When to use di and da


  • With the verb essere (to be) to indicate origin:

Anna è di Milano.

Anna is from Milan.

  • Before a verb in its infinitive (standard) form, in response to the questions “who?” or “what?”:

Ho dimenticato di portare i libri.

I have forgotten to bring the books.

  • To indicate possession:

Questo libro è di Toni.

This book is Toni's.

  • To indicate the material something is made of:

Questo tavolo è di legno.

This table is made of wood.


  • With the verbs venire (to come), arrivare (to arrive) and tornare (to return) to indicate origin:

Anna viene da Milano.

Anna comes from Milan.

  • Before a verb in its infinitive (standard) form, to express what needs to be done or how to do it:

C’è ancora tanto da fare.

There is still a lot to do.

  • To indicate movement towards a person or place, or the fact of being at or doing something at someone's home:

Vado da Giovanni.

I'm going to Giovanni's (house).

Dormo da Luca.

I'm sleeping at Luca's (house).

  • To indicate the duration of something that started in the past and is ongoing:

Studio portoghese da due anni.

I have been studying Portuguese for two years (note that Italian uses the present tense + da + time to express “for” in the sense of “since”).

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