Italian Language/use of prepositions


QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you for all of your great help.

I know that you have helped me much on this particular topic, but would you please be able to give me an example of a verb that can only use the preposition “a” to indicate position at a point.

Thank you



ANSWER: Dear Rich,

sorry, but I cannot give you an example of a verb that can only use the preposition “a” to indicate position at a point, because  this preposition, that can be indicate either a “stato in luogo” (indirect object of Place Where)  or a “moto a luogo” (indirect object of Place to which), can be often replaced by the preposition “in” as in for instance :”Sto a casa”/”Sto in casa”; “Risiedo  a Napoli”/”Risiedo in Napoli”;  “Si era trasferito a Roma”/”Si era trasferito in città”, etc.

In short, there is no answer to your question.



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Maria,

Thank you very much for your help.  Your answer has helped me very much.

Just to test my understanding, would you please tell me if the following sentences are correct or not:

Il taxi è all’aeroporto.  The taxi is at the airport.

Il taxi è nell’aeroporto.  The taxi is at the airport.

Aspetto al binario tre.     I wait at track three.

Aspetto nel binario tre. I wait at track three.

Thank you.



Dear Rich,

the sentences “Il taxi è all’aeroporto”  and “Aspetto al binario tre” are correct, but “Il taxi è nell’aeroporto” and “Aspetto nel binario tre” are wrong.

As I’ve already said in one of my previous answers, when using  prepositions, it’s advisable to consult the dictionary to learn how a preposition is used  thanks to  some  examples  that are usually quoted within the entries.

This because a non-native speaker  can have a lot of trouble with the prepositions and their use, since it is impossible to give you a fixed grammar rule about this, apart from some general rules that however do not always help you in determining the proper preposition in any particular sentence.

To sum up, I regret not to be of more help with this matter.



Italian Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.


Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2017 All rights reserved.