Words and Letters: Italian sounds – Audio

Basic Italian sounds

There are some few basic rules for pronouncing correctly Italian sounds. Italian is less complicated than other common European languages. That’s because Italian is a literary language, heavily influenced by classic Latin and syllables have just one sound.

The Italian alphabet has just 21 letters, since j, k, w, x, and y are used only in foreign words recently adopted in the Italian vocabulary, like jeans, wifi, baby sitter, marketing, etc. Italian vowels are A E I O U. Listen to their sound:



The letter H is quite unique, since generally it’s not pronounced in the spoken language, but it is fundamental for creating some sounds. For example, “I have” in Italian is “io ho”, where “ho” is not pronounced like “holiday”, but like “Oregon”. GElato and spaGHEtti are simple and effective examples of how the letter H changes the sounds of syllables. Listen how a native speaker says these words correctly.


Another example where H creates sounds is CHI, like CHItarra, guitar, where we also have a double R. Double consonants give a stronger tone to the sound. Please listen and repeat.


Let’s find out some tricky words and Italian sounds you wouldn’t guess just reading them.

We are sure you would like to have some fantastic food in Italy. If you want to order some fish, you should call it pesce. SCE in italian is pronounced like shame. Two or more fish are pesci and SCI is pronounced like she in English. Listen and repeat.


The last tip of today about tricky Italian sounds is the hybrid sound GLI, where G and L are smoothly blended together. For example, the Italian word for family is famiglia. Listen carefully and catch the sound GLI.


Let’s wrap up today’s learnings. Please try to read and pronounce correctly the following syllables and then listen to the correct sound to adjust. Finally, solve the simple quiz below.






Thanks for listening.

Italian articles – Basic Rules & Quiz

Italian articles are of 2 types: determinativi (definite) and indeterminativi (indefinite)

All Italian articles agree in gender and number with a noun. There are 2 genders in the Italian language: maschile (masculine) and femminile (feminine) and they can be singular or plural.

  • The articolo determinativo, in Italian, is used to introduce nouns which refer to specific items. They are equivalent to the English “the“.
  • Same for the articolo indeterminativo, equivalent to the English “a” referring generically to an object.

Depending on the gender and number of the object they describe, articles change.

For example, we can say, La casa è grande, the house is big, using the article LA, singular feminine, because the noun casa is singular feminine. We are clearly referring to a specific house, because LA is an articolo determinativo. The house.

If we say, Vorrei una casa grande, I’d like a big house, we use the article UNA, singular feminine. In this case we need to use UNA, articolo indeterminativo, just “a” house.

Let’s see them all in detail.

Articoli determinativi

Articoli determinativi maschili – Masculine Definite Articles

il and its plural i are the most used

  • il cane, i cani

Lo, and its plural Gli are exceptions, used in the following cases: masculine nouns beginning with: a vowel, s + consonantz, gnpspn.

  • L’amico, Gli amici
  • Lo studente, Gli studenti
  • Lo zaino, Gli zaini
  • Lo gnocco, Gli gnocchi
  • Lo psichiatra, Gli psichiatri
  • Lo pneumatico, Gli pneumatici

The first case, masculine noun beginning with a vowel, is by far the most common case where we need Lo (L’) and Gli. S + consonant and Z are pretty common, the last three are rare, so don’t worry too much.

A classic example is lo spazio, gli spazi. In case of a vowel we use L’amico

Articoli determinativi femminili – Feminine Definite Articles

Feminine articles, are less complicated. We have la singolare and le plurale.

  • La casa, Le case

In case of a noun beginning with a vowel we use L’ because of the smoother sound.

  • L’amica, Le amiche

Articoli indeterminativi

Articolo indeterminativo maschile UN, is by far the most used, for all masculine nouns beginning with a vowel or a consonant

  • Un amico
  • Un cane

Articolo indeterminativo maschile UNO, not used together with nouns beginning with a vowel (uno amico —> un amico). Other that that, it matches the cases valid with “Lo”: s + consonantz, gnpspn:

  • Uno studente
  • Uno zaino
  • Uno gnocco
  • Uno psichiatra
  • Uno pneumatico

Articolo indeterminativo femminile UNA, is used for all feminine nouns, except when they begin with a vowel, in which case we use the truncated form UN’. So, we can say una casa, but un’amica , a female friend:

  • Una casa
  • Un’amica

Please take your time, solve the quiz below and repeat the correct sounds. A presto.


Don`t copy text!