Noun genders: special cases

Reminder: many nouns change from masculine to feminine by changing the final vowel: -o/-e (masculine) → -a (feminine).

il gatto () la gatta ()

the cat (male) → the cat (female)

il signore () la signora ()

the gentleman → the lady

There are, however, some special cases, for example:

attore (male actor)attrice (female actor)lo sciatore → la sciatrice (the male skier → the female skier); lo scrittore → la scrittrice (the male writer → the female writer)

avvocato (male attorney)

leone (lion)

poeta (male poet)

avvocatessa (female attorney)

leonessa (lioness)

poetessa (female poet)

il soldato → la soldatessa (the male soldier → the female soldier)

il campione → la campionessa (the male champion → the female champion); il dottore → la dottoressa (the male doctor → the female doctor)

il duca → la duchessa (the duke → the duchess)

difensore (male defender)difenditrice (female defender)il possessore/posseditore → la posseditrice (the male owner → the female owner)
gallo (rooster)

eroe (hero)

gallina (hen)

eroina (heroine)

lo zar → la zarina (the tsar → the tsarina)
  • Some nouns are entirely different in their masculine and feminine forms.

la moglie → il marito; il genero → la nuora; il fratello → la sorella; il maiale → la scrofa

the wife → the husband; the son-in-law → the daughter-in-law; the brother → the sister; the boar → the sow.

  • Some nouns are the same in both their masculine and feminine forms, in which case the gender is indicated by the preceding article or context.

il/la cantante; il/la giornalista; l'insegnante

the singer; the journalist; the teacher.

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