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Nouns: Gender and Number

Workbook Exercises About This Topic

Most Italian nouns (i nomi) end in a vowel. Nouns that end in a consonant are of foreign origin. All nouns in Italian have a gender (il genere); that is, they are either masculine or feminine, even those referring not to people but to things, qualities, or ideas.

Generally, nouns ending in -o are masculine, nouns ending in -a are feminine.
MASCULINE: amico, treno, dollaro, panino
FEMININE: amica, bicicletta, lira, studentessa

Nouns ending in -e may be masculine or feminine. The gender of these nouns must be memorized.
MASCULINE: studente, ristorante, caffè
FEMININE: automobile, notte, arte

Nouns ending -ione are generally feminine, while nouns ending in -ore are almost always masculine.

televisione (f.) television attore (m.) actor
nazione (f.) nation autore (m.) author
opinione (f.) opinion professore (m.) professor

Nouns ending in a consonant are usually masculine.
bar, autobus, film, sport

Abbreviated nouns retain the gender of the words from which they are derived.
foto f. (from fotografia)
cinema m. (from cinematografo)
moto f. (from motocicletta)
auto f. (from automobile)
bici f. (from bicicletta)

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