See also: ־ה‎, ה‎, ה׳, and Appendix:Variations of "h"



הָ־ (hā-)

  1. this
    הָשַׁתָּא(hāšattā, this year)
    הָכָא(hāḵā, right here)


Etymology 1Edit

Possibly akin to Arabic هَا() and هٰذَا(hāḏā, this). Compare Arabic اَل(al-), the standardized Arabic definite article, which is of largely disputed etymology. More at זה‎ and הזה‎.



הַ־ (ha-)

  1. (definite article) The.
  2. This: the current or adjacent; used especially with nouns denoting periods of time, and especially יוֹם(yom, day).
    היום(hayóm, today)
    הערב(ha'érev, tonight, this evening)
    הבוקר(habóker, this morning)
    הלילה(haláila, tonight; last night)
    הוא מגיע לכתה עוד מעט ― hu magía lakitá od m'at ― He's arriving at the classroom shortly.
Usage notesEdit
  • In traditional grammar, Hebrew common nouns have three “states”: indefinite (corresponding to English “a(n)/some __”), definite (corresponding to English “the __”), and construct (corresponding to English “a(n)/some/the __ of”). Therefore, the definite article was traditionally considered to be an actual part of the definite noun. In modern colloquial use, the definite article is often taken as a clitic, attaching to a noun but not actually part of it. For example, the Hebrew term for school is בֵּית־סֵפֶר(beit séfer, house-of book); so in traditional grammar, “the school” is בֵּית־הַסֵּפֶר (beit-haséfer, house-of-the-book), but in modern colloquial speech, it is often הַבֵּית־סֵפֶר (habeit-séfer, the-house-of-book).
  • ה־‎ is used not only with nouns, but also with attributive adjectives; that is, attributive adjectives agree in definiteness with the nouns they modify. This agreement is strictly semantic; an attributive adjective takes ה־‎ if its noun is semantically definite, even if the noun does not itself have ה־‎, for example if it’s a proper noun.
  • When ה־‎ follows לְ־(l'-, to, for), בְּ־(b'-, in), or כְּ־(k'-, like), the two merge, with the consonant being ל, ב, or כ and the vowel being that from the ה־‎.
  • In traditional grammar, the consonant after ה־‎ receives a dagésh khazák (gemination), unless it’s one of the letters that cannot take a dagésh (א, ה, ח, ע, ר), in which case the vowel in the ה־‎ changes:
    • If the consonant after the ה־‎ is א or ר, or if it’s ע and its syllable is stressed, then a kamáts is used instead of a patákh; so, הָ־(ha-).
    • If the consonant after the ה־‎ is ע and its syllable is unstressed, then a segól is used instead of a patákh; so, הֶ־(he-).
    • If the consonant after the ה־‎ is ה or ח, then a patákh is used as usual, unless the ה or ח has unstressed kamáts or khatáf kamáts, in which case a segól is used instead.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Compare Arabic أَ(ʾa) (also its purported dialectal, and now obsoleted, variant, هَ(ha)) and Arabic هَلْ(hal).



הֲ־ (ha-)

  1. (archaic or poetic) An interrogative particle, introducing a yes-no question.
    הֲשָׁמַעְתָּ?‎‎ ― hashamá'ta?Have you heard?
    הֲיָדַעְתָּ?‎‎ ― hayadá'ta?Did you know?
    • Genesis 4:09, with translation of the King James Version:
      [] הֲשֹׁמֵר אָחִי אָנֹכִי׃‎‎ ― hashomér akhí anókhiAm I my brother's keeper?
    • 1 Kings 21:19, with translation of the English Standard Version:
      הֲרָצַחְתָּ וְגַם־יָרָשְׁתָּ‎ ― haratsakhtá ve'gám yarashtáHave you killed and also taken possession?
    • 1890 – 1931, Rachel the Poetess, זמר נגה 1
      הֲתִשְׁמַע קוֹלִי, רְחוֹקִי שֶׁלִּי,‎‎
      hatishmá kolí, rekhokí shelí,
      Do you hear my voice, far one of mine,
Usage notesEdit
  • Before a sh'va this prefix has a patach.

See alsoEdit