Fractions

Italian fractions
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Frazioni

In both Italian and English, there’s a lot of overlap between fractions and ordinals: the vast majority of these two types of numbers share the same word. In English, they are identical from "third" on up, and in Italian they’re the same starting with terzo.

Italian fractions

whole 1/1   un intero
half 1/2   un mezzo
a third 1/3   un terzo
a fourth 1/4   un quarto
a fifth 1/5   un quinto
a sixth 1/6   un sesto
a seventh 1/7   un settimo
an eighth 1/8   un ottavo
a ninth 1/9   un nono
a tenth 1/10   un decimo

 Note that while fractions can be singular or plural, they are always masculine.

Per esempio…

il mezzo dei ravioli   half of the ravioli
due terzi della torta   two thirds of the pie

Creating fractions

Other than mezzo, all Italian fractions are the same as the corresponding ordinal numbers. See the list of 3rd through 10th above – you just need to memorize that list.

Starting with 11th, Italian fractions are based on their corresponding cardinal number: drop the final vowel and add the suffix –esimo.

cardinal drop vowel   add –esimo  
undici undic-   un undicesimo 1/11
ventidue ventidu-   un ventiduesimo 1/22
cento cent-   un centesimo 1/100

 Remember

Beginning with "third," Italian fractions are identical to ordinal numbers, other than the type of article:

  fraction ordinal
third un terzo il terzo
fiftieth un cinquantesimo il cinquantesimo

 Italian fractions and ordinal numbers are abbreviated differently. The fraction un quinto can only be abbreviated 1/5, whereas the ordinal quinto is shortened to .

 Related lessons

Learn Spanish En español

Learn French En français

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Fractions - Italian numbers

Virtual Italian Teacher at Lawless Languages | Website | + posts

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