DISPENSA

MASCHILE E FEMMINILE IN ITALIANO

 

Masculine/ Feminine

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

Ex:      

 

RAGAZZO
boy
 

RAGAZZA
girl

BAMBINO 
male child
 

BAMBINA 
female child

GATTO

cat

 

GATTA

fem. cat

CAVALLO 
horse m
 

CAVALLA  
horse f

 

 

Most words that describe physical OBJECTS or CONCEPTS, however, are either masculine or feminine, without a compelling logic.


MASCULINE

MOST NOUNS ENDING WITH “O” ARE MASCULINE

 

LIBRO   book

GIUDIZIO judgment

 

GIOCO  game

 

STADIO  stadium

 

 

FEMININE

MOST NOUNS ENDING WITH “A” ARE FEMININE

 

AULA classroom

 

SCUOLA  school

 

IDEA  idea

 

GIUSTIZIA giustizia

 

 

 

 

NOUNS ENDING WITH “E” ARE UNPREDICTABLE AND CAN BE EITHER MASC. OR FEM.

You must learn each word and its gender.

 

MASCULINE

SOLE   sun

AMORE love

 

CUORE  heart

 

FIORE  flower

 

FEMININE

CLASSE class

 

LEZIONE  lecture

 

PACE  peace

 

LUCE light

 

 

 

 

PLURAL

 

Nouns have NUMERO (number). THE CATEGORIES are SINGOLARE and PLURALE.

 

 

Summary chart

 

O => I

A => E

E => I

 

 

  • Words ending with “O” (usually masculine words) in the singular, become “I” in the plural.

 

LIBRO > LIBRI        TAVOLO > TAVOLI           GELATO > GELATI

 

 

  • Words ending with “A” (usually masculine words) in the singular, become “E” in the plural.

 

AULA > AULE           SCUOLA > SCUOLE            BAMBINA > BAMBINE

 

 

  • Words ending with “E” (either M or F) in the singular, become “I” in the plural.

 

CLASSE > CLASSI               PROFESSORE > PROFESSORI                 LUCE > LUCI

 

INDEFINITE ARTICLES

 

  • Masculine UN, UNO

 

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)

 

  • Feminine UNA

 

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).


UNA IDEA > UN’IDEA, UNA AMICA > UN’AMICA

 

DEFINITE ARTICLES
 
  • Masculine IL, LO, L'

 

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

 

  • Feminine LA, L'

 

LA = before words beginning with a CONSONANT

L' = before words that begin with a VOWEL