Italian Language/prepositions

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Question
Dear Maria,

I have learned in the past that the simple Italian preposition “in” is used with certain buildings to express “in” or “at” in English as shown in the following examples:

in chiesa  =  in/at the church
in ospedale  =  in/at the hospital
in stazione  =  in/at the station


I was wondering if “in” can also be translated as “to” as in:

in chiesa  =  to the church
in ospedale  = to the hospital
in stazione  = to the station


Can you also please tell me if the preposition “a” is ever used with these expressions as:

a chiesa  
a ospedale  
a stazione  


If “a” is used, would you please tell me how best to translate these expressions.

Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

It is so:  the simple Italian preposition “in” is used with certain buildings to express “in” or “at” in English as shown in the examples that you mention.

“In” can also be translated as “to” as in “to the church”, “to the hospital”, “to the station” when the verb of the sentence denotes motion towards a destination.

But the simple preposition “a” is never used with these expressions as:”a chiesa”, “a ospedale”,“a stazione“, where we  use the articulated preposition such as :”alla chiesa”, “all’ospedale”, “alla stazione”.
For example, we say:”Si recò alla chiesa più vicina”, “Era andato all’ospedale”, “Mi trovo alla stazione”, “Andrò alla stazione”.

Have a nice day,

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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