ZapItalian - Learn Italian

Learn Italian now!

Italiano adesso!

        Home       |       Teachers      |        Links        |         Books, audio, etc        |        E-mail        |        Bookmark this page

PLURAL IN ITALIAN / PLURALI DELLA PAROLE

About plural – sopra i plurali

The plural in Italian is quite different from the plural in English or any other romance languages such as Spanish, French or Portuguese. The general rule in English is to add the letter " s " at the end of a word.

In Italian the general rule is to substitute the last letter of a a masculine word for the vowel " i " or if it is a feminine word the general rule is to substitute the last letter for the vowel " e ".

 

Examples – Esempio

 

 Singular

 Plural

 Translation

 Il libro

I libri

 The book – the books

La tavola

le tavole

 The table – The tables

Il bambino

i bambini

 The baby –  the babies

La ragazza

Le ragazze

The girl - the girls


 

Words ending in co/ go or cio/gio

In order to keep the sound of singular words ending in co/go or cio/gio there are some specific rules.

Most of the words ending in "co" and "go" follow the general rule that was mentioned above, but in some cases the pronunciation is changed when the vowel “i” is added to form the plural.

Usually words ending in VCV (vowel - consonant - vowel) have the pronunciation changed in the plural. Words ending in CCV (consonant – consonant – vowel) do not have the pronunciation changed but some orthographic adjustments may be necessary in order to keep the sound of the word. Study the chart below:

 

 Singular

 Plural

 Translation

Observation

L'amico

Gli amici

 The friend – the friends

The rule is the same but the pronunciation of the "c" is different.

Il medico I medici The (medical) doctor - the doctors The rule is the same but the pronunciation of the "c" is different
Tedesco

Tedeschi

('Tedesci' would change the pronunciation)

German - Germans The rule is different but the pronunciation of the "c" is the same

Il fungo

I funghi

('fungi' would change the pronunciation)

The mushroom - the mushrooms

The rule is different but the pronunciation of the "g" is the same

Il dialogo

I dialoghi

('dialogi' would change the pronunciation)

The dialogue - the dialogues The rule is different but the pronunciation of the "g" is the same


 

 

Words ending in "cio", "zio" and "gio" are subjected to a different rule. To get the word pluralized you just must drop the last vowel.

 

 Singular

 Plural

 Translation

Observation

Il bacio

I baci (not 'bacioi')

 The kiss – the kisses

The pronunciation of the "c" is the same although the rule is different.

Il carpaccio

I carpacci

(not 'carpaccii')

 The carpaccio (food) - The 'carpaccios'

The pronunciation of the "c" is the same although the rule is different.

Il negozio

I negozi

(not 'i negozioi)

The transaction - the transactions

The pronunciation of the "z" is the same although the rule is different.

Il vantaggio I vantaggi The advantage

The pronunciation of the "g" is the same although the rule is different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some words ending in "è" or "à" don’t suffer any changes when pluralized and some words can be masculine in the singular form and feminine in the plural form.

 

 Singular

 Plural

 Translation

Observation

Il caffè

I caffè

 The coffee –  The coffee

The same word must be used in the singular and in the plural.

La città

Le città

 The city –  The cities

The same word must be used in the singular and in the plural.

La foto

(la fotografia)

Le foto

 The photo –  The photos

The same word must be used in the singular and in the plural.

Il labbro

Le labbra

 The lip –  The lips

The word is masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural.

L'uovo

Le uova

 The egg –  The eggs

The word is masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural.

Il paio

Le paia

 The couple –  The couples

The word is masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural.

Il braccio

Le braccia

 The arm –  The arms

The word is masculine in the singular and feminine in the plural.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See also: