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Una Tazza di Caffè or Una Tazza da Caffè?

Italian Language Tips!

Italian prepositions, just like prepositions in any other language, are tiny language blocks which are incredibly important to ensure you deliver the right meaning.

The are also a challenge (well, let’s be honest, a bit of a horror) that you will get to come back to again and again as you learn Italian. The good news is that eventually the correct preposition will just start to “sound right” as you get used to hearing it and using it.

In the meantime, here are some tips on how to use the prepositions di and da in two specific situations.

Let's pretend you are at the bar and you want to order an espresso...what should you say?

"Vorrei una tazza di caffè"


"vorrei una tazza da caffè"?

The correct answer is "vorrei una tazza di caffe".

In this sentence the preposition di is used to express the contents → es: il bicchiere di vino, un piatto di pasta, una scatola di scarpe.

When instead we say "una tazza da caffe", the preposition da is used to express a function or a purpose → le scarpe da ginnastica, la canna da pesca, una macchina da scrivere.

Simple, right? ;-)

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