The definite article in Italian

In Italian – just like in other languages – there is a definite article. This exists in the singular as well as in the plural and also differs in masculine and feminine nouns.

But be aware, that the endings of the nouns can also change in the Italian language depending on the article.

The definite article with masculine nouns

In the singular, there are three different definite articles, which always have a corresponding plural form:

il – i

When a noun begins with a consonant, you use the article il in the singular and i in the plural.

  • il cane – i cani (the dog – the dogs)
  • il fratello – i fratelli (the brother – the brothers)

lo – gli

If the noun starts with s + consonant or with z, you need the article lo in the singular and gli in the plural.

  • lo specchio – gli specchi (the mirror – the mirrors)
  • lo zio – gli zii (the uncle – the uncles)

In addition, you usually use these articles if your word begins with ps, pn, y, x or gn.

  • lo psicologo – gli psicologi (the psychologist – the psychologists)

l‘ – gli

If there is a vowel at the beginning of the noun, you must choose the article l’ in the singular and gli in the plural.

  • l’amico – gli amici (the friend – the friends)
  • l’ufficio – l’uffici (the office – the offices)

The definite article with feminine nouns

Similar to masculine nouns, it also works before feminine nouns, whereby a distinction is made between two articles in the singular and in the plural.

la – le

If a noun begins with a consonant, you need the article la in the singular and le in the plural.

  • la casa – le case (the house – the houses)
  • la sorella – le sorelle (the sister – the sisters)

l‘ – le

Just as with the masculine article, you use the article l’ in the singular for a word that begins with a vowel. In the plural, you need the feminine article le.

  • l’amica – le amiche (the friend – the friends)
  • l’idea – le idee (the idea – the ideas)

How to learn the definite articles in Italian

The advantage of the definite article in Italian is that there are clear rules. This helps you to follow a certain structure. Nevertheless, it is important that you learn the words from the beginning with the corresponding article.

Of course, our app Sabelovu supports you in this and always shows you each noun with the appropriate article, so that you can learn them easily.

Do you have questions about the definite article in Italian?

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