Italian Indefinite Articles

In Italian, similarly to the other Romance languages (e.g., French), all nouns have a gender and number associated with them. When learning a new language a good starting point is always articles, gender and number. In this page we introduce and explain to you the Indefinite Articles.

Gli articoli indeterminativi | (Indefinite Articles)

In Italian, indefinite articles are used when introducing someone or something new that was not previously mentioned. Another use is to talk about someone or something in more general and undefined terms.

Articoli Femminili | (Feminine Articles)

Similarly to the definite articles, there are 2 feminine indefinite articles for the singular form and 1 for the plural form:
Singolare Plurale
Before a consonant una una casa delle delle case
Before a vowel un’ un’idea delle idee
For Example:
  • Una signora (A lady)Delle signore (Some ladies)
  • Una pera (A pear)Delle pere (Some pears)
  • Una valigia (A suitcase)Delle valigie (Some suitcases)
  • Un’ape (A bee)Delle api (Some bees)
  • Un’ora (An hour)Delle ore (Some hours)
  • Un’acqua (A water)Delle acque (Some waters)

Articoli Maschili | (Masculine Articles)

The masculine form is similar, there are 2 indefinite articles for the singular form and 2 for the plural form:
Singolare Plurale
Before a consonant un un bicchiere dei dei bicchieri
Before a vowel                 un un albero degli degli alberi
Before: S + consonant Z GN PS Y PN uno  

uno stato

uno zero

uno gnocco

uno psicologo

uno yacht

uno pneumatico


degli stati

degli zeri

degli gnocchi

degli psicologi

degli yacht

degli pneumatici

For Example:
  • Un cappello (A hat)Dei cappelli (Some hats)
  • Un piatto (A plate)Dei piatti (Some plates)
  • Un gatto (A cat) – Dei gatti (Some cats)
  • Un orso (A bear)Degli orsi (Some bears)
  • Un ufficio (An office)Degli uffici (Some offices)
  • Un amico (A friend)Degli amici (Some friends)
  • Uno specchio (A mirror)Degli specchi (Some mirrors)
  • Uno zoo (A zoo)Degli zoo (Some uncles)
  • Uno gnomo (A gnome) – Degli gnomi (Some gnomes)
  • Uno psichiatra (A psychiatrist) – Degli psichiatri (Some psychiatrists)
  • Uno yogurt (A yoghurt)Degli yogurt (Some yoghurts)
  • Uno pneumologo (A pulmonologist) – Degli pneumologi (Some pulmonologists)

When are the Articoli Indeterminativi used?

  • When referring to people, animals or things that are unknown to the speaker

Un signore ha aperto la porta – (A man opened the door)
Ieri ho visto un gatto – (Yesterday I saw a cat)

  • When referring to people, animals or things that are not defined

Vorrei un caffè – (I would like a coffee)
Prendi un bicchiere dal lavello – (Take a glass from the sink)

  • When referring to parts of the body (when there are more than one – e.g. leg, arm, eye, etc.)

Luigi si è tagliato un dito – (Luigi cut his finger)
Attenzione: Luigi si è tagliato il pollice – (Luigi cut his thumb) – a specific part of the body

Franco ha un piede gonfio – (Franco has a swollen foot)
Attenzione: Franco ha i piedi gonfi –  (Franco has swollen feet) – both feet vs one foot.

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