What does QUELLO and BELLO have in common?

Everybody knows that quello means that and bello means nice , however you might have noticed that, somtimes, BELLO and QUELLO, are used in a different shape, like when BELLO becomes bel or begli and QUELLO becomes quel or quegli.

If you ended up here. it is because you are not sure when using bel instead of bello, or, quel instead of quello. 

The rule is easier than you think, and I will explain to you why.



You need to make the difference between quello used as a pronoun (replacing a noun) and quello used as an adjective (accompanying a name).

If quello is positioned before a noun (and thus it is used as an adjective), its spelling changes by merging its root with the definite articles (il, lo, la, i, gli, le) that would normally precede a noun, as in the following examples: 

  • Quei ragazzi – those boys
  • Quegli amici – those friends
  • Quell’uomo – that guy
  • Quel ragazzo – that boy
  • Quella donna – those women
  • Quelle ragazze – those girls

If quello isa pronoun, the changes occur just in terms of gender and number.

  • Quello è il mio gatto – That one is my cat
  • Quelle sono le mie amiche – those are my girlfriends


Bello is an adjective and changes its shapes only if it precedes the noun. 

If bello comes before a noun, it merges with the definite articles and results in the following varieties 

  • Bei ragazzi – nice boys
  • Begli amici – nice friends
  • Bell’uomo –  nice man
  • Bel ragazzo – nice boy
  • Bella donna –  nice woman
  • Belle donne – nice women

If the adjective bello follows the noun or the verb essere it won’t follow the above rule, but simply changes its ending as a regular adjective.

  • Questa casa è bella – this house is beautiful
  • Questo uomo è bello – this guy is handsom