How to say other than: Italian grammar lesson 45

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How to use oltre a
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Other than

Today we’re going to learn how to say other than in Italian. Before we go into more detail, let’s understand when we use this expression.

We say “other than” when we want to say “apart from”, “in addition to”, or “different from”. Have a look at this example:

  • Would you like anything else other than coffee?

In Italian, we say oltre a. And here’s an interesting fact: oltre comes from the word ultra in Latin which meant “beyond”.

Just think of the meanings of the words “ultrasound” or “ultraviolet”.

Now that you know this, it might be easier for you to understand why we say oltre a.

Here’s the translation of the sentence we saw above.

  • Vuoi qualcos’altro oltre al caffè?

How to say other than in Italian

Oltre a + noun

As you can see, oltre a is made of two words. A is a preposition and sometimes it changes depending on the gender and number of the noun that comes after.

This means you can also say oltre al/alla/allo/all’/ai/alle/agli.

A noun might be a person, a thing, a place, or an idea. For instance, coffee is a noun.

Sometimes before the noun, we might also find a word that indicates possession such as mio (my), tua (your), loro (their), etc.

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Make sure you pay attention to how the preposition changes depending on the noun in the examples below.

Cosa vuoi mangiare oltre alla pasta?

What do you want to eat other than pasta?

Oltre ai miei amici ho invitato i miei colleghi.

Other than my friends I invited my colleagues.

Oltre all’India quali altri paesi vuoi visitare?

Other than India, what other countries do you want to visit?

Other than in Italian

Oltre a + verb

Other than a noun, we could also find a verb in the infinitive (the base form like mangiare, bere, dormire) after oltre a. It’s similar in English, so it should be easy to understand.

When oltre a is followed by a verb, we’re linking two phrases so we always have to complete the sentence.

For instance, you cannot just say “other than sleeping” and that’s it. It’s the same in Italian. You need the second part of the sentence.

Let’s have a look at some examples:

Oltre a essere gentili, sono anche simpatici.

Other than being nice, they’re also fun.

Cosa fai la domenica oltre a dormire fino a tardi?

What do you do on Sundays other than sleeping until late?

Oltre a studiare devo anche lavorare.

Other than studying I also have to study.

Oltre a meaning Italian

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