In part one, you learned the three inseparable prepositions in Hebrew and their various basic meanings. In this article we will deal with the rules that govern how the inseparable prepositions are attached to nouns.
Inseparable prepositions are attached with a sheva before consonants with a full vowel.
If the first consonant of the noun has a simple sheva, the preposition is pointed with a hireq.
If the first consonant of the noun has a compound sheva, the preposition will take the same short vowel as the compound.
When the inseparable preposition is attached to a noun with the definite article, the definite article (he) drops and is replaced with the full vowel according to the rules of vowel pointing for the definite article.
When the inseparable preposition is attached to the accented syllable of a noun, it is usually pointed with a qames.
Mnemonics to Remember the Rules for the Inseparable Prepositions
Rule#1: Shevas Slip Under Inseparables!
Simply memorize that the basic pointing of an inseparable preposition is a sheva.
Rule #2: Sheva Minus One Dot
You know that the basic rule for inseparable prepositions is to point them with a sheva. When you come across a noun that already has a sheva under its first consonant, simply imagine that the bottom "dot" of the sheva falls away when connected to another sheva.
Rule #3: Compound? Come On Over!
This is another easy to remember rule. Simply visualize that when you encounter a compound sheva, the sheva morphs into the corresponding vowel of the compound.
Rule #4: Definitely Use the Rule for the Definite Article!
If you know your rules for the definite article, this is easy too. Just remember the rules for the definite article vowel pointing.
Rule #5: Munahs Must Flip!
When you encounter the munah in the text (which looks like half of an inverted qames), simply flip the munah (in your imagination) and put it under the preposition - it will remind you of the qames.
More Biblical Hebrew Memory Helps!
I hope this article on learning the rules for the inseparable preposition in Hebrew has helped you! For more powerful memory helps in learning Biblical Hebrew grammar and Hebrew paradigms be sure to visit Biblical Hebrew Made Easy! Or visit my author homepage, Boost Your Memory!