Italian Nouns - Articles and Demonstratives

Learn about singular and plural nouns in Italian

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Italian Nouns: Articles and Demonstratives / Articoli e dimostrativi


All nouns in Italian have a gender (masculine or feminine) and the articles must agree with the gender. Masculine words generally end in -o and feminine words generally end in -a. Words that end in -e may be either, so you will just have to memorize the gender. Keep in mind that articles are used before nouns or before an adjective + a noun.

Definite Article - The



il eel sing., before consonants la lah sing., before consonants
lo low sing., before z, gn, ps, or s + cons.
l' l sing., before vowels l' l sing., before vowels
i ee plural, before consonants le leh plural, before consonants and vowels
gli lyee plural, before vowels, z, gn, or s + cons.

Indefinite Articles - A, an, some



A, An un oon before consonant or vowel una oon-ah before consonants
uno oon-oh before z, gn, ps, or s + consonant un' oon before vowels
Some dei day before consonants delle dell-eh before vowels and consonants
degli deh-lyee before vowels, z, gn, or s + cons.

Demonstratives - This, that, these, and those
This and these
This These
Masc. questo questi before a consonant
quest' questi before a vowel
Fem. questa queste before a consonant
quest' queste before a vowel

That and those
That Those
Masc. quel quei before a consonant
quell' quegli before a vowel
quello quegli before z, gn, or s + consonant
Fem. quella quelle before a consonant
quell' quelle before a vowel

If you use that and those as a subject, use these four forms: quello for masculine singular, quella for feminine singular, quelli for masculine plural, and quelle for feminine plural.


Plural Nouns Italian Exercises

If a word is masculine singular, change the last letter to an i.  If a word is feminine singular, change the last letter to an e if it ends in a, or if it ends in e, change it to an i.

Singular to Plural Nouns

-o -i
-a -i
-e -i
-a -e
-e -i

Words ending in -io can either change the o to i, or just simply drop the o to form the plural. When the -i of -io is stressed, the plural is -ii; however, most words ending in -io do not stress the -i, and so their plurals are formed by dropping the o. Compare: lo zio - gli zii and il figlio - i figli.

Some nouns ending in -co and -go may or may not insert an h before changing the o to i.  There is no general rule for it.  All nouns ending in -ca and -ga insert an h before changing the a to e.  Nouns ending in an accented vowel do not change for the plural. (la città (city) becomes le città)  There are some masculine nouns that end -a, and these nouns change the -a to -i in the plural: il programma, il poeta, il pianete, il pilota, il poema, il sistema.  The plural of l'uomo (man) is gli uomini, while the plural of la mano (hand) is le mani.


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