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Reference Guide

Italian Grammar - Reference Guides

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permacharts TM IItalian Grammar 2nd EDITION ARTICLES ALPHABET • Introduce and define • Agree with nouns • The articles may be • The Italian alphabet has 21 letters nouns gender and number definite or indefinite • The letters j, k, w, x, y are usually found in words that have been borrowed from other DEFINITE ARTICLES languages Definite articles are used to Singular Plural A a N enne designate specific persons or Masculine il i things (Il gatto miagola. B bi O o [The cat meows.]) or to lo (l’ before vowels) gli [The] C ci P pi indicate a category (Il cane è unFeminine la (l’ before vowels) le animale domestico. [Dogs are D di Q qu domestic animals.]) E e R erre F effe S esse Il and i are used before masculine nouns Lo and gli are used before masculine beginning with most consonants (il nouns beginning with vowels or G gi T ti tavolo / i tavoli [the table / the tables]beginning with s followed by a H acca U u Lo before nouns beginning with vowels consonant, z, ps (lo stadio / gli stadi, lo becomes l’ (l’albero [the tree]) zaino / gli zaini, lo psicologo / gli psicologi I i V vu [the stadium / stadiums, the knapsack / L elle Z zeta La and le are used before feminine knapsacks, the psychologist / nouns (la gonna / le gonne [the skirt / psychologists]) M emme skirts]) La before nouns beginning with vowels becomes l’ (l’anima [the soul] NUMBERS INDEFINITE ARTICLES Partitives • The indefinite articles (articoli partitivi) CARDINAL designate persons or things Masculine un dei / degli that are not specific or that 0 zero 21 ventuno uno degli 1 uno 30 trenta are used generically Feminine una (un’ before delle (Un uomo ha bussato alla vowels) 2 due 31 trentuno porta. [A man knocked at the 3 tre 40 quaranta door.]) • Un is used before masculine nouns • Una is used before feminine nouns 4 quattro 50 cinquanta beginning with most consonants or and becomes un’ before vowels (una 5 cinque 60 sessanta before vowels (un libro, un uccello matita, un’artista [a pencil, an artist]) 6 sei 70 settanta [a book, a bird]) • The indefinite articles are used only 7 sette 80 ottanta • Uno is used before masculine nouns before singular nouns beginning with: s followed by a • As the plural one can use the partitives 8 otto 90 novanta consonant, z, ps (uno sbaglio, uno dei, degli, delle that are expressed in 9 nove 100 cento zoppo [a mistake, a lame]) English by some or any 10 dieci 101 centouno 11 undici 200 duecento USAGE Articles generally introduce common nouns (la sciarpa / il vento / una ragazza 12 dodici 300 trecento 13 tredici 400 quattrocento [the scarf / the wind / a girl]) 14 quattordici 500 cinquecento Articles are also used with: Articles are generally not used: 15 quindici 600 seicento • Most proper geographic nouns referring to • In direct speech (Buongiorno 16 sedici 700 settecento rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, mountains, dottore./ Come sta signora? countries and continents (il San Lorenzo, il [Good morning doctor. / How 17 diciassette 800 ottocento Mediterraneo, le Alpi, l’Europa) are you madam?]), except 18 diciotto 900 novecento • Courtesy or professional titles (Conosco la formal introductions (Sono la signora Marini. / Sono l’avvocato Rossi. signora Mauro. [I am Mrs. 19 diciannove 1000 mille [I know Mrs. Marini. / I am Rossi, the Mauro.]) 20 venti 2000 duemila lawyer.]) • Names of persons: Paolo, Maria 1,000,000 un milione • Teams in sports or other competitions (la • Names of cities: Roma, Juventus, il Real Madrid, il Manchester United) Montreal, Melbourne • Adjectives or other parts of speech used as • Signs of stores or public offices ORDINAL nouns (Il bello deve ancora arrivare. [The best (bar, farmacia, ufficio postale has yet to come.]) [bar, pharmacy, post office]) 1 primo 7 settimo 2 secondo 8 ottavo • Female names, although not compulsory • Days and months (Sabato vado (La Silvestri non è in ufficio oggi. [Ms. Silvestin palestra. [Next Saturday I 3 terzo 9 nono is not in her office today.]) will go to the gym.]) 4 quarto 10 decimo 5 quinto 11 undicesimo Note: There are many exceptions for article usage; for instance, we may use the articles with the days and the months, but the meaning changes (Il sabato vado in 6 sesto 12 dodicesimo palestra. [On Saturdays I go to the gym.]) 1 ITALIAN GRAMMAR • 1-55080-774-9 w © 2003-2013 Mindsource Technologies Inc. permacharts TM NOUNS ADJECTIVES • A noun is a word that stands for living beings, things, ideas, • Adjectives are words that modify nouns or pronouns feelings, actions and concepts • Italian has three groups of adjectives • It varies in gender and number Adjectives that Masculine singular in -o and plural in -i, • Nouns ending in –o are generally masculine and the –o have four different feminine singular in -a and plural in -e changes to –i in the plural (il libro / i libri [the book / the endings (il libro rosso / i libri rossi [the red book / the red books]) • Nouns ending in –a are generally feminine and the –a books]; la penna rossa / le penne rosse [the red changes to –e in the plural (la matita / le matite [the pencil / pen / the red pens]) Adjectives ending The -e changes to –i in the plural (il ragazzo the pencils]) in –e that are both intelligente / i ragazzi intelligenti [the clever • Nouns ending in –e can