He (letter)


He is the fifth
letter Letter, letters, or literature may refer to: Characters typeface * Letter (alphabet) A letter is a segmental symbol A symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, Object (philosophy ...
of the
Semitic abjads An abjad () is a type of writing system A writing system is a method of visually representing verbal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the ...
, including
Phoenician Phoenician may refer to: * Phoenicia, an ancient civilization * Phoenician alphabet * Phoenician language * List of Phoenician cities * Phoenix, Arizona See also

* Phoenix (mythology) * Phoenicia (disambiguation) {{disambiguation Language an ...

Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as the language of the Israelites, Judeans and their ancestors. It is the o ...

Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, ܠܫܢܐ ܣܘܪܝܝܐ / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramai ...

SyriacSyriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Syr ...
ܗ, and
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

ه. Its sound value is a
voiceless glottal fricative The voiceless glottal fricative, sometimes called voiceless glottal transition, and sometimes called the aspirate, is a type of sound used in some spoken language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including ...

voiceless glottal fricative
(). The
proto-Canaanite Proto-Canaanite is the name given to :(a) the Proto-Sinaitic script Proto-Sinaitic (also referred to as Sinaitic, Proto-Canaanite when found in Canaan, the North Semitic alphabet, or Early Alphabetic) is considered the earliest trace of alphabet ...
letter gave rise to the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Epsilon Epsilon (, ; uppercase Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minuscule'') in the written represe ...

Ε ε,
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...

Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became the dominant la ...

, Ë and Ɛ, and
Cyrillic The Cyrillic script ( ) is a writing system used for various languages across Eurasia and is used as the national script in various Slavic languages, Slavic, Turkic languages, Turkic, Mongolic languages, Mongolic, Uralic languages, Uralic, Caucas ...
Е, Ё, Є, Э, and Ҩ. ''He'', like all Phoenician letters, represented a
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sig ...
, but the Latin, Greek and Cyrillic equivalents have all come to represent
vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing system using symbols for syllables * ...



In Proto-
Northwest Semitic Northwest Semitic, known as Syro-Palestinian in dialect geography, is a division of the Semitic languages comprising the indigenous languages of the Levant. It would have emerged from Common Semitic in the Early Bronze Age. It is first attested ...
there were still three voiceless fricatives: uvular , glottal , and pharyngeal . In the
Wadi el-Hol script Wadi ( ar, وَادِي, wādī), alternatively ''wād'' ( ar, وَاد), Maghrebi Arabic, North African Arabic Oued, is the Arabic term traditionally referring to a valley. In some instances, it may refer to a dry (ephemerality, ephemeral) St ...
, these appear to be expressed by derivatives of the following Egyptian hieroglyphs V28' "
thread Thread or threads may refer to: Objects * Thread (yarn), a kind of thin yarn used for sewing ** Thread (unit of measurement), a cotton yarn measure * Screw thread, a helical ridge on a cylindrical fastener Arts and entertainment * Thread (film), ...
", A28 ' "
jubilation Jubilation may refer to: * Jubilation!, a parade at Tokyo Disneyland * Jubilation (The Band album), ''Jubilation'' (The Band album), 1998 *Jubilation (Randy Johnston album), ''Jubilation'' (Randy Johnston album), 1994 * Jubilation (The Rowans album) ...
", compare South Arabian alphabet, South Arabian , , , Ge'ez alphabet, Ge'ez , , , and O6 ' "court". In the Phoenician alphabet, ' and ' are merged into Heth (letter), Heth "fence", while ' is replaced by ''He'' "window".

Arabic hāʾ

The letter is named '. It is written in several ways depending on its position in the word: ' is used as a suffix (with the dictated by ') indicating possession (linguistics), possession, indicating that the noun marked with the suffix belongs to a specific grammatical gender, masculine possessor; for example, ' ("book") becomes ' ('his book') with the addition of final '; the possessor is implied in the suffix. A longer example, , (, "he reads his book") more clearly indicates the possessor. Hāʾ is also used as the Arabic abbreviation for dates following the Islamic era AH (era), AH. The ' suffix appended to a verb represents a masculine object (grammar), object (e.g. , ', 'he reads it'). The feminine form of this construction is in both cases '. In Nastaʿlīq the letter has a variant, gol he, with its own particular shapes. As Urdu and other languages of Pakistan are usually written in Nastaʿlīq, they normally employ this variant, which is given an independent code point (U+06C1) for compatibility: For Aspirated consonant, aspiration and breathy voice Urdu and other languages of Pakistan use the medial (in Nastaliq script) or initial (in Naskh script) form of ''hāʾ'', called in Urdu ('two-eyed he'): Several Turkic languages of Central Asia like Uyghur Arabic alphabet, Uyghur as well as Kurdish alphabet, Kurdish also use this letter for fricative //.

Arabic ae

Many Turkic languages of Central Asia like Uyghur as well as Kurdish alphabet, Kurdish use the modification of the letter for front vowels // or //. This has its own code point (U+06D5). To distinguish it from Arabic ''hāʾ'' /h/ the letter lacks its initial and medial forms: By contrast, the letter used for /h/, appearing in loanwords, uses only the initial and medial forms of the Arabic ''hāʾ'', even in isolated and final positions. In Unicode, is used for this purpose. Example words in Uyghur include (), a loanword from Persian, and (), a loanword from Arabic.

Hebrew Hei

Hebrew spelling:


In Hebrew Language, modern Hebrew, the letter represents a voiced glottal fricative , and may also be dropped, although this pronunciation is seen as substandard. Also, in many variant Hebrew pronunciations the letter may represent a glottal stop. In word-final position, ''Hei'' is used to indicate an ''a''-vowel, usually that of qamatz (  ), and in this sense functions like Aleph, Vav (letter), Vav, and Yodh, Yud as a mater lectionis, indicating the presence of a long vowel. ''Hei'', along with Aleph (Hebrew), Aleph, Ayin, Resh, Reish, and Heth (letter), Khet, cannot receive a dagesh. Nonetheless, it does receive a marking identical to the dagesh, to form ''Hei-mappiq'' (). Although indistinguishable for most modern speakers or readers of Hebrew, the mapiq is placed in a word-final ''Hei'' to indicate that the letter is not merely a mater lectionis but 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 even then often only by careful readers of the scriptures.

Significance of He

In gematria, ''Hei'' symbolizes the number five, and when used at the beginning of Hebrew calendar, Hebrew years, it means 5000 (i.e. התשנ״ד in Arabic numerals, numbers would be the calendar date, date 5754). Attached to words, ''Hei'' 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 hei, 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, Hamsa, a very common talismanic symbol.

In Judaism

''He'' is often used to represent the name of God as an abbreviation for Names of God in Judaism#Hashem.2FHadavar, 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 ''Hei'' with a geresh: .

Syriac Heh

In the Syriac alphabet, the fifth letter is — Heh (). It is pronounced as an [voiceless glottal fricative, h]. At the end of a word with a point above it, it represents the grammatical person, third-person grammatical gender, feminine grammatical number, 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'' (), meaning 'this is' or 'that is', or ''Hallelujah, halelûya'' (). As a numeral, He represents the number five.

Character encodings

External links

{{Northwest Semitic abjad Phoenician alphabet Arabic letters Hebrew alphabet kk:ه tr:He (harf)