When Italian Preposition A becomes English Preposition TO

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

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

Prepositions usually come before:

  • a noun
  • an adjective
  • a verb
When Italian Preposition A becomes English Preposition TO

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


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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What is a Preposition in the Italian Language?

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