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Dear Maria,

Would you please help me with the following question about the use of prepositions “in” and “a” with the noun “casa”.

I understand that both the preposition “in” and the preposition “a” can be used with the noun “casa”.  For example, “a casa” can mean “at home” or “at the house” as well as ‘in casa” can also mean “at home” or “at the house”.  But, I do not understand how to decide which preposition to use.

Does this choice of preposition depend only on the specific verb?  Or, does this choice of preposition depend on the category of the verb?  

I am also wondering if either preposition can be used depending to the category of the verb?

For example - would it be correct to use either the preposition “in” or “a” when talking about “position at a point” as in the following sentences:  

Ho passato il dopopranzo in casa.
I passed the afternoon at home.

Ho passato il dopopranzo a casa.
I passed the afternoon at home.

Thank you very, very much for all of your patience and help with my questions.   

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

Both “Ho passato il dopopranzo in casa”  and “Ho passato il dopopranzo a casa” are correct, for the verb “passare” denotes  “position at a point” here, differently from e.g. “Pasṣ per Genova e venne a trovarmi” (He went through Genova and came to see me) where “passare” denotes motion.

So, as you can see, both the preposition “in” and the preposition “a” can be used with the noun “casa”, but  the choice of preposition depends  on  the category of the verb (verbs of motion/ verbs of staying) as well as on the sense of a specific verb. (See “passare”  which can be either a verb of staying or a verb of motion).

For example:”Andṛ in Polonia passando per la Germania” (I’ll travel through Germany to Poland); “Mi piace passare il pomeriggio in casa “ (verb of staying) ;”Mi piace trascorrere la serata  a casa”(verb of staying); “Desidero tornare presto a casa”(verb of motion),  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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