learn italian

  15.3.14 prepositions per

Those who speak Spanish may believe that things become weired now that in Italian the same subtle differences are mad as in Spanish between por / para. Calm down, that's not the case. But we can show with this example that the prepositions are not at all a minor problem even if they are considered in all grammars like that. You see in this example that depending on the context per is to be translated with different prepositions to English and the same thing happens vice versa. A single preposition in English can have several corresponding prepositions in Italian. Prepositions are very often not semantically motivated and therefore a problem.

per = to (per dormire = to (in order to) sleep)
per = for (per lei = for her)  
per = instead (per suo padre = instead of his father)  
per = for (per tutta la notte = for the whole night)  
per = to (il treno per Milano = the train to Milan)  
per = for (per la prima volta = for the first time)  
per = on (per ordine = on command)  
per = because of (per la crisi = because of the crises)  
per = by (menare per il naso = to give someone a runaroung )  
per = for (per qualche tempo = for a while)  
per = for (per mia madre = for my mother)  
per = multiplied by (tre per cinque = three multiplied by five)  
per = because of (per il suo lavoro = because of his work)  
per = for (per cinque volte = five times)  

The fact that between the prepositions of different languages exists an n:n relationship is obviously a big source of mistakes. At the other side it is something easy to learn. If you have heard a preposition several times in a given context you know automatically and without any effort how to use it. The problem is so not as big as it may seem in theory.

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