How many times have you felt confused when asked about your origin and did not know which preposition to choose?
DI Londra or DA Londra?
In reality, both variants are correct, but they are used in different situations and can have different meanings. Let’s see!
The Italian preposition “DA” indicates the starting place, of origin, the location from which someone leaves or comes.
In this case, the phrase “Io vengo DA Londra” – “I come from London” means that I have just arrived from this city, I have been there or lived for a specified period.
However, it does not necessarily mean that I was born or that I am a Londoner.
However, the preposition “DA” used with the verb “Provenire” – “to come” (= to have origin) means that the place where one comes from is also the place of its origins, which was born there.
The preposition “DA” is used with city names and country names. In the latter case, the names of the countries want articolo determinativo.
Vengo dall’Inghilterra. Vengo dall’Ucraina. Vengo da Cracovia – I come from England. I am from Ukraine. I come from Krakow. (= I was there, from there I came here, but it is not said that I was born there, it is not necessarily the city where I was born)
Provengo dalla Polonia. Provengo da Cracovia. – I come from Poland. I come from Krakow. (= I am Polish, I was born there, I come from this country/city, this is where I was born)
Instead, the Italian preposition “DI” together with the verb essere and the name of a city indicates the origin of a person, the town where one was born.
Sono di Firenze, Sono di Londra. Sono di New York. – I’m from Florence. I’m from London. I’m from New York.
Pay attention that you cannot say in Italian, “Sono di Ucraina/Spagna” – to indicate nationality; we must say, “Sono ucraino/a,. Sono spagnolo/a” and so on.