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Inseparable prepositions

The letters Bet, Kaf and Lamed form inseparable prepositions when they attach to a word.

in, with, on Bet
like, as Kaf
to, for lamed

The inseparable preposition normally takes a sh’va (Sh'va), e.g. House(house); In a house(in a house).
In some circumstances the inseparable prepositions take other vowels.

Exact rules:

  • When connected with a word with hey (the) the following occurs: the hey is dropped; any vowel that appeared under the hey is transferred to the inseparable preposition, any dagesh that occurred in the first letter following the hey is retained. e.g., bayit, habayit, babayit.

  • When appearing before a noun that begins with a sheva the vowel under the preposition changes from (Sh'va)
    to (hirik ), e.g.,with an animal (with, on an animal); to/for an animal (to/for an animal).
  • Before a noun that begins with yud-sh'va the vowel under the preposition changes from (Sh'va) to (hirik ) and the sheva under the yuddisappears, e.g. Jerusalem(Jerusalem); out of Jerusalem (from Jerusalem).
  • Before a noun beginning with a combination vowel the preposition changes to kamats, patach, or segol.

inseparable prepositions and combination vowels

 Page Updated: 17 October, 2011
    Last Site Update: 4 November, 2018 | 26 Cheshvan, 5779
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