The adjectives (gli aggettivi) are words used to describe or modify a noun. In Italian adjectives agree in gender and number with the noun to which they refer.
So if a noun is masculine, the adjective must be masculine as well.
The gender of an adjective, like that of a noun, is determined by its ending. An adjective ending in -o is masculine (buono = good), while an adjective ending in -a is feminine (buona = good).
There are also a number of adjectives that end with –e (intelligente = intelligent) that have the same form for masculine and feminine.
- un ragazzo alto = a tall boy
- una ragazza alta = a tall girl
- un tavolo grande = a big table
- una stanza grande = a big room
Adjectives agree also in number. This means that a plural noun require a plural adjective. To make the plural of an adjective is sufficient to change the ending. Masculine adjectives ending in –o in the plural form will change this vowel in –i. Feminine adjectives, instead, will change the final vowel –a in –e.
Adjectives ending in –e form the plural in –i either if they are masculine or feminine.
Here are some examples:
- un cantante famoso = a famous singer
- dei cantanti famosi = some famous singers
- una ragazza carina = a pretty girl
- delle ragazze carine = some pretty girls
- un signore elegante = an elegant man
- dei signori eleganti = some elegant men
- una signora elegante = an elegant woman
- delle signore eleganti = some elegant women