In addition to the proper prepositions (di, a, da, in, con, su, per, tra, fra) we use in Italian other words which have the same function of a preposition but they can be adverbs, adjectives or participles. Therefore these words are named improper prepositions.
Now we see some adverbs that have this peculiarity. I can say:
vado sopra al primo piano in this case sopra is an adverb, but if I say
il libro è sopra la scrivania, sopra is like the preposition su.
il bambino è uscito prima. (temporal adverb)
I bambini è uscito prima di me (preposition-adverb)
Italian has many adverbs which can be prepositions-adverbs, like: sopra, sotto, dentro, fuori, davanti, dietro, contro, insieme, prima, dopo, ecc.
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