Gender of Nouns in Italian + Plural Rules (Masculine or feminine?)

Do you know how to tell whether a word is masculine or feminine in Italian? If you don't, this blog article is for you!



Sometimes understanding whether a word is masculine or feminine can be kind of tricky. In today’s blog article, I am going to give you some tips to get the gender of a word right most of the time and also some tricks on how to make nouns plural based on their gender! Let’s get started!


Do you want to take your Italian to the next level? Check out my Online Italian course for beginners "Be Italiano" and start learning today to become a real Italiano, like me!

1. Masculine or feminine?


  • Nouns ending in -o are usually masculine: amico, treno, panino

  • Nouns ending in -a are usually feminine: amica, studentessa, bicicletta

  • Nouns ending in -e may be masculine or feminine: studente (m.), caffè (m.) and automobile (f.), notte (f.)

However, if we look at the last syllable of words ending in -e rather than just the last letter we can use this trick to get the gender right. If a word ends in:

  • -IONE: feminine (English -ion): televisione, nazione, opinione

  • -ORE: masculine (English -or) attore, autore, professore

  • 4. Nouns ending in CONSONANT are usually words of foreign origin that we have borrowed from another language (such as English). They are usually masculine: film, bar, autobus, sport


Common exceptions:

  • Ending in -a but masculine: problema, diploma, programma

  • Ending in -o but feminine: radio, mano



2. Plural nouns rules


  • All words ending in -O or -E have plural in -I so:

  • amico amici

  • treno treni

  • televisione televisioni

  • studente studenti

  • professore professori

  • Words ending in -A have their plural in -E ONLY if they are feminine:

  • studentessa studentesse

  • bicicletta biciclette,

  • casa case

  • Words ending in -A that are masculine have their plural in -I:

  • problema problemi

  • programma programmi

  • Words of foreign origin don’t change:

  • il film → i film

You can understand if a word of foreign origin is singular or plural by the definite article and, no worries, I will be making another article on this topic very soon!


If you have any questions about this topic, feel free to send me a message in the contact section of my website.


Do you want to take your Italian to the next level? Check out my Online Italian course for beginners "Be Italiano" and start learning today to become a real Italiano, like me!

A presto,


Stefano

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