"Io vado in banca."

Translation:I go to the bank.

August 28, 2016



What is the difference between "Io vado in banca" and "Io vado alla banca"? When are you allowed to use "in"?

August 28, 2016


Which preposition should be used after the verb andare  (and other verbs of movement) is disciplined by rather complicated rules, according to the place where one is going.

①  With many enclosed places mentioned by their generic name (among which shop names), andare  takes the simple preposition in :

vado IN banca = I go to the bank

vado IN farmacia = I go to the chemist shop

vado IN macelleria = I go to the butcher shop

vado IN frutteria = I go to the greengrocer shop

vado IN biblioteca = I go to the library

vado IN palestra = I go to the gym

vado IN piscina = I go to the swimming pool

vado IN tribunale = I go to the law court

vado IN ospedale = I go to hospital

vado IN chiesa = I go to church

The same preposition is also used with the nouns strada ('street') and piazza ('square', 'plaza'):

vado IN strada = I go on the street

vado IN piazza = I go to the square

With others places, though, the articulated forms of the preposition a  are used (al, allo, all' ):

vado ALLO stadio = I go to the stadium

vado AL cinema = I go to the cinema

vado AL negozio = I go to the shop

vado ALL'ufficio postale = I go to the post office

vado AL supermercato = I go to the supermarket

vado AL ristorante = I go to the restaurant

And no more than three others take the simple preposition a :

vado A casa = I go home

vado A scuola = I go to school

vado A teatro = I go to the theatre

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict whether in  or a ~ al/allo/all'  are used (except for shop names). You can only look this up in a dictionary and learn it.

②  Instead, when the name of an enclosed place carries some specification appended to it (e.g. an adjective, a description, a name), only the articulated forms of the preposition a  are used:

vado ALLA banca dietro l'angolo = I go to the bank round the corner

vado ALLA macelleria in piazza Xxxx = I go to the butcher's in Xxxx Square

vado AL negozio di giocattoli = I go to the toy shop (literally, 'the shop of toys')

vado ALLA biblioteca comunale = I go to the municipal library

vado ALL'ospedale militare = I go to the military hospital

vado ALLA chiesa di San Xxxx = I go to St. Xxxx's church

vado ALLA scuola di recitazione = I go to (I attend) the acting school

vado AL teatro Xxxx = I go to the Xxxx theatre

vado ALLO stadio Xxxx = I go to the Xxxx stadium

vado AL supermercato Xxxx = I go to Xxxx supermarket

vado AL ristorante di Xxxxx = I go to Xxxx's restaurant

This rule explains why:

vado IN ufficio = I go to the office


vado ALL'ufficio postale = I go to the post office  (a specification is appended!)

To make things easier, you can use al, allo, alla, also with the previous group of nouns:

vado IN banca → vado ALLA banca = I go to the bank

vado IN farmacia → vado ALLA farmacia = I go to the chemist shop

vado IN biblioteca → vado ALLA biblioteca = I go to the library


But the listener might ask: Quale?  ('Which one?'), as with these places you are supposed to use al, allo, alla only if they are clearly specified.

[Edit]  One important exception is casa.
Before this noun, the simple preposition a  is used, also when a specification is appended:

vado A casa = I go home

vado A casa di Paolo = I go to Paul's house

vado A casa sua = I go to his/her house

Further details about the use of this noun can be found here:

③  The last rule applies to all commercial activities (shops, supermarkets, restaurants, etc.).

When a chain store or a supermarket is mentioned only by the proper name, the verb andare takes the simple preposition da :

vado AL supermercato Xxxx = I go to Xxxx supermarket


vado DA Xxxx = I go to Xxxx (name of a supermarket)

vado DA Xxxx = I go to Xxxx (name of a chain store)

vado DA Burger King = I go to Burger King

Instead, if a shop is mentioned by the common name of the owner (i.e. he who runs a certain type of shop), the articulated form of da  is used (→ dal, dallo, dalla, dall'):

vado IN gioielleria = I go to the jewellery shop


vado DAL gioiellere = I go to the jeweller's (literally, 'I go to the jeweller', who runs the shop)

vado IN frutteria = I go to the greengrocer's (shop)


vado DAL fruttivendolo = I go to the greengrocer's (the owner)

vado IN macelleria = I go to the butcher shop


vado DAL macellaio = I go to the butcher's

Some shops (such as the ones above) can take both forms; others instead take only the second form:

vado DAL barbiere = I go to the barber's

vado DAL parrucchiere = I go to the coiffure

vado DAL sarto / DALLA sarta = I go to the tailor

The same preposition is also used with any other working category mentioned by the common name of the worker:

vado DAL meccanico = I go to the mechanic

vado DAL medico = I go to the doctor

vado DAL dentista = I go to the dentist

vado DALL'avvocato = I go to the lawyer

vado DAL falegname = I go to the carpenter.

August 28, 2016


Wow, you took a lot of time over that. Thanks!

November 15, 2016


I'm glad it will be of help.

November 15, 2016


This is a great explanation. Remembering it is another issue!

March 23, 2018


Thank you, so helpful!

August 28, 2016


You are welcome.

August 28, 2016


Excellent. The more I know, the more I realize I don't know. I also had to look up the term "greengrocer."

April 9, 2018



January 22, 2017


Thank you so much for taking the time to provide such a thorough response! I always feel a bit uncertain when selecting prepositions and this post was immensely helpful in crystallizing these rules in my mind.

June 4, 2017


Really helpful! Thanks! We have to memorize all these cases, but there is no other way.

June 12, 2018


UGH! Thank you for this! I'm never going to remember it :-(

November 20, 2018


Thank you very much, that's pretty awesom job done, however, I'd like to add a question - how do I distinguish if I want to say "I go/am going FROM the doctor/lawyer/dentist etc."? Thank you again very much.

January 8, 2019


I apologize for the late reply, I do not receive notifications from Duolingo, so I found your query by chance, coming back to this page.
"From" always translates as da.
Da is used almost constantly in articulated form:
Vado in cucina. / Vengo dalla cucina.
Vado in banca. / Vengo dalla banca.
Vado al cinema. / Vengo dal cinema.
Vado allo stadio. / Vengo dallo stadio.
Vado dal barbiere. / Vengo dal barbiere.
Vado dalla sarta. / Vengo dalla sarta.

Only with the very few places that take a (simple preposition), coming from the place requires da:

Vado a casa. / Vengo da casa.
Vado a scuola. / Vengo da scuola.

But teatro represents an exception:

Vado a teatro. / Vengo dal teatro.

July 19, 2019, 6:26 AM


That is a really precious information! I didn't find it in my course book and was compltely unclear about all these details! Thanks a lot for all your posts!

December 14, 2018
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