Italian Grammar 103 – Articles

Italian definite and indefinite articles

The definite article “the” in Italian has 6 different forms:

masculine: il (sing), i (plur)
masculine*: lo/l’ (sing), gli (plur)
feminine: la/l’ (sing), le (plur)

* the second form of masculine is used for words that start with s+consonant, z-, ps- y-, gn- and pn- or vowel (in this case lo becomes l’).

For example:

il libro (the book) – i libri (the books)
lo studente (the student) – gli studenti (the students)
la borsa (the bag) – le borse (the bags)

If the word following the article begins with a vowel, la/lo become l’:

l’aereo – the airplane, l’ora – the hour

The forms for the indefinite articles “a/an” are simpler but they follow the same structure:

masculine: un
masculine*: uno
feminine: una/un’

* use this for the same group of masculine words as mentioned for the definite articles

For example:

un treno – a train
uno studente – a studente
una lettera – a letter

The version of the indefinite article with the apostrophe is only used for feminine words starting with a vowel:

un’amica – a friend

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