Making nouns plural - Easy Learning Grammar Italian
- There are two main ways of making nouns plural in Italian. In most cases you change the ending, but in a few cases the same form as the singular is used. There are also some plurals which are irregular.
1 Nouns which you make plural by changing the ending
- In English you usually make nouns plural by adding –s. In Italian you usually do
it by changing the ending from one vowel to another:
- Change the –o, –a or –e ending of masculine nouns to –i. Nearly all masculine plurals end in –i.
|–o||un anno||one year|
|due anni||two years|
|un ragazzo||one boy|
|due ragazzi||two boys|
|–a||un ciclista||a (male) cyclist|
|due ciclisti||two cyclists|
|un problema||a problem|
|molti problemi||lots of problems|
|–e||un mese||one month|
|due mesi||two months|
|un francese||a Frenchman|
|due francesi||two Frenchmen|
- Change the –a ending of feminine nouns to –e.
|una settimana||one week|
|due settimane||two weeks|
|una ragazza||one girl|
|due ragazze||two girls|
- Change the –e ending of feminine nouns to –i.
|due inglesi||two Englishwomen|
|la vite||the vine|
|le viti||the vines|
2 Nouns you do not change in the plural
- You do not change feminine nouns ending in –à. You show that they are
plural by using the plural word for the, adjectives in the plural, and so on.
|la città||the city|
|le città||the cities|
|grandi città||great cities|
|la loro università||their university|
|le loro università||their universities|
- You do not change words ending in a consonant, which are often words borrowed from English and other languages.
|il film||the film|
|i film||the films|
|il manager||the manager|
|i manager||the managers|
|il computer||the computer|
|i computer||the computers|
|la Jeep®||the Jeep®|
|le Jeep®||the Jeeps®|
3 Nouns with irregular plurals
- A small number of common masculine nouns take the ending –a in the plural.
|il dito||the finger|
|le ditathe fingers|
|un uovo||an egg|
|le uovathe eggs|
|il lenzuolo||the sheet|
|le lenzuola||the sheets|
- All nouns ending in –ca and –ga add an h before the plural ending.
|amica||(female) friend||amiche||(female) friends|
- Some nouns ending in –co and –go also add an h before the plural ending.
and psicologo (meaning psychologist) are amici and psicologi.
- For more information on Italian spelling rules, see Spelling.
Note that you use the singular of some of these words to refer to a piece of something.
4 Plural or singular?
- Bear in mind that some words are plural in Italian but singular in English.
|i miei capelli||my hair|
|le notizie||the news|
|i mobili||the furniture|
|un mobile||a piece of furniture|
|un consiglio||a piece of advice|
|una notizia||a piece of news|
TipAn important word that is singular in Italian but plural in English is la gente (meaning people). Remember to use a singular verb with la gente.
|È gente molto simpatica.||They’re very nice people.|
Grammar Extra!When nouns are made by combining two words, such as pescespada (meaning swordfish), or capolavoro (meaning masterpiece), the plural is often not formed according to the usual rules. You can check by looking in a dictionary.
- You can make most Italian nouns plural by changing their ending from one vowel to another.
- Some nouns are the same in the plural as in the singular.
- Some nouns which are singular in English are plural in Italian.