"I have a pair of sunglasses."
Translation:Ho un paio di occhiali da sole.
As far as I understand, 'di' means 'of', as in: un bicchiere di vino (a glass of wine), while 'da' means 'for', as in : un bicchiere da vino (a glass for wine - or simply 'a wine glass'). Hence occhiali da sole are 'glasses for sun'. I think there are lots of other uses too though, I find prepositions really confusing.
Thank you, your explanation has been very helpful. And I found these explanations, it may help you too. Prepositions and Clitic Pronouns are killing me :( da : http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare156a.htm di: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare157a.htm
One of the main uses of the preposition di in italian ("noun + di") is to describe what an object is made of.(E.g. il tavolo di legno - wooden table). If we use "occhiali di sole" in this specific case, it would mean, eyeglasses made from sun. Which makes no sense! And defeats the purpose. Lol
In our example here "da" was used to indicate purpose. Not sure if you remeber our example from the clothing section "vestito da sera". Kinda similar.
In this case, it helps if you think about da = for the = for da. Whateva floats ya boat! Hope that helps!
Because "da" is evil. It's lurking in dark corners. It attacks when you're most confident. It defeats you, time and again. For each explanation you may read on "da", there will be five, ten, twenty exceptions and many more opinions, corrections and additional details to take into account. In reality, this "da" is a malignant invention of the Italians, especially designed and developed to confound us foreigners and expose us as poor ignorant aliens. In other words, "da" is the ultimate learning challenge!
As a staunch defender of "correct" English usage" (a losing battle), I understand that there is sometimes no "rule" for a usage that "feels" right. I doubt I will ever achieve that in any learned language, but I thank you for the helpful reply. It may help me to be more aware of when elisions are made (and not made) in the Italian I hear and read.
2019-11-25 Translating that back from Italian to English gives us, "I have the sunglasses", which is not the same sentence. It may mean there is only one item that is sunglasses and I have it, or it may mean that I have everybody's sunglasses for the trip we're beginning.