Italian Prepositions (di, a, da, in, con, su, per, tra, fra)

What preposition should I use with this verb? When should I use this preposition? What’s a preposition? What’s the most appropriate one in this situation? These questions torment every Italian learner! In this lesson you’ll learn all Italian prepositions and how to use them!

Italian Simple Prepositions

The Italian prepositions are: DI, A, DA, IN, CON, SU, PER, TRA, FRA.

Let’s try to understand when and how to use them!



  • possession La valigia è di Giada[Giada’s suitcase]
  • material Il bicchiere è di vetro[A glass made of glass]
  • topic Il libro è di geografia[The geography book]
  • manner → Al mattino vado sempre di fretta[I am always in a hurry in the morning]
  • origin, provenance → Io sono di Bari, mentre Carlo è di Roma[I am from Bari, while Carlo is from Rome]



  • state in a place  → Francesco è a casa[Francesco is at home]
  • movement to a place (with cities) → Domani vado a Milano per lavoro. [Tomorrow I’ll go to Milan to work]
  • target (= something or someone to which/whom the action is addresses) → Racconto il segreto a Maria[I am telling Maria the secret]
  • time (= with months and hours) → A febbraio vado sempre in montagna. [In February I always go to the mountains]



  • movement from a place (= a place from which I arrive) → Siamo appena tornati da Pisa[We have just come back from Pisa]
  • movement to a person (= with people!) → Nel pomeriggio vado da Sofia[I’m going to Sofia’s this afternoon]
  • time (= with actions that began in the past and are still going on when we speak) → Vivo in questa casa da 5 anni[I’ve been living in this house for 5 years]
  • agent (= in passive sentences, the person who carries out the action) → Questo libro è stato scritto da uno scrittore famoso[This book was written by a famous writer]
  • goal (= reason why something is created) → Questa è una macchina da scrivere[This is a typewriter]



  • state in a place Ti sto aspettando in macchina. [I am waiting for you in the car]
  • movement to a place (= with nations and regions) → Questa estate vado in Spagna con la mia famiglia. [This summer I’ll go to Spain with my family]
  • feelings → Mi sento in colpa per non averlo aiutato con quel lavoro. [I feel guilty because I didn’t help him with that job]
  • means of transport Andiamo a Torino in aereo[We go to Turin by airplane]
  • time (= with seasons and day moments) → In primavera ci sono molti fiori. [I spring there are many flowers]



  • company (= person with whom we do something) → Vado in Brasile con Biagio[I am going to Brazil with Biagio]
  • instrument with which we do something → Scriviamo con la penna[We write with the pen]



  • position of something (or someone) on something else (or someone else) → Il libro è su quel tavolo[The book is on that table]
  • topic (except for the verb “parlare”, which requires the preposition “di”!) Scrivo un articolo su Galileo Galilei[I am writing an article about Galileo Galilei]



  • movement to a place (= a place we cross to reach another place) → Vado a Milano passando per Roma[I go to Milan by way of Rome]
  • time duration → Ha fatto la cantante per 3 anni[I was a singer for 3 years]
  • cause Piango per il dolore[I cry because of the pain]


are synonyms and indicate:

  • the position of something or someone between 2 or more people or things → Casa mia è tra la chiesa e la farmacia. [My house is between the church and the pharmacy]
  • alternative Per la cena di stasera puoi scegliere tra carne o pesce[For tonight dinner you can choose between fish and meat]
  • relationship (= with people) → Tra Marco e Teresa c’è grande amore. [There is a great love between Marco and Teresa]
  • time (= with regard to the future, time between the moment I speak and the event) → Tra due mesi partono per Londra. [They’ll leave for London in two months]

Examples of state in place with IN and A:

a casa, a scuola, a lavoro

in macchina, in autobus, nel supermercato, nel cinema, in farmacia, in ospedale

Now that you’ve learned Italian simple prepositions, have a look at our lesson on ARTICULATED PREPOSITIONS or try our PREPOSITIONS TEST!

Let’s see if you’ve mastered the contents of this class. Have a go at completing the exercises!

Leave a Reply