Articles – il, la, i, le, un, una, del, della, dei, delle

Italian articles
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Gli articoli

One of the eight Italian parts of speech, an article is a word that modifies a noun in a particular way, by stating whether the noun is specific, unspecific, or partial. There are three types of Italian articles and they all agree in gender and number with the nouns they modify.

1) Definite / Definito

The definite article indicates that the speaker is referring to either a specific noun or to a class of nouns in a general sense. The English definite article, the, has seven equivalent forms in Italian, depending on the gender and number of the noun as well as what letter it begins with.

  Singular   Plural
Masculine il il libro the book   i i libri the books
Complex sound lo lo zaino the backpack   gli gli zaini the backpacks
Masc w/ vowel l’ l’occhio the eye   gli gli occhi the eyes
Feminine la la sedia the chair   le le sedie the chairs
Fem w/ vowel l’ l’uscita the exit   le le uscite the exits

Learn more about definite articles

2) Indefinite / Indefinito

The indefinite article indicates that the speaker is referring to either an unspecific noun or to one/some of something. The English indefinite article has two forms, a and an, while the Italian again has seven, depending on the gender, number, and first letter of the noun.

  The English equivalent of the plural indefinite is some, which is considered an adjective rather than an article.

  Singular     Plural
Masculine un un libro a book   dei dei libri some books
Complex sound uno uno zaino a backpack degli degli zaini some backpacks
Masc w/ vowel un un occhio an eye degli degli occhi some eyes
Feminine una una sedia a chair delle des tables some tables
Fem w/ vowel un’ un’uscita an exit delle delle uscite some exits

Learn more about indefinite articles

3) Partitive / Partitivo

The partitive article indicates that the speaker is referring to only a portion or some of an uncountable noun, often food or drink. There are once again seven forms in Italian, depending on the gender and number of the noun as well as what letter it begins with.

  Singular     Plural
Masculine del del burro some butter   dei dei compiti some homework
Complex sound dello dello yogurt some yogurt degli degli spinaci some spinach
Masc w/ vowel dell’ dell’aglio some garlic degli delgi affari some business
Feminine della della torta some pie delle delle notizie some news
Fem w/ vowel dell’ dell’acqua some water delle delle informazioni some information

Learn more about partitive articles

 Related lessons

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Introduction to Italian articles

Virtual Italian Teacher at Lawless Languages | Website | + posts

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