What are the rules for if it's "He-" or "Ha-"? I take it it's pretty much always "Ha-" in colloquial hebrew?
Nobody knows. seriously, everyone just say "Ha-" all the time. I can check online what the rules for that if you want, but be sure that 99% of the native speakers don't know them.
Thanks for confirming what I suspected to be the case! Checked it out on wikipedia myself; "Before an unaccented הָ and עָ and always before חָ it is הֶ." (I assume unaccented = not stressed)
The answer it looks for is "The smoke comes out of the ground". Why would this not be written as "העשן בא מן הקרקע"?
I thought that the emphasis would have been more like "The smoke gets out from under the ground" which was not acceptable as an answer (probably for a good reason which is why I ask here).