A

A - Italian preposition
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Preposizione

The preposition a is generally summarized as "to, at, or in," but it has quite a few more meanings and uses than that.

 When a is followed by a definite article, the two words must contract into an articulated preposition.

    il   lo   la   l’   i   gli   le
a   al   allo   alla   all’   ai   agli   alle

The preposition a is used for …

1) Destination

Andiamo a Milano.   We’re going to Milan.
Voglio andare all’ufficio postale.   I want to go to the post office.

2) Location

Vivi a Firenze?   Do you live in Florence?
È a scuola.   She’s at school.

3) Distance

Siamo a due chilometri dalla spiaggia.   We’re two kilometers from the beach.
Lui vive a 20 minuti di distanza.   He lives 20 minutes away from here.

4) Point in time

Arriverà a mezzogiorno.   She’ll arrive at noon.
Ho pubblicato il mio primo libro a 25 anni.   I published my first book at 25.

5) In + any month

a gennaio   in January
a settembre   in September

6) Until

Sarò qui fino a domani.   I’ll be here until tomorrow.
alla prossima volta   until next time

7) Range

Mi ci vogliono dalle 2 alle 3 ore per farlo.   I need 2 to 3 hours to do it.
da lunedì a sabato   from Monday to Saturday

8) Manner or means

Andiamo a piedi.   Let’s go on foot.
un tappeto fatto a macchina   machine-made rug

9) Food description (flavor, type)

ravioli al pesto   ravioli with pesto
gelato alla nocciola   hazelnut gelato

10) Measurement

comprare al chilo   to buy by the kilo
andare a 110 km all’ora   to go 110 km per hour

11) Purpose

andare a visitare il museo   to go (in order to) visit the museum
uscire a vedere l’alba   to go out (in order) to watch the sunrise

 Related lessons

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Italian preposition a

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