Preposizioni semplici, Italian prepositions – Basic guide and quiz

Preposizioni semplici, Italian prepositions,  are fundamental elements of the Italian language


Preposizioni semplici are invariable elements of a sentence. The name “pre-posizione” comes from Latin and it quite obviously means they are “positioned before”  nouns, verbs and pronouns, defining their meaning inside a sentence. There are several types of Italian prepositions.

Today we will have a look a the so called “preposizioni semplici” literally, simple prepositions. They are 9.

DI – A – DA – IN – CON – SU – PER – TRA – FRA

The first thing we can notice is that these Italian prepositions have just one syllable and do not change according to the noun they link to. They have something in common with their English counterparts. The descriptions below compare English and Italian prepositions  but of course in many cases they are used differently, so please try to use the comparison just as a reference and not as a rule.

“Preposizioni semplici” can be combined with “articoli determinativi” (il, lo, la, i gli, le) and create “preposizioni articolate (e.g. the classic “il libro è sul tavolo” where sul=su+il). We will explain the use of preposizioni articolate in another post.Please look at the examples explaining the main use of all preposizioni semplici and solve the quiz.

 


Di

The preposition di is used to indicate:

  • possession La macchina di Andrea.
  • material Un bichiere di vetro.
  • quality Luigi è un uomo di cuore.
  • topic Parliamo di arte
  • time Vado al cinema di lunedì.
  • mode Sono sempre di fretta.
  • comparison Lucia è più bella di Giorgia

It is often compared to the English prepositions of, than.


A

The preposition is used to indicate:

  • position Sono a casa.
  • motionVado a Roma  .
  • age Vado in pensione 65 anni
  • time Ci vediamo a mezzogiorno

It is often compared to the English preposition, to, at.


Da

The preposition da is used to indicate:

  • origin Vengo da Roma.
  • agent È un dolce fatto da Lucia
  • motion Vado da Mario 
  • time Studio italiano da un anno
  • purpose Una tazza da 

It is often compared to the English prepositions from, by, since


In

The preposition in is used to indicate:

  • position Vivo in Francia.
  • motion Vado in Francia
  • means Viaggio in treno 
  • mode Stiamo insieme in amicizia

It is often compared to the English preposition in.


Con

The preposition con is used to indicate:

  • company Studio con un amica
  • union La pizza con i funghi.
  • means Viaggio con il treno.
  • mode Ho letto con attenzione
  • quality La donna con i capelli lunghi.

It is often compared to the English preposition with.


Su

The preposition su is used to indicate:

  • position Il gatto è su una sedia.
  • motion Saliamo su una collina.
  • topic Un film su Michelangelo
  • estimation Una donna sui 30 anni.

It is often compared to the English preposition on.


Per

The preposition per is used to indicate:

  • motion Questo è il treno per Roma.
  • motion through Siamo passati per Milano
  • time length Ho aspettato per un anno
  • reason Ho telefonato per prenotare
  • cause Sudiamo per il caldo

It is often compared to the English prepositions for, to.


Tra / Fra

The prepositions tra and fra are used to indicate:

  • position between Verona è tra Milano e Venezia 
  • position among  Vivo fra la gente.
  • point in time from now Ci vediamo fra un’ora
  • relation Tra Maria e Antonio c’è tanto amore

They are often compared to the English prepositions between, through, among.

Thanks for reading. Please try the quiz.


LOADING QUIZ...


Parmigianino – Ritratto di giovane donna detta ‘Antea’ – 1530 ca

5 2 votes
Rate this Article
Photo of author
Riccardo
Milanese, graduated in Italian literature a long time ago, I began teaching Italian online in Japan back in 2003. I usually spend winter in Tokyo and go back to Italy when the cherry blossoms shed their petals.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Don`t copy text!
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x