Understanding Italian nouns

Nouns are words used to name or identify a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. Examples include: girl, hat, coat, weather, picture, coffee, hotel.

Nouns are one of the most basic parts of speech They can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. Italian nouns are divided in common, nomi comuni, and proper, nomi propri.

So this free lesson is all about naming things. By the time you're done you'll know all about common and proper nouns, as well as how to identify masculine and feminine versions. You'll also discover the mysterious third category of nouns...

Lets get started.

Common and Proper Italian nouns

Download
nomi comuni
common
Download
nomi propri
proper

Nomi comuni indicate persons, animals, places, things like ragazzo - kid, dottore - doctor, cane - dog, fiume - river, or abstract ideas like bellezza - beauty, speranza - hope, giustizia - justice, etc.

Download
ragazzo
kid
Download
dottore
doctor
Download
cane
dog
Download
fiume
river
Download
bellezza
beauty
Download
speranza
hope
Download
giustizia
justice

The nomi propri indicate specific beings or things, which are characterized by a proper name: Italia, Roma, Paolo, Marco, etc. Nouns can be divided also for genre, masculine and feminine, and number, singular and plural.

Download
Italia, Roma, Paolo, Marco
Italian, Rome, Paolo, Marco
    Most of the nouns agree with the following rules:
  • Masculine nouns end with –o for singular, -i for plural.
  • Feminine nouns end with –a for singular, -e for plural.
  • A third category of nouns end with –e for singular, -i for plural; they can be masculine or feminine, according to the vocabulary.

Regular Nouns: rules and examples

Masculine nouns ending with –o (singular)

Download
tavolo
table
Download
museo
museum
Download
libro
book
Download
coro
chorus
Download
corpo
body
Download
cielo
sky
Download
appartamento
apartment
Download
suono
sound

Masculine nouns ending with –i (plural)

Download
tavoli
table
Download
musei
museum
Download
libri
book
Download
cori
chorus
Download
corpi
body
Download
cieli
sky
Download
appartamenti
apartment
Download
suoni
sound

Feminine nouns ending with –a (singular)

Download
casa
house
Download
finestra
window
Download
sedia
chair
Download
strada
street
Download
maglietta
t-shirt
Download
testa
head
Download
fotografia
photo
Download
penna
pen

Feminine nouns ending with –e (plural)

Download
case
house
Download
finestre
window
Download
sedie
chair
Download
strade
street
Download
magliette
t-shirt
Download
teste
head
Download
fotografie
photo
Download
penne
pen

Third Case nouns ending with –e (singular).

These can be masculine or feminine, according to the vocabulary.
Download
bicchiere (M)
glass
Download
studente (M)
student
Download
ristorante (M)
restaurant
Download
fiume (M)
river
Download
luce (F)
light
Download
nube (F)
cloud
Download
mese (M)
month
Download
ape (F)
bee

Third Case nouns ending with –i (plural).

These can be masculine or feminine, according to the vocabulary.
Download
bicchieri (M)
glass
Download
studenti (M)
student
Download
ristoranti (M)
restaurant
Download
fiumi (M)
river
Download
luci (F)
light
Download
nubi (F)
cloud
Download
mesi (M)
month
Download
api (F)
bee

Irregular nouns: rules and examples

Many Italians nouns are irregular. Here are some examples.


1. The following nouns have the same form at singular as well as at plural:

Rule
Example
English
Download
Monosyllable nouns
re
King
Download
Nouns ending with a vowel with accent
università
University
Download
Foreign nouns
film, goal
Film, goal
Download
Nouns ending with –i
analisi
Analysis
Download
Feminine nouns ending with –o
auto
Car
Download
Masculine neologism ending with –o
euro
Euro
Download
Feminine nouns ending with –ie
specie
Species

2. Masculine nouns with –ma at the singular end with –mi at the plural.

Singular
Plural
English
Download
problema
problemi
problem/problems
Download
tema
temi
thema/themas

3. Feminine nouns ending with –ca and –ga at singular end with –che and –ghe at plural

Singular
Plural
English
Download
domenica
domeniche
Sunday/Sundays
Download
collega
colleghe
colleague/colleagues (F)

4. Masculine nouns ending with –co and –go:

  • end with –chi and –ghi at plural if the accent is on the second last syllable
  • end with –ci and –gi at plural when the accent is on the third last syllable

Some words, like amico - pl. amici, or dialogo - pl. dialoghi are exceptions.

