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Italian Definite Articles

Remember that in Italian, every noun is either masculine or feminine so the definite article, "the" in English, is either masculine singular, masculine plural, feminine singular or feminine plural.

a. Masculine

Il : for masculine singular nouns which start with a consonant.

Il libro / the book
Il vino / the wine
Il tavolo / the table

L' : for masculine singular nouns which start with a vowel.

L' orologio / the watch
L'aereo / the plane
L'albero / the tree

Lo : for masculine singular nouns which start with:

s + consonant

lo studente, lo spagnolo, lo scontrino / the student, the Spanish guy, the receipt

z

lo zaino, lo zio / the backpack, the uncle

y

lo yogurt, lo yen / the yoghurt, the yen

ps

lo psicologo / the psychologist

pn

lo pneumatico / the tyre

gn

lo gnomo / the gnome

I : for masculine plural nouns which start with a consonant.

I libri / the books
I vini / the wines
I tavoli / the tables

Gli : for masculine plural nouns which start with a vowel, s + consonant, z, y, ps, pn, x or gn.

Gli orologi / the watches
Gli aerei / the planes
Gli alberi / the trees
Gli studenti / the students
Gli zaini / the backpacks
Gli yogurt / the yoghurts
Gli psicologi / the psychologists
Gli pneumatici / the tyres
Gli gnomi / the gnomes

b. Feminine

La : for feminine singular nouns which start with a consonant.

La penna / the pen
La camicia / the shirt
La sedia / the chair

L' : for feminine singular singular nouns which start with a vowel.

L' ape / the bee
L'insalata / the salad
L'ora / the hour

Le : for feminine plural nouns which start with a vowel or a consonant.

Le penne / the pens
Le camicie / the shirts
Le sedie / the chairs
Le api / the bees
Le insalate / the salads
Le ore / the hours

 

See also:

Italian Indefinite Articles Italian Grammar

Definite and Indefinite Articles Italian Exercises

Italian Trailer - Exercise: Lo Hobbit Exercise to test your knowledge of Italian definite and indefinite articles.

Italian Trailer - Exercise: Diverso da chi? Gap-fill exercises to practise Italian definite and indefinite articles.

 

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