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Italian Language/use of preposition "in"


Dear Lauren,

I am having a very difficult time trying to understand why the preposition "in" is not included after the verb “è indirizzata” in the following sentence:    ... la persona cui è indirizzata la sopraddetta frase.

I think that I understand the meaning of this sentence to be:
... the person who is addressed in the aforesaid sentence.

But, I don’t understand why no preposition is included.  

Can you please help me to understand why the Italian preposition “in” is not included as in saying:      ... la persona cui è indirizzata “nella”  sopraddetta frase.

Thank you for your help.



Hi Rich,

To answer your question, I think that there is actually a grammatical error in the sentence you have given me. I don't know where you got it from but it should read as 'la persona a cui è indirizzata la sopraddetta frase' translated as 'the person who (or more formally 'to which') the aforesaid sentence is addressed'

I don't know if you have come across the Italian word 'cui' before but it is a structure that can be quite difficult for English speakers to get their head around seeing as we tend to tag our prepositions onto the end of a sentence nowadays!

With verbs that take indirect objects (usually a noun preceded by a preposition), Italians will use the preposition + cui which we could translate into English as 'to which', 'with whom' etc depending on preposition.

To give you some other examples:
Mi ricordo di un'epoca in cui era più difficile vivere (I remember a time in when it was much harder to live)
Ti voglio conoscere la ragazza di cui ti parlavo (I want you to meet the girl who I was talking to you about

The best trick I can think of to help with this structure is to think of the traditional English way of stating prepositions rather than the modern way of tagging them on the end of a sentence (e.g. What's the name of the city in which we lived? instead of What's the name of the city we lived in?.

This should help answer your original question as, if 'cui' is modified by a preposition, there will be no need to use another one in front of the noun phrase.

Hope this helps,
Kind regards,

Italian Language

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Lauren O' Hagan


Although not my mother tongue, I have spoken Italian fluently for more than 12 years so I am very confident to answer any questions about the Italian language. I am also competent in Roman Dialect if there are any questions relating to this.


MA Applied Linguistics First Class Honours in Modern Language Studies (Linguistics, Italian, Spanish) Received the top grade in the whole of UK for GCSE Italian, receiving a letter of congratulations from the Italian Consulate Completed my two-year A Level in 1 year with a grade A country. Carried out many translation jobs for a wide range of clients and topics including self-help, literature and exam papers. For personal reference, I have also translated Federico Moccia's Tre Metri Sopra Il Cielo and 2 of Francesco Totti's book.

El Pensador, University of Bristol

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Letter of recognition from the Italian consulate MA Applied Linguistics BA Hons Modern Language Studies CELTA qualified C1 CILS C2 DELE

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