Italian language lessons: lesson n°1 – Nouns

and inanimate objects, ideas, facts, feelings, actions as so on, is a noun.

When a noun indicates a person, animal or object that exists physically and may be perceived by the five senses, is defined concrete. A noun that defines an idea, a thought or a feeling is an abstract noun: cane, gatto, casa, albero are concrete nouns; amore, forza, fame are abstract nouns.A noun that indicates generally people, animals and objects and doesn’t identify with precision, are common nouns.A noun that indicates a specific person animal or object and distinguish them from others people, animals or objects are defined own nouns (its first letter is written capital):cane, gatto, persona are common nouns; Paolo, James and Jessica are own nouns.

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Nouns are words composed of two parts: the root (radice in Italian), which remains constant, and the ending (desinenza in Italian), which changes.We can easily recognize a noun by its ending, which indicates its gender (masculine or feminine) and its number (singular or plural).Generally nouns that ends in -o are masculine and nouns that ends in -a are feminine; the nouns that ends in -e generally are the same for masculine and feminine.

It is not possible to have an accurate classification of nouns according to their ending, because there are so many exceptions, so we always recommend the use of a dictionary to be sure about the gender or the number of a noun. Anyway in Italian language (like all latin languages) we have three declinations: