כוח, יכולת, ועוצמה

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aquarion

New Member
Heblish/Mexican Spanish (Israel and US)
Hey everyone,

When I speak Hebrew with my Israeli family, I use כוח more to mean power in the sense of strength/stamina, יכולת more as in an ability you can develop or suddenly get, עוצמה as force or strength of something, and מעצמה only in the phrase מעצמת-על (superpower). I wasn’t fully raised in Israel so I want to double check my Hebrew.


What would be the best way to say power/ability in Hebrew, as in the following examples:

“I don’t know what to do with my newfound power” or “I have a new ability to fly”

I would translate the sentences as:
״אני לא יודע מה לעשות עם היכולת החדשה שלי״
״יש לי יכולת חדשה לעוף״

When I speak Hebrew with my Israeli family, I use כוח more to mean power in the sense of strength, יכולת more as in an ability you can develop or suddenly get (for example, if an app updates and you suddenly have the ability to make use of a new feature), and עוצמה as force or strength of something. However sometimes I hear כוח being used similarly to יכולת, so I'm not so sure.

I welcome any discussion, thank you!
 
Last edited:
  • slus

    Senior Member
    Hebrew - Israel
    “I don’t know what to do with my newfound power” or “I have a new ability to fly”

    I would translate the sentences as:
    ״אני לא יודע מה לעשות עם היכולת החדשה שלי״
    ״יש לי יכולת חדשה לעוף״

    Your translation is good and also your explanation, although it's not 1:1 and depends on the context and register.

    I just want to add that the power to fly is היכולת לעוף, but super power is כח על and not יכולת על.
     

    aquarion

    New Member
    Heblish/Mexican Spanish (Israel and US)
    Thank you so much for the response! In that case I'll just make sure I'm mindful of the nuances of the words/the register I'm using when I speak.
     
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