The prepositions of place A and IN: when to use them.

Many of my students often come to me with doubts concerning the prepositions of place IN a A.The problem pops up when it comes to choose the first or the letter.

Below you find some rules to use them correctly.

 A is used in the below set of expressions:

  • A scuola, a casa, a cena, a pranzo, a colazione, a teatro.

A is used before the names of cities, and remember that AD becomes ad before the names of cities that starts with a vocal.

  • Vai a Milano, a Parigi o a New York per le vacanze estive?
  • Vivi ad Amburgo?

Furthermore, many verbs take obligatorily the prepositions A, for example:

  • Non sono riuscito a fare l’esercizio.
  • Ho cominciato a studiare spagnolo il mese scorso.
  • Penso spesso a mia madre.
  • Mi aiuti a fare la pizza?
  • Restiamo a cenare a casa stasera?
  • Non sono piú abitutata a vivere in campagna.

IN is used before the nouns of countries (the singular ones), the preposizione articolate nei, negli, nelle, nella, nel are used before the name of countries are plural or if they followed by a specification:

  • Vivo in Italia, ma due anni fà vivevo negli Stati Uniti, e prima ancora nella Francia meridionale.

IN is used too with the names of regions:

  • Vivo  in Lombardia, vivo in Andalusia.

IN used with the name of the names of the big islands while A is used with names of the small islands.

  • Vivo in Sardegna, ma quando ero bambina vivevo a Malta.

IN is used with the names of the the streets of squares.

  • Vivo a Londra, in Oxford Street.

IN is finally used with the name of stores, shops or places that end in –ia.

  • Vado in farmacia, in pizzeria, in gelateria, in macelleria, in periferia, in profumeria, in campagnia.

Although there are some exceptions that you’d better learn by heart!

  • Vado in edicola, in vacanza, in palesta, in chiesa, in vacanza, in montagna , in ufficio, in discoteca.

Author: Serena Capilli

Language Coach, Online Tutor, communications and marketing specialist and philanthropist. I do all this with passion and dedication. My favourite quote is: If it were easy, everyone would do it.

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