The Rosetta Stone Challenge - Italian

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Gender Patterns

There are some basic rules that will enable you to find out the gender of nouns from the last letter of the word.

1. Nearly all words ending in -o or a consonant are masculine.

aeroporto - airport
gatto - cat
italiano - Italian
supermercato - supermarket
topo - mouse
toro - bull
treno - train

2. Most words ending in -a are feminine.

casa - the house
donna - a woman
macchina - the car
gatta - a cat
italiana - the Italian

3. Feminine nouns also end in

    difficoltà (difficulty)
    realtà (reality)
    versione (version)
    occasione (opportunity)
    lezione (lesson)
    conversazione (conversation)

These are the most basic rules that you need to know for now to find the gender of an Italian word. Of course, there are going to be some exceptions to the rules which will be looked at in detail in the Speak Up! in Italian language course.