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ITALIAN LESSONS - ARTICLES / ARTICULI

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)

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