Plural Nouns

It’s important to know the gender of the word (masculine or feminine) and you can usually work this out by looking at the vowel it ends with.

To turn a singular word into a plural one, you usually only need to change the final vowel, though there are of course plenty of exceptions!

Singular nouns ending in “-o” are usually masculine. To produce a plural you need to change this ending to “-i“,


il tavolo →  i tavoli (the table – the tables)

Nouns ending in “-a” are usually feminine. To create the plural form you need to change the final vowel to “-e

la sedia →  le sedie (the chair – the chairs)

Some nouns ending in “-a” are masculine,  in which case the plural is “-i“.


il problem→ i problem(the problem – the problems)

And similarly some nouns ending in “-o” are feminine and their plural is the same as the singular form.


la radio →  le radio (the radio – the radios)

la foto →  le foto (the photo – the photos)

The plural form of singular nouns ending in “-ista” can be either “-i” (if masculine) or “-e” (if feminine).


il dentista → i dentisti / le dentiste (the dentist – the dentists)

Some nouns have just one form which works both for the singular and for the plural (accented words)


la città → le città (the city – the cities)

il papà → i papà (the dad – the dads)

Nouns ending in consonants (which are often borrowed ‘foreign’ words) also have identical singular and plural forms.


il computer → i computer (the computer – the computers)

There are some cases in which plural nouns have a different spelling.

Some masculine substantives ending in “-co” and “-go” form their plural with “-chi” and “-ghi“.


il tedesco → i tedeschi (the German – the Germans)

l’albergo → gli alberghi (the hotel – the hotels)

Others form the plural with “-ci” or “-gi“.


l’amico → gli amici (the friend – the friends)

Feminine nouns ending in “-ca” and “-ga” follow the same rule.


la tasca → le tasche (the pocket – the pockets)

l’alga → le alghe (the seaweed – the seaweeds)