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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘wonder’

In Hebrew: ‘To Wonder’

Sunday, March 24th, 2013

לִתְהוֹת

The Hebrew word for to wonder is לִתְהוֹת. In English, we use the verb to wonder to express not only genuine wonder, but also to make a polite request, such as I was wondering whether you’d be able to pick me up on the way to work. Such an expression in Hebrew might replace the wondering with I wanted to know:

רָצִיתִי לָדַעַת אִם תּוּכַל לֶאֱסוֹף אֹתִי בַּדֶּרֶךְ לַעֲבוֹדָה. I wanted to know whether you’d be able to pick me up on the way to work.

The Hebrew word לתהות is generally used literally, as in:

תָּהִיתִי מַדּוּעַ הֵם עוֹד לֹא הִגִּיעוּ. I was wondering why they hadn’t arrived yet.

The root of לתהות is ת.ה.ה (t.h.h) and is an active-simple פָּעַל verb.

To wonder, in Hebrew, is different from a wonder. The word for that is פֶּלֶא.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/ktzat-ivrit/in-hebrew-to-wonder/2013/03/24/

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