Adjectives, or aggettivi as we call them in Italian, are words that define, qualify or modify the meaning of a noun. Aggettivi qualificativi are Italian adjectives describing size, shape, colour, attitude, character, common and personal opinions, nationality and so on.
There basic rules about Italian adjectives, are valid for the vast majority of cases and go deeper in detail during our live lessons. Let’s see how Italian adjectives behave according to the noun they depend on.
When we say “l’Italia è bella”, Italy is beautiful, we express a quality of a noun using an adjective. Italia is a feminine noun, “bella” is an adjective and agrees with the gender of the noun, so it’s feminine too. If we say “George Clooney è bello”, we say he’s beautiful, and you can notice the gender of the adjective “bello” is masculine as it depends on the masculine noun George Clooney.
As a rule of thumb, we can classify aggettivi qualificativi in their singular masculine version and define the rules to make them feminine and plural. Consider that most adjectives end in -o just like bello, so you can apply this rule with some confidence. Then we have a second minor type ending in -e like grande, where feminine and masculine are the same. A third, rather rare type or aggettivi ending in -a, where only plurals change. Please see the recap below.
Have you ever watched the movie “La vita è bella”? If you haven’t, you should. This title has a fundamental structure (article) – subject – verb – adjective ideal for understanding today’s topic.
Lest’s jot down some examples based on the table above and “La vita è bella”‘s structure.
- L’abero è alto (the tree is tall)
- I bambini sono simpatici (kids are funny)
- Maria è bassa (Maria is short)
- Le mele sono rosse (apples are red)
- Giovanni è intelligente (Giovanni is Intelligent)
- Gli elefanti sono pesanti (elephants are heavy)
- La marmellata è dolce (jam is sweet)
- Le foglie sono verdi (leaves are green)
- Stefano è un idiota (Stefano is an idiot)
- Daria è ottimista (Daria is optimist)
- I bambini sono egoisti (kids are selfish)
- Le mie amiche sono entusiate (my girlfriends are enthusiastic)
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