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Italian Language/use of the preposition "di"

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Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me whether or not it is correct to state - “Io sono del Brazile” (I am from Brazil) in answer to the following question - “Tu di dove sei?”  (Where are you from?)

I am trying to verify that it is correct and acceptable to specify a country by using the preposition “di” as shown above.  

In the past, I had learned that to specify a city one would say, for example – “Sono di Cleveland” (I am from Cleveland) or “Sono di Roma” (I am from Rome), but I did not know that the preposition “di” could also be used with essere to specify  the name of a country as in "Io sono del Brazile" (I am from Brazil).   

I thought that to specify the name of a country one had to say “venire da” as in “Vengo dagli Stati Uniti” (I come from the United States)

It would help me very, very much if you would please verify that saying both  “Io sono del Brazile” (I am from Brasil) and “Io vengo dal Brazile” (I come from Brazil)  are both acceptable responses.

Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

it is not so correct to state - “Io sono del Brasile” (I am from Brazil) in answer to the following question - “Tu di dove sei?”  (Where are you from?).

It is more correct to say:”Sono Brasiliano”.

See also: “Sono Francese” (I am from France), “Sono Inglese” (I am from the United Kingdom), “Sono Tedesco” (I am from Germany) , “Sono Americano” (I am from the United States),  etc. in answer to the following question - “Tu di dove sei?”  (Where are you from?).

As you can see, we use the adjective instead of  the name of the country with the preposition “di” .

At most, we can say “Vengo dal Brasile”, “Vengo dalla Francia”, etc., though it is better to say: “Sono Brasiliano”, “Sono Francese”, etc.

Instead, to specify a city  we say, for example – “Sono di Cleveland” (I am from Cleveland) or “Sono di Roma” (I am from Rome), “Sono di Milano”, "Sono di Firenze", etc.

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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