ITALIAN LESSONS – ARTICLES

Definite and Indefinite articles – Articuli indeterminativo ed determinativo

Articles are words that precede the substantive (a noun).

Definite article: used to indicate that a thing is unique in some way.

 

Indefinite article: used to indicate that a thing is not identified as unique.

In Italian the article must agree in gender and number with the noun, which means that the definite article la, for example, should precede a singular and feminine. Study the chart below:

 

 Articles  Definite – THE  Indefinite – A / AN
Singular Plural Singular (there is not a formal plural)
 Masculine

(maschile)

IL / L’ / LO I / GLI UN  /  UNO
 Feminine

(femminile)

 LA / L’ LE UNA  /  UN’

 

* Note

 

L – before a vowel

Lo- before words starting with: s + another consonant (ie:   st; sb) or z

Gli– before a vowel or words starting with: s + another consonant (ie: st; sb) or z

 

 

Un’ – before a vowel (only to feminine words)

Uno  – before words starting with: s + another consonant   (ie:   st; sb) or z

Una  – before a consonante

 

 

Examples

 

Study the examples below:

 

Definite article – masculine
  • Il libro – The book
  • L’amico – The friend (the male friend)
  • Lo spettacolo – The spectacle
  • Lo zio – The uncle
  • I libri – The books
  • Gli amici – The friends
  • Gli spettacoli – The spectacles
  • Gli zoccoli – The claws
Indefinite article – masculine
  • Un libro – A book
  • Un premio – a prize
  • Un amico – A friend
  • Uno spettacolo – A spectacle
  • Uno zoccolo – A claw

 

Definite article – feminine
  • La macchina – The car
  • L’amica – The friend (the female friend)
  • Le macchine – The cars
  • Le amiche

 

Indefinite article – feminine
  • Una macchina – A car
  • Un´amica – a friend (a female friend)
Learn Italian – See also: