In English, there’s to like something (or someone), and then there’s to love something (or someone). Hebrew uses the word לֶאֱהוֹב (an active-simple פָּעַל verb) for both like and love, so that you’ll find people saying:
just as easily as
Almost no one loves broccoli – rather, the context is what determines whether לאהוב means like or love. When context isn’t enough to distinguish between liking and loving, Israelis will bring in another couple of expressions.
There’s לְחַבֵּב, an active-intensive פִּעֵל verb from the root ח.ב.ב (kh.b.b) meaning fondness.
דָּוִד: אַתָּה אוֹהֵב אֶת מִירִי? שְׁלֹמֹה: הִיא מוֹצֵאת חֵן בְּעֵינָי.
David: Do you love Miri? Shlomo: I like her (literally, she finds favor in my eyes)
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About the Author: Ami Steinberger is founder and director of Ulpan La-Inyan.
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