Tutorial Transcript

Hi everyone and welcome back to my channel! Today, we are talking about simple prepositions. But in particular we will look at prepositions of time. Are you ready? In this video we will talk about the prepositions: "da, per, tra/fra". Let's start with the preposition "da". This preposition as a temporal preposition is very, very important, because it lets us express an action that started in the past and is still continuing in the present. With the preposition "da" we have to use the present indicative, for example: "I have taught Italian on Youtube for five years". What does this sentence mean? It means that I started five years ago to teach Italian on YouTube and still today I teach Italian on YouTube. So I'm talking about an action that started in the past and continues to this day, therefore in the present that same action is still relevant and probably it will also be in the future, but regarding that (question) I won't say, because you never know! Let's do another example: "Luca has lived in New York for three years", so three years ago, he moved to New York, for those three years he has lived in New York and still today he lives in New York, to this day he lives in New York. Present indicative da indication of time. Even in a negative phrase, for example: "Maria hasn't smoked in ten years", means that she stopped smoking ten years ago and today she still isn't smoking. Obviously we use the preposition "da" in conjunction with the preposition "a" to express the duration of an action. For example: "I will be in Milan from Monday to Thursday." So Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I will be in Milan. "Tuesday I have a lesson from 9am to 6pm", so from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening I have a class. OK? So "da - a" are used to limit the time in which an action takes place. Another bit of info regarding "da" is that "da" is present in expressions like "when (I was) young (for example)", "as a baby", "as a girl", etc. Or "da [adult, elderly lady...]" etc. "Da bambina" means "when I was a baby", "da anziana" means "when I'm an elderly lady" (i.e. implies the future). OK? So we can have these expressions to avoid having to use a verbal phrase, so (instead) we make a nominal phrase. Next, let's move on to the preposition "per". We use this preposition to indicate a period of time in which an action is taking place; in the past, using the "passato prossimo", or otherwise in the future, with the "tempo futuro". For example, "I did swimming for seven years." What does this sentence mean? It means that for seven years, I did swimming, and it's an action that is linked to the past; in the present, I don't swim anymore, so the action was true in the past, it was true for those seven years, but it's not relevant anymore in the present. Same thing in the future: I will stay in Rome for a week", so in the future I will stay in Rome for a week, that week is the timeframe or the period that we'll be spending in Rome. But it doesn't apply to the present; it's an action that will happen in the future, so when we use the preposition "per" usually we are speaking of an action that took place in the past and has finished or about an action that will happen in the future and is yet to begin. So with the preposition "per", we don't consider the present. For those of you whose mother tongue is English, there's a little problem (problema n. m.): because in English, you say (...) when you say this same thing in Italian, you'll tend to translate literally "I taught Italian for...", but in reality it's wrong. In Italian, "I have been teaching Italian on YouTube for five years" is translated as "I teach the Italian since five years (lit.)", so you have to take lots of care with the structure present "da" and "passato prossimo" "per". "I've been teaching Italian for five years" means that I started to teach Italian five years ago and today I'm still teaching. If, on the other hand, I say "I taught Italian for five years on YouTube" it means that it's an action tied to the past, now I don't teach anymore. (and now) we come to the last prepositions, which are "tra" and "fra", which are interchangeable because they have the same meaning. We use "tra" or "fra" when we have to express an action that will become true at a specific moment in the future: "The film starts in 5 minutes" or "the film will start in 5 minutes." (this) means that from the moment in which I speak, five minutes must pass and, when five minutes have elapsed, the film will start. In English, you use the preposition "in" to express the same idea, but in Italian, we instead have to use "tra" or "fra", because if I say "in" I'm making a(n incorrect) derivation from English, and in any case, "in" has a different meaning. If I say: "I write a letter in five minutes" it means that the time that I require to write the letter is five minutes, it doesn't mean that I'll start writing the letter in five minutes. So, watch out for that difference in Italian. That's all for today. If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below! We'll see each other in the next video, see you soon, bye!