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Hebrew - Questions

Simple yes/no questions

These are introduced by the prefix h-. The supporting vowel depends on the start of the word in question according to the following rules:

  1. before non-gutturals supported by a full vowel, use ha:
    hazeh ’achîykhem haqqâttôn
    (Is this your youngest brother?)
  2. Before gutturals supported by a full vowel other than â, use ha:
    ha‘ôd lâkhem ’ach
    (Is there yet to you a brother?)
  3. Before gutturals supported by â, use he:
    kîy-’el-’êl he’âmar
    (For has one said to God?)
  4. Before any consonant supported by vocal sheva, use ha:
    ha’elôhîym ’ânîy
    (Am I God?)

Interrogative pronouns

The interrogative pronouns mîy (who?) and mâh (what) are not inflected for either gender or number. mîy normally stands alone but may be joined to the following word with maqqeph (without change of form). mâh may stand alone but is normally joined in which case the pointing can vary depending on the following word:
  1. Before non-gutturals, use mah-
  2. Before gutturals ’ (aleph), h, r use mâh- (occasionally mah- before h)
  3. Before gutturals ch, ‘ (ayin), use meh-

Interrogative adverbs

The following interrogative adverbs are encountered:

Language formalities