Singular
Plural
English
Download
tedesco
tedeschi
German/Germans
Download
albergo
alberghi
hotel/hotels
Download
medico
medici
doctor/doctors
Download
psicologo
psicologi
psychologist/psychologists

Nouns which seem to have a double gender

Some nouns, which have the same stem and end with –o or –a, seem to indicate the masculine or feminine version of the same word. That’s not always true; the meaning can be completely different.


Some examples:

Noun with –o ending
English
Noun with –a ending
English
Download
corso
avenue
corsa
running
Download
collo
neck
colla
glue
Download
pianto
crying
pianta
plant
Download
torto
fault
torta
cake

Italian nouns summary

  • Nouns are words that name people, things, or ideas.
  • Nouns can be divided in common name, referring to something general and not identifying a particular person, or proper name, like the names of people, places, and institutions.
  • Nouns can be masculine or feminine, singular or plural.
  • Masculine nouns end with –o at singular, –i at plural.
  • Feminine nouns end with –a at singular, –e at plural.
  • A third category of nouns end with –e at singular, –i at plural; they can be masculine or feminine, according to the vocabulary.

Testing!

Test yourself with the Rocket Italian testing tools! Improve your knowledge of Italian and earn points for your badges along the way!

Note that the tests below are listed from easiest to hardest. Also, when a test is successfully rated the rating icon will at the top right of this page will show that rating.

Ciao, my name’s Maria DiLorenzi, I’m the host of Rocket Italian.

Ciao, I’m from Rome in Italy, which means Italian is my native language. That also means I know how hard it can be to learn a new language, because I’ve been there.

Together with my English speaking colleague, Alex, I want to help you to speak and understand Italian, and cut your learning time in half, with my Rocket Italian online course.

I've been teaching my beautiful language for over ten years, to all kinds of people, and I understand your love of Italy and your desire be able to communicate in Italian. I really want to make your Spanish learning experience rewarding and fun!

Speak Italian...
  • With over 30 fully downloadable Interactive Audio Lessons. Based on actual everyday Italian conversations, these lessons average over 25 minutes each, giving you more than 12 hours of real Italian conversation!

Try one for yourself today! Here is the very first Interactive Audio Lesson from Rocket Italian

Listen to the FULL Audio

Understand Italian...

There are just 3 steps to dramatically improving your understanding of Italian!

  • Learn to understand exactly how Italian works by exploring over 30 Language & Culture Lessons
  • Train your ear with Hear It Say It !, the self-testing tool that perfects your pronunciation by harnessing the power of our Rocket Record voice comparison technology.
  • Put yourself on the spot by testing how accurately you can translate randomly selected phrases using Rocket Record and the Know It! self-testing tool.
Cut your learning time in half...
  • By checking out our Advanced Learning Techniques; making the most of My Forum, our 24/7 online learners space, and making learning fun with the Language Master Games.
  • Plus you can see just how quickly you language skills are growing with My Level, our self-testing tool.

And that’s not all!

So, if you’re ready to speak and understand Italian while cutting your learning time in half, then Rocket Italian is just what you need...!

Like This Resource? Please Share!

Like Our Site? Follow Us!

Rocket Italian Host - Maria DiLorenzi
PC Mag PC mag editor rating

“Rocket Languages is our Editors’ Choice for language-learning.”

Bessie Awards

More Learn Italian resources

Rocket Italian Premium

This beginner level course for new learners contains some amazing features that will really get your Italian language skills moving.

Click Here to Learn More


Click here to take a tour of Rocket Italian Premium


Rocket Italian Premium Plus

-Intermediate Course

This course is perfect if you have some Italian skills already and you're ready to step up to the next level

Click Here to Learn More


Rocket Italian Platinum

-Advanced Course

If you're ready to become a fluent, natural, confident Italian speaker then this advanced level course is for you.

Click Here to Learn More


Learn Italian Forum

This Italian language forum is where you go to get feedback and to connect with other learners. Interacting with teachers and peers will really help develop your understanding!

