Nouns in Italians belong to TWO separate categories, called GENERE (gender).
THE CATEGORIES are MASCHILE and FEMMINILE.
A noun can belong ONLY to one of these two categories, which means it can be EITHER masculine or feminine but not both.
But what about nouns like BAMBINO and BAMBINA?
THEY STILL ARE TWO DIFFERENT NOUNS. Bambino is MASC, Bambina is FEM.
(Feel free to call them "different forms" of a noun, but the substance does not change: each word can have only one gender.)
Some nouns have both forms, masculine and feminine. These are usually words that apply to people, animals or other natural entities, in that they refer to their biological gender.
Most words that describe physical OBJECTS or CONCEPTS, however, are either masculine or feminine, without a compelling logic.
MOST NOUNS ENDING WITH “O” ARE MASCULINE
MOST NOUNS ENDING WITH “A” ARE FEMININE
NOUNS ENDING WITH “E” ARE UNPREDICTABLE AND CAN BE EITHER MASC. OR FEM.
You must learn each word and its gender.
Nouns have NUMERO (number). THE CATEGORIES are SINGOLARE and PLURALE.
LIBRO > LIBRI TAVOLO > TAVOLI GELATO > GELATI
AULA > AULE SCUOLA > SCUOLE BAMBINA > BAMBINE
CLASSE > CLASSI PROFESSORE > PROFESSORI LUCE > LUCI
UN = before words beginning with vowels and consonants
UNO = before words that begin with “S” followed by a consonant (ex: STudente, STadio, SCambio, SPuto,) and words beginning with “Z” (zero, zaino, zucchero, zenzero)
In front of words beginning with a vowel, ofter UNA becomes < UN’ > with an apostrophe to indicate that the final letter “A” was dropped (it’s for euphonic [ good sound ] reasons).
IL = before words beginning with a CONSONANT
LO = before words that begin with “S” followed by a consonant (ex: STudente, STadio, SCambio, SPuto,) and words beginning with “Z” (zero, zaino, zucchero, zenzero)
L'= before words that begin with a VOWEL
LA = before words beginning with a CONSONANT
L' = before words that begin with a VOWEL