https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CristinaMa670333

"prima"/"prima di"

I'm working on Adverbs skill and I would like to know what is the main diference between the usage of these 2, especially when should we use "prima" followed by preposition "DI" and whent not. Is there a certain rule about this and if so, can someone, please, make it clear for me. Grazie di nuovo!

September 2, 2019

10 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pierobonal

"prima di" is a prepositional phrase. The next sentence requires infinite tense. "pensiamo, prima di parlare".

"Prima che" is a subjunctive phrase. The next sentence requires subjunctive tense. "pensiamo, prima che sia troppo tardi".

Prima without preposition: "prima pensiamo, dopo ragioniamo" : it's an improper preposition, like "dopo" .

Prima, or primo, is also "the first". "sono contento di essere arrivato primo al Giro d'Italia".

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CristinaMa670333

Grazie mille, just one quick question regarding the usage of "prima di". When in front of a noun, is it always "prima di"? (e.g. "Sabato viene prima di domenica.")

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pierobonal

Improper prepositions can behave as adverbs of time "io mangio prima" or as conjunctions "dopo cena ci sentiamo". In your sentence, "prima di" indicates subsequent times, so it's always in front of the second noun (when is it Saturday? It comes before Sunday, "prima di" is like before), Other similar sentences: sette viene prima di otto; Natale viene prima di Capodanno; venti viene dopo diciannove).

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

Prima belongs to the long list of so-called improper prepositions (or surrogate prepositions), preposizioni improprie in Italian (as opposed to shorter proper prepositions di, a, da, in, etc.), whose name refers to their purpose either as adverbs or as prepositions.
But for the latter purpose, some of them must take an extra proper preposition, e.g. prima is an adverb, prima di + noun/pronoun is a preposition. Almost all these prepositions take di before personal pronouns.

Sono venuto prima. [adverb] = I came earlier (before a given time).

Sono venuto prima delle undici. [preposition] = I came before eleven (o'clock).

Sono venuto prima di lui. [preposition] = I came before him.

Among other common prepositions of the same group are sopra, sotto, dentro, fuori, davanti, dietro, dopo, invece, etc.

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CristinaMa670333

Very interesting! Grazie ad entrambi, Civis and Piero!

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dorothy799906

CivisRomanus, how do you know so much about grammar? Have you done a PhD?

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

No, I'm a translator. But I am trying to write my own grammar, a project I have been working on for several years.

September 2, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/pierobonal

Sospettavo qualcosa del genere ... comunque complimenti e auguri per il libro !

September 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CivisRomanus

Grazie mille! In realtà era nato come sito internet, per sfruttare hyperlink, file audio, esercizi interattivi, ecc. Ma è un progetto pressoché infinito, trovo sempre qualcosa di nuovo da aggiungere o da migliorare: esempi, organizzazione degli argomenti, nuove interpretazioni da parte delle istituzioni di riferimento (Accademia, Treccani, Zingarelli), schemi e tabelle, appendici, ecc.
Sono vent'anni esatti che ci sto lavorando (ovviamente non a tempo pieno) ed è ancora in continua trasformazione. :-D :-D

September 3, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Linda7Italian

CivisRomanus. Si sì, tanti auguri per il libro!

September 4, 2019
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