Click Here to Learn More

Rocket Languages
Reviews

How satisfied are you with your Rocket Languages experience?

How likely are you to buy again?

Are you happy with the price?

Would you recommend to a friend?

How was the Customer Service?


Linda Day - Paradise/Utah, USA - Rocket Italian

"I didn't think I would feel comfortable with Italian so quickly. I also didn't know it would be so fun!"

Read More

Linda Day

Paradise/Utah, USA

"I didn't think I would feel comfortable with Italian so quickly. I also didn't know it would be so fun!"

Overall
How satisfied are you with your Rocket Languages experience?
How likely are you to buy again?
Are you happy with the price?
Would you recommend to a friend?
How was the Customer Service?

My mom and I talked about going to Italy but she thought we would want to take a tour since we don't speak the language. Tours sound horrible to me, I would rather we went on our own. Unfortunately, my mom has passed away, but I still want to go. I have thought for more than a year on trying to learn the language. I read a lot of reviews and Rocket Italian always came out near the top. I also tried several samples of different programs. I liked the way on Rocket Italian that you can see the spelling and practice how to say the words properly. I took Latin in high school and find that it has helped in my recognizing Italian words when I read them. I didn't think I would feel comfortable with Italian so quickly. I also didn't know it would be so fun!


Chris Barnett - Crossville, TN, United States - Rocket Italian

"Rocket Italian is so much more than memorizing words. It's real world application. The teachers also make it fun with all their joking around. I feel I will actually be able to make conversation..."

Read More

Chris Barnett

Crossville, TN, United States

"Rocket Italian is so much more than memorizing words. It's real world application. The teachers also make it fun with all their joking around. I feel I will actually be able to make conversation..."

Overall
How satisfied are you with your Rocket Languages experience?
How likely are you to buy again?
Are you happy with the price?
Would you recommend to a friend?
How was the Customer Service?

Rocket Italian is so much more than memorizing words. It's real world application. The teachers also make it fun with all their joking around. I feel I will actually be able to make conversation when I finish the course.


Guy Reylek - United States - Rocket Italian

"So far it is making a seemingly difficult task fun and easy. The combination of the learning styles is very helpful and symbiotic."

Read More

Guy Reylek

United States

"So far it is making a seemingly difficult task fun and easy. The combination of the learning styles is very helpful and symbiotic."

Overall
How satisfied are you with your Rocket Languages experience?
How likely are you to buy again?
Are you happy with the price?
Would you recommend to a friend?
How was the Customer Service?

So far it is making a seemingly difficult task fun and easy. The combination of the learning styles is very helpful and symbiotic.
If things continue as they have so far I expect I'll be able to have at least some basic communication skills when I next get to Italy.


Barbara Leonard - Salisbury, MD , United States - Rocket Italian

"Am thoroughly enjoying this learning program. There are so many ways to test your skills and improve your skills. It fits my schedule just fine... ...The more I achieve the more I want to achieve."

Read More

Barbara Leonard

Salisbury, MD , United States

"Am thoroughly enjoying this learning program. There are so many ways to test your skills and improve your skills. It fits my schedule just fine... ...The more I achieve the more I want to achieve."

Overall
How satisfied are you with your Rocket Languages experience?
How likely are you to buy again?
Are you happy with the price?
Would you recommend to a friend?
How was the Customer Service?

Am thoroughly enjoying this learning program. There are so many ways to test your skills and improve your skills. It fits my schedule just fine. The biggest discipline is making an appointment with myself and keeping it. The more I achieve the more I want to achieve. Am traveling to Italy next spring and expect to be able to use my new skills with comfort and ease.


Mikail W - United States - Rocket Italian

"Rocket Italian is the best way to learn Italian hearing it helps improve your accent also"

Read More

Mikail W

United States

"Rocket Italian is the best way to learn Italian hearing it helps improve your accent also"

Overall
How satisfied are you with your Rocket Languages experience?
How likely are you to buy again?
Are you happy with the price?
Would you recommend to a friend?
How was the Customer Service?

Rocket Italian is the best way to learn Italian hearing it helps improve your accent also


FREE TRIAL