Italian definite article

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By aaron

In English, there is only one form of the definite article, and it is the word "the". Italian has multiple forms of the definite article based on gender and number of the noun.

For masculine nouns:
il (singular) and i (plural) are used before a noun beginning with a consonant except for s + consonant or z.

l' (singular) and gli (plural) are used before a noun beginning with a vowel.

lo (singular) and gli (plural) are used before a noun beginning with s + consonant or z.

For feminine nouns:
la (singular) and le (plural) are used before any noun beginning with a consonant.

l' (singular) and le (plural) are used before any noun beginning with a vowel.

Notice that for feminine nouns, the plural always uses le, which makes it a bit simpler.

In English, we don't use the definite article when referring to a person by their title. For example, we don't say "The doctor Smith", we just say "Doctor Smith". But in Italian, the definite article is still used unless you are addressing the person. For example:

Il dottor Rossi abita a Roma.
Dr. Rossi lives in Rome.
Definite article remains.

"Come sta, professor Jones?"
"How are you, professor Jones?"
Definite article is not used because you are addressing the person.

#italian

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