Difference between IN/NEL, when to use DI/DA and more! – Live Interactive Italian Lesson

By Manu Venditti | Advanced

Jan 12

Difference between IN/NEL, when to use DI/DA and more! – Live Interactive Italian Lesson

Difference between IN / NEL

IN + place (generic) – corresponds to the English word “TO / INTO”.

Vado in banca – “I’m going to the bank”.
Andiamo in posta – “We’re going to the post office”.
Vanno in farmacia – “They’re going to the chemist”.
Vai in palestra? – “Are you going to the Gym?”.

Here are some phrases that requires the use of “IN”.

Andare in vacanza – “to go on a holiday/vacation”.
Andare in spiaggia – “to go to the beach”.
Andare in montagna – “to go to the mountains”.

IN + article
– used when specifying the location. Corresponds to the English word “IN THE”.

L’acqua e nel frigo – “The water is in the fridge”.
Cosa ci metti nel sugo? – “What do you put in the sauce?”.
Nella storia Italiana ci sono molti.. – “In the Italian History”.
Neglia alberghi Italiani si mangia bene – “In the Italian Hotels you eat well”.


Bear in mind that Italian used the article a lot more than English.

Difference between LI / LA

LI – THEM (masculine or mixed)
LA – IT (feminine) / Her.


Non li conosco – “I don’t know them”.
La conosci? – “Do you know her?”.
I libri, li porti tu? – “The books, are you bringing them?”.
Non mi piace la ricotta, non la mangio mai – “I don’t like ricotta(cottage cheese), I never eat it”.

Difference between DI / DA

DI – OF (possession/specification)
DA – FROM (origin)

Questo libro e di Marco – (It belongs to Marco)
Ho ricevuto questo libro da Marco – (It came from Marco)
Queste arance vengono dalla Sicilia – (The origin is Sicily)
Federico II e stato re di Sicilia – (It specifies of what he was king)

Careful! – avoid interchanging the following sentences.

Da dove vieni? – “Where do you come from?”.
Di dove sei? – “Where are you from?”.

DA – is also used to mean “TO / AT” with verbs of movement, when the motion is towards people.

Vado dal(da+il) dottore – “I’m going to the doctor”.
Stasera andiamo da Alessia – “Tonight, we’re going to Alessia’s”.
Mangiamo da Mamma. – “We’re eating at Mom’s”.
Da me o da te? – “At mine or at yours?”.
* means “somebody’s place”.The French “chez”.

Difference between VI / CI

VI – can be used a higher register version of CI, when CI means “There”-but not always.

A Roma ci sono molti monumenti.
A Roma vi sono molti monumenti.

Non ci sono dubbi.
Non vi sono dubbi.

*** Vai a Roma?
*** Si, si vado domani.
*** Si, vi vado domani.

Be Safe!
1.Don’t use it!
2.Only use it to replace C’E/ CI SONO (in any tense).

Difference between FORSE / MAGARI

FORSE – maybe, perhaps (DOUBT).

Domani forse vado a Firenze – “Maybe/perhaps tomorrow, I’m going to Florence”.
Vieni alla festa? Forse – “You come to the party? Maybe”.

MAGARI – Possibly

Domani andiamo a Firenze e magari ci fermiamo a Roma lunge la strada.
Prende qualcosa da bere?Mmm..magari un caffè!

MAGARI – If only! (In exclamation)

Hai vinto la lotteria? Magari!
– (I wish!)
Vuoi che guardi io i bambini stasera? Magari!
– (Oh yes please!)

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