Asked • 03/16/19

Preposition before infinitive - a vs da?

I found the following sentence:> È un vero peccato che ti abbiano rubato il portafoglio.> Ora non possiamo comprare da mangiare.However, I wonder why this uses `comprare da mangiare`, instead of `comprare a mangiare`. I know both `a` and `da` can be used as a proposition before an infinitive verb. I also know that there is a usage of `da + infinitive` to express "something to do" much like `to + infinitive` in English.However, then I wonder why `da mangiare` can work without an object. For example, if the sentence is the following, which has an object to modify, I have no problem in understanding it:> Ora non possiamo comprare qualcosa da mangiare.However, if there is no object there, I can't differentiate when to use `a` and when to use `da`, especially since both can be used to express an aim after the main verb.So how can I tell apart the use cases of these two prepositions? (Please answer the question in English if possible...)

1 Expert Answer


Piero C. answered • 03/17/19

5.0 (196)

Certified Teacher with 35 years of experience in Italy and abroad

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