Hi, this is Mara from Mosalingua!
Welcome to our grammar hacks series on how to learn Italian quickly. Today’s topic is
prepositions of time, which sometimes can cause some problems
for people learning Italian. In this new video, we will focus on 5
prepositions: da, per, in, tra and fra – that are quite similar.
We use these prepositions of time to talk about the duration of a
past, present, or future action. We’ll look at some hacks together,
and you’ll see that it’s easy to learn how to use them correctly.
Let’s start with some examples: “Studio italiano da dieci anni, ho iniziato nel
2007” or “Ho studiato francese per 5 anni.” For now, let’s focus on the
difference between da and per. As you may have noticed, in the first sentence the preposition da
means that I am still studying Italian, while per in the second one means that
I am not longer studying French. How do we know which one to use?
If the sentence uses present tense, it means the action is still going on in
the present, so I use da; if the sentence has a past tense, it means
the action is complete, so I use per. In many cases, the preposition per can
be left out, for ex.: “Ho studiato l’italiano dieci anni” or “Studio
un’ora e poi vado a fare shopping.” The preposition “in” can also express
duration, for ex.: “In due mesi ho visitato molti paesi.” But be careful:
there’s a difference between in and per. If I say “In due ore ho studiato tutta la lezione di
storia” it means that I finished studying, the action is over.
If I say “Ho studiato per due ore inglese” it means I’m still at it. Finally,
let’s look at the prepositions of time tra and fra. They’re the same,
so you can use them interchangeably, and they express a future
action that is not happening yet. For example “Tra un’ora vado al cinema” or
“Fra una settimana parto per il mare.” Let’s sum it up: DA is the
preposition of time that goes from past to present, that is, the moment I am speaking.
IN is the preposition of time to say how long an action took.
PER is the preposition of time used to say how long an action has taken so far.
TRA and FRA are the prepositions of time to express how soon the action
will take place. Thanks a lot for watching!
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Ciao, see you next time!