Forum Rocket Italian Italian Grammar How to know which preposition to put in front of a verb, and which do not need prepositions

How to know which preposition to put in front of a verb, and which do not need prepositions





How do I know which proposition to put in front of an infinitive verb? Or, why is there sometimes no preposition?


For instance:


Ho deciso di portare una bottiglia di vino.
Vado a prendere la macchina.

Devo andare a lavoro.


Is it just pure memorization? Or is there a rule?


Also, is there a rocket Italian module for this that I might be missing?



First, still just learning here, so happy to be corrected by folks who have a fuller grasp of the language :)  From what I've learned so far:

It's not so much a preposition in front of the infinitive, but rather a preposition after the thing before the infinitive.  For example, “I like to run" - literally “to run pleases me”: “Correre mi piace” - doesn't have anything in front of the infinitive.

Some verbs don't need a preposition after them: dovere & potere are good examples.  

Some use “a” - andare as you mentioned.  

Some use “di” - decidere from your examples.  (many of the ones that use “di” with infinitive would instead use “che”+conjugated verb if the subject of the following verb is different.  For example, “Spero di correre” - “I hope to run", becomes “Spero che tu corra” for “I hope you run”)


There's also some adjustments when you get into purpose for doing a thing.
Sono andato a correre  - I went for a run (i.e. “I went running")
Sono andato per correre - I went for the purpose of running (i.e “I went to run”)

(My apologies to the rocket folks for linking to an alternate italian teaching site, but I didn't see a good list of which verbs typically go with which prepositions - to be fair, I haven't gotten through all that many of the lessons yet, still working on it!) - a good summary of some of them:






This is a helpful explanation and supplemental resource.


Thanks a lot!





Hi James, 


thanks for your question! I can just confirm the accuracy of the clarifications kindly provided by Aleotor :) 


Indeed, some verbs might need to be followed by a preposition in order to create more complex expressions.


The majority of the verbs will need the preposition “di”, but a large portion of them would need “a”. Unfortunately, there are no specific rules - you would need to try your best to memorize them as you meet them :) Sometimes, the same verb could use both prepositions, depending on the context:


e.g. “Penso di fare qualcosa oggi.” -→ I think I'm doing something today

e.g. “Pensa a dire le cose giuste.” --→ Think about saying the right things.


Hope this helps! :) 



Hi Caterina,


Thanks! That's helpful to know

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