• Italian grammar
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  • 1 Italian alphabet and pronunciation (letters,...)
  • 2 Function of Italian words (subject, object)
  • 3 Italian articles (the/a, an) [0/16]
  • 4 Italian numbers (cardinal, ordinal) [0/7]
  • 5 Italian nouns [0/13]
  • 6 Italian adjectives [0/17]
  • 6.1 Adjective agreement in Italian (endings) [0/2]
  • 6.2 Qualifying adjectives in Italian [0/3]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in Italian (my, your, his/her...) [0/3]
  • 6.4 Demonstrative adjectives in Italian (this, that) [0/2]
  • 6.5 Indefinite adjectives in Italian (some, any...) [0/3]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in Italian (one, the first...) [0/2]
  • 6.7 Interrogative adjectives in Italian (what/which,...) [0/2]
  • 6.8 List of adjectives in Italian (A-Z)
  • 7 Italian pronouns [0/28]
  • 7.1 Personal pronouns in Italian [0/6]
  • 7.2 Relative pronouns (who, that, which, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.3 Possessive pronouns in Italian (mine, yours, his, ...) [0/4]
  • 7.4 Demonstrative pronouns (this, that, ...) in Italian [0/3]
  • 7.5 Indefinite pronouns (few, some, many, ...) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.6 Interrogative pronouns (who, what, which) in Italian [0/4]
  • 7.7 Reflexive pronouns in Italian (myself, each other) [0/3]
  • 8 Italian prepositions [0/25]
  • 8.1 Italian simple prepositions [0/20]
  • 8.1.1 Italian preposition "di" (of, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.2 Italian preposition "a" (at, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.3 Italian preposition "da" (by, from,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.4 Italian preposition "in" (in, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.5 Italian preposition "con" (with) [0/1]
  • 8.1.6 Italian preposition "su" (on, over,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.7 Italian preposition "per" (for, to,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.8 Italian prepositions "tra/ fra" (between, among,...) [0/1]
  • 8.1.9 "On" in Italian (su)
  • 8.1.10 "To" in Italian [0/4]
  • 8.1.11 Italian prepositions of place and time [0/3]
  • 8.1.12 Simple preposition chart - English to Italian [0/5]
  • 8.2 Italian articulated prepositions [0/3]
  • 8.3 Expressions with Italian prepositions [0/2]
  • 9 Italian adverbs [0/24]
  • 9.1 Italian adverbs of manner (good, bad, so) [0/4]
  • 9.2 Italian adverbs of frequency and time (always, now) [0/4]
  • 9.3 Italian adverbs of place (here, there) [0/4]
  • 9.4 Italian adverbs of quantity (more, nothing, enough) [0/3]
  • 9.5 Italian affirmation/negation adverbs (Yes, No, Neither) [0/4]
  • 9.6 Italian adverbs of doubt, interrogative/exclamative [0/5]
  • 10 Italian comparatives, superlatives (adjectives/adverbs) [0/7]
  • 11 Italian tenses and verb conjugation [0/17]
  • 11.1 Present tense in Italian (presente indicativo) [0/2]
  • 11.2 Past tenses in Italian [0/11]
  • 11.3 Future tenses in Italian [0/4]
  • 12 Italian verbs [0/94]
  • 12.1 Functions and classification of Italian verbs [0/1]
  • 12.2 Transitive and intransitive verbs in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.3 Active voice and passive voice in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4 Italian regular verbs [0/30]
  • 12.4.1 First conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -are) [0/16]
  • Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the first conjugation (Score -/-)
  • 12.4.1.1 Conjugation of abitare (to dwell) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.2 Conjugation of amare (to love) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.3 Conjugation of giocare (to play) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.4 Conjugation of lavorare (to work) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.5 Conjugation of mangiare (to eat) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.6 Conjugation of parlare (to speak) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.7 Conjugation of studiare (to study) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.4.1.8 Conjugation of pagare (to pay) in Italian [0/1]
  • 12.4.2 Second conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ere) [0/6]
  • 12.4.3 Third conjugation in Italian (verbs ending in -ire) [0/8]
  • 12.5 Italian irregular verbs [0/38]
  • 12.5.1 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -are [0/8]
  • 12.5.2 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ere [0/24]
  • 12.5.2.1 Conjugation of sapere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.2 Conjugation of leggere (to read) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.3 Conjugation of mettere (to put) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.4 Conjugation of piacere (to like) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.5 Conjugation of rimanere (to remain, to stay) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.6 Conjugation of conoscere (to know) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.7 Conjugation of scrivere (to write) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.8 Conjugation of vivere (to live) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.9 Conjugation of chiudere (to close, to shut) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.10 Conjugation of prendere (to take, to catch) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.11 Conjugation of bere (to drink) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.2.12 Conjugation of tenere (to hold, to keep) in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.5.3 Conjugation of irregular verbs ending in -ire [0/6]
  • 12.6 Italian modal verbs [0/6]
  • 12.7 Italian reflexive verbs [0/2]
  • 12.8 Verbi sovrabbondanti in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.9 Verbi difettivi in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.10 Verbi fraseologici in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.11 Verbi impersonali in Italian [0/2]
  • 12.12 Auxiliary verbs (essere, avere) in Italian [0/5]
  • 12.13 Verbs and prepositions in Italian
  • 13 Italian moods
  • 14 Indicative mood in Italian
  • 15 Subjunctive in Italian [0/9]
  • 16 Conditional in Italian [0/4]
  • 17 Infinitive in Italian [0/1]
  • 18 Imperative in Italian [0/3]
  • 19 Gerund in Italian [0/3]
  • 20 Present participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 21 Past participle in Italian [0/1]
  • 22 Italian sentences [0/15]
  • 23 Italian conjunctions [0/4]
  • Qualifying adjectives in Italian

