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1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-1 All nouns in Italian are characterized by their gender (masculine or feminine) and number (singular or plural). Adjectives agree in number and gender with the nouns they modify. Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-2 Gender Most Italian nouns end in a vowel. Nouns ending in –o are usually masculine and nouns ending in –a are usually feminine. Nouns ending in –e can be either masculine or feminine. While there is no sure way to determine the gender of a noun just by looking at the ending, there are a few general tendencies. Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-3 To make the feminine form of some nouns, replace the masculine ending with the feminine ending. change in ending masculine feminine o aragazzo ragazza e essastudente studentessa e asignore signora ore riceattore attrice a essapoeta poetessa Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-4 Some nouns denoting traditionally male professions or activities are used in the masculine form to refer to women, for example, lingegnere (engineer), larchitetto (architect), and il chirurgo (surgeon). The accompanying articles and adjectives should also be used in the masculine form. On the other hand, la guida (guide) and la spia (spy) are always feminine in gender, even when referring to a man. Mia zia Rita è un architetto noto. My aunt Rita is a well-known architect. James Bond è una spia famosa. James Bond is a famous spy. Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-5 Gender and number ATTENZIONE! Ogni (each, every) and qualche (some) may only be used with singular nouns. ogni giorno every day qualche volta sometimes
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-6 Gender and number Some nouns have the same ending for masculine and feminine forms; the gender can be determined by the context or the article. For example, il/la pianista (pianist) and lo/la psichiatra (psychiatrist) end in –a, but can be either masculine or feminine. Lartista (m.) si chiama Leonardo. The artists name is Leonardo. Lartista ( f.) si chiama Artemisia Gentileschi. The artists name is Artemisia Gentileschi.
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-7 Gender and number Adjectives, like nouns, have masculine and feminine forms and tend to follow the same rules as nouns. Most masculine adjectives end in –o, and most feminine adjectives end in –a. Adjectives ending in –e can modify either masculine or feminine nouns. Marcello è molto sensibile. Marcello is very sensitive. La mia gatta non è affettuosa. My cat isnt affectionate.
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-8 Gender and number Not all adjectives follow the rules of –o, –a, or –e endings. Some common adjectives end in –ista (ottimista, pessimista, and idealista, for example) and describe both masculine and feminine nouns. Other adjectives such as viola (violet), rosa (pink), blu, ogni, and qualche are invariable and have only one form. un bambino ottimista an optimistic boy la camicia blu the blue shirt
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-9 Plurals All nouns are either singular or plural; adjectives that modify them must agree with them in gender and number. Singular nouns and adjectives ending in –o or –e typically become –i in the plural. Singular nouns and adjectives ending in –a typically become –e in the plural. fratello scarpa fratelli scarpe ristorante intelligente ristoranti intelligenti Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-10 As you know, some singular nouns and adjectives ending in –a can be masculine or feminine. Form their plural by replacing the –a with –i for the masculine form and with –e for the feminine form. il pianista ottimista la pianista ottimista i pianisti ottimisti le pianiste ottimiste Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-11 Some nouns and adjectives form plurals according to other patterns for purposes of pronunciation or gender distinctions. singular plural example common exceptions retain hard sound of consonant by adding an –h in the plural stress on syllable before –co: –co –chi parco parchi amico/greco/ nemico/porco amici/greci/ nemici/porci –ca –chebanca banche –go –ghialbergo alberghi –ga –ghelunga lunghe Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-12 singular plural example common exceptions change sound of consonant stress on second syllable before –co: –co –ci dinmico dinmici crico crichi –logo –logibilogo bilogimonlogo monloghi –fago –fagisarcfago sarcfagi Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-13 singular pluralexample common exceptions unstressed –i –io –inegzio negzi orcchio orcchie –cia –cefccia fcce camcia camcie –gia –gespiggia spiggegrgia grgie Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-14 singular pluralexample common exceptions stressed –i –o –izo zi –ca –cefarmaca farmace –ga –ge buga buge Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-15 Gender and number ATTENZIONE! Masculine words ending in –ma or –ta that are Greek in origin form their plurals by changing –a to –i. Some examples are il programma/i programmi and il poeta/i poeti. Feminine words ending in –i that are Greek in origin do not change in the plural. Some examples are la crisi/le crisi and la tesi/le tesi.
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-16 You must memorize the irregular plural forms of certain nouns. Some examples are la moglie le mogli, luomo gli uomini, il dio gli dei, il tempio i templi, lala le ali, la mano le mani. Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-17 Some nouns are invariable: they do not change from the singular to the plural. Articles and adjectives can help you determine whether these nouns are singular or plural. Invariable words include some words of foreign origin (such as bar, film, and sport), words that end in an accented vowel or have only one syllable (such as re, sci, virtù, or città), and words that are shortened forms of longer words (such as cinema, foto, and radio). Gender and number
1.3 © and ® 2011 Vista Higher Learning, Inc. 1.3-18 Gender and number ATTENZIONE! A number of masculine nouns that end in –o have a feminine plural form ending in –a. Many, but not all of them, refer to parts of the body. il labbro (lip) le labbra il braccio (arm) le braccia il ginocchio (knee) le ginocchia il ciglio (eyelash) le ciglia luovo (egg) le uova
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