Italian Partitive Article

In the previous lessons we learned about prepositions, as well as the passive form, impersonal forms, comparatives and superlatives, adverbs, pronouns, adjectives, nouns and articles. Now we move on to the partitive articles, which are used to indicate a part of a totality or an undetermined quantity of something.

Articolo Partitivo | (Partitive Article)

The partitive article is used to indicate a part of a whole or an indefinite quantity. In Italian it is composed by the simple preposition di + the definite article.

For Example:
  • Vorrei del vino – (I would like some wine)
  • Vuoi dello zucchero nel tè? – (Would you like some sugar in the tea?)
  • Ho comprato delle mele – (I have bought some apples)


When using the singular form, the partitive article is normally replaced by un po’ di. This expression is predominantly used in informal situations.
  • Vorrei del vino -> Vorrei un po’ di vino – (I would like a bit of wine)
  • Vuoi dello zucchero nel tè? -> Vuoi un po’ di zucchero nel tè? – (Would you like a bit of sugar in the tea?)
  • Ho comprato delle mele -> Ho comprato un po’ di mele – (I have bought a few apples)


When using the plural form instead, the partitive article can be replaced by alcuni/alcune. This expression is predominantly used in formal situations.
  • Dei giornalisti ti stanno cercando -> Alcuni giornalisti ti stanno cercando – (Some journalists are looking for you)
  • Mario ha dei quadri interessanti -> Mario ha alcuni quadri interessanti – (Mario has some interesting paintings)
  • C’erano delle squadre molto forti al torneo -> C’erano alcune squadre molto forti al torneo – (There were some very good teams at the tournament)
Lastly, qualche is invariable and is used with singular nouns:
  • Il museo ha qualche quadro di Picasso – (The museum has some paintings from Picasso)

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