Italian partitive articles (dei, degli, delle, ...)
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Italian partitive articles (some/any)
Partitive articles (Gli articoli partitivi) are formed by combining the preposition di (of) with a definite article.
They are usually followed by an indefinite name, and translate as "some" or "any" in English.
Italian partitive articles chart
Del (Di + Il)
Dei (Di + I)
Degli (Di + Gli)
Delle (Di + Le)
Usages of Italian partitive articles
Partitive articles are used to refer to an unspecified quantity, as in the following categories:
- food and drinks (meat, fish, coffee);
- materials (wood, glass, gold);
- substances (sand, powder, gas);
- abstract concepts (music, love, art).
|C'è del pesce in vendita al mercato.||There is some fish on sale at the market.|
|Vorrei dello zucchero, per favore.||I would like some sugar, please.|
|Giovanni sta avendo dei problemi con il suo lavoro.||Giovanni is having some problems with his job.|
|Oggi ho visto degli strani ragazzi in città.||I have seen some strange guys in town today.|
|Sto andando a tagliare della legna.||I am going to cut down some timber.|
|In questo ristorante fanno delle ottime pizze.||They make some great pizzas in this restaurant.|
Partititive articles vs articulated prepositions
Mistaking a partitive article for an articulated preposition is easy, so make sure to analize carefully the sentence and the context.
- Partitive articles generally specify an unknown quantity.
- Articulated prepositions generally add a new information about the subject.
|Partitive articles||Articulated preposition|
|Vorrei del gelato. (I would like some ice-cream.)||Il furgone del gelato. (The ice-cream truck)|
|I tuoi amici sono delle persone divertenti. (Your friends are interesting people)||Il nuovo sindaco è molto attento ai bisogni delle persone. (The new mayor really pays attention to the people's needs.|
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