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Difference Between “Tra” and “Fra” in Italian

One of the most common “compare” questions we receive on this site involves differences between words between and from in Italian.

Difference Between Tra and Fra in Italian

Tra and Fra – what do they mean?

between and from Both are Italian prepositions and can be translated into English in a number of ways, including between, among, exist, Inside, leave, pass and Enter.

Yes, I know, there are many possible translations, so let’s take a moment to dig into each one.


The most common translation is between / from Yes betweenWhen this is a translation it usually means a distance in space or time, a middle ground or a relationship between two things – although these are not the only definitions.The key is to remember that whenever you want to translate the word between to italian, between/between Almost always the best choice.

we’re halfway there between/between Rome and Tivoli.

we’re halfway there between Rome and Tivoli.
(physical distance between the two places)

we will leave between/between 10 is not 11.

we will leave between 10 and 11.
(time distance between two times)

This song is a crossroads between/between Rap and rock.

This song is the cross between Rap and rock.
(middle zone)

between/between Lucia and Marco, things are not going well.

things are not going well between Lucia and Marco.
(relationship between two things)

red armchair between two black chairs
armchair between two chairs – armchair between two chairs


among is another very common translation between/between, and their usage is almost identical. In a broad sense, both can be used to describe (a) things that are in the middle of other things, (b) things that exist as part of a group of things, or (c) things that are divided into groups.

(One) The farm is located in between/between hills.

The farm is located in among hills.

(two) pig is between/between smartest animal on earth.

pig is among The smartest animal on earth.

(C) he shares his property between/between children.

he divided his property among his children.

Couple greeting friends at home for dinner
They were one of the last to arrive. = They were one of the last to arrive.


When something passes through another, you can use between/betweenor synonyms such as pass.

filter incoming light between/between Leaves.

filtered light pass Tree.

Father and little son holding hands on field during summer activity
We walk among the fields. = We are walking through fields.

In the

between/between Generally translated as exist or Inside An expression of time that means “occurs within” or “does not exceed”.A common synonym is Inside (Inside, About).

We have arrived between/between One hour.

we will be there in/within One hour.

Two very common expressions of time in Italian are soon and soon both mean soon, soonor rather, for a while/for a while.

Portrait of young african american man walking and talking on mobile phone in city
Hi dear, I will be back soon! = Hi darling, I’ll be there soon!


leaveOn the other hand, is a proper translation in expressions about physical distance.In this case you can also use the verb keep away.

Target Yes between/between One hundred meters.

The finish line is 100 meters leave.

Driver hand driving car on city street
Our house is ten kilometers away. = Our house is ten kilometers away leave.

Finally, we have some fixed expressions where between/between Appear:

  • between/among other things= Also, among other things, except (By the way, starting over is not easy. = Also, starting from scratch is not easy.)
  • between / between everything = everywhere, all these (Amid all this noise, how do you work? = How do you deal with all this noise?)
  • between/between yourself and yourself = to yourself (think about yourself = think about yourself)

So, what’s the difference?

Apologies to anyone hoping for a deep answer to this question, but there is little difference in meaning between the two between and from. Whether or not to use one or not is largely a personal choice.

Having said that, there is a situation between takes precedence over from vice versa.if the following words start with a letter TR, from Always the first choice.Likewise, if the word starts with a letter FR, between will be used instead from. This is because Italians like to avoid unpleasant and unpronounceable pronunciations of repeated consonants.

between brothers
between brothers
(between brothers)

between trains
between trains
(between trains)

Wait for a taxi. Young man checking his watch and pulling suitcase.rush to the airport
the train will arrive fromtrand hours. = The train will arrive in three hours.

Furthermore, according to braid, from tends to appear more frequently in time expressions, e.g. within an hour (within an hour) and when talking about a group of things or people (e.g. Some of them must be around forty years old = There must be forty in total). Under certain circumstances, from It can also be preceded by another preposition, e.g. from or exist.

Idiomatic expressions for Tra/Fra

Below we share some of the most commonly heard Italian expressions between and from. Some have a close English equivalent, which should make them easier to remember!

keep your head in the clouds

Literal translation: head among the clouds
English meaning: bury your head in the clouds

put a spoke on the wheel for (someone)

Literal translation: put a stick between (someone’s) wheels
English meaning: put the spokes on (someone’s) wheel

put hand in hair

Literal translation: put hand in hair
English meaning: pull hair

between rocks and hard places

Literal translation: between the anvil and the hammer
English meaning: between rocks and hard places

There is a sea between words and deeds

Literal translation: There is a sea between words and deeds
English meaning: Easier said than done, lots of sliding twixt cups and lips

in brackets

Literal translation: between brackets
English meaning: by the way

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