You are here:

Italian Language/articulated prepositions

Advertisement


Question
hi there, i am studying Italian and i can't seem to understand when to use the articulated prepositions..it's very confusing.
thank you

Answer
Hello,

since articulated prepositions are parts of speech which native Italian speakers instinctively understand, but for which rules are often hard to find, I can only list some examples that maybe could explain when you have to use the articulated prepositions instead of the simple prepositions.

First of all I have to point out that:

1-the simple prepositions like DI, A, DA, IN, SU,CON, PER, TRA/FRA  are not followed by (and bound to) articles.

2-when followed by a noun that is preceded by definite article, the simple prepositions become "articulated prepositions” as  the simple preposition joins with the article to form a single word, like for example DEL, AL, NEL, DAL composed of DI+IL, A+IL, IN+IL, DA+IL in the masculine singular.

Having said this, the only suggestion I can give you about the use of the articulated prepositions instead of the simple prepositions could be the following:
-you must use the articulated prepositions  when a noun is accompanied by a definite article + an adjective or a specification like for example in “Sono NELLA biblioteca dell’Università” or “Vado NELLA biblioteca universitaria” meaning respectively :”I am in the library of the University” and “I’m going to the library of the University”.
As you can see,in fact, the noun “biblioteca” (library) is accompanied by a specification like “dell’Università” or by an adjective like“universitaria”.

If on the contrary you say:”I am in the library”, the Italian translation would be “Sono IN biblioteca” where there is the simple preposition IN, instead of the articulated preposition NELLA.

Anyway, I have to point out that Italian prepositions are one of the most challenging part of grammar for any foreign student especially because unfortunately there are very few rules in order to make them clear, apart from a full immersion in Italian language, especially in Italy.

Sorry, but I’m afraid I cannot help you more.

Anyway, should you have some sentences with articulated/simply prepositions and you are not sure of translating them correctly, you could ask me again and I'll be glad to help you.

Best regards,
Maria  

Italian Language

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Maria

Expertise

Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

Experience

Over 25 years teaching experience.

Education/Credentials
I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.