[b-hebrew] prepositions and grammar

Dr. Joel M. Hoffman joel at exc.com
Wed Oct 5 10:06:28 EDT 2005

>So you suggest to ignore prepositions when convenient? Next, shall we ignore 

No.  (Do you really think that's what I said?)  The goal is to
understand prepositions, and translate them accordingly, as, in
general, the goal is to translate the function of grammar and not the
grammar itself.  (I have a diagram that illustrates from a
presentation I made to HUC-JIR Alumni:


Look for the HUC Alumni presentation under "handouts."  The diagram is
on page 2.)

Some languages use a dative in situations where others require the
accusative, and that's why we translate the literal "become to" as
"become" in English.

Similarly, Russian (as you know) requires genitive after some
negation, but it would be a mistake to use the genitive in those
situation in English.  (E.g., Russian "I don't have time" should
clearly NOT be "I don't have time's" in English.)  Other examples

As I say, it's a common mistake, but it's still a mistake.

-Joel Hoffman

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