Italian preposition "da" (by, from,...)
The preposition da (by/from) has a lot of uses in Italian.
Meanings of Da
Starting point in space / Origin
When da expresses a starting point in space, it translates as from.
|A che ora torni da Napoli?||What time do you come back from Napoli?|
|Da dove vengono questi turisti?||Where do these tourists come from?|
Motion "through" something
When da expresses a motion through something (like space), it translates as through.
|Luigi è uscito dalla finestra||Luigi went out through the window|
|Per andare in cucina devi passare dalla porta||You have to get through the door to go to the kitchen|
Starting point in time
When da expresses a starting point in time, it translates as from, as for or as since.
|Da ora in poi||From now on|
|Studiamo olandese da due anni||We've been studying Dutch for two years|
|Lavori qui dal mese scorso||You've been working here since last month|
Be careful! In Italian, since and for translate both as da
For usually is not followed by the article
Since usually is followed by the article (see Italian articulated preposition)
When da expresses a current location location, it translates as at.
|Sono da Miriam per pranzare||I am at Miriam's to have lunch|
|Siamo dal dentista||We are at the dentist's|
Agent in passive sentences
When da introduces the agent complement in passive sentences, it translates as by.
|Il libro è stato scritto dal nostro insegnante||The book was written by our teacher|
|Il giornale è letto da molte persone||The newspaper is read by many people|
When da indicates characteristics, it usually translates as with.
|La ragazza dai capelli biondi||The girl with blonde hair|
|L'uomo dall'abito blu||The man in the blue suit|
When da indicates a purpose, it doesn't translate and it is not included in the sentence.
The noun indicating the purpose precedes the noun they refer to.
|Tuta da corsa||Racing suit|
|Tazza da té||Teacup|
In the following table you can find a list of typical Italian expressions that are introduced by the preposition "da" (mainly with verbs).
|ricominciare da capo||to start over|
|avere da fare||to be busy|
|avere da ridire||to find fault with|
|dare da pensare||to make someone think|
|darsi da fare||to keep busy|
|non avere niente da dire||to have nothing to say|
|venire da ridere||to feel like laughing|
|venire da piangere||to feel like crying|
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