Arabic Language Blog

Letter of the Week (ه) haa Posted by on Jul 29, 2020 in Uncategorized

Moving on to our twenty sixth letter of the Arabic alphabet (ه), we will look at various words beginning with (ه) along with more culture/language related facts.

Let’s begin with looking at your four different forms of the letter ه.

Initial هـ‎, as in the word “هَواء” meaning “air”.

Medial ـهـ‎ ‍, as in the word “سَهْل” meaning “easy”.

Final ـه‎ (connected), as in the word “كِتابه” meaning “his book”.

Final ه‎ (disconnected), as in the word “شَعْره” meaning “his hair”.

Before looking at the following words can you think of words beginning with ه?

There are quite a few small but very useful words that begin with ه. We’re going to look at some subject pronouns then some demonstrative pronouns.

Subject pronouns

هُوَ: he إلى أين هو ذاهب؟  Where is he going?

هِيَ: she .هي دائِماً مُتأخِرة   She is always late.

هُمْ : they (plural masculine) هُنَّ: they (plural feminine)  هُما: they (dual)

.هُم الأفضَل في العَالم  They are the best in the world.

Demonstrative pronouns

هَذا : this (masculine)  .هَذا الكوب مَكسور This cup is broken.

هَذِه: this (feminine)  .هَذهِ الطاوِلة مَكسورة This table is broken.

هؤلاء: those .هؤلاء الأطفال يَلعبون في الحَديقة

Those children are playing in the park.

Here are other words that begin with ه.

هُنا: here .تَعال الى هُنا مِن فَضلك   Come here please.

هَدَف: goal  .هَدَفي هو التَخرُج ثُم البَحث عَن عَمل

My goal is to graduate then find a job.

هاتِف: telephone  .رَقم الهاتِف المَطلوب مَشغول حالِياً

The requested phone number is currently busy.

هَبَطَ (الطّائرة): to land (airplane)  .هَبَطَت الطائِرة في عَمان الَساعة 7:00 صَباحاً

The plane landed in Amman at 7:00 am.

هِجْرة: immigration  .هاجَرَ مِن العِراق إلى الوِلايات المُتحدة

He immigrated from Iraq to the United States.

هادِيء: quiet  .المَكْتَبة هادِئة جِداً  The library is very quiet.

Image via Pixabay


In Arabic, if you ask a question with a yes-or-no نَعَمْ أو لا answer, the question could either take the exact same form as the corresponding statement with rising intonation, or the addition of هَلْ at the beginning of the question.

أنتَ عِراقي؟ You’re Iraqi?

هَلْ أنتَ عِراقي؟ Are you Iraqi?

هَلْ تَتَكَلَّم العَرَبِيَّة؟   Do you speak Arabic?

هَلْ شَاهَدتَ هَذَا الفِيْلم؟   Did you see this movie?

هَل هذا الجَواب الصَحيح؟  Is this the correct answer?

Image by Shirt Creations on

 هَريسة (Semolina Cake)

Here is an easy recipe وصفة for an Arabic dessert that you can make at home. I’ve included a couple links to Arabic cooking shows showing how to make Harissa. Watching cooking shows is actually a fun way to learn more vocabulary, especially if you love food!

طريقة عمل الهريسة على الطريقة الاصلية (short and straight forward)

مطبخ رؤيا مع نبيل – الهريسة (more of a talking show with a recipe)

Levantine Arabic

هيك is a Levantine word that basically translates to “like this” or “like so”. If someone is showing how something is done, they can say هيك. The opposite would be, مو هيك meaning “not like this”. It can also be used as a reply to mean “just because” when someone does not care to elaborate.

For example,

Why didn’t you go to work?  ليش ما رُحت عَلشُغل؟

Just because.  .هيك

Of course, this reply is not very polite, but it is used and so it’s good to know it’s meaning in both contexts.

Until next week, happy Arabic learning! 😊

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About the Author: yasmine

MarHaba! I am half Jordanian of Circassian descent and half American. I have a Master's in Second Language Teaching and I teach Arabic as a foreign language here in the US, both MSA and Levantine Arabic. I hope to help you become more familiar and interested in the Arabic language and culture.