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Prepositions – with and from: Italian grammar lesson 180

Prepositions

Prepositions are those short words that let us link ideas. They are very important and easy to remember. Some of them are di, a, da, in, con, su, per, tra, fra (= of, to, from, in, with, on, for, between, in). Sometimes, we find them together with the following articles: il, lo, la, i, gli, and le (they all mean “the” but change depending on the gender and number of what/who they refer to). In today’s lesson, we’re going to focus on two of these prepositions: con and da.

Con

prepositions with by

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Con has three meanings: with, by means of, and through. As we said earlier, con might be followed by an article. Usually, the article is not linked to the preposition con. However, there are two cases where they appear together: con + il becomes col and con + i becomes coi. This rule is not obligatory, so sometimes people don’t link these two short words. Have a look at the following examples:

  • Vengo con te.
    I’m coming with you.
  • Stasera esco con il/col mio migliore amico.
    Tonight I’m going out with my best friend.
  • Vanno in Francia con i/coi bambini.
    They’re going to France with the children.
  • Con determinazione, è riuscito a passare l’ultimo esame.
    Through determination, he managed to pass his final exam.
  • Ha spiegato un esercizio con un esempio.
    She explained an exercise by means of an example.

Da

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prepositions with by

Da has the following meanings: from, from this moment on, around, through, over, and to. Da can stand on its own if it’s not followed by the article meaning “the”. However, unlike con, da is always linked to the articles and this rule is obligatory. Here are the combinations:

  • da + il: dal
  • da + l’: dall
  • da + la: dalla
  • da + lo: dallo
  • da + i: dai
  • da + le: dalle
  • da + gli: dagli

And here are some examples:

  • Non vedo niente da qua. 
    I cannot see anything from here.
  • Da oggi sono a dieta.
    I’m on a diet from today.
  • Abito da quella parte.
    I live around there.
  • Non si puo passare da quella strada.
    You cannot go through that street.
  • Vieni da me?
    Are you coming to mine?
  • Cosa guardi dalla finestra?
    What are you looking at from the window?
  • Dall‘albergo vedo le montagne.
    I can see the mountains from the hotel.
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