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?


Keri - Nashville, TN, United States - Rocket Italian

"I have been loving learning Italian with the Rocket Languages program. It's practical knowledge that's well paced, thoroughly explained and culturally relevant. "

Read More

Keri

Nashville, TN, United States

"I have been loving learning Italian with the Rocket Languages program. It's practical knowledge that's well paced, thoroughly explained and culturally relevant. "

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?

I have been loving learning Italian with the Rocket Languages program. It's practical knowledge that's well paced, thoroughly explained and culturally relevant. I am so happy with the progress I am making. This was such a wonderful gift to myself! Grazie mille!


Danielle Danielle - Las Vegas, USA - Rocket Italian

"The best language program I've come across. It has everything: speaking, writing, listening, notes, grammar, culture and multiple tests to check whether the lesson is understood. Very complete."

Read More

Danielle Danielle

Las Vegas, USA

"The best language program I've come across. It has everything: speaking, writing, listening, notes, grammar, culture and multiple tests to check whether the lesson is understood. Very complete."

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?

The best language program I've come across. It has everything: speaking, writing, listening, notes, grammar, culture and multiple tests to check whether the lesson is understood. Very complete. I have recommended it to several people.


Christine Hanley - Nanticoke, PA, United States - Rocket Italian

"This program seems so far to be very good at teaching correct pronunciation and breakdown of words. I like the breakdown of the sentences as well. This course should be fun. Looking forward to more"

Read More

Christine Hanley

Nanticoke, PA, United States

"This program seems so far to be very good at teaching correct pronunciation and breakdown of words. I like the breakdown of the sentences as well. This course should be fun. Looking forward to more"

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?

This program seems so far to be very good at teaching correct pronunciation and breakdown of words. I like the breakdown of the sentences as well. This course should be fun. Looking forward to more lessons. Marie and Alex together make it sound easy.


Dana Johnson - Fort Worth Texas, USA - Rocket Italian

"I have used many different language programs and this one seems to have the best combination of activities to cater of my style of learning. As I'm moving to Italy, I need intense practice..."

Read More

Dana Johnson

Fort Worth Texas, USA

"I have used many different language programs and this one seems to have the best combination of activities to cater of my style of learning. As I'm moving to Italy, I need intense practice..."

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?

I have used many different language programs and this one seems to have the best combination of activities to cater of my style of learning. As I'm moving to Italy, I need intense practice so that I am may go about my daily activities with ease. I think this is the perfect program to get me up and running. As an auditory learner, I like the repetition is perfect for me. I can't wait to get to Italy to start using this beautiful language.


Donald Ortolan - Pleasant Hill, california, United States - Rocket Italian

"After researching various language programs, I am completely happy with Rocket and am so glad I went with them. The other programs just don't offer the interaction like Rocket does."

Read More

Donald Ortolan

Pleasant Hill, california, United States

"After researching various language programs, I am completely happy with Rocket and am so glad I went with them. The other programs just don't offer the interaction like Rocket does."

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?

I am trying to learn Italian. It is something I have always wanted to do. After researching various language programs, I am completely happy with Rocket and am so glad I went with them. The other programs just don't offer the interaction like Rocket does. I always tell people about Rocket and how they will not be disappointed. Ciao, Don O


FREE TRIAL