What is the meaning of da in Italian?
In Italian, da is probably one of the most used prepositions and it has many meanings and uses.
In this lesson, we will learn how to use da in different contexts and how it can be translated into English.
Sono partita da casa mia.
I left my place.
L’ho buttato giù dalla finestra.
I threw it out the window.
Stasera andiamo a cena da Marco.
Tonight we are going to Marco’s for dinner.
Remember, when followed by a definite article, the preposition da joined the article to form one word. And it’s called preposizione articolata.
|da + il||dal|
|da + lo||dallo (dall’)|
|da + la||dalla (dall’)|
|da + i||dai|
|da + gli||dagli|
|da + le||dalle|
How to use da as from?
The most common use of da is as an equivalent to the English from. It can be used to describe the origins of a movement and motions, away from.
Siete partiti da Parigi?
Did you depart from Paris?
Sono uscita dal negozio.
I came out of the shop.
Sei sceso dal treno?
Have you got off the train?
It can also indicate origins and provenance when used with the verb venire, to come.
Io vengo dalla Spagna.
I come from Spain.
Luigi viene da una buona famiglia.
Luigi comes from a good family.
How to use da with expressions of time?
Have a look at the examples below:
Studio Italiano da tre anni.
I have been studying Italian for three years.
Non li sento da due settimane.
I have not heard from them for two weeks.
Da quando è arrivato, non ha mangiato niente.
He has not eaten anything since he arrived.
Sometimes it can also be translated with the English in:
Non li vedo da anni.
I haven’t seen them in years.
Da bambina mi piaceva sciare.
As a child, I loved to ski.
Da piccoli non andavamo mai al mare.
We never went to the seaside when we were little.
How to use da as at someone’s house?
The Italian preposition da can also be used to describe the movement toward’s a person’s house or workplace, and also the state of being there.
Stasera vado a cena da Marco.
Tonight I’m going to Marco’s place for dinner.
Domani Giacomo va dal dentista.
Tomorrow Giacomo will go to the dentist.
Siamo da Giada.
Where are you?
We’re at Giada’s place.
Practice with QuizletHere's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.
What are other uses of da?
Da has a lot of other uses so let’s see some of the most important ones, with examples:
- When followed by a verb in the infinitive, it describes something that needs to be done
Ho ancora tantissime email da scrivere.
I still have so many emails to write.
- It can describe the agent in passive sentences (as the English by)
Quest’opera teatrale è stata scritta da Gogol.
This theatre play was written by Gogol.
- It can indicate a cause or reason for something
Mi sono addormentato dalla noia.
I fell asleep from boredom.
- When used with nouns, it indicates purpose
sala da pranzo
carte da gioco
vestito da sera
- It can be used to describe qualities in people
Una donna dagli occhi scuri.
A woman with dark eyes.
Un bambino dai capelli biondi.
A child with blond hair.
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