|Position in alphabet||5|
|Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician|
The proto-Canaanite letter gave rise to the Greek Epsilon, Etruscan 𐌄, Latin E, Ë and Ɛ, and Cyrillic Е, Ё, Є and Э. He, like all Phoenician letters, represented a consonant, but the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic equivalents have all come to represent vowel sounds.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2010)|
In Proto-Northwest Semitic there were still three voiceless fricatives: uvular ḫ, glottal h, and pharyngeal ḥ. In the Wadi el-Hol script, these appear to be expressed by derivatives of the following Egyptian hieroglyphs
|Various print fonts||Cursive
Hebrew spelling: הֵא
Also, in many variant Hebrew pronunciations the letter may represent a glottal stop. In word-final position, He is used to indicate an a-vowel, usually that of qamatz ( ָ ), and in this sense functions like Aleph, Vav, and Yud as a mater lectionis, indicating the presence of a long vowel.
He, along with Aleph, Ayin, Resh, and Heth, cannot receive a dagesh. Nonetheless, it does receive a marking identical to the dagesh, to form He-mappiq (הּ). Although indistinguishable for most modern speakers or readers of Hebrew, the mapiq is placed in a word-final He to indicate that the letter is not merely a mater lectionis, but that the consonant should be aspirated in that position. It is generally used in Hebrew to indicate the third-person feminine singular genitive marker. Today such a pronunciation only occurs in religious contexts, and then often only by careful readers of the scriptures.
Significance of He
Attached to words, He may have three possible meanings:
- A preposition meaning the definite article "the", or the relative pronouns "that", or "who" (as in "a boy who reads"). For example, yeled, a boy; hayeled, the boy.
- A prefix indicating that the sentence is a question. (For example, Yadata, You knew; Hayadata?, Did you know?)
- A suffix after place names indicating movement towards the given noun. (For example, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem; Yerushalaymah, towards Jerusalem.)
in modern Hebrew the frequency of the usage of he, out of all the letters, is 8.18%.
He, representing five in gematria, is often found on amulets, symbolizing the five fingers of a hand, a very common talismanic symbol.
He is often used to represent the name of God, as He stands for Hashem, which means The Name and is a way of saying God without actually saying the name of God. In print, Hashem is usually written as He with a geresh: ה׳.
In the Syriac alphabet, the fifth letter is ܗ — Heh (ܗܹܐ). It is pronounced as an [h]. At the end of a word with a point above it, it represents the third-person feminine singular suffix. Without the point, it stands for the masculine equivalent. Standing alone with a horizontal line above it, it is the abbreviation for either hānoh (ܗܵܢܘܿ), meaning 'this is' or 'that is', or halelûya (ܗܵܠܹܠܘܼܝܵܐ). As a numeral, He represents the number five.
The letter is named hāʾ. It is written in several ways depending on its position in the word:
|Position in word:||Isolated||Final||Medial||Initial|
Hāʾ is used as a suffix (with the harakat dictated by ʾIʿrab) indicating possession, indicating that the noun marked with the suffix belongs to a specific masculine possessor; for example, كِتَاب kitāb ("book") becomes كِتَابُهُ kitābuhu ("his book") with the addition of final hāʾ; the possessor is implied in the suffix. A longer example, هُوَ يَقْرَأُ كِتَابَهُ, (huwa yaqraʼu kitābahu, "he reads his book") more clearly indicates the possessor.
The hāʾ suffix appended to a verb represents a masculine object (e.g. يَقْرَأُهُ, yaqraʾuhu, "he reads it").
The feminine form of this construction is in both cases ـهَا -hā.
|Unicode name||HEBREW LETTER HE||ARABIC LETTER HEH||SYRIAC LETTER HE||SAMARITAN LETTER IY|
|UTF-8||215 148||D7 94||217 135||D9 87||220 151||DC 97||224 160 132||E0 A0 84|
|Numeric character reference||ה||ה||ه||ه||ܗ||ܗ||ࠄ||ࠄ|
|Unicode name||UGARITIC LETTER HO||IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER HE||PHOENICIAN LETTER HE|
|UTF-8||240 144 142 133||F0 90 8E 85||240 144 161 132||F0 90 A1 84||240 144 164 132||F0 90 A4 84|
|UTF-16||55296 57221||D800 DF85||55298 56388||D802 DC44||55298 56580||D802 DD04|
|Numeric character reference||𐎅||𐎅||𐡄||𐡄||𐤄||𐤄|