The Italian definite article (il, lo, la, i, gli, le) indicates either a particular noun or, contrarily, the general sense of a noun.
The aptly named indefinite article (un, uno, una, dei, degli, delle) indicates an unspecific or unidentified noun.
One of the eight parts of speech, a noun is commonly defined as "a person, place, or thing." If that seems vague, that’s because it is.
The partitive article (del, dello, della, dei, degli, delle) refers to an unspecified quantity of food, liquid, or some other uncountable noun. English has no equivalent article – the partitive is usually translated by the adjectives “some” or “any,” or may be left out entirely.
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.