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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.
|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.|
|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.|
|This and 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
|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.
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
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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