Quick answer
"De él" is a phrase which is often translated as "his", and "al" is a preposition which is often translated as "to the". Learn more about the difference between "de él" and "al" below.
de él
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (general)
a. his
¿Son tuyos estos zapatos? - No, son de él.Are these shoes yours? - No, they aren't. They're his.
b. from him
Me llegó una carta de él desde el frente de batalla.I got a letter from him from the battlefront.
c. of his
Un amigo de él me informó del accidente.A friend of his informed me about the accident.
d. of him
Adoraba a mi abuelo. Aún conservo un viejo retrato de él.I adored my grandad. I still keep an old portrait of him.
e. by him
Canté varios clásicos del jazz acompañado de él a la guitarra.I sang several jazz standards accompanied by him on guitar.
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A preposition is a word that indicates the relationship between a noun and another word (e.g. He ran through the door.).
1. (contraction of "a" plus "el")
a. to the
Vamos al centro comercial después de clases.We're going to the shopping mall after class.
b. when
Al decirle que tenía que ponerse a trabajar, Josué se enfadó mucho con su hermana.When she told him he needed to get to work, Josue got really mad at his sister.
c. as
Al no poder encontrar trabajo, Mark decidió de emigrar.As he couldn't find a job, Mark decided to emigrate.
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