lunedì 20 agosto 2012

Italian adjectives

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 with -o is masculine (buono = good), while an adjective ending with -a is feminine (buona = good). But there are also a number of adjectives that end with –e (intelligente = intelligent) that have the same form for masculine and feminine.

Here are some examples:
  • 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 you need to change the ending. Masculine adjectives ending with –o in the plural form will change this vowel with –i. Feminine adjectives, instead, will change the final vowel –a with –e.
Adjectives ending with –e form the plural with –i either if they are masculine or feminine.

Here are some examples:
  • un cantante famoso = a famous singer
  • dei cantanti famosi = famous singers

  • una ragazza carina = a pretty girl
  • delle ragazze carine = pretty girls

  • un signore elegante = an elegant man
  • dei signori eleganti = elegant men

  • una signora elegante = an elegant woman
  • delle signore eleganti = elegant women

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