Italian Language/prepositions

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Question
Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the preposition “in” or “a”.

In the past, I have learned that both the preposition “in” and the preposition “a” can be used to say “in, at, or to” depending upon the verb.    

For example, both the preposition “in” and the preposition “a” can be used with the verb “andare”.  And, as I have learned, one can say -  “Io vado nel parco”  and “Io vado al parco”.

But, I am wondering if these sentences can be used interchangeably.

For example, if I am at my home and want to go to a park that is several miles away -  can I say either  “Io vado al parco”  or  “Io vado nel parco”   to indicate that I want to go to this park?   

For example, if I am standing next to the entrance to a park  -  can I say either “Io vado al parco”  or “Io vado nel parco”    to indicate that I want to go in this park?   

Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

you have learned correctly  that both the prepositions “in” and “a” can be used to say “in, at, or to” depending upon the verb.  
Therefore, both the prepositions “in” and “a” can be used with the verb “andare”, so that  you can say -  “Io vado nel parco”  and “Io vado al parco” as these sentences can be used interchangeably, whether you are at your home and want to go to a park that is several miles away or  you are standing next to the entrance to a park.

Anyway, I have to point out that, if you are at your home and want to go to a park that is several miles away, you should add the name of this park which is far from your home, since the general expression “nel parco”/”al parco” would sound strange in Italian, for we would say correctly “Vado al/nel parco di Villa Borghese”, if we live in Roma, or “Vado al/nel parco Sempione”, if we live in Milano, for example.
Either in Roma or in Milano, there are in fact many parks and then you cannot use the generic expression “al/nel parco” without specifying the name of the park.

Best regards,

Maria  

Italian Language

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Maria

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

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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