Plural of nouns

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How to form the plural of nouns in Italian? Let’s learn the rules!

Plural of nouns in Italian

In Italian there are three noun classes: O nouns, mostly masculine, like il libro, A nouns, mostly feminine, like la casa and E nouns, both masculine and feminine, like il padre and la madre. The plural is obtained by changing the ending of the singular form. The plural endings are only two: -i and -e. Look at the table:

SINGULARPLURAL
O > Iil libroi libri
A > Ela casale case
E > Iil padre
la madre
i padri
le madri

Actually, the rule is very simple. Let’s look at some examples of plural building!

Plural of nouns: O > I

Nouns ending with O are mostly masculine. The plural is formed by transforming the O into an I.

il biscottoi biscottibiscuit
il paninoi paninisandwich
il piattoi piattidish
l’amico gli amici(male) friend
il gattoi gatticat
l’alberogli alberitree
il monumentoi monumentimonument
il succoi succhijuice
il vinoi viniwine

We’ve learnt here that in Italian there are some exceptions, like il problema. These are masculine words ending with A.
The plural of these nouns end with I:

il problemai problemiproblem
il turista i turistitourist
il papai papipope

Plural of nouns: A > E

Nouns ending with A are mostly feminine. The plural is formed by transforming the A into a E.

la tazzale tazzecup, mug
la spremutale spremutefresh-squeezed juice
la bottigliale bottigliebottle
la birrale birrebeer
l’amicale amiche(female) friend
la stellale stellestar
la serale sereevening
la rivistale rivistemagazine

Plural of nouns: E > I

Nouns ending with E can be both feminine or masculine. Regardless of gender, the plural is formed by transforming the E into an I.

il bicchierei bicchieriglass
il ristorantei ristorantirestaurant
il fiorei fioriflower
il giornalei giornalinewspaper
la lucele lucilight
la volpele volpifox
la navele naviship

Unchangeable nouns

In some cases, nouns remain unchanged. Nouns remain unchanged, if they…

end with a consonantil bar i barcafé, coffee shop
il filmi filmmovie
end with a stressed vowelil papài papàdad
la città le cittàcity
are abbreviationsla foto (la fotografia)le foto (le fotografie)photo
l’auto (l’automobile) le auto (le automobili)car

Esercizio

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