Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
ו־ • (transliteration needed)
וְ־ • (v'-)
- According to traditional grammar, ו־ takes a few different forms, depending on the word to which it is attached.
- The default form, used when none of the below rules applies, is וְ־ (v'-). It is also the only form in ordinary use in colloquial Modern Hebrew.
- When a word begins with יְ־ (y'-), ו־ attaches to it to produce וִי־ (vi-).
- When a word begins with one of the labial consonants (ב, ו, מ, or פ, acronymized as בומ״ף (bumáf)), or when the first vowel in a word is the sheva (the vowel in בְ) and the first consonant is not י, the form וּ־ (u-) is used.
- When the vowel in a word is a khataf vowel, ו־ takes the corresponding non-khataf vowel: וַאֲדָמָה (va'adamá), וֶאֱיָל (ve'eyál), וָחֳדָשׁים (vokhodashím).
- When the khataf vowel is followed by a yud (י), it can optionally become a sh'va, after which the ו־ may also take on a khirik (וִ־). Thus, all three of the following are acceptable combinations of ו־ and הֱיִיתֶם (heyitém, “you (plural) were”): וֶהֱיִיתֶם, וֶהְיִיתֶם, and וִהְיִיתֶם.
- When the first vowel in a word is a stressed vowel, the form וָ־ (va-) is optionally used. In modern Hebrew this is usually limited to set phrases such as וָחֵצִי (vakhétsi, “and a half”).
- In Ancient Hebrew, ו־ was used before every item of a list except the first; in Modern Hebrew, it's usually only used before the last item, like English and.
- In Ancient Hebrew, if ו־ was attached to a verb, it would often "flip" its conjugation; a verb in the perfect aspect (which became Modern Hebrew's past tense) would use the suffix conjugation (like Modern Hebrew's future tense), and a verb in the imperfect aspect (which became Modern Hebrew future tense) would use the prefix conjugation (like Modern Hebrew's past tense). This behavior is called וי״ו ההיפוך (vav hahipúkh) "the ו of flipping"; unlike the ordinary וי״ו החיבור (vav hakhibúr) "the ו of connection", it does not necessarily have a connective sense. Additionally, vav hahipukh often used a different vowel from what the ordinary vav hakhibur would, and occasionally caused the accent to shift.