This article is about the Semitic letter.
For other uses, see WAW.
|← He Waw Zayin →|
|Phonemic representation||w, v, o, u|
|Position in alphabet||6|
|Alphabetic derivatives of the Phoenician|
|Greek||Ϝ (Ϛ), Υ (Ȣ).|
|Latin||F, V, U, W, Y, Ⅎ, Ↄ?, Ⱶ?, Ƿ?|
|Cyrillic||Ѕ, У (Ꙋ), Ѵ, Ю, Ѱ?|
In text with niqqud, a dot is added to the left or on top of the letter to indicate, respectively, the two vowel pronunciations.
In Modern Hebrew, the word vav is used to mean both "hook" and the letter's name (the name is also written ).
Hebrew Waw / Vav
|Various print fonts||Cursive Hebrew||Rashi script|
Hebrew spelling: וָו or וָאו or וָיו.
Pronunciation in Modern Hebrew
|Variant (with Niqqud)||Without Niqqud||Name||Phonemic value||Phonetic realisation||English example|
|ו||as initial letter:ו||Consonantal Vav
(Hebrew: Vav Itsurit ו׳ עיצורית)
|/v/, /w/||v, w||vote
|as middle letter:וו|
|as final letter:ו or יו|
|וּ||ו||Vav Shruka ([väv ʃruˈkä] / ו׳ שרוקה) or
Shuruq ([ʃuˈruk] / שׁוּרוּק)
|וֹ||ו||Vav Chaluma ([väv χäluˈmä] / ו׳ חלומה) or
Holam Male ([χo̞ˈläm maˈle̞] / חוֹלָם מָלֵא)
In modern Hebrew, the frequency of the usage of vav, out of all the letters, is about 10.00%.
Vav as consonant
Consonantal vav (ו) generally represents a voiced labiodental fricative (like the English v) in Ashkenazi, European Sephardi, Persian, Caucasian, Italian and modern Israeli Hebrew, and was originally a labial-velar approximant /w/.
The pronunciation is determined by prior knowledge or must be derived through context.
Some non standard spellings of the sound w are sometimes found in modern Hebrew texts, such as word-initial double-vav: וואללה – /ˈwala/ (word-medial double-vav is both standard and common for both /v/ and /w/, see table above) or, rarely, vav with a geresh: ו׳יליאם – /ˈwiljam/.
Vav with a dot on top
Main article: Holam
The distinction is normally ignored, and the HEBREW POINT HOLAM (U+05B9) is used in all cases.
The vowel can be denoted without the vav, as just the dot placed above and to the left of the letter it points, and it is then called ḥolam ḥaser.
Some inadequate typefaces do not support the distinction between the ḥolam male ⟨וֹ⟩ /o/, the consonantal vav pointed with a ḥolam ḥaser ⟨וֺ⟩ /vo/ (compare ḥolam male ⟨מַצּוֹת⟩ /maˈtsot/ and consonantal vav-ḥolam ḥaser ⟨מִצְוֺת⟩ /mitsˈvot/).
To display a consonantal vav with ḥolam ḥaser correctly, the typeface must either support the vav with the Unicode combining character "HEBREW POINT HOLAM HASER FOR VAV" (U+05BA, HTML Entity (decimal) ֺ) or the precomposed character וֹ (U+FB4B).
Compare the three:
- The vav with the combining character HEBREW POINT HOLAM: מִצְוֹת
- The vav with the combining character HEBREW POINT HOLAM HASER FOR VAV: מִצְוֺת
- The precomposed character: מִצְוֹת
Vav with a dot in the middle
Main article: Shuruk
Shuruk and vav with a dagesh look identical ("וּ") and are only distinguishable through the fact that in text with niqqud, vav with a dagesh will normally be attributed a vocal point in addition, e.g. שׁוּק (/ʃuk/), "a market", (the "וּ" denotes a shuruk) as opposed to שִׁוֵּק (/ʃiˈvek/), "to market" (the "וּ" denotes a vav with dagesh and is additionally pointed with a zeire, " ֵ ", denoting /e/).
In the word שִׁוּוּק (/ʃiˈvuk/), "marketing", the first ("וּ") denotes a vav with dagesh, the second a shuruk, being the vowel attributed to the first.
Words written as vav
Main article: Hebrew grammar
Vav at the beginning of the word has several possible meanings:
- vav conjunctive (Vav Hachibur, literally "the Vav of Connection"—chibur means "joining, or bringing together") is a vav connecting two words or parts of a sentence; it is a grammatical conjunction meaning 'and' , cognate to the Arabic. This is the most common usage.
- vav consecutive (Vav Hahipuch, literally "the Vav of Reversal"—hipuch means "inversion"), mainly biblical, commonly mistaken for the previous type of vav; it indicates consequence of actions and reverses the tense of the verb following it:
- when placed in front of a verb in the imperfect tense, it changes the verb to the perfect tense. For example, yomar means 'he will say' and vayomar means 'he said';
- when placed in front of a verb in the perfect, it changes the verb to the imperfect tense. For example, ahavtah means 'you loved', and ve'ahavtah means 'you will love'.
(Note: Older Hebrew did not have "tense" in a temporal sense, "perfect," and "imperfect" instead denoting aspect of completed or continuing action.
Modern Hebrew verbal tenses have developed closer to their Indo-European counterparts, mostly having a temporal quality rather than denoting aspect.
As a rule, Modern Hebrew does not use the "Vav Consecutive" form.)
In Yiddish, the letter (known as vov) is used for several orthographic purposes in native words:
- Alone, a single vov ו represents the vowel u in standard Yiddish.
- The digraph וו, "tsvey vovn" ('two vovs'), represents the consonant v.
- The digraph וי, consisting of a vov followed by a yud, represents the diphthong [oj].
The single vov may be written with a dot on the left when necessary to avoid ambiguity and distinguish it from other functions of the letter.
For example, the word vu 'where' is spelled וווּ, as tsvey vovn followed by a single vov; the single vov indicating u is marked with a dot in order to distinguish which of the three vovs represents the vowel.
Some texts instead separate the digraph from the single vov with a silent aleph.
Loanwords from Hebrew or Aramaic in Yiddish are spelled as they are in their language of origin.
In the Syriac alphabet, the sixth letter is ܘ. Waw (ܘܐܘ) is pronounced [w].
When it is used as a mater lectionis, a waw with a dot above the letter is pronounced [o], and a waw with a dot under the letter is pronounced [u].
Was has an alphabetic-numeral value of 6.
|Unicode name||HEBREW LETTER WAW/VAV||ARABIC LETTER WAW||SYRIAC LETTER WAW||SAMARITAN LETTER BAA||HEBREW LETTER VAV WITH DAGESH||HEBREW LETTER VAV WITH HOLAM|
|UTF-8||215 149||D7 95||217 136||D9 88||220 152||DC 98||224 160 133||E0 A0 85||239 172 181||EF AC B5||239 173 139||EF AD 8B|
|Numeric character reference||ו||ו||و||و||ܘ||ܘ||ࠅ||ࠅ||וּ||וּ||וֹ||וֹ|
|Unicode name||UGARITIC LETTER WO||IMPERIAL ARAMAIC LETTER WAW||PHOENICIAN LETTER WAU|
|UTF-8||240 144 142 134||F0 90 8E 86||240 144 161 133||F0 90 A1 85||240 144 164 133||F0 90 A4 85|
|UTF-16||55296 57222||D800 DF86||55298 56389||D802 DC45||55298 56581||D802 DD05|
|Numeric character reference||𐎆||𐎆||𐡅||𐡅||𐤅||𐤅|
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waw (letter).