either be masculine or feminine masculine and boy / the clever boys]; la ragazza intelligente / and –e changes to –i the plural (la veste / le vesti, il mese / i mesi [the dress / the dresses, the month / the months]) feminine le ragazze intelligenti [the clever girl / the clever girls]) • There are no rules to determine if the nouns ending in –e Adjectives ending The masculine plural ends in –i, the feminine are masculine or feminine and must therefore be memorized in –a that are both plural ends in –e (ragazzo egoista / ragazzi egoisti • Some masculine nouns may end in –a and form the plural in masculine and [selfish boy / selfish boys]; ragazza egoista / –i (il problema / i problemi, il pianeta / i pianeti [the problem / the problems, the planet / the planets]) feminine ragazze egoiste [selfish girl / selfish girls]) • Some nouns are invariable and have one form for both AGREEMENT singular and plural • Some nouns are always masculine (il re, il papà, il gallo [the • Adjectives agree in gender and number with the nouns or pronouns king, the father, the rooster]) they modify • When the same descriptive adjective refers both to a singular • Others are always feminine (la regina, la mamma, la gallina masculine and feminine noun the plural takes the masculine ending [the queen, the mother, the hen]) • Some nouns apply both to males and females and only the (un vestito e una camicia nuovi [a new suit and a new shirt]) article changes (il cantante / la cantante, il pianista / la • When the same descriptive adjective refers both to a plural masculine pianista [the singer, the piano player]) and feminine noun the plural is formed with the masculine ending (dei vestiti e delle camicie nuovi [new suits and new shirts]), but may also be • Generally there are no set rules to determine the gender of formed with the feminine ending (dei vestiti e delle camicie nuove [new a noun, although we do have some indications and some suits and new shirts]) if the feminine noun precedes the adjective indications come also from the endings • Some adjectives referring to colours such as rosa [pink], viola [purple], blu [blue] are invariable USUALLY MASCULINE NOUNS USUALLY FEMININE NOUNS • The names of most trees • Most of the geographic POSITION (il ciliegio, il melo, il pino [the names referring to cities, • Adjectives generally follow nouns; especially when they refer to or cherry tree, the apple tree, states, regions and describe colours, shape, or taste (rosa rossa, piscina ovale, sapore amaro the pine tree]) continents (la Calabria, [red rose, oval swimming pool, bitter taste]), nationality, religion, • Names of months and days la Florida, l’Asia) social status, physical defect, mood (uno studente greco, la chiesa (except la domenica • Many abstract names cattolica, un paese povero, un uomo cieco, una donna allegra [Sunday]) (la confusione, la gelosia [a greek student, the catholic church, a poor country, a blind man, a happy lady]) • Most of the geographic [confusion, jealousy]) • The adjectives quello [that] & questo [this] always precede the noun names referring to rivers, • Names referring to lakes, mountains, seas and sciences (la biologia, la • The adjective bello [beautiful, nice, handsome] usually precedes the oceans (il Tevere, l’Everest, chimica [biology, noun but may also follow the noun (una bella ragazza / una ragazza l’Atlantico [the Tiber River, chemistry]) bella [a beautiful girl]) mount Everest, the Atlantic • Sometimes the same adjective may have a different meaning if placed • Most names of fruits before or after a noun (una donna povera [a poor lady] / una povera Ocean]) (la mela, la pera, la pesca donna [a pitiful lady]) • Nouns that refer to [the apple, the pear, the languages (lo spagnolo, il peach]) francese [Spanish, French]) DEMONSTRATIVE ADJECTIVES • Indicate a person, Singular Plural USUALLY FEMININE ENDINGS place or thing, in time and space, in Masculine questo [This] questi [These] • Nouns ending in –ione (la televisione, la prigione [the relation to Feminine questa [This] queste [These] television, the prison]) the • Nouns ending in –i (la crisi, l’oasi [the crisis, the oasis]) speaker • Nouns ending in –tà, -tù (la verità, la tribù [the truth, the • They always precede the noun and agree with it in number and gender tribe]) • The demonstrative questo [this] has four forms USUALLY MASCULINE ENDINGS • The demonstrative adjective quello follows the pattern of the definite article • Nouns that end with a consonant (il film, il bar [the film, the bar]) Singular Plural Masculine quel (il) [That] quei (i) [Those] SINGULAR AND PLURAL FORM NOUNS quello (lo) [That] quegli (gli) [Those] • Nouns ending in –i (il brindisi / i brindisi [the toast / the toasts]) Feminine quella (la) [That] quelle (le) [Those] • Nouns ending in a consonant (lo sport / gli sport [the sport / il libro – quel libro lo stadio – quello stadio the sports]) • Abbreviated nouns (l’auto / le auto [the car / the cars]) gli stranieri – quegli stranieri la casa – quella casa • Nouns ending in an accented vowel (la città / le città [the Note: Quello and quella usually become quell’ before a noun starting city / the cities]) with a vowel (quell’uomo [that man]); treat quello and quella in the • Monosyllabic nouns (il re / i re [the king / the kings]) same way (quell’uomo, quest’ora) 2 ITALIAN GRAMMAR • 1-55080-774-9 w w w .
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