Agreement *

Most Italian adjectives have to agree with the nouns they describe in terms of number and gender.

Some adjectives have four forms – masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural & feminine plural. These appear in the dictionary in the masculine singular form ending in o. Here is an example using the adjective rosso – red:

  • masculine singular – rosso
  • il vino rosso – red wine
  • feminine singular – rossa
  • una gonna rossa – a red dress
  • masculine plural – rossi
  • i capelli rossi – red hair
  • feminine plural – rosse
  • le camicie rosse – the red shirts

Others have just two forms – masculine & feminine singular and masculine & feminine plural. These appear in the dictionary in the masculine / feminine singular form ending in e. Here is an example using the adjective verde – green:

  • masculine singular – verde
  • il picchio verde – green woodpecker
  • feminine singular – verde
  • la cravatta verde – green tie
  • masculine plural – verdi
  • gli occhi verdi – green eyes
  • feminine plural – verdi
  • le zone verdi – green belt

Finally, some adjectives are invariable, they only have one form. These do not change to agree with the noun. The example used this time is again a colour, this time blu – blue:

  • masculine singular – blu
  • una matita blu – a blue pencil
  • feminine singular – blu
  • una cintura blu – a blue belt
  • masculine plural – blu
  • i occhi blu – blue eyes
  • feminine plural – blu
  • le gonne blu – blue skirts

Many colours are invariable adjectives including the following; blu – blue, rosa – pink, viola – violet / purple, lilla – lilac, beige – beige.