Enhanced Beginner 1 Italian Course – Class 3 (2023)

Nouns, gender, indefinite articles, nationalities & stare (to stay)

After this class you should;

be able to identify the grammatical gender of most Italian nouns.
be able to select and correctly use Italian indefinite articles (a or an).
be able to conjugate and use the Italian verb stare (to stay).
be able to name 15 different nationalities in Italian.


Learning about Gender and Indefinite Articles in Italian

Gender of the Italian Noun

In Italian all nouns have gender. Some seem logical like donna (woman) which is feminine. Others don't seem to have any logical assignment such as montagna (mountain) which is feminine. That's because it really doesn't have to do with the object as much as it does the grammatical assignment of a word to a specific category. My advice is to spend less time trying to figure out why something is classified masculine or feminine and spend more time studying how to tell if a word is masculine or feminine and what that means when it comes to how that affects using it in a sentence.

Determining the gender of an Italian noun

This is by no means an exhaustive explanation of noun gender. It is adequate to get us started and we want to keep things as simple as possible to keep us moving along. At this point we will only address singular nouns. We will learn more about noun gender as we move on.

Nouns ending in "o" are predominately masculine (esempio - "bambino")
Nouns ending in "a" are predominately feminine (esempio - "bambina")
Nouns ending in "e" can be masculine or feminine
Most nouns taken from other languages are predominately masculine.

One note regarding nouns ending in "e" is;
Nouns ending with “ore” (dottore, fiore) are masculine
Nouns ending with “ione” (stazione, lezione) are usually feminine.

The Italian Indefinite Article

The indefinite articles in Italian are the equivalent of the English words "a" and "an" that we use for phrases like "I'll have an apple" or "I need a car". The indefinite articles must agree in gender with the nouns they are used with. In other words, you have to use a masculine indefinite article with a masculine noun and so on.

Criteria for choosing which Indefinite Articles used in the Italian

Indefinite Article Gender Special considerations
Un Masculine
Uno Masculine Nouns starting with Z or S + a consonant
Una Feminine
Un’ Feminine Nouns starting with a vowel

You never use an indefinite article in the plural

* Although greatly simplified I learned this information from the Book “Ciao!” by Carla Federici and Carla Larese Riga, Copyright 1986 –and from the Drive Time Italian Audio Course, Copyright 2005

Io Sto I stay
Tu Stai You stay
Lui/Lei Sta He/She stays
Noi Stiamo We stay
Voi State Y’all stay
Loro Stanno They stay

Io sto = I stay / Tu stai = You stay / Lui sta = He stays / Lei sta = She stays
Noi stiamo = we stay / Voi state = Y'all stay / Loro stanno = They stay
Printable Homework
Basic Exercise on indefinite articles Exercise on indefinite articles
Exercise conjugating stare (Italian to English)
Exercise conjugating stare (English to Italian)


Printable Vocabulary
Printable large flash cards (English Side)
Printable large flash cards (Italian Side)
Printable small flash cards (English Side)
Printable small flash cards (Italian Side)
Enhanced Beginner 1 Italian Course – Class 3 (11) Downloadable Podcast
basic online exercise
Exercise (Italian to English)
Exercise (English to Italian)
printable crossword



Buona sera signore.
Buona sera, come sta?
Molto bene, grazie, e Lei?
Non c’ è male! Grazie. Mi scusi ma Lei come si chiama?
Mi chiamo Carlo Wagner.
Wagner, Lei e’ tedesco?
No, non sono tedesco, sono americano. E Lei, come si chiama?
Io sono Giovanni Garatti, piacere.
Piacere mio Signor Garatti, Lei e’ italiano?
Sì, sono italiano. Mia moglie è Americana. Ci siamo incontrati negli Stati Uniti.
Che cosa significano le parole “Ci siamo incontrati negli Stati Uniti.”
Le parole significano - We met in the United States.
Come si dice “also“ in italiano?
Si dice: Anche
Anche io e mia moglie ci siamo incontrati negli Stati Uniti !
Grazie mille e arrivederla signor Giovanni!
Prego e arrivederla signor Carlo
Printable Video Dialog
Printable Practice Sheets 1
Printable Practice Sheets 2
printable crossword
Useful Italian question;
Che cosa significa della parola ... ?
What is the meaning of the word ... ?

Class Dialog

Using only the vocabulary we have learned so far, learn how to say everything below in Italian (except what is in " "), print out and bring the printable form of this dialog and be prepared to say the dialog below for one of the persons in class.

Person #1 - Good evening Sir (or Miss),
Person #2 - Good evening Sir (or Miss), how are you?
Person #1 - I am fine, thank you, and you? How are you?
Person #2 - I am very well, thank you. My name is _____________. What is your name?
Person #1 - I am ____________. Pleased to meet you.
Person #2 - Pleased to meet you. Are you Italian?
Person #1 – No I am not Italian. I am German. “La cassiera” is Italian.
Person #2 – What does the word cassiera mean?
Person #1 - Cassiera means cashier.
Person #1 - Sir (or Miss) I would like you to meet la cassiera, __________.
Person #2 - Pleased to meet you, my name is __________.
Person #3 – Pleased to meet you, are you Italian?
Person #2 – No, I am not Italian, I am American. How do you say "I study" in Italian?
Person #3 – You say “studio”.
Person #2 – Thank you, I study Italian.
Person #3 – You are welcome, goodbye Sir (or Miss).
Person #2 - goodbye Sir (or Miss).
Person #1 - bye

printable class dialog

You can learn more about nouns, gender, indefinite articles & stare on these pages of the following books.

4 - 17, of the book "English Grammar for Students of Italian" by Sergio Adorni and Karen Primorac, copyright 1995.
14 - 15, 24 - 25, 84 (page #'s may vary as I have an older edition) of "Ciao" by Carla Federici & Carla Larese Riga, copyright 1986.
1 - 28 of the book "Complete Italian Grammar" by Marcel Dansesi, copyright 1976.
1 - 28, 41 - 43 of the book "Italian Grammar Drills" by Paola Nanni-Tate, copyright 2007.
11 & 12 of the book "Italian Verb Drills" (Third Edition) by Paola Nanni-Tate, copyright 2011.

If you do not own these books, don't worry, it is not mandatory that you do unless you were instructed to buy them at the beginning of the class. However, they can be very useful in a lot of ways and if you would like to know more about these books and where to buy them, simply go to our online bookstore or quicker yet, just click on the appropriate book below.

Did you know? - A bit of Italian Trivia

“Pompeii is the city that was buried after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Many parts of ancient life were eerily preserved. By pouring wax into the cavities in the ash (which once held various furniture and artifacts) scientists have been able to get perfect replicas of ancient Roman furniture." -
Source - romanlife-romeitaly.com

Have you heard? - Some good Italian Music

If you also have a taste for a little Rock now and then, there are some more good Italian tunes that you just might enjoy from an Italian rocker known as Vasco Rossi. Check out the video below and I hope you enjoy! Oh - and don't forget to turn it up!

This and many other
great songs are available on --->

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Enhanced Beginner 1 Italian Course – Class 3 (21)

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