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The Partitive Article and Articulated Prepositions Posted by on Jul 30, 2019 in Grammar

Buongiorno a tutti!

Due settimane fa, una lettrice che si chiama Maria mi ha chiesto di fare un blog sull’articolo partitivo e sulle preposizioni articolate in italiano. Ecco il suo commento:

“….Ma mi piacerebbe proporre che faccia una lezione sulle preposizioni DI, DA, DEl. Come usarle mi fa male alla testa.”

Non preoccuparti, Maria! Posso aiutarti volentieri.

Italian Partitive Article (L’articolo partitivo)

Partitive articles are used to express an undetermined amount, and can be translated in English as “some” or “any.”

It is formed by taking “di” and adding the definite article of the noun. Below is a chart indicating each form.

You want to use partitive articles when talking about food or drink especially, but they can also be used to discuss abstract concepts. Take a look at these examples below:

Vorrei mangiare del gelato stasera

I would like to eat some ice cream tonight.

Paul sta avendo dei problemi a lavoro.

Paul is having some problems at work.

The partitive article could be confused with articulated prepositions (when a simple preposition like di combines with the definite article), so make sure to pay close attention to the context of the sentence.

Articulated Prepositions (Le preposizioni articolate)

“Di” means “of,” and therefore when saying “of the” in a sentence (such as when talking about possession), it is going to look the same as the partitive article, but there is a different meaning!

Check out this example:

Il fratello della mia amica

My friend’s brother (literally – the brother of my friend.)

In Italian, the apostrophe s does not exist to talk about possession! That is when the articulated possession di + definite article becomes useful.

Attention – in front of the name of a person, you do not need a definite article. Example:

Il cane di Giorgia si chiama Pip.

Giorgia’s dog is named Pip. (The dog of Giorgia is named Pip.)

My friend Giorgia’s dog is really named Pip, and eccolo!!

Here are some examples of other articulated prepositions.

(Di meaning of, a meaning at, to, or in, da meaning from, in meaning in, su meaning on!)

Vuoi andare al ristorante?

Do you want to go to the restaurant?

Abito negli Stati Uniti.

I live in the United States.

Uno dei miei colleghi mi fa impazzire!

One of my colleagues drives me crazy!

Ho comprato una borsa dalla Francia.

I bought a purse from France.

Adesso tocca a te! Potresti pensare ad alcuni esempi? Lascia un commento !

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Comments:

  1. Tom Clothier:

    I was corrected today when I said the following and am at a loss as to why. “Partiamo domani alle 5 della mattina.” I was told it should be, ” Partiamo domani alle 5 del mattino. La mattina should be dallla, e vero?

  2. Kimberly Koehler:

    Mille grazie Bridgette! Queste parole non sono molto facile, specialmente se una studente si impegna a studiare l’italiano senza una classe!

  3. Mitch:

    This is a useful aide memoire – short, sharp and to the point.
    Previously, my method for using these particles has been to smash the two words together and say them as fast as possible. It sort of works.

  4. Mor:

    Thanks a Lot

  5. Elly:

    Eccellente!! Grazie mille!

  6. rukmini nini:

    ho pensato alla mia vacanza .

  7. Maria:

    Grazie Bridgette per la vostra spiegazione sulle preposizioni articolate. La mia domanda era quando si usa di e quando de. Adesso non ho nessun esempio. Ma ho visto que invece di DI era escritto DE. E questo mi ha confuso.

    • Bridgette:

      @Maria Ciao Maria, de non esiste in italiano, ma in latino, si. Allora a volte si vede “de”- per esempio con un cognome.
      – Bridgette

  8. Andy:

    Another interesting blog! Thanks Bridgette

  9. Clarisse:

    Grazie mille cara amica 😘


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