Gli articoli indeterminativi e i sostantivi singolari

Indefinite articles and singular nouns

These articles correspond to the English a/an.

Nouns name a person, an object, an idea, an animal or a place. Every noun is either masculine or feminine.

    • Nouns ending in –o are masculine.
    • Nouns ending in –a are feminine.
    • Nouns ending in –e can be masculine or feminine.
masculine singular feminine singular
un + all consonants:  un panino una + all consonants:   una bottiglia
un + all vowels: un aperitivo un’ + all vowels:  un’aranciata
uno + s + consonant:  uno studente  
uno + z:  uno zaino  

How can you tell which words ending in –e are masculine or feminine? You can’t just by looking at them. It is simply a matter of memorization. However, here are two hints you can use to distinguish some of these words:

  • Nouns ending in –ione are always feminine, i.e. una nazione; una stazione.
  • Nouns ending in –ore are always masculine, i.e. un dottore; un signore.

Exceptions:

  • Foreign nouns are almost always masculine, i.e. un bar, un toast.
  • Most nouns ending in –ma are masculine, i.e. un problema; un sistema; un panorama; un programma.
  • Nouns ending in –ista are both masculine and feminine, i.e. un/una barista; un/una turista.

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Spunti: Italiano elementare 1 by Daniel Leisawitz and Daniela Viale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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