asher63 (asher63) wrote in linguaphiles,

Modern Hebrew question: Abba vs. Av

It's my understanding that in Modern Hebrew, 'abba' [אבא] (which I think comes from Aramaic) is generally used for "father" rather than the older form 'av'[אב]; as in 'ha-abba shel David' for "David's father".

Is 'av' ever used in Modern Hebrew? And if so, in what context?

Similarly for 'ima' vs 'em'.

Also, what are the plural forms (regular and dependent) for 'abba' and 'ima'?
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antongarou

August 19 2014, 06:40:50 UTC 2 months ago Edited:  August 20 2014, 17:24:54 UTC

AV and em are the more academic and detached usage- you will generally see them, and their declensions, in legal or academic texts.

ETA: An additional difference is that they are used to refer to specific mother and father(up to and including the Hebrew version of the phrase "everyone have a mother and a father"). As such they do not have plurals.

PS forgot to mention I am a native Hebrew speaker

asher63

August 20 2014, 22:43:21 UTC 2 months ago

Excellent, thank you. This is very helpful.