Corso di italianoItalianoSeconda unità

2.5. Singular and plural

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In Unità 1 we learned that words ending in -o are masculine and words ending in -a are feminine, while those ending in -e can be both masculine and feminine. But how can we change words from singular to plural? Let’s learn the rule together!

We’ll start as usual with a little quiz. Look at the words and try to figure out the rule!

Fai un esercizio!

Ottimo! Now let’s take a closer look at the rule.

Singular and plural

The plural is obtained by changing the ending of the singular form. The plural endings are -i and -e. Look at the table:

singularplural
m.il gatto cati gatti
f.la casa housele case
m./f.il cane dog
la volpe fox
i cani
le volpi

A few example words for plural formation:

Plural ending in -i

l’amico (male) friendgli amici
il gatto cati gatti
il fiore floweri fiori
il giornale newspaperi giornali
il bicchiere glassi bicchieri
la luce lightle luci
la volpe foxle volpi
la nave shiple navi

Plural ending in -e

l’amica (female) friendle amiche
la gatta female catle gatte
la festa partyle feste
la stella starle stelle
la sera eveningle sere
la rivista magazinele riviste
la testa headle teste
la scarpa shoele scarpe

The exceptions words ending in -a, that is masculine words like il problema or il turista, follow the rules of gender (masculine) and end in -i: il problema > i problemi, il turista > i turisti.

Kira: “Where are the ducks?”
gli alberi the trees, i cani the dogs, i guinzagli the leashes

Unchangeable plural

In some cases nouns remain unchanged:

  • If they end in a consonant: il bar > i bar, il film > i film;
  • If they end with a stressed vowel: il papà > i papà, la città > le città;
  • If they are abbreviations: la foto > le foto (la fotografia > le fotografie), l’auto > le auto (l’automobile > le automobili).

Esercizi

Fai un esercizio!

Prossima lezione: Cosa? Perché? Questions and question pronouns

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2.4. Mi piace, ti piace, gli piace: indirect pronouns
3.5. Mesi e stagioni: months and seasons

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