Italian Prepositions


Definition: Prepositions are words that express conditions, directions and specifications. These words also mark places in space and time.

In Italian language, prepositions are traditionally divided into:

  • Preposizioni propie, these prepositions are in order or frequency of use “di”, “a” , ”da”, “in”, “con”, “su”, “per”, “tra” and“fra”
  • Preposizioni impropie, these prepositions were originally adverbs and in modern Italian can be used as prepositions or adverbs.

Articulated Prepositions: a, da, di, in and su can be combined with a definite article in order to form one word (also known as contractions)

Examples:

  • Vado al (a+il)mare --> I’m going to the beach
  • sono i cani degli (di+gli)bambini --> They are children’s dogs.

The following table shows a list of Prepositional Articles.
 

  A DI DA SU IN
IL al del dal sul nel
LO allo dello dallo sullo nello
L’ (masc.) all’ dell’ dall’ sull’ nell’
LA alla della dalla sulla nella
L’ (fem.) all’ dell’ dall’ sull’ nell’
I ai dei dai sui nei
GLI agli degli dagli sugli negli
LE alle delle dalle sulle nelle


Note: con”, “per”, “tra”do not form a contraction.

The prepositiona: The preposition a can mean depending on its contexts:

  • to
  • at
  • in

That is why a is commonly used to express destination or location.

Examples:

  • Abito a Peru --> I live in Peru
  • Vado al stadio il martedì --> I go to the stadium this Tuesday
  • Allo studente --> to the student

The preposition di: This preposition is typically used to express:

  • Possession
  • Material
  • Time
  • Subjet

Examples:

  • Una lezione di letteratura --> a literature lesson.
  • Un pantalone di seta --> a silk pants.
  • Le auto di Cristiano Ronaldo --> Cristianos Ronaldo’s car

The preposition da: This preposition in typically used to express:

  • Place
  • Time
  • Function

Examples:

  • Parto da Peru --> I’m leaving from Peru
  • Studio Spagnolo da un anno --> I have been studying Spanish for a year.

The preposition in: This preposition is typically used to describe a means of transportation. “In”can also mean in, to or by according on its context.

Examples:

  • Vado in Peru --> I’m going to Peru.
  • Sao Paulo è in Brazil --> Sao Paulo is in Brazil.
  • In Macchina --> by car.
  • In bicicletta --> by bycicle.

The preposition su: This preposition is typically used to express:

  • Location
  • Topic of discussion

Examples:

  • Il cane è sulla scrivania --> the pen is on the desk
  • È una conferenze su Tommas --> it’s a conference on Dante.

Note: It is important to remember that su means “on”


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