Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 9 years ago

Can an Italian briefly explain the usage of "il, lo, l', i, gli, le" please?

I can speak Italian quite well and carry on a conversation by this point, but I may make stupid mistakes pertaining to what I'm about to ask.

I understand "il, gli, lo, i" are masculine, but when exactly are they used?

il ragazzo

and I think you use "Gli" for a plural if it starts with a vowel right? Gli occhi, is that right?

I don't understand the rules(This is for ones that don't start with vowels?) for "i" but I know it's used for words like "i bambini" and "i ragazzi"

I rarely see "Lo" used to say "The _(noun)_", but when is it used?

La strada

Le strade

Somethings don't make sense to me like "Le mani" Why isn't it "i mani"?

Can you explain to me the rules of using these specifically and any irregulars I should know about?

("Le mani" seems irregular, but I could be wrong.)

I have a general understanding, but I feel I see a lot of odd and irregular usages, so I'd like a deep explanation on the usage of these. Thank you.

1 Answer

  • Enzo
    Lv 5
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    IL / LO ---> Singular

    I / GLI ---> Plural

    IL ragazzo ---> I ragazzi

    IL bambino ---> I bambini

    IL dottore ----> I dottori

    LO is followed by words start with DOUBLE consonant : LO SPecchio (the mirror) ---> GLI SPecchi

    LO SPazzolino ---> GLI SPazzolini / LO STraccio ---> GLI STracci

    LO occhio ---> NO ---> because LO elides (loses its vowel and takes an apostrophe) So, it becomes L' Occhio ---> GLI occhi (OK) [ The same goes for LA ]

    "Le mani" Why isn't it "i mani" ----> Because Le is the plural of LA (feminine) whereas " i " is the plural of IL (masculine)

    La mano = Le mani / La strada = le strade / La ruota = Le ruote

    * The word "foto" (pic), instead, does NOT change the ending vowel ( La foto ---> Le foto)

    Don't worry, day after day you'll learn these nuances

    Notice that when " GLI" is followed by a verb, it means HIM/THEM (lui/loro)

    Gli hanno rotto la faccia --- > A LUI (him) hanno rotto la faccia

    They smashed face to him ( I don't know if this sentence is correct in English)

    Hope it helps, ciao Dante!!

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