unfoldingWord® Hebrew Grammar https://uhg.readthedocs.io/en/latest/
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:github_url: https://git.door43.org/unfoldingWord/en_uhg/src/branch/master/content/preposition_definite_article.rst
.. _preposition_definite_article:
Preposition Definite Article
A preposition introduces a phrase that describes another word/concept within a sentence, usually a :ref:`noun<noun>` or a :ref:`verb<verb>`.
However, like :ref:`adverbs<adverb>` and :ref:`particles<particle>`, sometimes a prepositional phrase can describe the sentence as a whole.
In Biblical Hebrew, prepositions can also be used with an infinitive construct verb to show its relationship to the main verb of a sentence.
.. note:: When a word contains both a prefixed preposition and a :ref:`definite article<particle_definite_article>`, the ה consonant of the definite article disappears and the shewa under the preposition lengthens, usually either to a pathah vowel or a qamets vowel.
Biblical Hebrew has four main prepositions: the prefix בְּ (in, at, by);
the prefix לְ (to, for); the prefix כְּ (as, like); and the prefix מִ
(which is a shortened form of the independent preposition מִן, meaning
"from"). However, there is also a family of other prepositions in
Biblical Hebrew. It is common in Biblical Hebrew for prepositions to be
combined together or with a noun to form new words that have their own
range of meanings (similar to :ref:`compound conjunctions<conjunction-compound>`)
that may or may not overlap with the meaning of the individual component
In Biblical Hebrew, prepositions also have a specialized function of
describing the relationship between a verbal complement (infinitive
construct or participles) and the main verb of a sentence. In some of
these instances, the preposition introduces a dependent verbal clauses
and thus changes its typical meaning. These specialized uses of
prepositions are listed in the article on :ref:`infinitive construct<infinitive_construct>` verbs.
.. note:: Of all the different kinds of words, prepositions are perhaps the
most flexible in their meaning and are often translated in a variety of
ways, or sometimes even left untranslated. For this reason, prepositions
must always be translated with great sensitivity to the context of each
use. A dictionary or lexicon will describe the various possible meanings
of each preposition, but generally will not include a complete list of
individual usages.
In Biblical Hebrew, there are 11 general types of prepositions: :ref:`indirect object<preposition-ind-obj>`;
:ref:`spatial<preposition-spatial>`; :ref:`locative<preposition-locative>`; :ref:`temporal<preposition-temporal>`;
:ref:`instrumental<preposition-instrumental>`; :ref:`correlative<preposition-correlative>`; :ref:`comparative<preposition-comparative>`;
:ref:`directional<preposition-directional>`; :ref:`causal<preposition-causal>`; :ref:`explanatory<preposition-explanatory>`;
and :ref:`direct object<preposition-dir-obj>`. However, this are also other types of prepositions in Biblical Hebrew.
The specific meanings of individual prepositions can be found in a dictionary or lexicon.
.. csv-table:: Prefix Preposition (with and without the definite article)
normal noun,נָהָר,nahar,river
noun + preposition only,בְּנָהָר,benahar,in a river
noun + definite article only,הַנָּהָר,hannahar,the river
noun + preposition + definite article,בַּנָּהָר,bannahar,in the river
**Preposition before a noun starting with a normal shewa**
.. csv-table::
normal noun,מְרַגֵּל,meraggel,spy
noun + preposition only,כִּמְרַגֵּל,kimraggel,like a spy
noun + definite article only,הַמְּרַגֵּל,hammeraggel,the spy
noun + preposition + definite article,כַּמְּרַגֵּל,kammeraggel,like the spy
**Preposition before a noun with a guttural first consonant**
.. csv-table::
normal noun,אִישׁ,'ish,man
noun + preposition only,לְאִישׁ,le'ish,to a man
noun + definite article only,הָאִישׁ,ha'ish,the man
noun + preposition + definite article,לָאִישׁ,la'ish,to the man
**Preposition before a noun starting with a composite shewa**
.. csv-table::
normal noun,אֳנִיָה,'oniyah,ship
noun + preposition only,כָּאֳנִיָה,ko'oniyah,like a ship
noun + definite article only,הָאֳנִיָה,ha'oniyah,the ship
noun + preposition + definite article,כָּאֳנִיָה,ka'oniyah,like the ship
.. csv-table:: GEN 1:1 –– בְּ preposition without definite article.
בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים
**bereshith** bara 'elohim
**In-beginning** he-created God
"**In the beginning,** God created"
.. csv-table:: ISA 5:11 –– בְּ preposition with definite article (shewa lengthens to pathah vowel).
הֹ֛וי מַשְׁכִּימֵ֥י בַבֹּ֖קֶר
howy mashkime **vabboqer**
Woe those-rising-early **in-the-morning**
Woe to those who rise up early **in the morning**
.. csv-table:: GEN 1:5 –– לְ preposition with definite article (shewa lengthens to qamets vowel).
וַיִּקְרָ֨א אֱלֹהִ֤ים׀ **לָאֹור֙** יֹ֔ום
wayyiqra 'elohim **la'owr** yowm
And-he-called **to-the-light** day
"God called **the light** ""day"""
.. csv-table:: GEN 1:18 –– לְ preposition with infinitive construct verb.
וְלִמְשֹׁל֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם וּבַלַּ֔יְלָה
**welimshol** bayyom uvallaylah
**and to rule** in the day and in the night
**to rule** over the day and over the night