Let's revise when we use the prepositions "a", "in" or "da" to indicate a place in Italian.
"A" is placed before:
|a casa||(at) home|
|a letto||in / to bed|
|a teatro||at / to the theatre|
|a scuola||at / to school|
|al cinema||at / to the cinema|
|al parco||at / in the park|
|al mare||at / to the seaside|
|al lago||at / to the lake|
|al porto||at / to the harbour|
|al supermercato||at / to the supermarket|
|al mercato||at / to the market|
|al bar||at / to the café|
|al ristorante||at / to the restaurant|
|alla stazione||at / to the station|
|alla posta||at / in / to the post office|
|all'aeroporto||at / to the airport|
Sono a scuola
I am at school
Vado a scuola
I go to school
"In" is placed before:
|in casa||(at) home|
|in / nel (in+il) salotto||in / to the living room|
|in / nella (in+la) cucina||in / to the kitchen|
|in / nel (in+il) giardino||in / to the garden|
|in / nel (in+il) cortile||in / to the courtyard|
|in / nel (in+il) bagno||in / to the bathroom|
|in / nella (in+la) camera||in / to the bedroom|
|in / nel (in+il)centro||in / to the centre|
|in / nella (in+la) città||in / to the city|
|in / nel (in+il) paese||in / to the village|
|in / nella (in+la) piazza||in / to the square|
|in / nel (in+il) negozio||at / to the shop|
|in / nella (in+la) banca||in / to the bank|
|in / nella (in+la) fabbrica||at / in / to the factory|
|in / nella (in+la) strada||in / to the street|
|in / nell' (in + l') ufficio||in / to the office|
|in / nella (in+la) chiesa||in / to the church|
|in / nel (in+il) ospedale||at / in / to the hospital|
|in / nell' (in+l')albergo||in / to the hotel|
|in montagna||in / to the mountains|
|in campagna||in / to the countryside|
|in / nella (in+la) pizzeria||at / to the pizzeria|
|in / nella (in+la) discoteca||at / to the disco|
|in / nella (in+la) biblioteca||in / to the library|
|in / nella (in+la) gelateria||at / to the ice-cream shop|
|nel (in+il) parco||in the park|
|nel (in+il) castello||in the castle|
When there are two options we usually use:
→ in to speak about the place in general
→ nel/nello/nella [...] (in+definite article) are used to talk about the place in a more specific way (see Italian articulated prepositions)
However this rule doesn't always work and you can learn the use of these expressions by practising the language only.
"Da" is placed before
Sono dal dentista.
I am at the dentist.
Vado dal dentista.
I go to the dentist.
Arriverò da Perugia con il treno .
I'll arrive from Perugia by train.
As you can see from the examples, Italian prepositions don't distinguish between direction and location in space.
However, when we want to express a movement from a place, we always use da.
Let's revise when we use the prepositions "di" "a", "da", "in" or "tra/fra" to express time in Italian.
"Di" is placed before parts of the day.
Noi andiamo al cinema di pomeriggio.
We go to the cinema in the afternoon.
"A" is placed before months, hour and age.
A novembre piove spesso.
It often rains in November.
Alle (a+le) cinque di solito bevo il té.
At five o'clock I usually drink the tea.
A tredici anni è difficile decidere per il proprio futuro.
At thirteen it is difficilt to decide for your own future.
"Da" is placed before a starting point in time.
Lavoro qui dal 1990.
I've been working here since 1990.
Luigi abita qui da tre mesi.
Luigi has been living here for three months.
"In" is placed before years and season
Nel (in+il) 2018 la nostra società è ancora molto instabile.
In 2018 our society is still very unstable.
In estate andremo al mare.
In (the) summer (summertime) we'll go to the seaside.
"Tra" and "Fra" are placed before an expression of time and indicate an interval of time.
Tra due anni sarò laureato.
I'll be graduated in two years.
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