Italian Language/use of "lontano"


Dear Maria,

My question is about the use of the preposition “lontano” in the following sentence:

La mia casa č lontana dalla strada.
My house is far from the street.

Can you please help me to parse the use of “lontana” in this sentence.

I have been trying to understand if “lontana” is being used as an adjective or as a preposition in this sentence?  

If “lontano” is a preposition  -  is it possible that   “lontano dalla strada” is a type of “complemento indiretto” , or  is “lontana da” a “locuzione prepositiva”?

Thank you very much.



Dear Rich,

in “La mia casa č lontana dalla strada”  the  word “lontana” is not a preposition, but an adjective in the feminine singular for it agrees with the subject “casa” (See my previous answer about “vicina”/”vicino”).

So, it is just the feminine singular that indicates that “lontana” is being used as an adjective in this sentence, since the adjectives agree always with the nouns they refer to and therefore can be masculine/feminine/ singular/ plural, whereas the prepositions are indeclinable.
See e.g.:”L’estate č ormai lontana”, “Data l’etŕ, mio marito č ancora lontano dalla pensione”, “La stazione ferroviaria č lontana dalla casa in cui abito”, "Casa mia č lontana. Bisogna camminare molto per arrivarci","I portici sono lontani e non possono ripararci dalla pioggia",etc.

As you can see, “lontano” when used as an adjective agrees with the noun it refers to and can be followed by the preposition “da” that can become “dal/dallo/ dalla",etc.

As for the “locuzione prepositiva”  composed of “lontano” (indeclform) and the preposition “da” (semplice o articolata), we find it in sentences like the following:“Abito lontano da Roma”, “Non mi piace sedere  lontano dalla finestra”, “Il mio appartamento si trova lontano dal mare”, etc.

Lastly, “lontano” can also be used as an adverb as in “Egli abita lontano”, “Vai piů lontano”, "Si sentiva un cane abbaiare lontano",etc.

In short, “lontano” when used as  an adjective agrees with the noun it refers to and thus is variable, while it is invariable when used as an adverb or “locuzione prepositiva”.


Parsing of “La mia casa č lontana dalla strada”:

-La =definite article in the feminine singular agreed with “casa”
-mia =possessive adjective  in the feminine singular agreed with “casa”
-casa = subject noun, feminine singular
-č = 3rd.person singular, present indicative of “essere”
-lontana = feminine singular adjective  that agrees with ”casa”
-dalla =articulated preposition in the feminine singular agreed with “strada”
-strada=indirect object noun, feminine singular

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

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