Thursday, 11 November 2010


generates many mistakes in Italian. In particular when students put this preposition in front of towns and cities and say for instance in Roma instead of a Roma, in Parigi, instead of a Parigi.

Another mistake is due to the fact that we use in English to project ourselves in the future– I’ll phone you IN ten minutes – , we’ll come back IN a week – When this happens, the Italian translation of in is tra or fra. These two words can be used interchangeably but in this case they don’t mean at all “between”: ti telefono tra dieci minuti means that at the end of the ten minutes’ period (more or less), I will ring you.

Notice that “within” is translated as “entro”:

The milk has to be drunk within a week:
Il latte deve essere bevuto entro una settimana

There are of course many other cases in which in can be left as it is. For instance, if what you need to say is along these lines, than you do need a literal translation:

In less than 10 years the price of housing as gone up by 30%

In meno di 10 anni il prezzo delle case è aumentato del 30 %.

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