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Indefinite pronouns (few, some, many, ...) in Italian

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Indefinite pronouns (pronomi indefiniti) indicate elements in a non-specific way.
 

Italian indefinite pronouns chart

Sing. MasculineSing. FemininePlur. MasculinePlur. FeminineEnglish
UnoUna//One
AlcunoAlcunaAlcuniAlcuneSome/none
CiascunoCiascuna//Each/Each one
Qualcosa///Something/anything
QualcunoQualcunaQualcuniQualcuneSome/Somebody
//EntrambiEntrambeBoth
TuttoTuttaTuttiTutteEverything
OgnunoOgnuna//Each one
Chiunque///Anybody/whoever
PocoPocaPochiPocheFew/little
TantoTantaTantiTanteMuch/Many
TroppoTroppaTroppiTroppeToo much/too many
MoltoMoltaMoltiMolteMuch/many/a lot
ParecchioParecchiaParecchiParecchieQuite/rather a lot, plenty
NessunoNessuna//No one/none/nothing
Niente/Nulla///Nothing

 

 

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One, everybody, somebody, anybody, nobody, each one in Italian

Demonstrative pronounTranslation
Uno/unaOne
Ognuno/Ognuna/TuttiEverybody
CiascunoEach one
OgnunoEach one
NessunoNobody
QualcunoSomebody
ChiunqueAnybody

 

Uno, una, ognuno, ognuna, ciascuno, ciascuna, qualcuno, qualcuna, nessuno, nessuna have a feminine and masculine variation.
Tutti (plural masculine) has all forms of declension, singular/plural, masculine/feminine.
Chiunque is invariable.

 

Take a look at the following sentences.

ItalianEnglish
Quando il professore distribuiva i fogli non sapeva di doverne dare due a ciascuno.When the professor was handing out the papers, he didn't know that he had to give two to each student.
È un segreto che sai solo tu quindi sei pregato di non dirlo a nessun altro.It is a secret that only you know, so please don't tell anyone.
Questa penna deve essere di qualcuno.This pen must be of somebody.

 

Uno, nessuno and qualcuno lose the last vowel in front of the word Altro (another/else).
Example: Nessun altro mi ha chiamato. (Nobody else called me)


Something, nothing in Italian

ItalianEnglish
QualcosaSomething
Niente/nullaNothing

 

Let's analize the following sentences.

ItalianEnglish
Quella scatola può contenere anche qualcosa di bello.That box can also contain something beautiful.
Io non so nulla su questo argomento.I don't know anything about this topic.
Qualunque sia la tua scelta finale, io non voglio saperne niente.Whatever will be your final choice, I don't want to know anything about it.

 

Qualcosa and nulla lose their vowel if followed by the word Altro (Another/else).

Example: Raccontami qualcos'altro. (Tell me something else.)

 

A little, many/much, too many/too much, some, none, a lot in Italian

ItalianEnglish
Alcuno AlcunaNone
Alcuni AlcuneSome
PocoA little/a few
TantoMany, much
MoltoA lot, much
TroppoToo many/too much
ParecchioA lot

 

Poco, Tanto, Molto, Troppo, Parecchio have all forms of declension, singular/plural, masculine/feminine.

enlightened Be careful not to confuse Alcuno, Alcuna in the singular form, that translate as none, with Alcuni, Alcune in plural that translate as some.

 

Take a look at the following sentences.

ItalianEnglish
Non avere troppa fretta, ormai manca poco.Don't be in such an hurry, it's almost time.
Mi piace il cioccolato, ma penso di averne mangiato troppo.I like chocolate, but I think I had way too much.
Mio padre colleziona francobolli, ma ancora non ne ha molti.My dad collects postmarks, but he doesn't have many of them yet.

 

As much as (tanto quanto)

The expression tanto quanto means as much as. 

Example: Voglio bene a mio padre tanto quanto ne voglio a mia madre. (I love my father as much as I love my mother.)

Tanto vs molto

Tanto and molto have almost the same meaning. They are mostly used in the same contexts but we can't use molto instead of tanto when expressing a consequence.

Example: There were so many that I couldn't make a decision.

  • CORRECT: Ce n'erano così tante che non ho saputo scegliere.
  • WRONG: Ce n'erano così molte che non ho saputo scegliere.

 

All, everything, everyone in Italian

Tutto and its forms can be also followed by numbers, separated by the conjunction e.
In this case, it indicates the total amount of things or people as a whole.

ItalianEnglish
Non sapevo in quale negozio entrare, così sono passata da tutti.I didn't know which shop to enter, so I passed by them all.
Tutti e tre i miei fratelli abitano a Milano.All of my 3 brothers live in Milan.
Tutti i bambini sono usciti dalla classe.All the children got out of the classroom.

 

Exception: nobody and nothing

Nessuno (nobody) and niente/nulla (nothing) belong to the group of negative indefinite pronouns, and have different usages compared to English
They could, indeed, appear both in affirmative and negative constructions.

If these pronouns follow the verb, they are accompanied by the negation non (not), placed before the verb.

ItalianEnglish
Mia mamma mi ha detto che in forno non c'è niente adesso.My mom told me that there is nothing in the oven right now.

Nessuno mi piace.

I don't like anybody.
Non è nulla di che.It's nothing serious.

Exercises

  1. Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Single choice set
  2. Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Multiple choice
  3. Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Fill in the blanks
  4. Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Fill in the blanks

Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Single choice set


Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Multiple choice


Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Fill in the blanks


Exercise on Italian indefinite pronouns - Fill in the blanks


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