Italian Definite Articles

In Italian, l’articolo determinativo has different forms according to the gender, number, and first letter of the noun or adjective it precedes. There are some guidelines that help you to determine what article to use.

For singular nouns:

  • lo-LO: is used for all masculine nouns beginning with s+consonant or z.
  • il-IL: is used for all masculine nouns starting in a consonant, except the case where you use "lo".
  • la-LA: is used with feminine nouns starting with any consonant
  • l’-L’: This is the elision of lo or la is used before masculine or femenine nouns beginning with a vowel.


  • o zucchero  » the sugar
  • il vecchio zio  »  the old uncle
  • lo zio  »  the uncle
  • l'impatto  » the impact (masculine)
  • il castello  »  the castle
  • l'acqua  »  the water (feminine)
  • la scatola  »  the box

For plural nouns:

  • gli-GLI: It is used whith masculine nouns starting with vowels, the consonant z , cluster gn or clusters made of s+consonant.
  • i-I: It is used whith masculine nouns starting with consonants which do not belong to the previous case:
  • le-LE: It is used before any plural feminine noun


  • gli artisti  »  the artists
  • gli elefanti  »  the elephants
  • le ali  »  the wings
  • i ragazzi  »the boys
  • i cavalli  »  the horses
  • gli stessi ragazzi  » the same boys