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Lesson Transcript

Hi everybody! Idit here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Hebrew questions.
The question for this lesson is…
How do you use the Hebrew preposition על (al)?
The Hebrew word על (al) has many uses. It can mean "on," "about," "of," "at," or "for" depending on the context.
Let’s go through some examples so you can learn how to use על (al) correctly.
First, let’s do some examples for when על (al) means “on”--
יש ארנק על השולחן
(yesh arnak al ha’shulħan) “There is a wallet on the table.”
התמונה תלויה על הקיר
(ha’tmuna tluya al ha’kir) “The picture is hanging on the wall.”
Here are some examples of the word על (al) when it means "about" or "of"--
אנחנו צריכים לדבר על זה
(anaħnu tzrikhim ledaber al ze) - “We need to talk about this.”
לא שמעתי על הסרט הזה
(lo shamati al ha’seret ha’ze) - “I haven’t heard about/of this movie.”
The word על (al) is also used as "at" to indicate a direction, like in this sentence--
תסתכלי על האיש הזה
(tistakli al ha’ish ha’ze) “Look at that man.”
It can also be used as "for" to indicate purpose or consideration--
תודה על המתנה
(toda al ha’matana) “Thank you for the present.”
הוא נענש על הפשע שביצע
(hu ne’enash al ha’pesha she’bitze’a) “He was punished for the crime he committed.”
The word על (al) can also be conjugated in a few ways, depending on the subject it's referring to. These conjugations are created by combining the preposition על (al) with a pronoun such as “I” or “you.”
These conjugations are needed in case the word על (al) is referring to a person not being mentioned by name. For example, if we said, “I’m thinking about him,” instead of “I’m thinking about Ben.” Likewise, it can also be conjugated for objects without explicitly stating them. For example, “The book is on it,” instead of “The book is on the shelf.” Here are a few examples for conjugations of the word על (al) --
סיפרתי לך עליה
(siparti lakh ale’ha) - “I told you about her.”
אין מקום על השולחן, יש עליו ספרים
(en makom al ha’shulħan, yesh alav sfarim) - “There is no room on the table, it has books on it.”
אתה יכול להסתכל על הרהיטים, אבל אל תישען עליהם
(ata yakhol le’histakel al ha’rahitim, aval al tisha’en alehem) - Literally, “You can look at the furniture, but don't lean on them.”
כל הקפה נשפך עליי
(kol ha’kafe nish’pakh alai) - “All the coffee was spilled on me.”
How was this lesson? Pretty interesting right?
Do you have any more questions? Leave them in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them!