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Tuesday, 26 October 2010

To be (Essere)

"To Be" in italian has six forms, 1st, 2nd and 3rd person (Me, You, Him/her) and the plural form of the 1st 2nd 3rd person (We, Ye , They)

As per the diagram, plural forms are outside the triangle.

Essere (1st,1) = Sono
Essere (2nd,1) = Sei
Essere (3rd,1) = E
Essere (1st, >1) = Siamo
Essere (2nd, >1) = Siete
Essere (3rd, >1) = Sono

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Adjectives in Italian must adopt the gender of the word they are describing, unless they end in "e", in which case they are basically Masculine (Pluralize with I)

Uno Signora magra (F1)
Un Signore magro (M1)
Un Uomo giovane (M1)

Like nouns:
(F1 => F>1) = (-a => -e) "EVA"
(M1 => M>1) = (-o => -i) "IGOR"

Words ending in -co or -go
(M1 => M>1) = (-co => -chi) - i.e. Polacco => Polachi

Words ending in -ca or -ga
(F1 => F>1) = (-ca => -che) - i.e. Austriaca => Austriache

Some exceptions:
Austriaco (M1 => M>1) Austriaci
Greco(M1 => M>1) Greci
Belga(M1 => M>1) Belgi

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The, A and Some

"Articles" or the words for "The" and "A" can be written in 9 different ways in italian.

The word "A" takes three forms, Un Tavolo, (M1), Una Borsa (F1), but Uno Zaino (M+S1)

This introduces the concept of "S Impure (M+S)"

S Impure (M+S) means any word beginning with:
  • S followed by a consonant
  • Z, Ps, Gn, Pn
  • Or a Vowel * - although in this case, the last 'o' is abbreviated.

The words for "The" take a further 6 forms:
La Ragazza (F1), Il Ragazzo (M1), I Libri (M>1), Le Scarpe (F>1), Lo zaino (M+S 1), Gli Stivali (M+S >1)

Once again, note that if the article ends with "a or o", and the noun starts in "a or o", then the last vowel of the article is abbreviated, for example Lo ombrello becomes L'ombrello (M+S 1)

There is no concept of F+S, an S impure word is treated like any other if feminine.

i.e. L'onda (F1), Le Onde (F>1)

The word "Some"

The word some us expressed by prefixing the article with "De"

M>1 = Dei (De + i)
M+S>1 = Degli (De + gli)
F>1 = Delle (De + le) * with an extra 'L'

Dei Libri (M>1)
Degli alberi (M+S>1)
Delle case (F>1)

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Igor and Eva

Every noun in italian is Masculine, Feminine, Singluar or Plural, how I remember this is


Where IGOR is Masculine, and EVA is feminine, the first letter is plural, and the third letter is singular

Albero = (M1) - Masculine singular

Bottiglia = (F1) -Feminine singular

Tavoli = (M>1) - Masculine Plural

Penne = (F>1) - Feminine plural

Now... the exceptions

A. Words ending in "E" in Singular

Tip: A word ending in "E" will always pluralize with -I even though the gender can be M or F.

A.1. Ending in -ORE, -ONE, -ALE, -ILE ARE M1
A.2. Studente, Bicchiere, Nome ARE M1
A.3. Ending in -IONE, -ICE, -AVE ARE F1

B. Words that do not change when pluralized

B.1. Radio, Moto, Foto, Auto (F1),
B.2. Foreign words
B.3. Ending in -ta or -t u

C. Words which take on an extra letter when pluralized

C.1. Words ending in Consonant + -cia or -gia (F1) loose last i when pluralized
C.2. Words ending in -co or -go (M1) add extra h when pluralized
(With the exception of Amico and Greco which pluralize M>1)
C.3 Words ending in -ca or -ga (F1) add extra h when pluralized

D. And Just some Randomness ...
D.1. Problema, Programma, Sistema, Poeta, are M1 despite ending in A
D.2. Professions pluralize depending on the gender of the person(s).
-ISTA => (M>1) -ISTI or (F>1) -ISTE
D.3. Dito, Ginocchio, Labbro change from M1 to F>1 when pluralized.