Italian prepositions are one of the main obstacles for our students, so today we would like to help you discover more about this topic with our list of Italian articulated prepositions. First of all, we recommend that you read our post about how to use Italian simple prepositions in order to understand what prepositions are.
If you are wondering what articulated prepositions are, they are the result of the union of some of the simple Italian prepositions (di, a, da, in, con, su, per) with the different forms of the Italian definite article (il, lo, l’, la, i, gli, le). So, have a look at our list of Italian articulated prepositions below, and try to memorise them:
Remember that in the case of the simple prepositions tra and fra, the preposition and the article don’t contract to form an articulated preposition. On the other hand, with the simple prepositions con and per, it is possible to construct the articulated forms but their use is not very common and we prefer to use the simple preposition followed by the article.
So, let’s see how to use the Italian articulated prepositions:
- DI + article: The Italian preposition di is generally used to indicate possession.
For example: This is my boyfriend’s dog = Questo è il cane del mio fidanzato (del=di+il)*
*In Italian we don’t have the Saxon genitive. The literal translation of the sentence would be ‘this is the dog of my boyfriend’.
- DA + article: The Italian preposition da plus article is generally used with the names of professions when these names refer directly to the person working in the store or office.
For example: I go to the lawyer = Vado dall’avvocato (dall’=da+l’)
- A + article: The Italian preposition a plus article is used with many places like bar, cinema, concerto, mare, mercato, parco, ristorante, supermercato, etc.
For example: I am at the cinema = Sono al cinema (al=a+il)
– ALLA is used with some places which have a feminine gender (stazione, posta, partita, etc.).
For example: I go to the football match = Vado alla partita di calcio (alla=a+la)
- IN + article: The Italian preposition in is used with some other places like banca, ufficio, palestra, piscina, etc. IMPORTANT: We use the articulated prepositions (nel, nello, nella, nell’, nei, negli) only when we talk about specific places.
For example: In Laura’s office there is a lot of light = Nell’ufficio di Laura c’è molta luce (nell’=in+l’)*
*In this case we are talking about a specific office (Laura’s office).
- SU + article: The Italian preposition su is usually translated as “on”.
For example: The cat is on the roof = Il gatto è sul tetto (sul=su+il)
Now, try to memorise our list of Italian articulated prepositions, and if you want to learn more with a native Italian teacher, contact us and we will be very happy to help you. Remember that our school offers Italian lessons at your home/office and Italian lessons by Skype.