I'm trying to understand the rules but I don't seem to find a proper pattern.

The main problem is my Spanish and French conflict with Italian...

Io voglio andare a USA? Io voglio andare ai USA? Io voglio andare in USA?

In Spanish I would use a, in French I would use aux, which is ai... but what about Italian?

  • 3
    'Io voglio andare negli USA' is the correct construct. Nov 24 '14 at 8:18
  • 2
    @ElberichSchneider Without the pronoun io, of course.
    – egreg
    Nov 25 '14 at 8:48

The preposition you must use in sentences with the structure

"andare" or "stare" + name of country, state, continent, region or big island

is in. For instance:

  • Mi piacerebbe andare in Liguria.
  • Quest'estate andremo in Francia.
  • Voglio andare in campeggio in Corsica.
  • Sei stato in Africa?

However, if such names are in plural or if they are followed by a specification (e.g. an adjective), you must use the so-called "preposizioni articolate", that is, nel, nello, nell', nella, nei, negli, nelle. For instance:

  • Non sono mai stato nella Francia meridionale.
  • Voglio andare negli Stati Uniti.

Note that with the name of cities or small islands, you must use the preposition a. For instance:

  • Vado a Firenze.
  • Andiamo a Capri.

Source: Fedrica Colombo, Grammatica e pratica della lingua italiana per studenti stranieri (edizioni ELI, 2006).

  • Anche "Non sono mai stato in Francia meridionale" è valida però.
    – martina
    Nov 29 '14 at 11:33

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