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:

MASCULINEFEMININEOTHER EXAMPLES
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.


Still facing difficulties with 'Noun genders: special cases'? Improve your Italian with Gymglish - try our Italian lessons for free now and receive a free level assessment!

What our users say:

Pleasure

         

I enjoy doing my online Italian lessons. Only ten minutes daily are enough...Thank you!

Innovative

         

I love your innovative method which allows me to learn a new language and have fun at the same time!

Unique

         

Your method is unique! Your courses have helped me to progress and gain confidence during my travels.

Progress

         

Gymglish has allowed me to improve my Italian. A daily routine I wouldn't miss for anything in the world!

More testimonials.

Improve your Italian further and test Saga Baldoria, online Italian lessons.