How to use “tra”: Italian grammar lesson 177

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Unlock the secrets of the Italian word tra with our grammar guide! Discover how to express everything from physical spaces to time intervals like a native speaker. 🇮🇹✨

  • Master the Basics: Tra is your go-to for indicating positions or intervals, meaning between, among, or in (for time and distance). 📍
  • Pair it Up: Don’t forget to use e (and) to link items when using tra. It’s like peanut butter and jelly – better together! 🥪
  • No Fuss with tra vs. among: In Italian, tra has got you covered for both, so you can say goodbye to the between/among dilemma. 🚫🤷‍♂️
  • Time Traveler: Use tra when you’re counting down the minutes or miles. It’s like having a linguistic DeLorean! ⏰🚗
  • Short and Sweet: Tra poco is your quick fix for saying something will happen soon. It’s the perfect phrase for the impatient! ⌛️😉
  • Twinsies tra & fra: These two are basically the same. Use them interchangeably and sound like a pro. It’s all about the flow! 🌊
  • Sound Good: Choose tra or fra based on what sounds better to your ear. It’s like being a DJ, but for words. 🎧🎶
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What does “tra” mean in Italian?

In today’s grammar note, we’re going to focus on how to use tra, which is a very small but common word.

It is very easy to use since it has a specific meaning.

As we stated previously, it refers to the idea of an intermediate position between two or more items, in terms of time and space.

Tra can be translated as in the middle of, between, and among.

Just so you know, in Italian, we don’t differentiate between “between” and “among”. We just say tra.

Also, we usually use the word e (and) in the same sentence since it lets us link two or more items that are in between, as you can see in the example below:

La città si trova tra le colline e il mare.

The city is located between the hills and the sea.

How to say among in Italian

Tra: Examples

Let’s have a look at some more examples:

C’è un bellissimo giardino tra le due case.

There’s a beautiful garden between the two houses.

Le chiavi sono cadute tra il divano e il muro.

The keys fell between the couch and the wall.

Luigi era seduto tra la madre e la zia.

Luigi was sitting between his mother and his aunt.

C’era anche il pilota dell’aereo tra i feriti.

The pilot of the plane was among the injured.

Costerà tra i 10 e i 15 euro.

It’ll cost between 10 and 15 euros.

Sei il migliore tra i miei amici.

You’re the best among my friends.

How to say between in Italian

When does tra mean in?

Tra can also mean in. This is when we’re discussing distance or time to something that will happen in the future.

Have a look at the examples below:

Ci vediamo tra un’ora.

See you in one hour.

Arriveranno tra quattro ore.

They’ll arrive in four hours.

Tra due chilometri c’è un supermercato.

There is a supermarket in two miles.

We also say tra poco a lot. It means in a short period of time or just shortly, as in the sentence below:

Tra poco arrivo.

I’ll be there shortly.

What does tra mean in Italian

What’s the difference between tra and fra in Italian?

You might hear fra instead of tra. But there is no difference in meaning between the two forms.

Sometimes, we prefer to say one rather than the other depending on the sound of the word we’re referring to.

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For example, we might prefer to say phrase A, rather than phrase B, just to avoid the repetition of the same sound:

A: tra fratelli
B: fra fratelli

among siblings

A: fra tre anni
B: tra tre anni

in three years

But other than that, we use them interchangeably.

You can say either sentence A or B since they both mean the same:

A: Il treno si è fermato tra Perugia e Siena.
B: Il treno si è fermato fra Perugia e Siena.

The train stopped between Perugia and Siena.

Meaning of tra in Italian

Click here to learn all about the Italian preposition da.

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FAQs on How to use “tra”: Italian grammar lesson 177

What does "tra" mean?

It's a preposition referring to the idea of an intermediate position between two or more items, in terms of time and space

When does "tra" mean in?

When we’re discussing distance or time to something happening in the future.

Is there a difference between "tra" or "fra"?

There is no difference in meaning. They are used to avoid sound repetition in words.

Italian word of the day
Vorrei un cappuccino, per favore.
I’d like a cappuccino, please.
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