Adverbs of place
Knowing how to express the location of something is very useful in all languages. In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to say and use adverbs of place in Italian, like the equivalents of “above”, “behind”, “to the left”, etc. You’ll see that, sometimes, some of them are combined with prepositions. Let’s get started!
In front of vs. behind
- Davanti: in front of
- Dietro: behind
We use these two words on their own if we know what we’re referring to and don’t need to specify. However, if we need to be specific, we add the preposition “a” (+ an article, i.e.: al, alla, agli, etc.) right after the adverb. Have a look at the examples below to understand what we mean:
- A: La scuola si trova davanti alla piazza?
A: Is the school in front of the square?
B: No, si trova dietro.
B: No, it’s behind.
Inside vs. outside
- Dentro: inside
- Fuori: outside
Wth these two adverbs, we don’t usually tend to specify what we’re referring to since in most of the cases, it’s pretty clear. Let’s have a look at some examples:
- Vuoi mangiare dentro o fuori?
Do you want to eat inside or outside?
Far vs. close
- Lontano: far
- Vicino: close
Again, we use these two adverbs on their own if we don’t want to be specific. If we want to give further information, we would then say lontano + “da” (+ an article) and vicino + “a” (+ an article). Look at the examples:
- Io abito molto lontano ma lei abita vicino.
I live very far away but she lives close.
- Il cinema è lontano da casa mia.
The cinema is far from my house.
- L’albergo è vicino alle montagne.
The hotel is close to the mountains.
Above vs. below
- Sopra: above/on
- Sotto: below/under
We use these two words without a preposition. Here are some examples:
- La mia stanza è sopra e quella di mio fratello sotto.
My room is above and my brother’s room is below.
- Il libro è sopra il tavolo.
The book is on the table.
Practice with QuizletHere's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.
Left vs. right
- Sinistra: left
- Destra: right
In this case, we can use two prepositions before the adverbs: either “a” or “sulla”.
- Il bar si trova sulla destra.
The cafe is on the right.
- La scuola è a sinistra.
The school is on the left.