Italian Simple prepositions Di – A – Da

Prepositions are amazing tiny words that help us make sense of phrases: where we’re going, who we’re going with, where we are in space.

Do you find prepositions Di – A – Da confusing, particularly because they have various meanings in different contexts?

If used correctly, very common simple propositions Di – A – Da immediately lift the standard of your Italian to a higher level. This page will help you get your prepositions constructions right and improve your style by using them more correctly.

Because there are no straightforward rules defining prepositions in Italian, the best approach to grasp them is learning while you practise as you go for example reading and listening or practising a lot in activities and exercises.

First of all, there are three types of Italian prepositions:

  • Preposizioni semplici (Simple prepositions) are relatively short and, in most situations, can be combined with an article to make an articulated form.
  • Preposizioni articolate (Articulated prepositions) in Italian: a basic preposition + an article.
  • Preposizioni improprie (Improper prepositions): they have more than one syllable and cannot be combined with an article.

On this page, we’ll consider just very common simple prepositions DI, A DA, the prepositions that aren’t followed by articles.

Italian Simple prepositions Di - A - Da Preposition DI Mind Map

Preposition DI


Di typically expresses

possessionQuesta è la giacca di MariaThis is Mattia’s jacket
timeDi sera faccio spesso una passeggiataIn the evening I often for a week
causeMuoio di fameI’m starving
ageE’ un bambino di tre anniHe’s a three-year-old child
a topic/themeAmo i libri di avventureI love adventure books
a materialUn foglio di cartaA sheet of paper

Italian Simple prepositions Di - A - Da Preposition DI Mind Map

Preposition A

(at, to)

A typically expresses

location (in/at/to)Andiamo a RomaWe’re going to Rome
ageA 18 anni vado all’estero a lavorareAt 18 I’ll go to work abroad
timeMangiamo a mezzogiornoWe eat at noon
an indirect object (to)Regalo i fiori a LauraI give flowers to Laura
to be in a placeRimango a casaI stay at home

Italian Simple prepositions Di - A - Da Preposition DI Mind Map

Preposition DA

(from, at)

Da typically expresses

location (to/at/from)Vado da mia sorella ogni settimanaI go to my sister’s every week
origin placeJames viene da LondraJames comes from London
time (since/for)Viviamo in Italia da tre anniWe’ve been living in Italy for 3 years
 Lavoro qui da AprileI’ve been working here since April
mannerMario si comporta da stupidoMario behaves in a stupid way
price (of/for)Vorrei un gelato da 2 euroI’d like ice cream for 2 euros
the passive (by)il cioccolato è amato da tuttiChocolate is loved by everybody

Distinctions between the Italian prepositions di da and a

  • da + noun
  • di + material
  • a + characteristic

More examples:

  • occhiali da sole (sunglasses)
  • scarpe da ginnastica (gym shoes)
  • sciarpa di lana (wool scarf)
  • fogli di carta (sheets of paper)
  • camicia a fiori (flowered shirt)
  • giacca a quadri (checked jacket)

These simple prepositions may appear easy, but learning their use is important for developing meaningful and accurate sentences in Italian. Whether you’re planning a trip to Italy, improving your language skills, or simply attracted by linguistic difficulties “Di,” “A,” and “Da” are essential tools in your linguistic toolbox.

What’s next?

You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources:

What is a Preposition in the Italian Language?

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