Language formalities
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Hebrew - Prefixes - In, To and Like

The three prefixes
  1. be- (with, in, by, at, on),
  2. ke- (like, as, about, according to),
  3. and le- (to, for, towards)
are termed inseparable prepositions and behave in the same way. They are always prefixed to nouns, and follow these rules:
  1. Before consonants with a full vowel, except where noted below, they normally use sheva’
  2. Where the first consonant has simple vocal sheva’, convert to î, eg.
    libherâkhâh (for a blessing)

  3. Where the first consonant is yôdh with simple sheva’, convert to î and join to form diphthong, eg.
    bîyrûshâlayim (in Jerusalem)

  4. Where the first consonant is a guttural with composite sheva’, convert to the augment, eg.
    be’emeth (in truth)
    Except occasionally an initial ’aleph quiesces to give ê rather than e, in particular the divine name ’elohîym which takes ê to give lê’elohîym (to God/gods)

  5. Where the first syllable is the tone syllable, often but not always convert to â, eg.
    lâdhîyn (for/to judge)

  6. Before the definite article ha-, drop the h and the sheva’ in preference to the a, but keep the daghesh forte, eg.
    (in the garden) be + ha + gan becomes baggan
    (in the) be + ha becomes ba
    (in the) le + ha becomes la
    (in the) ke + ha becomes ka
Language formalities