When Italian Preposition A becomes English Preposition TO

In this post, you’ll learn about an important topic about Italian grammar: When Italian Preposition A becomes English Preposition TO. Prepositions in Italian and English may not always have the same meaning or application.

Simple Preposition in Italian A can occasionally be used with the definite article to form contracted preposition (preposizione articolata).

Prepositions usually come before:

  • a noun
  • an adjective
  • a verb

When comparing these two prepositions in Italian (A) and English (TO), we may use “A” in the same meaning as “TO” when talking about:

  • a person
  • a place
  • with certain verbs
  • with dates

📝 Examples:

andare a scuola ➡︎ to go to school

both in terms of “attending school” and “travelling to the school building

andare a letto ➡︎ to go to bed

andare a Napoli ➡︎ to go to Naples

andare a teatro ➡︎ to go to the theatre

andare al risotrante ➡︎ to go to the restaurant



Some more examples:

♦ Scrivo a mia sorella → I’m writing to my sister

♦ Ho regalato un mazzo di rose alla (a + la) mia fidanzata → I gave a bunch of roses to my girlfriend

♦ Vai al (a+ il) cinema? → Are you going to the cinema?

♦ Domani vado a Firenze → Tomorrow I’m going to Florence

♦ Vado a letto. → I’m going to bed.

♦ Siamo pronti a uscire → We are ready to go out

♦ Sono pronto a partire → I’m ready to leave

♦ Attento a non perderti → Be careful not to get lost

♦ Sono abituato alla (a + la) pioggia → I’m used to the rain

♦ Comincia a piovere → It’s starting to rain

♦ da lunedì a venerdì → from Monday to Friday

♦ dal 10 al (a+ il) 30 maggio → from the 10th to the 30th of May


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