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  5. "עליי ללכת!"

"עליי ללכת!"

Translation:I have to go.

August 3, 2016



A more literal translation would be "It is upon me to go!" (Perhaps even "incumbent upon me")


Agreed. "It is incumbent upon me to go" is a nice translation.


Good point, JessicaDellEra. BTW: this construction (with the preposition expressing obligation) goes back to Mishnaic Hebrew, e.g., Yad 4.3 עליך ראיה ללמוד, "you have to provide evidence," lit. "upon you is evidence to teach." The text concerns a tithe; Danby renders with "thou must bring forth proof." Cf. Ps 56:13 עלי נדריך, "your vows are upon me," i.e., I owe them.


Thank you for the confirmation. I got this from pealim.com https://www.pealim.com/dict/6012-al/ and was looking here to confirm if that's what it means.


Is there a fundamental difference between this sentence and אני צריך ללכת?


This is more poetic.


So, as a native speaker, you wouldn't really say this in every day conversation?

  • 536

I think it's about as common as an English speaker saying "I must go"


As a native English speaker from the Western US, I would say that "I must go" is very common.

  • 536

Right. But "I have to go" is more common. Especially in speech.


I thought about this for a while, and I think I agree with you. I don't think I'd ever say "I must go" in a normal conversation. Simply reading it, however, I don't find it especially formal.


For interest's sake, in Australia, the more common way of saying this would be 'I have to go' or 'I need to go'. When we use 'must' in this context, we're likely to add 'really': 'I really must go'.


I've lived in eastern and southern US. Although I'm more likely to say "I have to go" or "I have to get going," if I've already said it and someone is insisting I stay, I'm more likely to been say "I must go." It's just more emphatic.


If you knew Literary Arabic, another related semitic language, you'd know that this expression is basic.

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