One of the most important Italian grammar lessons for foreigners is that about gender. In Italian language there are only two genders: masculine and feminine. Differently from other languages, Italian hasn’t neutral gender and this represents an advantage for those who are studying Italian.
Grammar rules about Italian genders
Let’s discover together how Italian genders work and how we can establish if a word is masculine or feminine. The general rule we have to remember is that words ending in o are masculine, instead words ending in a are feminine. For example casa (house) is feminine, instead sogno (dream) is masculine.
This is the general rule, but Italian has also a lot of irregular nouns. Students have to remember that some words ending in o are feminine and some words ending in a are masculine. The word poema (poem) for example is masculine, instead the word mano (hand) is feminine. Students who want to learn Italian and that wish to avoid mistakes need to understand how to memorize Italian words, focusing above all on irregulars words.
As for words ending in e, they can be masculine or feminine. To understand if a noun ending in e is masculine or feminine, students can look it up in a dictionary, or can read the article or other elements of the sentence that can help establish gender. For example the hero in Italian can be translated with l’eroe, so it is a masculine noun, instead the faith can be translated with la fede and so it is a feminine noun.
How to make the plural of Italian words
We have talked about singular words, but most of Italian nouns can be both singular and plural. Words ending in obecome plural changing o with i, nouns ending in a become plural changing a with e, instead words ending in e become plural changing e with i.
Let’s see some examples to understand these rules. The word casa (house) is singular, instead the word case (houses) is plural. The noun sogno (dream) is singular, instead the noun sogni (dreams) is plural. The word eroe (hero) is singular, instead the word eroi (heroes) is plural.
Where to learn Italian: Clidante school
Clidante is an Italian school in Rome and it has a lot of Italian courses. Students can choose a course according to their language skills and can opt for a group course or individual classes. Those who prefer to study online can choose Italian grammar lessons for foreigners. This is the official enrollment form to become a student of Clidante.