Using prepositions - Easy Learning Grammar Italian
1 Where they go
- Prepositions are used in front of nouns and pronouns to show the relationship between the noun or pronoun and the rest of the sentence.
|Andiamo a Roma.||We’re going to Rome.|
|Vieni con me.||Come with me.|
- In English you can separate a preposition from its noun or pronoun and put it at the end of a question, or at the end of part of a sentence, for example, Who were you talking to?; the people I came with.
- In Italian prepositions always go in front of another word and never at the end of a question or part of a sentence:
|Con chi sei venuto?||Who did you come with?|
|la ragazza alla quale ho dato la chiave||the girl I gave the key to|
2 Which preposition to use
- In English certain adjectives and verbs are always followed by particular prepositions, for example, happy with, afraid of, talk to, smile at. The same is true in Italian.
|Sono deluso del voto che ho preso.||I’m disappointed with the mark I got.|
|Andiamo in Italia.||We’re going to Italy.|
- Note that when a preposition is used in front of the –ing form in English, a preposition is used in front of the infinitive (the –re form of the verb) in Italian.
|È andato via senza salutarci.||He went away without saying goodbye to us.|
|Sono stufo di studiare.||I’m fed up of studying.|
- The prepositions used in Italian may not be what you expect, for example,
the Italian preposition in is used for both the following:
|I miei sono in Italia.||My parents are in Italy.|
|I miei vanno in Italia.||My parents are going to Italy.|
- You sometimes need to use a preposition in Italian when there is no preposition in English.
|Hai bisogno di qualcosa?||Do you need anything?|
|Chiedi a Lidia cosa vuole.||Ask Lidia what she wants.|
- For more information on Prepositions after verbs, see Prepositions after verbs.
TipWhen you look up a verb in the dictionary, take note of any preposition that is shown with the translation.
|congratularsi con||to congratulate|
|dire qualcosa a qualcuno||to tell someone something|
3 Prepositions that combine with the definite article
- When the prepositions a, di, da, in and su are followed by the definite article – il, la, i, le and so on, they combine with it to make one word.
|+ il||+ lo||+ la||+ l’||+ i||+ gli||+ le|
- For more information on Articles, see Articles.
|Si guardava allo specchio.||He was looking at himself in the mirror.|
|la cima del monte||the top of the mountain|
|Sto dai miei.||I live with my parents.|
|Cos’hai nella tasca?||What have you got in your pocket?|
|I soldi sono sul tavolo.||The money’s on the table.|
- Italian prepositions are always used in front of another word.
- The preposition used in Italian may not be what you expect.
- Italian prepositions combine with the definite article to make one word.