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Yesterday I had an exam of Italian. I was asked to write a letter, so I wrote it. After the teacher qualified the exam, he said that writing la tua casa was wrong and that the correct way was casa tua.

The letter was about setting a date so at the moment when you set the place I asked to the person:

Passo alla tua casa o ci vediamo direttamente al concerto?

He did not explain to me why and I have not found anything on the web about this. Any help would be appreciated.

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    Now it's more clear :) Yes, in this case you would say "passo a casa tua" or "da te". "la tua casa" puts the emphasis on the fact that the home is HIS. Giomasce's answer gives a good difference between the two. See it like "I'll call at your place/home" vs "This is your house" – algiogia Oct 6 '14 at 11:47
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    it is worth mentioning that the same mechanism used for "casa tua" is used for a young boy/girl's bedroom. It is normal for a child to say "camera mia", "camera tua", and you would say "la mia camera" only to emphatize that it is MY room. – Federico Bonelli Oct 6 '14 at 12:27
  • This question is so interesting that I wish I had more time to answer it. :-) I will add a side question instead: what about la mia sorella vs mia sorella? – Mauro Vanetti Oct 10 '14 at 12:56
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Victor, it depends on context.

You say andiamo a casa tua but not andiamo alla tua casa.

The latter is not wrong, just unusual in most contexts.

Of course there may be many exceptions: For example, as pointed out by egreg's comment below, you can say andiamo alla tua casa di campagna, while andiamo a casa tua di campagna would be very unusual and you should adapt it appropriately.

Andiamo a casa tua in campagna

However, you can say both la tua casa è ben arredata (a bit more formal) and casa tua è ben arredata (a bit more informal).

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    Consider also andiamo alla tua casa di campagna or andiamo a casa tua in campagna. – egreg Oct 6 '14 at 7:52
  • Thank you for your counterexample! I changed my answer to elaborate a bit on it. – user912 Oct 6 '14 at 9:15
  • But why do we say andiamo a casa tua and not andiamo alla casa tua? – Victor Castillo Torres Oct 6 '14 at 10:40
  • Please see my edit – Victor Castillo Torres Oct 6 '14 at 10:50
  • I am not entirely sure why the postposition of the possessive adjective. It can happen the same with scuola, cameretta, etc. Probably you are just stressing out that the house belongs to your friend and not to somebody else (casa di Luca o casa tua?). Regarding the omission of the definite article, something analogous happens with relatives, you say "tuo fratello", not "il tuo fratello". – user912 Oct 6 '14 at 20:32
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To me the difference sounds more or less like between house and home in English. Casa tua refers to the house as a place of living (like home in English), while la tua casa refers to the house as a building. There probably exceptions, but this rule seems to be a good way to start.

In your specific case, you probably to indicate the place of living, you do not really care about the building. So I would write:

Passo a casa tua o ci vediamo direttamente al concerto?

Or also:

Passo da casa tua o ci vediamo direttamente al concerto?

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Victor, as you can see the main difference is due to the presence of the determinative article "la". It is assumed that a person has a home - only one - "casa tua". Instead, if we refer to a person who owns more than one house, in this case we use the article "la" to differentiate among them. Eg:

  • Passo dalla tua casa di via Roma o da quella di piazza Verdi?

or,

  • Passo dalla tua casa di campagna o da quella in città?

Please note that "la tua casa" is followed by a preposition, to specify which one you are referring to.

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In usage andiamo a casa tua is more commonplace, andiamo alla tua casa is more anachronistic and formal, but not strictly incorrect. The latter is also more common-place with compound verbs and/or more questioning tone such as:

dobbiamo andare alla tua casa?

or

dove andiamo? alla tua casa?

There are many linguistic usages which are more and less common, and I would suggest that a discussion with your tutor may well allow for remarking on that point.

It may also be that your tutor marked it down on the tense of passo; I would have tended to go with Passerò alla tua casa, o ci vediamo direttamente al concerto? (Shall I come past your house, or meet you at the concert?)

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    Scusa, @GMasucci, ma “Passerò alla tua casa” suona tutto tranne che italiano idiomatico... – DaG Oct 6 '14 at 12:13
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    è possibile che il mio italiano è obsoleto, un poco (molto!:)anacronistico o anche erroneo (scusi, per-favore), perche non l'ho parlato in più di 20 anni, ma da quello che ricordo, ho risposto al meglio delle mie capacità. Si puoi corrigirmi, sarei felice di ascoltare :) – GMasucci Oct 6 '14 at 12:58
  • Indeed, passerò alla tua casa, while not completely ungrammatical is not something an Italian would utter. The present tense for action in a near future is so usual that the future tense would sound weird, and alla tua casa seems to want to emphasise something, but I wouldn't see what, and if a friend told me such a sentence, I'd wonder “what about my house?” – DaG Oct 6 '14 at 17:41
  • Let's put it this way: if I see passerò alla tua casa I'd check if it is a line of a poem, or at least of a song. – mau Nov 6 '14 at 12:12

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