Complete guide to Italian Word Gender


This post shows you an important topic in Italian grammar: Complete guide to Italian Word Gender.

Whatever your reasons for studying Italian, there are Italian grammatical issues that have been highlighted to you by your teacher, tutor, and Italian friends, or all those Italian lessons never stick.

For example, most English speakers find it difficult to remember the word gender. After all, they aren’t used to seek for it all the time. Italian has gender use, so be sure you know and understand the rules. When word genders are mistaken, sentences can become confusing.

Let’s learn all the rules about the Italian word gender to avoid common mistakes when learning Italian.

It is critical to understand the gender of words in order to avoid mistakes and choose the right form of adjectives and articles, which have masculine and feminine forms because words, adjectives and articles must agree in a phrase.

What is gender?

Gender refers to whether a noun has masculine or feminine characteristics.

In Italian, every single word (person, place or thing) has a gender.

It is straightforward for words that refer to people; for other words, you have an indication; but for others, it is just a trick.

In fact, there is not a particular reason why a word is masculine or feminine.

It is not hard to know the gender of a word in Italian because most nouns end with a vowel: so…

Complete guide to Italian Word Gender

MASCULINE

ending in –O

Libro

Albero

Gatto

Ragazzo

Tavolo

Telefono

FEMININE

ending in –A

Casa

Finestra

Penna

Ragazza

Scarpa

Birra

MASCULINE (M) and FEMININE (F)

ending in – E

Cane (M ending in -E)

Fiore (M ending in -E)

Nave (F ending in -E)

Chiave (F ending in -E)

Giornale (M ending in -E)

Pallone (M ending in -E)

 

Italian Word Gender Clues (general rules)

A word that ends in A (in the singular) is usually feminine.

Complete guide to Italian Word Gender

A word that ends in O (in the singular) is usually masculine.

Complete guide to Italian Word Gender

A word that ends in E (in the singular) can be both masculine and feminine, requiring memorization.

To be sure about the gender of a word of this type, consult a dictionary.

Complete guide to Italian Word Gender

PRACTICE MAKE PROGRESS

Take this quiz to practice masculine and feminine Italian REGULAR Nouns


Are you ready for some exceptions? As is frequently the case, there are exceptions to the gender of words that must be noted in order to prevent making mistakes when learning Italian.



IRREGULAR NOUNS

Some feminine nouns end in -o

Examples:

  • la Radio
  • la Mano
  • la Moto
  • l’Auto
  • la Metro

Some masculine singular nouns end in -a (they are of Greek origin and correspond to English nouns ending in -em and -am)

Examples:

  • il Problema
  • il Programma
  • il Sistema
  • il Poeta
  • il teorema
  • il diagramma

Some feminine nouns end in -i

  • la crisi
  • la tesi
  • l’analisi
  • l’ipotesi

Borrowed Nouns

Some nouns have been borrowed from other languages, primarily English.

They are all treated as masculine nouns.

Examples:

  • lo sport
  • il tram
  • il computer
  • il tennis
  • l’autobus
PRACTICE MAKE PROGRESS

Take this quiz to practice masculine and feminine Italian IRREGULAR Nouns


10 common words having a different meaning if masculine or feminine!

 

🔸 Il tavolo o la tavola?

Il tavolo è un mobile che usiamo in cucina.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It is a piece of furniture that we use in the kitchen.

La tavola è il tavolo apparecchiato per un pasto oppure un asse di legno di forma rettangolare.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is the table set for a meal or a rectangular wooden plank.


🔸 Il pianto o la pianta?

Il pianto è un lamento espresso con lacrime.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It’s a sob expressed through tears.

La pianta è un organismo vegetale.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It’s a vegetable organism.


🔸 Il banco o la banca?

La banca è il luogo dove abbiamo il conto corrente.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 is the place where we have the checking account.

Il banco è un mobile, che si trova in un’aula scolastica.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 is a piece of furniture, located in a classroom.


🔸 Il foglio o la foglia?

Il foglio è un pezzo di carta.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it’s a piece of paper.

La foglia è la parte verde di una pianta.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is the green part of a plant.


🔸 Il porto o la porta?

la porta si apre per entrare o uscire da una stanza.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It opens to enter or exit a room.

il porto  è il posto dove arrivano e partono le navi.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is the place where the ships arrive


🔸 Il mento o la menta?

Il mento è una parte del corpo che si trova sotto la bocca.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is a part of the body that is located under the mouth.

La menta è un’erba aromatica.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is an aromatic herb.


🔸 Il mostro o la mostra?

Il mostro è creatura fantastica di aspetto orribile.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 he is a fantastic creature with a horrible appearance.

La mostra è un’ esposizione di opere artistiche.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It is an exhibition of artistic works.


🔸 Il suolo o la suola?

La suola è la parte della scarpa che poggia per terra.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is the part of the shoe that rests on the floor.

Il suolo è un terreno.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 it is a ground.


🔸 Il politico o la politica?

Il politico è un uomo che si occupa di politica per lavoro.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 he’s a man who deals with politics for work

La politica è l’amministrazione dello Stato.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It’s the state administration.


🔸 Il costo o la costa?

La costa è quella parte di un territorio che si trova vicina al mare.

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It is that part of a territory that is close to the sea.

Il costo è la somma di denaro che bisogna spendere per comprare qualcosa.

I🇺🇸 🇬🇧 It’s the amount of money you have to spend to buy something.


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