In בבא מציעא daf 33b, the very beginning of the Gemara on המפקיד. The Gemara says מקני ליה. The Artscroll English edition, vowelizes מקני as mak-nay. What are the precise possible translation(s) of מקני ליה?

  • Does the yud in מקני signify that the subject (the one(s) being מקנה) is plural? i.e. they are מקנה
  • Or can it refer to the items being transferred, leaving the subject singular - i.e. he is מקנה the items
  • does ליה have to mean "to him" (i.e. to the recipient), or could it be referring to the item being transferred - as it "they are מקנה it" with ליה corresponding to "it"


  • "He conveys ownership to him"
  • "He conveys ownership of it" (i.e. ליה refers to the item whose ownership is being transferred)
  • "He conveys ownership of them (the items) to him"
  • "They convey ownership to him"
  • @Kazibácsi - thanks - what does / could the yud with צרי (tzay-ray) indicate?
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 16:37
  • See answer. (If it helps, please also consider accepting.) Commented Aug 5, 2021 at 17:24
  • Just one more Q - is it possible that the yud refers to plural - "they transfer the כפל to him"?
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 2:18
  • There is a final י both in singular and plural, but in your question it is clearly in singular. See this one for example: sefaria.org/Shabbat.156b.2 Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 10:03
  • 1
    @Kazibácsi - thanks! I clicked accept- (1) is it impossible to be plural , b/c some learn that it's going on חז"ל - בית דין are the ones who grant him ownership. (2) Also please explain how the yud in this aramaic word compares to the hebrew conjugation. is it in place of the ה (hebrew would be מקנה ליה) or does the aramaic also use the ה, with the yud indicating something in addition? (3) Lastly, how would the aramaic look if it were to say "they transferred to him"?
    – Chaim
    Commented Aug 6, 2021 at 14:33

1 Answer 1


The Hebrew and the Aramaic verbs in this case share the root קנ"ה. In the paal form (קָנָה) it means to buy or obtain something. ArtScroll helps you with the patach, which suggests a causative, hifil form (הִקְנָה), that is "make someone obtain," which we rather say as provide, transfer etc. See the hifil section of Jastrow's entry on the verb and also refer to the Wikipedia or other books.

Therefore, the verbatim translation of דמקני ליה כפילא is because (-ד) (he is the) transferrer of (מקני) double (כפילא) to him (ליה). So the י is a part of the present participle in the singular masculine case. For a proper translation see Soncino or Sefaria. In Succah 46b you can see various forms of the same verb, which may help.

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