I sostantivi plurali

Plural nouns

Here is how you can change a singular noun into a plural noun:

masculine singular masculine plural
panino panini o → i
bicchiere bicchieri e → i
feminine singular feminine plural
bottiglia bottiglie a → e
nazione nazioni e → i

Exceptions: the easy ones

  • Foreign nouns do not change in the plural, i.e. un bar → due bar.
  • Accented nouns do not change in the plural, i.e. un caffè → due caffè
  • There is a bunch of singular words ending in –i. They do not change in the plural, i.e. un’analisidue analisi; una crisi → due crisi.
  • Abbreviated (shortened) nouns do not change in the plural, i.e. un cinema → due cinema (cinema is short for cinematografo); una foto → due foto (foto is short for fotografia)
  • Nouns made of one syllable do not change in the plural, i.e. un re → due re.
  • Those few masculine nouns ending in –a have a regular masculine plural in –i, i.e. un problema → due problemi; un poeta → due poeti.
  • Nouns ending in –ista have two forms: the masculine plural is –isti, the feminine plural is –iste, i.e. un barista → due baristi; una barista → due bariste.

 

Exceptions: the harder ones

  • Nouns ending with –co, –ca, –go, –ga generally add an h in the plural form, i.e. un lago → due laghi; un cuoco → due cuochi; un’amica → due amiche; un’alga → due alghe. This is done in order to retain the same hard sound of c and g.

BUT

  • A common exception are plural nouns referring to people, i.e. un biologo → due biologi; uno psicologo → due psicologi.
  • With nouns ending in –co, whether you add h or not depends on where the stress in that word is.
    • If the stress is on the second-to-last syllable, you add h: parcoparchi (the stress is on par)
    • If the stress is on the third-to-last syllable, you don’t add h: medicomedici (the stress is on me)

BUT

  • A common exception is un amicodue amici (and a few others).
  • Nouns ending in –io change to –i in the plural, unless the –i in –io is stressed. In this case, i is retained, i.e. un orologio → due orologi; uno zio → due zii (the i in zio is stressed).
  • Nouns ending in –cia or –gia change to –ce and –ge in the plural, unless the –i in –cia or –gia is stressed. In this case, i is retained, i.e. un’arancia → due arance; una spiaggia → due spiagge; una farmacia → due farmacie (the i in farmacia is stressed).

 

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Spunti: Italiano elementare 1 by Daniel Leisawitz and Daniela Viale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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