Italian articulated prepositions
Articulated prepositions (le preposizioni articolate) are simple prepositions combined with definite articles.
They have the same meaning of the simple prepositions.
Italian articulated prepositions chart
Making up articulated prepositions is pretty easy. Take a look at the following chart.
|a||al||allo||alla||ai||agli||alle||at / to the|
|da||dal||dallo||dalla||dai||dagli||dalle||from / by the|
|tra/fra||/||/||/||/||/||/||between / among the|
- As you can see from the table, articulated prepositions agree in gender and number with the element they go with.
- To choose the article to combine with the simple preposition, you have to follow the rules of articles (see Italian definite articles).
- All the articulated prepositions formed with lo and la lose their ending vowels and put the apostrophe when they precede a noun beginning with a vowel.
Dell'albero (Of the tree)
Sull'altalena (On the swing)
Use of articulated prepositions
Prepositions "con", "per", "tra/fra"
As you can see from the previous table, some simple prepositions don't have their articulated form. They stand as two distinct elements:
- con lo, con la, con gli, con le
- per il, per lo, per la, per i, per gli, per le
- tra/fra il, tra/fra lo, tra/fra la, tra/fra i, tra/fra gli, tra/fra le
The simple preposition con sometimes combines with the articles "il" and "i" and sometimes not.
La pasta col tonno / La pasta con il tonno
Pasta with tuna
La bambola coi capelli biondi / La bambola con i capelli biondi
The doll with blond hair
When not to use articulated prepositions
You can not use articulated prepositions before:
- Indefinite articles
Vado da uno psicologo
I go see a psychologist
- Possessive + singular nouns referring to a relative
Questo è il libro di mio padre
This is my father's book
- Demonstrative adjectives and pronouns
I prezzi di questo negozio sono alti
The prices of this shop are very high.
- Personal pronouns
Regalerò la collana a loro
I will give the necklace to them
- Indefinite adjectives and pronouns
In ogni albergo
In every hotel
- Relative pronouns
La citta` in cui abito
The city where I live
Articulated prepositions vs partitive articles
Articulated prepositions and partitive articles have a different function (see Italian partitive articles)
Articulated prepositions generally add a new information about the subject.
Il cane dei miei amici
My friends' dog
Partitive articles generally specify an unknown quantity.
Dei miei amici vanno al parco
Some of my friends go to the park
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