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Since I like singing opera, I sing “Nella fantasia” but I always wondered what does nella mean in this phrase? I know that fantasia means “fantasy”.

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  • Is “Nella fantasia” an aria from some opera? I am not familiar with it.
    – DaG
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 8:52
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    @DaG: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nella_Fantasia
    – Charo
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 9:23
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    @Tia27, why are you so averse to proper quotes and italics?
    – DaG
    Commented Jan 31, 2015 at 21:40
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    @Tia27: If you say so. But please keep in mind that as it is now, your question is less readable: it's more difficult which words you are using and which you are talking about (and “Nella” is also an Italian female name).
    – DaG
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 9:28
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    I agree with @DaG.
    – Charo
    Commented Feb 1, 2015 at 10:25

3 Answers 3

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In English, it means "In": "Nella fantasia" ("In the fantasy") answers (even if figuratively) to the question "Where?"

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"Nella" is the contraction of the preposition "in" and the article "la":

"in" + "la" = "nella".

For other contractions of Italian prepositions with articles, you can see this.

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Even if what other people have answered is true, the translation is not correct. That depends on the fact that this is a irregular construct. Generally speaking "Nella" means in + la, so it translates to in + the. Nella casa = In the house. In this case, though, it doesn't mean in the fantasy, it means In Fantasy; it can also be translated with In fantasies. The closest translation, though, is probably In Dreams, as Fantasy in English has a stronger "Something I can think of, but won't happen" connotation, in Italian, in this contest, it's closer to "Something dreamy I really wish it would happen, whether it will or not".

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