Compound Prepositions



I would like to know if there is a lesson regarding the construction and usage of compound prepositions.
There were some shown in an early lesson but it was not clear to me how they were constructed and the list was not comprehensive. I found a table in an Italian grammar book but was hoping the Rocket Program has a better way to learn these elements of the language. Thanks.
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi vrobertc2,

I've searched for the lesson on compound prepositions and I found this one:
I skimmed through the other levels but this is the only lesson I found until now.

I can, however, give you a few other more examples on how to use compound prepositions.
Firstly, the basic prepositions are as follows: di, a, da, in, con, su, per, tra, fra.

When they precede a definite article, some of them blend with this article to form a compound preposition. Definite articles can have many forms depending whether the noun is singular, plural, masculine, feminine. These are: Il, lo, la, i, gli, le.

Compound prepositions, like the definite articles, change to match the noun they precede. This means that a preposition like di will have as many compound forms as there are definite articles. So, 6 definite articles make 6 compound forms for each preposition.

Let's begin with di, the first preposition that is introduced in the lesson, alongside the preposition a.

Di + il = del
Di + lo = dello
(dell' in front of vowels)
Di + la = della (dell' in front of vowels)
Di + i = dei
Di + gli = degli
Di + le = delle

Now for the a preposition:
A + il = al
A + lo = allo 
(all' in front of vowels)
A+ la = alla (all' in front of vowels)
A+ i = ai
A+ gli = agli
A+ le = alle

Not every simple preposition becomes a compound word. The ones affected are di, a, da, in, su. Con is special, but we'll see it in a minute.

These are the forms for da, in, sul:
Dal, dallo, dalla, dai, dagli, dalle.
Nel, nello, nella, nei, negli, nelle.
Sul, sullo, sulla, sui, sugli, sulle.

Con can take two forms: col (con + il) and coi (con + i). When it precedes all the other definite articles, it's written as a separate word, as in front of the indefinite articles un/una.
Col cane / con il cane / coi cani / con i cani (with the dog / with the dogs).
Col gatto / Con il gatto / coi gatti / con i gatti, con la sciarpa, con le sciarpe...
Differently from the other prepositions, it's entirely possible to say con il, con i, too.

The prepositions per, tra, fra don't have compound forms.

Now for some examples.
Il pianeta. The planet.
Gli abitanti del pianeta. The inhabitants of the planet.
Le case degli abitanti. The houses of the inhabitants.
I muri delle case. The walls of the houses.
I mattoni dei muri. The bricks of the [in] walls.

La cucina. The kitchen.
Io sono nella cucina. [Io sono in cucina also works here] I am in the kitchen.
Il cassetto della cucina. The drawer of the kitchen.
Le forchette stanno nel cassetto. The forks are in the drawer.
Le forchette non sono sul tavolo. The forks are not on the table.

Alla università = all'università
Dalla università = dall'università
Io vado all'università. I go to [the] university.
Io torno dall'università. I come back from [the] university.

I tetti degli edifici. The rooves of the buildings.
Piove sui tetti. It's raining on the rooves.
Sullo scaffale ci sono alcuni libri. On the shelf are a few books.
Sugli scaffali ci sono alcuni libri. On the shelves are a few books.

Which form you choose depends on the definite article required by the noun. Nouns that want il, for example, will always use the compound prepositions that are constructed with prep + il, and so on. The rules on the definite articles are explained in this lesson:

Hope this helps!

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Italian trial here.