Italian Carla, Please Help. Masculine Or Feminine

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brokrken
Thursday 11th of August 2005 04:32:19 AM
Carla, please help.: Is there a way to know which nouns are masc. and which are fem. or do you just have to memorize them all?


Carla
Thursday 11th of August 2005 06:13:24 AM
Hi Brokrken,
Welcome to Phrasebase! :)
For a detailed explanation about singular/plural and feminine/masculine, please see my post at
http://www.phrasebase.com/discuss/read.php?TID=4046 (Italian game #6 - Forming plurals).
You can also play the game to practice...:)
In general when talking about genders, it is always better to check them out on the dictionary.
I'm afraid that you will have to learn by heart the genders of the most common words :D

There are some clues to find out if a noun is masculine or feminine, though there are several exceptions:


1. Singular nouns ending in -a are usually feminine.
Exceptions
There are some masculine nouns ending in -a (usually greek-derived words):
Tema, problema, programma, sistema, teorema…
There are other greek-derived words ending in -a that are the same in masculine and feminine:
artista (= both a male and female artist), atleta (= both a male and female athlete)...

2. Singular nouns ending in -o are usually masculine
Exceptions
There are very few feminine nouns ending in -o. An important one is: la mano (the hand).

3. Singular nouns ending in -e can be both feminine and masculine.
There is no apparent reason for what these kind of nouns are masculine or feminine. The only way to know
their gender is to look them up on the dictionary.
E.g.
Il cane (=the dog, masculine)
La volpe (=the fox, feminine)

4. Plural nouns ending in -e are usually feminine.
5. Plural nouns ending in -i can be both masculine and feminine.

Please let me know if you need a further explanation.

Carla


brokrken
Wednesday 17th of August 2005 03:34:50 AM
Thanks: Thanks for the help!

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