What is da in Italian?
Da is a widely used Italian preposition. In this grammar note, we’re going to focus on a very specific aspect: when we’re talking about quality using da + an article.
We can describe something or someone in detail by giving information that is introduced by the prepositions dal, dalla, dall’, dai, dalle, and dagli.
Have a look at the example below:
L’Argentina è un paese dalle grandi risorse.
Argentina is a country with important resources.
How to use da + article in Italian?
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Dal, dalla, dall’, dai, dalle, and dagli are prepositions that combine the preposition da + an article.
Da can be translated in different ways. It may mean from, by, to, for, or since.
We use da to show causes and where things or people come from.
For instance, Leonardo da Vinci was from Vinci. So, Vinci is not his surname, as some people might believe.
However, in this very specific case when we want to describe someone or something, dal, dalla, dall’, dai, dalle, and dagli simply mean with.
We use one or the others depending on the gender and noun of what we’re referring to. And since we’re describing something or someone, we’ll need an adjective at some point.
Here’s the structure: dal, dalla, dall’, dai, dalle, dagli + adjective + noun (or noun + adjective)
Let’s have a look at this example:
La ragazza dai capelli lunghi è simpatica.
The girl with long hair is fun.
We could also say: La ragazza con i capelli lunghi è simpatica.
But since con mainly expresses the concept of participation or union, it’s preferable to use the combined prepositions in this specific case.
Da + article: Examples
Let’s now have a look at some more examples:
Mi piace quella donna dagli occhi verdi.
I like that woman with green eyes.
Chi è quel ragazzo dalla voce grave?
Who’s that guy with a deep voice?
Mio padre è un uomo dai modi spicci.
My dad is a man with abrupt manners.
Il vincitore è un ragazzo dalle spiccate doti di resistenza.
The winner is a guy with a marked talent in terms of resistance.
Non sono una persona dai gusti semplici.
I’m not a person with simple taste.
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