You are here:

Italian Language/use of preposition / articulated preposition

Advertisement


Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please help me to understand when it is correct to use the simple preposition “di’ with the words “mattina”, “pomeriggio”, “sera”,   and “notte”  such as in  “di mattina” (in the morning or during the morning) . “di pomeriggio” (in the afternoon or during the afternoon), “di sera” (in the evening or during the evening), and “di notte” (at night or during the night),   and when it is correct to use the articulated prepositions “del” and “della” with the words “mattina”, “pomeriggio”, “sera”, and "notte” as in “della mattina” (in the morning or during the morning), “del  pomeriggio” (in the afternoon or during the afternoon), “della sera” (in the evening or during the evening), and “della notte” (at night or during the night),   

Can you please tell me if  “di mattina”, “di pomeriggio”, “di sera”, “di notte”, “della mattina”, “della sera”, “del pomeriggio”, and “della notte”  are all considered to be indirect objects.  

It would also help me very much if you could please give me some example sentences using   “di mattina”, “di pomeriggio”, “di sera”, “di notte”, “della mattina”, “della sera”, “del pomeriggio”, and “della notte”.    It would really help me a lot to be able to see the difference in usage between these indirect objects, and I would very, very much appreciate this help.

As always  -  Thank you for your great help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

when we say “di mattina”, “di pomeriggio”, “di sera” and “di notte” with the simple preposition “di", we use such expressions as an indirect object of time (Italian, “complemento di tempo”).

But when we say “della mattina”,“del  pomeriggio”, “della sera” and “della notte” with the articulated prepositions “del” and “della”, we use the indirect object called  “complemento di specificazione”, as it is a noun used to define another noun and provide additional information about the first noun, as in e.g. “Amo le ore della mattina”, “In cittŕ cominciavano ad accendersi le luci della sera”, Mi piace molto l’atmosfera del pomeriggio”," A volte le ore della notte non passano mai”.

The “complemento di specificazione” is most frequently expressed in English by the preposition "of" and sometimes by the English genitive / possessive case.

Here are other examples:

“Verrň di pomeriggio, non di mattina”; “Spesso esco di sera per fare una passeggiata”; “Di notte i rumori mi danno fastidio”;”Le ore della notte sono propizie alla concentrazione”; “Le lezioni del pomeriggio sono piů pesanti di quelle del mattino”; “Si alzň alle cinque della mattina; “Gli incontri della sera hanno concluso bene la mia giornata”.


Hope this help you  to be able to see the difference in usage between these indirect objects (“di mattina”, “di pomeriggio”, “di sera”, “di notte”  with the simple preposition “di", and “della mattina” ,“del  pomeriggio”, “della sera”, and “della notte” with the articulated prepositions “del” and “della”.

Have a nice Sunday,

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.