HOW TO USE “DA” AS A PREPOSITION IN ITALIAN
The Italian preposition DA means “from” most of the time, but it can also mean “since/for,” “to,” “at,” and other things.
DA is generally used to express the following:
Origin (where you come from)
- Da dove vieni? – Where are you coming from?
- Vengo dagli Stati Uniti – I come from the United States
- I miei cugini vengono dalla Francia – my cousins are coming from France
- Il treno è arrivato da Roma – the train arrived from Rome
As you can see, the preposition “da,” when it means “from,” frequently appears with the verb “venire,” which means “to come.”
- Venire da = to come from
DA is used with meaning of for or since to indicate an action that started in the past and it’s continuing in the present. For example:
- Studio italiano dal 2019 – I’ve learned Italian since 2019
- Vivo a Roma da 5 mesi – I’ve been living in Rome for 5 months
- Da quanto tempo conosci Marco? – How long have you been knowing Marco?
As you can see from the example above, the way to say how long..? in Italian, is with “da quanto tempo + present tense”
- Da quanto tempo sei sposato? – How long have you been married?
- Da quanto tempo studi italiano? – How long have you been studying Italian
DA is also used with the preposition A, with the meaning of “from..to” or “through”
- da martedì a venerdì – Tuesday through Friday
- da gennaio a febbraio – from January to February
Place (with the verb “andare”)
As you might already know, to go to a place is translated with andare in or a. However, there’s a third way to say to go to and it’s when you are going to someone (a person) or at the place of someone. In this case, “to” is transited with the preposition “da”
- vado dal dentista – I’m going to the dentists
- vado dai miei amici – I’m going to my friends
- sono andato dai miei genitori – I went visiting my parents
in a number of different compound words:
- una camera da letto – a bedroom
- una sala da pranzo – a living room
- occhiali da sole – shades
- vasca da bagno – bath tub
- scarpe da tennis – basket shoes
DA appears often after the Italian adverbs molto (a lot), poco (little), niente (nothing), qualcosa (something) when they are followed by an infinitive verb.
- Vuoi qualcosa da bere? – Would you like to have something to drink?
- Non ho niente da fare oggi – I have nothing planned for today
- Hai qualcosa da dirmi? – Do you have something to tell me?
The Articurluated Prepositions DEL, DELLO, DALLA, DEI, DEGLI, DELLE
- da + il = dal
- da + la = dalla
- da + l’ = dall’
- da + lo = dallo
- da + i = dai
- da * gli = dagli
- da + le = dalle
This is why we say
- vado dal dentista = vado (da + il) dentista
- Studio italiano dal 2017 = studio italiano (da + il) 2017