Regular Feminine and Plural Nouns

Italian nouns
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Sostantivi femminili e plurali

Like English nouns, most Italian nouns have singular and plural forms. In addition, Italian nouns referring to people and animals often have different masculine and feminine forms, which means that these nouns can have up to four forms:

masculine singular masculine plural
feminine singular feminine plural

Feminine and/or plural endings replace the default masculine singular form. For most masculine nouns that end in –o, the ending changes to -a for feminine, –i for masculine plural, and –e for feminine plural.

Per esempio…

grandfather(s)   il nonno   i nonni
grandmother(s)   la nonna   le nonne

Nouns referring to professions or titles end in –o, –a, or –e in the masculine, and these usually change to –essa in the feminine. The plurals are –i and –esse, respectively.

Per esempio…

il dotorre (doctor)

il dottore   i dottori
la dottoressa   le dottoresse

Exceptions

  • (teacher) il maestro, la maestra, i maestri, le maestre
  • (waiter, waitress) il cameriere, la cameriera, i camerieri, le cameriere

Some nouns that end in –tore change to –trice in the feminine. The final –e changes to –i for both plurals.

Per esempio…

lo scrittore (writer)

lo scrittore   gli scrittori
la scrittrice   le scrittrici

Nouns that end in –ga or –ista can be masculine or feminine. The plurals end in –i and –e, respectively.

Per esempio…

un autista (driver)

un autista   degli autisti
un’autista   delle autiste

A few nouns have completely different masculine and feminine equivalents.

Per esempio…

un uomo
man
  una donna
woman
un toro
bull
  una mucca
cow

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Italian nouns - Sostantivi

Laura K Lawless
Virtual Italian Teacher at Lawless Languages | Website

Ciao! I’m Laura K Lawless, creator, writer, editor, and CLO (Chief Lawless Officer) of this free online Italian learning site.

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