How to Use Italian Simple Prepositions

Couple walking in Venice, Italy
Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy/Cultura/Getty Images

Italian Simple Prepositions

Preposizioni Semplici
di (d’)of, from
aat, to, in
dafrom, by
inin
conwith
suon
perfor
tra, fra

between

Examples:

Vive  Roma.She lives in Rome.
L’aereo arriva da Londra.The airplane arrives from London.
Abita in California.He lives in California.
Parlo con Andrea. I’m talking with Andrea.
I libri sono su un banco.The books are on a desk.
La penna è tra i quaderni.The pen is between the notebooks.
La chiamata è per Teresa.The call is for Teresa.

The preposition di expresses possession as well as place of origin:

  • Di chi è questa rivista?—È di Lucia.
  • Whose magazine is this?—It’s Lucia’s.
  • Di dov’è James?—È di Miami.
  • Where is James from?— He’s from Miami.

The English to and in are translated by the Italian preposition a when used with the name of a city or a small island.

Vado a Venezia.I am going to Venice.
Abitano a Venezia.They live in Venice.
Vanno a Capri.They are going to Capri.
Abitano a Ischia.They live in Ischia.