How to avoid Mistakes using Italian articles IL and LO

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Do you confuse it with the Italian determinative articles? Do you sometimes hesitate between the articles IL and LO?

This post will highlight some of the most common areas of error in articles and suggest some ways to improve your grammar.

How to avoid Mistakes using Italian articles IL and LO

IL or LO?

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Read this page to learn more.

The definite article (il, lo, l’, la, i, gli, le) changes based on the gender and number of the noun, as well as the first letter of the following word.

As “IL” is used for singular masculine nouns, “LO” is also used for singular masculine nouns. What is the difference?

In Italian, the article IL is used with singular masculine nouns starting with a consonant.

  • il quaderno
  • il libro
  • il signore
  • il pane

However, when the noun begins with the consonant s followed by another consonant or begins with a z an x, y or with the group of letters gn, ps, i+vowel then we must use the article LO.

How to avoid Mistakes using Italian articles IL and LO

It seems very complicated and difficult to learn and remember.

The truth is that the Italian masculine frequent words starting with z, x, gn, ps, y, and i+vowel are few.

It is therefore important to remember the words that begin with st, sc, sp, etc. which are the most frequent and common ones.

  • lo studente
  • lo scemo
  • lo smog
  • lo sposo
  • lo svago
  • lo scoiattolo

Here are examples of some nouns starting with the consonants z, x, y, or and the group of letters gn, ps and i+vowel.

  • lo zio
  • lo psicologo
  • lo gnomo
  • lo yogurt
  • lo xilofono
  • lo iodio

Remember that L’ replaces LO before Italian singular masculine nouns beginning with a vowel:

  • l’elefante
  • l’uomo
  • l‘imbuto
  • l’attore

The definite article is used more frequently in Italian than in English. Since in English, the definite article may be omitted, it is helpful to repeat these nouns and their articles in Italian as one inseparable unit.

What’s next?

You might want to keep learning Italian online with these free resources:

How to use Articles with Geographic Words in Italian

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