We are sure that even if you speak some Italian there are some names of body parts – parti del corpo – you don’t know. We’ll focus on vocabulary and pronunciation. Listen to the audio files and solve the final quiz.
Ok, get ready to listen and repeat the words. We are going to dissect and study the human body just like my esteemed fellow countryman Leonardo da Vinci did some time ago. Well… in less detail.
La testa – The head
As opposed to English, i capelli is a countable noun. So il capello is a single hair. Il sopracciglio belongs to a particular family of Italian nouns, along with other nouns of body parts. The singular is masculine, plural is feminine le sopracciglia ending in -a. This is because in Latin they were neutral words and in Italian (we have no neutral) singular and plural took different genders. At the bottom of the page you will find a recap.
Il torso – the torso (easy!)
In this case the singular word il seno stands generally for both breasts. It is also possible to say i seni, less used. I bet you want to know how we say “ass” instead of the most polite sedere. There you go: culo.
Gli arti – Limbs
Finally, it’s worth mentioning the name of the fingers. From thumb to pinky the are: pollice, indice, medio, anulare, mignolo. In Italian il dito, singular is masculine, the plural le dita is feminine. Other nouns with irregular plurals are: sopracciglio, ciglio, braccio, ginocchio, labbro. Try to say the plural following the same rule, LE DITA —-> LE —–A.
A useful tip, hoping you won’t need it. If you feel pain somewhere and need to explain it to an Italian doctor, say:
- Mi fa male + singular —> Mi fa male la testa
- Mi fanno male + plural —> Mi fanno male le gambe