Lezione 18-Possession

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Oggi studiamo (we study/will be studying) possesso (possession) con la preposizione (preposition) 'di'.

Cos'è (what is) una preposizione? A preposition is a word used with a noun or pronoun to show place, time, and method.

(Wait!! What did you notice here? 'Preposizione' is feminine because it ends with -zione. Remember from now on that every noun ending in -zione is feminine!)

This preposition takes many different complements, but today we will be seeing it functioning as an indicator of possession.



Sara's house-La casa di Sara.

Place di before the person who owns the noun, in this case before Sara. So you have di Sara=Sara's/of Sara.

Il cane di Alex-Alex's dog.

In English we rarely say sentences like 'The house of Alex' or 'The dog of the aunt'.

It's simply too cumbersome for us! So we shorten it to 's, the indicator of possession that gets put at the end of the possessor.

Just translate it as di in Italian-there aren't really any other ways, lol.


Mark's cats.

I gatti di Marco. (Not to be directly translated, otherwise it would be: The cats of Mark!)

Anna's daughters. (Instead of 'the daughters of Anna')

Le figlie di Anna.


You can also say similar phrases by adding the verb 'essere'-to be:

La casa è di Alex-The house is Alex's.

Le figlie sono di Anna-The daughters are Anna's.



However, things are not that facili :(.

The preposition di is also modified according to the specified (with a definite article, the) object which it refers to.

When followed by a definite article, di is combined with the article to give the following combined forms known as prepositional articles (preposizioni articolate).

As you will soon see, the following prepositional articles are formed by adding each of the seven different definite articles (il, lo, l', la, le, gli, i)

These all mean: 'of the' or simply 'of' depending on context:

Masculine singular: Del (di+il) Dell' (Di+l'-before masculine or feminine nouns beginning with a vowel)

Dello (di+lo) (before nouns beginning with S + consonant, X, Y, J, Z, Gn, P + consonant etc.)

Masculine plural: Dei (Di+i) Degli (Di+gli-before nouns beginning with S + consonant, X, Y, J, Z, Gn, P + consonant etc.)

Feminine singular: Della (Di+la) Dell' (as above in the masculine/feminine singular)

Feminine plural: Delle (Di+le)



Il pesce rosso del bambino. (The little boy's goldfish)

La camera del papà. (The dad's bedroom)


Le foglie dell'albero. (The tree's leaves)

Il naso dell'asino. (AZ-ee-noh) (The donkey's nose)

Le onde dell'oceano. (The ocean's waves)


Il computer dello zio. (The uncle's computer)

Il lavoro dello psicologo. (The psychologist's work)


La pagella dei ragazzi. (The boys'/kids' school report)

Gli gnomi dei giardini. (The gnomes of the gardens/The gardens' gnomes)


Le pagelle degli studenti. (The students' school reports/The school reports of the students). NEW WORD: La pagella-The school report

Le zampe degli animali. (The animals' legs/The legs of the animals)

Time for feminine!


Il ragazzo della ragazza giovane. (The young girl's boyfriend) GIOvane-young (singular, masculine & feminine).

*Both ragazzo and ragazza can be translated as either boy/girl or boyfriend/girlfriend.

La pianta della zia è molto carina. (The aunt's plant is very nice) Lol great example.


I colori dell'alba. (The colours of dawn/Dawn's colours) We don't always say 'dawn's colours' in English because it's more cumbersome to use.

Il regalo dell'amica. (The female friend's present)


I regali delle amiche. (Female friends' presents)

Mi piace l'esperienza delle avventure. (I like the experience of adventures/I like the adventures' experience) New word: AvvenTUra (Adventure)


A lot? Well, at least it should have been simpler for native Spanish and French speakers or learners.

Just memorize and don't worry about the amount so far.

Next lesson, how to express quantities! =D

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