    Qualifying adjectives (aggettivi qualificativi) express a quality or a feature -positive, negative or neutral - of the noun they refer to.

    Italian English
    Una bella città

    A nice city

    Una grande, antica e bella città

    A large, ancient, nice city

     

    Order of qualifying adjectives in Italian

    Italian adjectives can precede or follow the noun they describe.


    Before the noun

    In this position, the adjective has a "describing" function.
    It adds a quality to the noun that can be well-known or obvious to all.

    Italian English
    i deliziosi vini italiani

    tasty Italian wines

    le malinconiche giornate di pioggia

    melancholic rainy days

     

    After the noun

    In this position, the adjective has a "distinctive" function.
    It conveys new information about the noun.

    Italian English
    un formaggio italiano

    an Italian cheese

    una città moderna

    a modern city

    enlightenedPro-tip: qualifying adjectives indicating colours and nationalities always follow the noun! 

    Italian English
    il vino rosso

    the red wine

    il cantante inglese

    the English singer

     

    Different meaning according to position

    In some particular cases, the placement of the adjective changes the meaning of the sentence.

    Adjective before the noun English Adjective after the noun English
    una buona amica

    a real friend

    un'amica buona

    a kind friend

    lo stesso treno

    the same train

    il treno stesso

    the train itself


    Attributive and predicative adjectives in Italian

    In Italian, adjectives can have an attributive or a predicative function.

    Attributive function

    In this case, the adjective goes with the noun as a simple attribute. It qualifies the element without the aim of distinguishing it from another one.
    The adjective in this case usually precedes the noun it refers to.

    Io abito in un grande palazzo
    I live in a big building


    Predicative function

    The adjective is used to distinguish an element from another.
    According to this function, the adjective usually follows the noun it refers to. It also follows the verb "to be" or another copulative verb.

    Questa è una strada sicura / Questa strada è sicura
    This is a safe street / This street is safe
     

    enlightened Switching from the attributive function (adjective before verb) to the predicative function (adjective after verb), the meaning intended can change completely:
    pover'uomo (sfortunato)  vs. uomo povero (privo di mezzi)
    unlucky man  vs. man with little economical means
     


    Irregular qualifying adjectives in Italian

    Some Italian adjectives have irregular forms if they precede the noun.

    Adjective buono

    Buono (good) becomes buon when it precedes any singular and masculine noun starting with a vowel or requiring the articles il and un.

    Italian English
    un buon amico

    a good friend

    un buon giocatore

    a good player

     

    Adjective bello

    Bello (nice, pretty) resembles the corresponding definite article in its form.

    Italian English
    il ragazzo > il bel ragazzo

    the (nice) boy

    i gatti > bei gatti

    the (nice) cats

    gli specchi > begli specchi

    the (nice) mirrors

    l'albergo > bell'albergo

    the (nice) hotel

     

    Adjective grande

    Grande (big, large) can become gran in front of masculine singular nouns starting with a vowel or requiring the articles il and un.

    Italian English
    un gran / grande problema

    a big problem

    un gran / grande amico

    a great friend

     

    Adjective Santo

    Santo (Saint) becomes San before masculine names beginning with consonant

    Italian English
    San Francesco

    Saint Francis

    San Giovanni

    Saint John

    Both Santo and Santa becomes Sant' before names beginning with a vowel.

    Italian English
    Sant' Angelo

    Saint Angel

    Sant' Irene

    Saint Irene

    Exercises

    Exercise on the order of qualifying adjectives in Italian - Single choice set

    Exercise on the two functions of the adjectives - Single choice set

    Exercise on irregular qualifying adjectives - Drag text