Saturday, 18 June 2011


Prepositions are a sticky point in Italian; which ones should you use, when, and when should you not use them? Let’s look at one common mistake:

Vengo da Francia

Here the preposition "da" is the right choice, but needs to be combined to the definite article:

Vengo dalla Francia (I come from France)

Another mistake:

Vorrei un libro per leggere in vacanza

In this type of sentence, what should be used is not "per" but "da":

Vorrei un libro da leggere in vacanza (I’d like a book to read on holiday)

Here are some more examples about that point:

A Londra ci sono molte cose da vedere
In London there are many things to see)

Oggi ho molte cose da fare
(Today I have many things to do)

In frigo non c'è molto da mangiare
(In the fridge there isn’t much to eat)

And here are some sentences where the preposition is either unnecessary, missing, wrong or incomplete:

Partirò al weekend prossimo
Partirò il prossimo weekend
I’ll leave next weekend

Giocare calcio
Giocare a calcio
To play football

Mi alzo all’otto
Mi alzo alle otto
I get up at eight

Di fronte del parco
Di fronte al parco
In front of the park

La partita finisce a le mezzogiorno
La partita finisce a mezzogiorno
The match finishes at midday

Torno alla casa domani
Torno a casa a domani
I go back home tomorrow

Sunday, 5 June 2011

I am going to..

I'm going to + verb should not be translated literally (in some cases). In French you would say: je vais + verb, in Italian such expression doesn't exist, unless of course what you mean to say is I am going from A to B, as in:

I’m going to Rome
Vado a Roma

Are you going to work today?
Vai a lavorare oggi?

I’m going to phone the police (if you are literally going from A to B in order to make the phone call)
Vado a telefonare alla polizia

If what you mean to do is signal a personal intention or make a prediction, do not use the verb “to go”. You should use instead the present tense, occasionally the future, or possibly the construction stare per + verb:

Today I’m going to throw away all my old clothes
Oggi butto tutti i miei vecchi vestiti
Oggi ho intenzione di buttare tutti i miei vecchi vestiti

When I grow up I’m going to be a pilot
Da grande farò il pilota

It is going to rain
Sta per piovere

I’m going to faint
Sto per svenire