Italian Language/use of "chI'


Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me if there are any guidelines that will help me to know when the interrogative pronoun “chi” must be preceded by a preposition (therefore used as an indirect object) as in saying  -  “a chi”  “di chi” “con chi”,  etc.

For example, what is the difference between saying -  “Chi ha consultato?”  and  saying - “Con chi ha consultato?”

Thank you very much.



Dear Rich,

The only guideline  that can help you to know when the interrogative pronoun “chi” must be preceded by a preposition as in saying  -  “a chi”  “di chi” “con chi”,  etc., where the interrogative pronoun “chi” is used as an indirect object is to pay attention to the verb which governs this pronoun.
It is in fact the verb (transitive or intransitive) that determines whether or not you must use a preposition before “chi”.

For example, you must say:” “Chi ha consultato?”  where there is no preposition before “chi” because the verb “consultare” is a transitive verb and then has a direct object.

On the contrary you must say:”Con chi hai parlato?” where there is the  preposition “con”  before “chi” because the verb “parlare” is an intransitive verb and then has an indirect object.

Apart from the verb, there are some adjectives and nouns  that take an indirect object, as e.g. “Di chi sei amico?” where the adjective “amico” takes the preposition “di”.

See also:”A chi ti sei rivolto?; “Chi hai visto?”; “Di chi stai parlando?”; “A chi ti riferisci?”; “Per chi hai preparato il pranzo?”; “Chi č venuto?”; “Di chi sei amico?”; Con chi sei partito?”; “Da chi fuggivi?”; “In chi confidi?”; “Tra chi c’era rivalitŕ?”; “Chi hai aiutato?”; “Chi ti ha soccorso?”; etc.

As for  “Chi ha consultato?”  and   “Con chi ha consultato?”, please note that “Con chi ha consultato?” is wrong, because “consultare “ is a transitive verb which takes a direct object, and then it is correct to say:” “Chi ha consultato?”, whereas the pronominal verb  “consultarsi” is intransitive and then we say:”Con chi ti sei consultato?”.

Hope this is clear enough.

All the best,


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


Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

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