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The difference between "di" and "da" as prepositions



In two different instances I see “di” used to mean “from” and “da” to mean “from”, and I don't understand the distinction.  Can you explain this to me?



Hi Marcello, 

Thank you so much for your question!

Da and di are two Italian prepositions, and they both can have multiple meanings depending on the sentence.

As you correctly pointed out, for instance, both da and di can be translated as “from,” yet they’re not interchangeable. 

Di usually specifies the origin:

Di dove sei? = Where are you from?
Sono di Napoli. = I'm from Naples.

On the other hand, da usually indicates a movement:

Da dove viene Carlo? = Where does Carlo come from? / Where is Carlo from?
Carlo viene da Pisa. = Carlo comes from Pisa.

Please note that "da" could also indicate movement toward a place or a person. For example:

Dove stai andando? = Where are you going?
Sto andando da Marco. = I'm going to Marco's house.

Hope this helps! :) 

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