Masculine and Feminine Common Endings in Italian
In Italian language, nouns, pronouns, and adjectives can be assigned one of two grammatical genders: masculine or feminine. The gender of a word is arbitrary and does not always have a logical connection to the gender of the person or object it represents.
The gender of most Italian nouns is pretty straightforward.
Nouns ending in “O”, like “il tavolo”, “il ragazzo”, “lo zaino” are masculine, while nouns ending in “A” are feminine, like “la casa”, “la donna”, “la borsa”.
Knowing the gender of a word is important in Italian because it affects the form of articles, adjectives, and pronouns used with it.
Nouns ending – E
However, there’s a pretty conspicuous group of nouns ending in -E and it can be a bit tricky to determine the gender of these nouns, as the gender is often arbitrary and not related to the meaning of the noun. or example, “il fiore” (the flower) is masculine, while “la neve ” (the snow) is feminine.
There are some patterns that can help determine the gender of a noun ending in -e. However, it’s important to keep in mind that these patterns are not absolute and there may be exceptions. Here are a few general guidelines:
Nouns ending -IERE or -ORE are usually masculine.
- il cameriere
- il portiere
- lo scrittore
Nouns ending in -TRICE are usually feminine.
- la pittrice
- la scrittrice
Note that nouns denoting professions that end in –ORE in the masculine form change to –TRICE in the feminine form. For example:
- l’attore/ l’attrice
- lo scrittore / la scrittrice
- l’imprenditore / l’imprenditrice
Nouns ending in -ENTE, -ANTE and -ESE can can be either masculine or feminine. The gender in this case is determined by the article.
- il/la cantante
- il cliente/la cliente
- il/la francese
Nouns ending in -SIONE or -ZIONE are feminine.
- la televisione
- la passione
- la tensione
- la missione
- la stazione
- la comunicazione
Nouns ending in -ISTA and -ETA are invariabile in the singular form. However they decline into -ISTI/ISTE and -ETI/-ETE in the plural form.
- il/la turista – i turisti/le turiste
- il musicista – i musicisti/le musiciste
- l’atleta – gli atleti/le atlete
Words- ending in – EMA/-IMA are masculine.
- il problema
- il tema
- il sistema
- il clima
Words winding – ISI/ESI are feminine.
- la tesi
- la crisi
- la sintesi
Words ending in -E’/U’ are feminine
- il caffè
- il tè
- la virtù
- la gioventù
Foreign nouns, unless they refer to a female, are generally masculine:
- il bar
- il sandwich
- il cocktail
- il bus