Gender of italian nouns

Most Italian nouns end in a vowel—those that end in a consonant are of foreign origin—and all nouns have a gender, even those that refer to a qualities, ideas, and things. Usually, Italian singular masculine nouns end in -o, while feminine nouns end in –a(-tà).

» Masculine » Feminine
   Tavolo (table)    Casa (house)
   Sviluppo (development)    Rosa (rouse)
   Organismo (organism)    Città (city)

There are exceptions for this rule, of course (see table below):

» Masculine » Feminine
   Giornale (newspaper)    F rase (sentence)
   Pane (bread)    Canzone (song)
   Nome (name)       Notte (night)

Gender Inflections for Nouns:

  • Feminine is often obtained from masculine by the alternation -o : -a in the endings
» Masculine » Feminine
   Amico friend    Amica friend
   Bambino little boy    Bambina little girl
   Cugino cousin (he)    Cugina cousin (she)
   Figlio son    Figlia daughter
   Maestro master, teacher        Maestra teacher (female)

The alteration -e : -a also occurs, cf.:

» Masculine » Feminine
   Signore mister    Signora mistress
   Padrone master, owner    Padrona mistress of the house
  • Sometimes masculine and feminine are derived from different (or modified) roots:
» Masculine » Feminine
   frate friar    soura nun
   fratello brother    sorella sister
   padre father    madre mother
   uomo man    donna woman
   paperone drake    oca duck
  • These are nouns with one form for both genders. Here are included all the nouns suffixed by -ista. Examples:

    • Artista  »  artist
    • Giornalista  »  journalist
    • Pianista  »  pianist
    • Turista  »  tourist etc

  • Some other nouns, like:
» camerata comrade » consorte consort
» compatriota compatriot » amante lover
» eresiarca heresiarch » cliente client
» idiota idiot » commerciante trader
» omicida murderer     » interprete interpreter



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