Singular and Plural Nouns in Italian

Singular and Plural Nouns in Italian

ItalianItalian A1

Welcome to our Italian grammar course for beginners! Today we're going to talk about singular and plural nouns.

Singular Nouns

Italian nouns can be singular or plural, like in English. Singular nouns refer to a single person, object, or concept. They are used when talking about one specific item. Here are some examples of singular nouns:
Il libro (the book, masculine)
La casa (the house, feminine)
Il ragazzo (the boy, masculine)
La penna (the pen, feminine)

Plural Nouns

Plural nouns, on the other hand, refer to more than one person, object, or concept. They are used when talking about multiple items of the same kind. You can follow these rules to form the plural of most Italian nouns.

Masculine Nouns Ending in -o

Replace the final -o with -i in the plural.
Il libro (the book) - I libri (the books)
Il ragazzo (the boy) - I ragazzi (the boys)

Masculine Nouns Ending in -e

Replace the final -o with -i in the plural.
Il ristorante (the restaurant) - I ristoranti (the restaurants)
Il cane (the dog) - I cani (the dogs)

Feminine Nouns Ending in -a

Replace the final -a with -e in the plural.
La penna (the pen) - Le penne (the pens)
La casa (the house) - Le case (the houses)

Feminine Nouns Ending in -e

Replace the final -e with -i in the plural.
La stazione (the station) - Le stazioni (the stations)
La chiave (the key) - Le chiavi (the keys)
Read more about genders in Italian here.

Irregular Plural Nouns

Like many languages, Italian has several irregular plural forms that do not follow the general rules. It is better to remember them by heart:
L'uomo (the man) - Gli uomini (the men)
Il pianeta (the planet) - I pianeti (the planets)
La mano (the hand) - Le mani (the hands)
Il dito (the finger) - Le dita (the fingers)
Il braccio (the arm) - Le braccia (the arms)
L'auto (the car) - Le auto (the cars)
La foto (the photo) - Le foto (the photos)
L'ala (the wing) - Le ali (the wings)
Il film (the movie) - I film (the movies)

Articles with Plural Nouns

When we use plural nouns, the definite and indefinite articles also change based on gender and number:

Definite Articles for Plural Nouns
Masculine: I ragazzi (the boys)
Feminine: Le ragazze (the girls)

Indefinite Articles for Plural Nouns
Masculine: Dei ragazzi (some boys)
Feminine: Delle ragazze (some girls)
Read more about articles in Italian here.

Counting Nouns
To count objects or people in Italian, you can use the following numbers
uno (one)
due (two)
tre (three)
quattro (four)
cinque (five)
sei (six)
sette (seven)
otto (eight)
nove (nine)
dieci (ten)

For example:
Due libri (two books)
Cinque ragazze (five girls)
Dieci cani (ten dogs)
Keep in mind that for numbers higher than ten, you typically use the singular form of the noun (e.g., venti libri - twenty books).

Summary

In this lesson you learned the features of singular and plural nouns in Italian.
Pay attention to the new words you came across in the lesson:
Uno (one)
Due (two)
Tre (three)
Quattro (four)
Cinque (five)
Sei (six)
Sette (seven)
Otto (eight)
Nove (nine)
Dieci (ten)
Stazione (station)
Chiave (key)
Pianeta (planet)
Dito (finger)
Braccio (arm)
Ala (wing)
Auto (car)
Film (movie)

We are waiting for you in the next lesson, where we will talk about the italian adjectives. Good luck!