Qualifying Adjectives in Italian
Italian adjectives comply in gender and number with the nouns they refer to.
Ex. Un’amica simpatica – Delle amiche simpatiche
Un attore famoso – Degli attori famosi
Una ragazza intelligente – Delle ragazze intelligenti
Un libro interessante – Dei libri interessanti
As you can see, we have two different types of adjectives:
- 1st type
Singular: masculine in –o / feminine in –a
Plural: masculine in –i / feminine in –e
- 2nd type
Singular: masculine and feminine in –e
Plural: masculine and feminine in –i
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What is the correct position of the adjective in Italian?
Normally it follows the noun it refers to: this is the so called “describing function” as it describes and modifies the noun.
Ex. Ho comprato un vestito nuovo (I bought a new dress)
When the adjective is put before the noun, this is the “restrictive function”: this means that it doesn’t modify the noun but it just adds a quality without having an impact on the meaning of the sentence.
Ex. Abito nella casa vecchia in via Roma (I live in the old house in Roma street)
Abito nella vecchia casa dei nonni (I live in my grandparents’ old house)
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