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Expressions with Italian prepositions

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In Italian some words (preposizioni improprie) or expressions (locuzioni preposizionali) are used as prepositions even if they can also have other functions according to their position in the sentence. 
They are all invariable (unlike articulated prepositions).

Preposizioni improprie

The "preposizioni improprie" (improper prepositions) can be formed by adverbs, nouns or conjunction which get the function of a preposition.

Dopo aver cenato, andrò a casa → conjunction
After having dinner, I'll go home
Mangerò dopo → adverb 
I'll eat later
Ti chiamerò dopo le vacanzeimproper preposition 
I'll call you after the holidays
 

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Locuzioni preposizionali

The "locuzioni preposizionali" (prepositional locutions) are groups of prepositions and adverbs, nouns or other prepositions

A causa di questa pioggia non possiamo uscire
Because of this rain we can not go out


List of expressions with Italian prepositions

In the following table, you can find a list of words and expressions formed by prepositions and other parts of speech.

ItalianEnglishItalianEnglish
a causa dibecause ofGli aerei non partiranno a causa della neve.The plane will not leave because of the snow.
a favore diin favour ofTutti hanno votato a favore della legge.Everybody voted in favour of the law.
di fianco a next to Christian è seduto di fianco a Marco.Christian is seated next to Marco.
a forza diby dint of

A forza di rinviarla, la festa è stata annullata.

By dint of postpone it, the party was canceled. 
al di là di/ oltre beyondAl di là di quel muro alto c’è un parco meraviglioso.Beyond that high wall, there is a wonderful park.
attraversothroughSiamo passati attraverso il bosco per raggiungerviWe passed through the wood to reach you.
contro (di)againstIl mobile appoggia contro il muro.
Tutti erano contro di lui.
The wardrobe leans against the wall.
Everybody was against him.
davanti a in front ofCi sono tre persone in coda davanti a me.There are three people in line in front of me.
dentro (di)insidePer favore, metti i vestiti dentro l’armadio. 
Porterò sempre il ricordo di questo viaggio dentro di me.
Put your clothes in the wardrobe please.
I will always bring the memory of this trip inside me.
di fronte a oppositeL’ingresso della metro sta di fronte al Colosseo.The entrance of the underground is opposite the Colosseum.
dietro (di) behindIn classe, Miguel è seduto dietro Marta.
Miguel è seduto dietro di lei.
In the class, Miguel sits behind Marta.
Miguel sits behind her.
dopo (di) afterCi vediamo dopo la lezione.
È arrivata in classe dopo di me.
See you after the lesson.
She arrived in the class after me.
eccetto / tranne exceptSono andati tutti tranne Luigi.They all went except Luigi.
entrobyDevi partire entro mezzogiorno.You have to leave by midday.
fuori (da)outsideCi sono dieci cioccolatini fuori dalla scatola.There are ten chocolates outside the box.
in base a according toParlo in base alla mia esperienza.I talk according to my experience.
in cima aon the top ofIn cima alla montagna vedrete un panorama stupendo.On the top of the mountain you'll see a wonderful view.
in mezzo aamongPenso ci sia una spia in mezzo a noi.I think there is a spy among us.
insieme atogether withMiguel arriverà insieme a Marta.Miguel will arrive together with Marta.
intorno aaroundIntorno a Piazza Navona ci sono molti negozi e ristoranti.Around Piazza Navona there are a lot of shops and restaurants.
invece diinstead ofInvece di guardarmi, potresti aiutarmi.Instead of looking at me, you could help me.
lontano da far fromAbito lontano dal centro.I live far from the centre.
oltre abesidesOltre a me, nell’appartamento ci sono due ragazze spagnole.Besides me, in the flat there are two Spanish girls.
per conto di on behalf ofSto parlando per conto di Lucia che oggi non poteva venire.I am speaking on behalf of Lucia who couldn't come today.
per mezzo diby means ofHo imparato l'italiano per mezzo di questo libro.I learnt Italian by means of this book.
senza (di)withoutNon si può entrare senza la tessera.
Torna presto: non so stare senza di te!
You can not enter without the card.
Come back soon: I can not stay without you!
sopra (di) on/ above/ overIl cane è salito sopra il divano.
Il cielo sopra di me è pieno di nuvole.
The dog is on the couch.
The sky above me is full of clouds.
sotto (di) under/ belowIl gatto si è nascosto sotto il divano.
Sotto di me vedo l'acqua che scorre.
The cat hid under the couch.
I saw the acqua which flows below me.
verso (di)towardsStiamo andando verso nord.
Sta correndo verso di me.
We are going towards the North.
He is running towards me.
vicino anearVicino a casa mia c’è un ottimo ristorante.Near my house there is an excellent restaurant.

Exercises

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Exercise on expressions with Italian prepositions - Drag text


Exercise on expressions with Italian prepositions - Fill in the blanks


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