Indefinite and definite articles, singular and plural masculine nouns

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by rambler, Feb 27, 2006.

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  1. rambler Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida (hurricanes!)
    English Canada (blizzards!)

    I've been studying masculine nouns that end in "o", specifically how they are spelled in the singular and plural, and which indefinite and definite articles go with them.

    Would you please glance over the list below to see if you spot any errors?

    Thank you!
    un aereo, l’aereo, gli aerei
    un albergo, l’albergo, gli alberghi
    un amico, l’amico, gli amici
    un asino, l’asino, gli asini
    un asparago, l’asparago, gli asparagi
    un biologo, il biologo, i biologi
    un bosco, il bosco, i boschi
    un buco, il buco, i buchi
    un catalogo, il catalogo, i cataloghi
    un chirurgo, il chirurgo, i chirurghi
    un cucchiaio, il cucchiaio, i cucchiai
    un cuoco, il cuoco, i cuochi
    un eco, l’eco, gli echi
    un esempio, l’esempio, gli esempi
    un fico, il fico, i fichi
    un figlio, il figlio, i figli
    un fuoco, il fuoco, i fuochi
    un greco, il greco, i greci
    un italiano, l’italiano, gl’italiani
    un maestro, il maestro, i maestri
    un osso, l’osso, gli ossi
    un porco, il porco, i porci
    un sindaco, il sindaco, i sindaci
    un treno, il treno, i treni
    un turco, il turco, i turchi
    un uomo, l’uomo, gli uomini
    un urlo, l’urlo, gli urli
    uno gnocco, lo gnocco, gli gnocchi
    uno psicologo, lo psicologo, gli psicologi
    uno sbaglio, lo sbaglio, gli sbagli
    uno sciocco, lo sciocco, gli sciocchi
    uno scoiattolo, lo scoiattolo, gli scoiattoli
    uno scolaro, lo scolaro, gli scolari
    uno sconto, lo sconto, gli sconti
    uno sparo, lo sparo, gli spari
    uno specchio, lo specchio, gli specchi
    uno stato, lo stato, gli stati
    uno straccio, lo straccio, gli stracci
    uno zero, lo zero, gli zeri
    uno zingaro, lo zingaro, gli zingari
    uno zio, lo zio, gli zii
    uno zoppo , lo zoppo , gli zoppi

  2. Jana337

    Jana337 Senior Member

    Looks fine to me, but gli italiani is vastly more common (I am not sure whether "gl'italiani" is corect).

  3. rambler Senior Member

    Tampa, Florida (hurricanes!)
    English Canada (blizzards!)
    I'll make note of "gli italiani". You are probably more up-to-date than my dictionary, "Mondadori's Pocket Italian-English Dictionary", which was published in 1956. It says, "gli may be changed to gl' only before plural masculine nouns beginning with i." It also gives the example "l'italiano - gl'italiani".)
  4. efano

    efano Senior Member

    Faenza, IT
    Italian - Italy
    I don't know if "gl'italiani" could be considered a mistake (what is a mistake?:confused:), but it is definitely not used any more in written Italian.
  5. victoria luz

    victoria luz Senior Member

    A little remark about ECO:

    To stick to the "Crusca" (Italian Language Academy, the highest authority for the Italian language issues), ECO is feminine when singular and masculine when plural.

    So, it should be:
    Un'eco, l'eco, gli echi.

    (The masculine form is accepted though.)
  6. systema encephale

    systema encephale Senior Member

    I didn't know this. "labbro" is another particular noun. It's masculine when singular and feminine when plural.

    un labbro, il labbro, le labbra

    There may be even more, I guess.
  7. victoria luz

    victoria luz Senior Member

    Quite a few:

    Un uovo, l'uovo, le uova
    Un braccio, il braccio, le braccia
    Un dito, il dito, le dita
    Un ginocchio, il ginocchio, le ginocchia (i ginocchi accepted but ugly)
    Un centinaio, il centinaio, le centinaia
    Un migliaio, il migliaio, le migliaia
    Un miglio, il miglio, le miglia

    Some have both, with (sometimes very slight) differences in meaning:
    Un membro, il membro, i membri/le membra
    Un osso, l'osso, gli ossi/le ossa
    Un lenzuolo, il lenzuolo, i lenzuoli/le lenzuola
    Un muro, il muro, i muri/le mura
  8. Chris Bo Biss New Member

    america - english
    When the article is "lo" like as in "fare lo shopping" or "lo shampoo," then the plural version is "gli," otherwise the plural masculine articles are "i."

    I don't think that this is wrong but incase that it IS, please let me know. :)
  9. federicoft Senior Member

    Gl'italiani is absolutely correct, but it is perceived as a little obsolete today.
  10. largoplazo New Member

    English, USA
    Yes, it is incorrect. "Gli" is also used with masculine plural nouns that begin with a vowel.
  11. Otter Senior Member

    New York, New York
    Ciao a tutti,

    I hope you don't mind my re-opening this thread but I'm studying indefinite and definite articles and have a test tomorrow A.M. The textbook we use says that, as to articolo indeterminativo, masculine nouns which start with a consonant or vowel are preceded by "un"; however, nouns starting with 'z' or s+ consonant are preceded by 'uno".

    In the above quoted list, there are: uno gnocco and uno psicologo. These two also use 'lo' instead of 'il' (articolo determinativo). Are these just random exceptions or is there a rule I can follow?

    You know, for us English speakers, we have "a", "an" and, of course for definite articles, there's "the", so this issue of articles seems very complex.

    Grazie for any help.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2008
  12. MünchnerFax

    MünchnerFax Senior Member

    Italian, Italy
    It is a rule, and I'm afraid your textbook is not exhaustive to this regard.
    In addition to names starting with 'z' or s+ consonant, names starting with gn, ps, x also require uno/lo.

    Also note that it's not the substantive itself what matters, but the very first word after the article. Indeed, it is usually the substantive, but sometimes is for instance an adjective:
    Lo studente; but Il bravo studente.

    Il vecchio; but Lo stanco vecchio. (sounds a bit weird, but just as an example ;) )
  13. Otter Senior Member

    New York, New York

    I imagine, perhaps, the textbook will get to it later. We've only been introduced to nouns which fit into the description they supplied.

    Thanks, again.

  14. Lova Falk New Member

    dutch - Netherlands
    Now I open this thread again.
    I see in the list above that it is albergo - alberghi, catalogo - cataloghi but psicologo - psicologi.
    Is psicologo - psicologi an exception or is there a rule that says when -go in plural is -ghi and when it is -gi?
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2009
  15. Otter Senior Member

    New York, New York
    Ciao Lova Falk,

    Usually the 'ghi' ending is to secure proper pronunciation. So I guess "psicologi" is an exception. I'm interested to see what others say. Sorry to answer just with a guess but I wanted to clarify the pronunciation reasoning for you.

    I have a midterm in Italian II this a.m. so EECK. . . running.

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