If the arcticle was needed, it would contract to nella (for feminine nouns)
in + la = nella = in the
I can't answer why the article is not required (it seems sometimes it is required, sometimes it is not), you could check out the examples on this page ... 'in città' is mentioned once on the site, and there are examples of other nouns that take in without the article
Certain phrases in Italian omit the definite article ("the" in English) but it is implied, for example "sono in città" = "I am in the city" or "sono in montagna" = "I am in the mountains"
You may find this article helpful as far as when and when not to use the articolo determinativo: http://aulalingue.scuola.zanichelli.it/benvenuti/2009/11/26/uso-dellarticolo-determinativo/
Yes, I don't know as well, why the translation "in A city" is marked wrong.
To AdamKoziko: I think "in A city" means an indefinite city, any city as opposed to being in the country or in a rural area. When I say "THE city", it is the city I use to live in, it is MY city. Well, this is my opinion. I am not a native English speaker, though. I hope I have helped. Greetings. September 09.2016.
Thanks, alvaro1944. I am neither Italian nor English speaker, I'm Polish. In the Slavic languages we have no articles, that is why I still struggle with that. If there were here "Io sono nella città", I wouldn't have any questions. But there is no article here, so I've thought the "nul" article is closer to the indefinite article. Apparently I've been wrong.
To AdamKoziko: I think that now you understand the problem well. In the phrase "Io sono nella città" there is the article which corresponds to the English definite article 'the'. So the 'città' ('city') is the city the speaker lives in, id est, HIS city. In my native language, Portuguese, we have articles as well and the situation would be the same as it is in Italian. Greetings again. September 13, 2016.
From days of old, we have the phrase 'I am in town ...' in the UK, meaning I am available to meet up or carry out business face-to-face, especially in rural areas where market towns were the centre of commerce for farmers, etc. Possibly this could be the Italian equivalent.
This is the equivalent in english of saying 'I'm in town ...', referring to the nearest town, and would not need to be qualified any further.
I was pretty sure that in Italian you say "io sono a Roma (una città)" and then you would say "io sono in Italia (un paese)". Is this rule only for when you are talking about specific places?
yes, "a" is used for cities "in" is used for countries AND places like "città"
you could omit the personal pronoun (io) if the subject is clear in the context (but it is not mandatory).
io / loro sono in città = I am / they are in the city
"sono" is the only conjugation that can have two subjects (I/they).
There is no other verb with this particularity
a few minutes ago, I was penalised for using 'town' instead of 'downtown'. Now 'town' is accepted.
I think it points to the left (à, ò) for all vowels except e, which changes depending on the sound of the "e" - è shows that the accent is on that syllable, and é turns it into an "ay" sound.
Duolingo doesn't check for punctuation, but I wrote " Im " instead of " I'm " and it marked it wrong... /: That's odd
"I'm in town. Can we get together?" is used even for cities, but I haven't heard "I'm in city" used.
Cities are a relatively new phenomenon, hence we still quaintly refer to 'town' when it is clearly the latter. I've heard people using this phrase, when the 'town' in question is London. In the same way that we would talk about 'a night on the town'.