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Italian Plural Nouns: How to form them

Level A1


Ciao a tutti! In this short lesson you can study or review how to make the plural nouns. This post is for those who are approaching the study of Italian language recently or for those who want to start.


Now let's start; first of all, in Italian language we have 3 types of nouns:


1) Masculine nouns.


When in the singular form they ends in -o, in the plural form the –o changes into -i, for example:


libro → libri

telefono → telefoni

quaderno → quaderni

italiano → italiani

gatto → gatti

compito → compiti


Masculine nouns ending in –co or –go pluralize in –chi or –ghi, the addition of the h letter makes the sound (and the pronunciation of a word) harder, for example:


mago → maghi

parco → parchi


The only word that does not follow this rule is the word “amico”, that changes into “amici” in the plural form.


2) Feminine nouns.


When in the singular form they ends in -a, in the plural form the –a pluralize in -e:


casa → case

italiana → italiane

penna → penne

mela → mele

ragazza → ragazze

rivista → riviste


Also in this group, feminine nouns ending in –ca or –ga in the plural form adds the h letter, changing into –che or -ghe:


maga → maghe

amica → amiche


There is one more rule to remember about feminine nouns: words ending in –cia or –gia have two different plural forms:


1) -cia / -gia-cie /-gie

All feminine plural words ends in -cie / -gie if before -cia or -gia there is a vowel.


la farmacia → le farmacie

la camicia → le camicie


2) -cia / -gia → -ce / -ce


All feminine plural words ends in -ce / -ge if before -cia or -gia there is a consonant.


l’arancia → le arance la doccia → le docce la spiaggia → le spiagge


3) Masculine and feminine nouns in –e.


When in the singular form nouns ends in -e, in the plural form the –e changes into -i.

The only way to know if these words whether belong to one genre or another is to look at the article or the adjective that comes with them.


l’inglese → gli inglesi

la chiave → le chiavi

il fiore → i fiori

il cane → i cani

la carne → le carni

il sale → i sali

la notte → le notti

il paese → i paesi


Exception: Nouns ending with an accented vowel.

It must be said, however, that not all Italian words fall into these three categories: there are many exceptions.


The one that is most difficult for student, often asking me to explain, is about words ending with an accented vowel, such as:


la città → le città

il caffè → i caffè

la novità → le novità

l’onestà → le onestà


As you can see, the plural form doesn’t change, the only thing changing is the article.


I hope this post has been helpful, more exceptions will be explained in a future post; if you want to test yourself, you can do the exercise below, if you have doubts about it feel free to leave a comment.

A presto!



Exercise: Use the plural form of the words in the parentheses.

Questa mattina Anna va in montagna, per fare una passeggiata. Prima di partire controlla ______ (la previsione) del tempo, prepara le _______ (borsa). Poi va in stazione e prende il treno delle 7:30. Sul treno incontra due (amica) di scuola. Decidono di andare insieme in montagna a fare una passeggiata. Dopo la passeggiata decidono di bere il _________ (tè), di mangiare una crostata di __________ (arancia) e di scattare le ________ (fotografia). Nel pomeriggio tornano in paese per prendere il treno, ma prima fanno le ______ (spesa) e comprano i ______ (dolce), le _______ (mela) e i _______ (formaggio). Alle 18:00 prendono il treno e si scambiano i _________ (numero) di telefono.




Solutions.

borse - amiche - tè - arance - fotografie - spese - dolci - mele - formaggi - numeri

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