How to choose from A or IN preposition

A preposition is one word which is usually followed by a noun or a pronoun.

Each preposition can play different functions. Different prepositions have similar uses.

Prepositions show how people and things relate to the rest of the sentence,

But how to choose from IN or A preposition?

We use IN

– With continents, countries,
– With addresses
– With islands

We use A

– With cities and towns  

In Europa
In Italia
In Toscana
In Sicilia  

A Roma
A New York
A Sanremo

There are many cases where it is not possible to give a precise rule.

Here are some tips to help you memorise the use of these propositions.


Means of transport:
in macchina
in treno
in aereo
in metro
in autobus
in tram
in moto
in bicicletta
in barca
in nave
in taxi

With nouns ending in -IA
in pizzeria
in farmacia
in trattoria
in frutteria
in tabaccheria
in macelleria

It may help to know that most of the nouns using preposition IN are female, most of the nouns using the A are male.



With female nouns

in casa
in banca
in piazza
in strada
in vacanza
in montagna
in campagna
in collina
in discoteca
in biblioteca

With male nouns

al ristorante
al cinema
al bar
a teatro
al mare
al lago
al fiume

Some Male nouns

Some female nouns

in ufficio
in centro
in ospedale
in giardino

a casa
a scuola

Very often preposition in the question is the same in the answer

Q: A che ora arriva Paolo?

A: A mezzogiorno

Q: In che stanza mettiamo il mobile?

A: In soggiorno

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