āpó --> far away, away from (PIE *h₂epo-, from cf Skt. अप (apa), away, Hitt. āppa-, after) + Classical v. «ἵημι» híēmĭ --> to send (away) , let go, throw, hurl (PIE *(H)ieh₁-, to throw cf Lat. iacere, to throw, hurl, cast).


    «Κληρονόμησα από τον παππού μου ένα ρολόϊ» [kliro'nomisa a'po tom‿ba'pu mu 'ena ro'lo.i] --> I-inherited-1st p. sing. aorist of v. «κληρονομώ» from the grandfather of-mine a clock.

    The verb is «κληρονομώ» [klirono'mo] --> to inherit < Classical v. «κληρονομέω/κληρονομῶ» klērŏnŏméō (uncontracted)/klērŏnŏmô (contracted) --> to inherit, acquire, obtain < compound; Classical masc. noun «κλῆρος» klêrŏs --> lot, allotment, inheritance, piece of ground, later also, Christian clergy. Originallly a shard of stone or a piece of wood that was used as a lot (with unclear etymology possibly from *kelh₂-, to strike, hit cf Latin -cellō (in compounds), to strike; Rus. колоть, to split, stab, sting) + Classical v. «νέμω» némō --> to allot, dispense, distribute, appropriate, possess (PIE *nem-, to dispense, distribute, take cf Lat. numerus, number, collection > It. numero, Sp./Por. número, Fr. nombre, Rom. număr, Eng. number, Ger. Nummer; Proto-Slavic *ęti, to take > OCS ѩти, Rus. взять, Cz. jmout, to grab, to begin, Pol. jąć, to grab, to take; Ltv. ņemt, to take, seize, accept)
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2014
  9. tFighterPilot Senior Member

    Israel - Hebrew
    Hebrew has a verb for it, its root י-ר-ש which is used, in different forms, for both "left an inheritance" and "inherited". So "My grandfather left this clock to me" would be סבי הוריש לי את השעון הזה and "I inherited this clock from my grandfather" would be ירשתי את השעון הזה מסבי.
  10. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Hungarian: ráhagy [rá- on, hagy leave];
    A nagyapám rámhagyta az óráját. As you can see we kind of decline the prefix or what you call it.... (rám- on me, rád- on you, rá- on her/him, etc)
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Dutch we use laten but with a prefix : nalaten (after) and we say : Hij liet iets na aan zijn zoon, he left something to(wards ? Fr. : à) his son. Hij erfde van zijn vader, he inherited from his father.
  12. Hecmyh New Member

    Dutch Netherlands
    Would someone know if in 1 Peter 3:9 the meaning of the Greek text could be "you were called to this, that you may leave a blessing as an inheritance to others" instead of "you were called to this, that you may receive a blessing as an inheritance"?
  13. ilocas2 Senior Member


    ostaviti nasljedstvo - literally to leave inheritance
  14. Sardokan1.0

    Sardokan1.0 Senior Member

    Sardu / Italianu
    in both Sardinian and Italian the phrase is literally "to leave an inheritance"

    Sardinian : lassare un'heredidade
    Italian : lasciare un'eredità

    Examples :

    • Our parents left us their house in inheritance
    • Sos genitores nostros nos han lassadu sa domo issòro in heredidade
    • I nostri genitori ci hanno lasciato la loro casa in eredità
    • I inherited an house from my uncle
    • Happo heredidadu una domo dae tiu meu
    • Ho ereditato una casa da mio zio
  15. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Japanese: 祖父は私に時計を残してくれた。(lit. the grandfather left a watch to me), where an equivalent of to leave is actually used.
  16. Armas Senior Member


    You can say jättää lit. "to leave".

    Isoisäni jätti tämän kellon minulle. lit. "My grandfather left this clock to me." The syntax is just like in English.
  17. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    μου άφησε, that's simply "left me".

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