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  3.1.2.2 Other differences in the use of definite articles

The most important difference in the use of definite articles between English and Italian is the fact that before a possessive pronoun there must be, in general, we already talked about the exception, a definite article. The other differences are less striking.

  In Italian there must be an article with time data
In Italian there must be an article in front of the daytime. (Obviously we are going to talk about the date, day time, etc. later in detail.)  
  Sono le sette.
It is seven o' clock. (literal: Are the seven (hours))
  In Italian in general there is a definite article in front of countries, islands, continents, regions
  La Francia è un bel paese.
France is a nice country.
  L' Italia è famosa per i suoi pittori.
Italy is famous for its painters.
  La Toscana si trova in Italia.
Tuscany is in Italy.
  but if there is a preposition it' s without article!  
  Molti turisti vanno in Italia ogni anno.
Many tourists go to Italy each ear.
  In general a definite article is used in Italian if there is no article at all in English
  I tedeschi bevono molta birra.
Germans drink a lot of beer.
  In Italian you use an article in front of languages
  L' Italiano è una lingua più melodica che il tedesco.
Italian is a more melodic language than german.
  In Italian an article is used before abstract notions
  L' economia è una scienza non abbastanza riconosciuta.
Economy is a science not estimated enough.
  La giustizia esiste soltanto per coloro che hanno i soldi.
Justice only exists for those who have the money.
  In Italian an article is used before an illness
  Luigi ha la febbre.
Luigi has fever.
  In some cases there is no article neither in Italian nor in English
  after some idiomatic expressions  
  Vado a scuola.
I go to school.
  Andiamo a teatro.
We go to the theater.




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