See also: ־ה, ה, ה׳, and Appendix:Variations of "h"
הָ־ • (hā-)
Possibly akin to Arabic هَا (hā) and هٰذَا (hāḏā, “this”); Rubin posits a connection Akkadian 𒀭𒉡𒌝 (annûm, “this”); the final ־נ (-n) in הַנ־* (*han-) would've been assimilated to the first syllable of consonant-initial words; this form would then be generalised to vowel-initial words as well.
Compare Arabic اَل (al-), the standardized Arabic definite article, which is of largely disputed etymology, and זה (definite הזה).
- (Modern Israeli Hebrew) IPA(key): /ha/ (usually), IPA(key): /he/ (sometimes; see usage notes below)
הַ־ • (ha-)
- (definite article) The.
- This: the current or adjacent; used especially with nouns denoting periods of time, and especially יוֹם (yom, “day”).
- 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.
- ה"א הידיעה on the Hebrew Wikipedia.Wikipedia he
Compare Arabic أَ (ʔa) (also its purported dialectal, and now obsoleted, variant, هَ (ha)) and Arabic هَلْ (hal).
- (Modern Israeli Hebrew) IPA(key): /ha/
הֲ־ • (ha-)
- (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 anókhi ― Am I my brother's keeper?
- 1 Kings 21:19, with translation of the English Standard Version:
- הֲרָצַחְתָּ וְגַם־יָרָשְׁתָּ ― haratsakhtá ve'gám yarashtá ― Have 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,
- Before a sh'va this prefix has a patach.
- ה"א השאלה on the Hebrew Wikipedia.Wikipedia he
- ^ Aaron Rubin (2005), “Definite Articles”, in Studies in Semitic Grammaticalization, Brill, DOI:10.1163/9789004370029_005, →ISBN, page 76