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When to use ‘di’ in Italian;

I would be grateful if someone could help with when to use ‘di’ in Italian sentences.

The only ‘rule’ that I know is;

‘a noun followed by a verb in the infinitive requires di’

and that you;

‘often use ‘di’ after many verbs of communication’

So I’m assuming that after ‘to tell’, ‘to say’, ‘to ask’, ‘to hear’, ‘to shout’, ‘to telephone’, to argue etc ‘di’ is used.

However, very often, verbs or adjectives are followed by ‘di’ but in other cases are not, for example;

Spero di partire (Speriamo = verb + di)

Penso di partire (pensare = verb + di)

(Not sure if the above examples ‘speriamo’ and ‘pensare’ could be classed as verbs of communication??? If not then don’t know why ‘di’ is used here?)

Abbiamo finoto di farlo (finare = verb + di)

Sono molto felice di vederla (felice = adjective + di)


Mi fa molto piacere vederla (piacere = verb but no di??)

Desidero stare qui (Stare = verb but no di??)

I cannot find any rule that would explain why ‘di’ is used after some verbs/adjectives and not after others?

My Italian is still at a (very!) basic level and I would very much appreciate someone explaining this to me.


For learning: Italian
Base language: English
Category: Language


1 comment

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    I will give you some examples, which will NOT cover all situations,
    as that could be better done by a personal teacher.

    -- senza di + personal pronoun
    is a typical construct

    But in other contexts, /senza/ does not want /di/ :
    -- senza acqua la vita sulla Tearra,nella sua attuale forma, sarebbe impossibile

    Some examples:

    -- cosa ne pensi di XYZ ?
    -- what do you think about XYZ ?

    -- questo libro e` di Marco (di: ownership)

    -- questa casa e` fatta di solidi mattoni
    Here /di/ introduces the description of the materials used,
    specifies the substance.

    -- questa aranciata sa di mela (NOT ownership!)
    (... has the flavour of apple)

    -- cosa fai in genere di pomeriggio ?
    introduces a time specidfication

    di piu` non posso dire.
    /di piu`/ : more, more about the context; almost an idiomatic phrase.

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