The definite article ה added as a prefix to a noun is similar in sense to the English definite article “the”.
The most important functions of the definite article are individualization and generalization.
- a) denoted a unique thing. Example: השמש (the Sun);
- b) a thing was already mentioned before;
- c) it is clear what is meant from the situation or the context.
- The article is inserted before a noun denoting a whole class of things. Example: האדם (“a man” meaning the mankind).