Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
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See also: Appendix:Variations of "e"
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.
הֲ־ • (ha-)
- (archaic or poetic) An interrogative particle.
- הֲיָדַעְתָּ? — Hayadá'ta? — Did you know?
- הֲתִשְׁמַע קוֹלִי? — Hatishmá kolí? — Can you hear my voice?
- Before a sh'va this prefix has a patach.