Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Intro

Hi everybody! Marika here. Welcome to Ask a Teacher, where I’ll answer some of your most common Italian questions.
The Question
The question for this lesson is: What’s the difference between da and di?
Explanation
Da and di are two Italian prepositions. They have multiple functions and meanings, and sometimes it’s not easy to choose the right one.
For example, both da and di can be translated as “from,” but they’re not interchangeable. Let’s see the difference.
Di specifies a feature or origin of something, usually with the verb essere (“to be”).
Da indicates movement from somewhere.
So you can say:
Di dove sei? (“Where are you from?”)
Sono di Roma. (“I’m from Rome.”)
But:
Da dove vieni? (“Where do you come from?”)
Vengo da Roma. (“I come from Rome.”)
This is because the verb venire (“to come”) is a verb of movement.
Da is also used to indicate movement toward a place or a person. For example:
Sono stato dal dottore. (“I’ve been to the doctor’s.”)
Sto andando da Paolo. (“I’m going to Paolo’s house.”)
Da also has the meaning of “at” or “to,” as in these examples.
Da Mario non c’è la televisione. (“At Mario’s place, there’s no television.”)
Sandra è dal parrucchiere. (“Sandra is at the hairdresser’s.”)
Many restaurant names also use this pattern. For example, da Michele (“Michele’s”).

Outro

Pretty interesting, right?
If you have any more questions, please leave a comment below!
A presto! “See you soon!”

3 Comments

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ItalianPod101.com Verified
Tuesday at 06:30 PM
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What Italian learning question do you have?

ItalianPod101.com Verified
Saturday at 01:45 AM
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Hi Charlie,

thanks for your question!


Actually in both sentences the preposition used is "di".

"degli" is a compound form of "di", that you need when the word that follows has an article (il, la...).

People's names don't need the article, so you can just use the simple preposition "di":

Le scarpe di Marco = Marco's shoes

Lo zaino di Luisa = Luisa's backpack


"Insegnanti" needs the article "gli" (gli insegnanti = the teachers), so you'll have "di + gli = degli".


Here's another example: la studentessa (the student, female)

di + la = della

Lo zaino della studentessa = The student's backpack


di + il = del

di + lo = dello

di + la = della

di + l' = dell'


di + i = dei

di + gli = degli

di + le = delle


Hope this helps!


Valentina

Team ItalianPod101.com

Charlie
Thursday at 06:02 PM
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I had a question regarding the use of "di" and "da" when it comes to possessions. For example if you were to say ''Lisa's party" it is translated as "La festa di Lisa", but if you were to say "The teachers pen" it is translated as "La penna degli insegnanti". Could you explain when we use "di" for the first one but "da" for the second.