plural of "poeta"

JohninVirginia

Senior Member
USA/ English
In looking up the Italian word for "poet", I found that "poeta" is masculine.

Am I correct in assuming that, despite the "a" ending, the plural would be "i poeti"?
Should that be added to the dictionary, or is it assumed that anyone learning Italian should know that?

John in Virginia
 
  • Alberto77

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    JohninVirginia said:
    In looking up the Italian word for "poet", I found that "poeta" is masculine.

    Am I correct in assuming that, despite the "a" ending, the plural would be "i poeti"?
    Should that be added to the dictionary, or is it assumed that anyone learning Italian should know that?

    John in Virginia
    Yeap, you are right:
    poeta->poeti
    poetessa->poetesse

    ciao
    alb
     

    TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    JohninVirginia said:
    In looking up the Italian word for "poet", I found that "poeta" is masculine.

    Am I correct in assuming that, despite the "a" ending, the plural would be "i poeti"?
    Should that be added to the dictionary, or is it assumed that anyone learning Italian should know that?

    John in Virginia
    It's "poeti".

    Hint: Whenever I get stuck like this I go to google and put in a variety of combinations. I was pretty sure it was "poeti", but I put in "due poeti", "due poete" and "due poeta" and struck gold with "poeti"!:)
     

    skywatcher

    Senior Member
    Italia, Italiano
    JohninVirginia said:
    In looking up the Italian word for "poet", I found that "poeta" is masculine.

    Am I correct in assuming that, despite the "a" ending, the plural would be "i poeti"?
    Should that be added to the dictionary, or is it assumed that anyone learning Italian should know that?

    John in Virginia
    I try to think of some examples...

    il poeta -> i poeti
    l'atleta -> gli atleti
    il paracadutista -> i paracadutisti
    lo scriba -> gli scribi
    l'artista -> gli artisti

    I admit I'd never thought about that, but as you see it seems like in general these words form the plural with the "i"
     

    nickditoro

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    skywatcher said:
    I try to think of some examples...

    il poeta -> i poeti
    l'atleta -> gli atleti
    il paracadutista -> i paracadutisti
    lo scriba -> gli scribi
    l'artista -> gli artisti

    I admit I'd never thought about that, but as you see it seems like in general these words form the plural with the "i"
    Would these words have a similar derivation from either Latin or Greek? (I have a new Zingarelli, but I'm still struggling with it being a monolingual dictionary.)

    Nick
     

    skywatcher

    Senior Member
    Italia, Italiano
    nickditoro said:
    Would these words have a similar derivation from either Latin or Greek? (I have a new Zingarelli, but I'm still struggling with it being a monolingual dictionary.)

    Nick
    They have different derivations as far as I know, not necessarily from Latin or Greek... take for instance "regista"... I think this comes from French. "Paracadutista" is a recent word directly from "parare" and "caduta". "Poeta" and "atleta" surely come from Greek through Latin...
    ... but I am not an expert at all :)

    Ciao
     

    moodywop

    Banned
    Italian - Italy
    nickditoro said:
    Would these words have a similar derivation from either Latin or Greek? (I have a new Zingarelli, but I'm still struggling with it being a monolingual dictionary.)

    Nick
    Nick

    All masculine nouns ending in -a change to -i in the plural. There are very few exceptions, mostly invariable nouns: il cinema - i cinema, il gorilla - i gorilla, il panda - i panda. Dictionaries do not list the plural form when it follows the rule so if no plural is given you can safely assume it is -i. On the other hand words like boia, cobra etc are labelled invariabile:

    boia

    I sostantivo maschile invariabile
    executioner; (chi impicca) hangman
    (Oxford Paravia online dictionary)
     

    nickditoro

    Senior Member
    English/USA
    skywatcher said:
    They have different derivations as far as I know, not necessarily from Latin or Greek... take for instance "regista"... I think this comes from French. "Paracadutista" is a recent word directly from "parare" and "caduta". "Poeta" and "atleta" surely come from Greek through Latin...
    ... but I am not an expert at all :)

    Ciao
    Ok. I thought I'd take a shot at solving a mystery.

    Nick
     

    Broca's Area

    Member
    Italian / Italy
    Basically it all goes back to Classical Greek. The suffix -ista comes from Greek -istés through Latin -ista: it has always been very productive, i.e. many new words were born with -ista in Italian. Nouns such as artista, equilibrista, giornalista and so on, are both masculine and feminine. Nevertheless the gender is reflected by agreement: un valido giornalista (masculine) vs. una valida giornalista (feminine)
    The word regista (<regia + -ista) was coined by the linguist Bruno Migliorini in the late 20's /early 30's: first, we used the French borrowing régisseur, which nowadays is no longer present in the Italian lexicon. The same linguist coined autista (<auto + -ista) in order to replace French chauffeur.
    Poeta and atleta come from Classical Greek through Latin as well. While the latter is both masculine and feminine (agreement is the key again: un ottimo atleta vs. un'ottima atleta), the former is only masculine, being poetessa the feminine counterpart. In particular, poeta is from Classical Greek poietés, meaning literally "maker" (poiéo "I make"): this suggests that poetry is a creation of new worlds...
     

    skywatcher

    Senior Member
    Italia, Italiano
    Broca's Area said:
    Basically it all goes back to Classical Greek. The suffix -ista comes from Greek -istés through Latin -ista: it has always been very productive, i.e. many new words were born with -ista in Italian. Nouns such as artista, equilibrista, giornalista and so on, are both masculine and feminine. Nevertheless the gender is reflected by agreement: un valido giornalista (masculine) vs. una valida giornalista (feminine)
    The word regista (<regia + -ista) was coined by the linguist Bruno Migliorini in the late 20's /early 30's: first, we used the French borrowing régisseur, which nowadays is no longer present in the Italian lexicon. The same linguist coined autista (<auto + -ista) in order to replace French chauffeur.
    Poeta and atleta come from Classical Greek through Latin as well. While the latter is both masculine and feminine (agreement is the key again: un ottimo atleta vs. un'ottima atleta), the former is only masculine, being poetessa the feminine counterpart. In particular, poeta is from Classical Greek poietés, meaning literally "maker" (poiéo "I make"): this suggests that poetry is a creation of new worlds...
    Wow! grazie mille Broca's.
     

    Brazilian dude

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    I would say that the general rule requires masculine nouns (irrespective of their ending) to end in -i in the plural, but remember there are exceptions, such as ginocchio - ginocchia (also ginocchi), braccio - braccia, ciglio - ciglia, dito - dita, miglio - miglia, centinaio - centinaia, migliaio - miglia, paio - paia. Some of these words are also found with a plural in -i, but a new nuance is at play, and the examples given suffice for the time being, in my humble opinion.

    Brazilian dude
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top