One of the basics that you need to know when you learn Italian is to change words from singular to plural in Italian. This is very critical when learning Italian as it helps one know how to formulate sentences. Just like the English language, when you learn Italian you need to understand that they have their own rules and that is what we are going to look into.
HOW CAN WE CHANGE FROM SINGULAR TO PLURAL IN ITALIAN?
First things first
Identify the gender of the noun
In the Italian language, nouns can either be masculine or feminine.
- If a noun is masculine, it generally ends in –o in the singular. If it is feminine, it generally ends in –a in the singular.
– Masculine: il ragazzo (the boy)
– Feminine: la melanzana (the eggplant)
- In some cases, there are some nouns that end in –e, which can be feminine or masculine.
– Masculine: il cane (the dog)
– Feminine: la chiave (the key)
PLURALIZING THE NOUN
This is one of the easiest ways to change singular to plural in Italian.
- Nouns ending in –o, the ending changes to –i in the plural
Singular: il ragazzo (the boy)
Plural: i ragazzi (the boys)
il ragazzo sta giocando (the boy is playing)
i ragazzi stanno giocando (the boys are playing)
Singular: il libro (the book)
Plural: i libri (the books)
Il libro è bello (the book is beautiful)
I libri sono belli (the books are beautiful)
- Nouns ending in –a, the ending changes to –e in the plural.
Singular: la ragazza (the girl)
Plural: le ragazze (the girls)
la ragazza sta giocando (the girl is playing)
le ragazze stanno giocando (the girls are playing)
Singular: la casa (the house)
Plural: le case (the houses)
la casa è bella (the house is beautiful)
le case sono belle (the houses are beautiful)
- Nouns ending in -co or -go which are masculine in singular, can change into CHI/GHI in plural or CI/GI depending on the word. CHI/GHI has a hard sound, whilst CI/GI has a soft sound.
gioco (game) – giochi (games)
albergo (hotel) – Alberghi (hotels)
medico (doctor) – medici (doctors)
amico (male friend) – amici (male friends)
N/b: amica is a female friend while amico is a male friend.
For more information and better understanding regarding singular to plural in Italian you can watch the lesson below:
- Accents words singular and plural in Italian
Let’s have a glance at the nouns where the last letter which is always a vowel tends to have an accent. The plural of these words is very simple as it is the same as the singular word. So mainly you don’t have to change or add anything.
Some of the masculine nouns include but are not limited to:
Some of the feminine words include:
Exceptions of the plural in Italian
When you learn Italian, you will discover that there are some exceptions when changing singular words to plural that do not fall in any of the above. Let us have a look.
- Words with irregular plural in Italian
Here you cannot look at the gender of the noun but rather you have to memorize it by heart. Do not worry; it comes naturally in time. The words include:
uovo (egg) – uova (eggs)
braccio (arm) – braccia (arms)
- Words with no plural (“difettivi del plurale”)
– Here we have abstract nouns which include:
il coraggio (courage)
la bontà (kindness)
– Unique nouns
la sete (the thirst)
la fame (the hunger)
Keep in mind that also months of the year do not have a plural. Also, the different celebrations enjoyed throughout the globe do not have a plural. For instance:
il Natale (Christmas)
il Carnevale (Carnival)
la Pasqua (Easter)
– Types of food
il riso (rice)
il cioccolato (chocolate)
la cioccolata (a cup of hot chocolate)
– Diseases also do not have a plural added to them. For instance:
l’influenza (the flu)
la febbre (the fever)
It also important to note nouns such as that do not fall in any of the categories mentioned.
la polizia (the police)
il sangue (the blood)
– Collective nouns
la roba (stuff)
la gente (people)
You can learn more Italian with us no matter your level; beginner, intermediate or advanced, we have you covered.
Now that we know how to look at some of the words let’s look into the sentence structures.
La polizia ha trovato l’uomo (The police found the man)
La polizia ha trovato gli uomini (The police found the men)
Nel ristorante c’è una ragazza che sta mangiando del riso (In the resturant there ia one girl who is eating rice.)
Nel ristorante ci sono due ragazze che stanno mangiano del riso (In the resturant there two girls who are eating rice.)
Keep in mind that to change Italian words singular to plural you need to know this rule: most of the words ending with an A are feminine and it turns into an E, though there are a few masculine words that end with A that turns into an I.
Now that you know how to change singular to plural in Italian, discover the complete guide to Italian reflexive verbs!