Italian Language/prepositions

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Question
Dear Maria,

Thank you, again, for all of your great help with my recent questions concerning the use of prepositions that are used to indicate “position” at a point.

Just to be sure that I now understand correctly – can you please tell me if the following is correct or not:  

Usually, the preposition “in” is used to indicate “position at a point”.  But, sometimes the preposition “a” can also be used to indicate “position at a point”.  The verb used in the sentence will determine which preposition (“in” or “a” ) is used to indicate “position at a point” .  For example, the preposition “in” is used in the following sentence -  “Gioco nel parco”  because “in” is the dependent preposition for the verb “giocare”.

The above all makes good sense for me until I look at sentences such as -  “Io sono al museo” (I am at the museum) and “Il taxi è all’aeroporto” (The taxi is at the airport)  where the preposition “a” is being used to indicate position at a point.   

It would really help my understanding very much if you would please verify for me that the preposition “a” is used in these sentences because of the verb “essere”.  In other words  - is “a” always the dependent preposition for the verb “essere”?  

It just seems to me that I am still missing some important point in my understanding of how to know which preposition to use.  By any chance – does the noun following the preposition also have some affect on the choice of preposition?   In other words – is “a” used because of “museo” and “aeroporto”?    But,  if this is true – how do I know what to use – the verb or the noun – to determine the proper preposition in any particular sentence?

Thank you very much for your patience with my lack of understanding.   I very much appreciate your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

I’m afraid I cannot help you more because what you say is correct,in general, but it is the daily use of  the language  that can really help your understanding of how to know which preposition to use.

For example,  the preposition  “a”  is not always the dependent preposition for the verb “essere” as in  “Io sono al museo”  where I can also say “Io sono nel museo”.

See also:”Era in aeroporto”, “Sono nel parco”, “I taxi sono nella strada accanto”, etc.

In short, unfortunately I cannot give you a fixed grammar rule about the use of prepositions, apart from what I said in my previous answers, i.e. some general rules that however do not always help you in determining the proper preposition in any particular sentence.

Anyway, if it’s any comfort to you, you have difficulties with Italian prepositions  just like me about prepositions in English.

So, I’d like to help you better, but in this specific matter it’s not possible.

All the best,

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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