segunda-feira, 14 de maio de 2012

The direct object marker אֶת

The Hebrew direct object is only strictly direct when it is indefinite, as in:

take a chair - קַח כִּיסֵא
take meat - קַח בָּשָׂר
When definite (e.g. הַכִּיסֵא 'the chair'), it is generally introduced by the special preposition אֶת .
This is known as the direct object marker. By definite we mean:
a. a noun with הַ
b. a name
c. a definite pronoun

Take Mikhal to a film (qa7 et mikhal leseret) - קַח אֶת מִיכַל לְסֶרֶט
Take this (qa7 et ze) - קַח אֶת זֶה
Who did you take? (et mi laqa7ta?) - אֶת מִי לַקַחְתָּ؟
take the chair - קַח אֶת הַכִּיסֵא
 Genesis 1:1

בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ
bereshit bara elohim et hashamayim ve'et ha'arets
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

מִי (who) is considered definite, but מַה (what) is not. So, to ask "what did you take?" you have to say "מַה לַקַחְתָּ؟" without the direct object marker.

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