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Definite Articles

The articolo determinativo (definite article) varies according to gender, number, and the first letter of the word it precedes. The English equivalent is always the. In the following table you can see its forms.

Masculine Singular

Feminine Singular

Masculine Plural

Feminine Plural

before a consonant il la i le
before s + consonant, z, or ps lo la gli le
before a vowel l’ l’ gli le

Uses and Examples

  1. Unlike in English, the definite article is rarely omitted in Italian. Following are the situations in which it is always used.
    1. Before a specific item or person, in the singular or plural
      Lo studente non viene mai alle lezioni.
      The student never comes to lessons.

      Gli immigrati non tolgono lavoro agli italiani.
      Immigrants don’t take work from Italians.

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