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Beginners’ Italian: food and drink
Beginners’ Italian: food and drink

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5   The indefinite article in Italian

You'll need to know how to say 'a' (or 'an') in Italian.

Language: Indefinite article un/uno/una/un’

The Italian equivalent of English ‘a’ or ‘an’ (the indefinite article) is either un, uno, una or un’. The form depends on whether the noun it relates to is masculine or feminine and whether the noun starts with a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) or a consonant.

Masculine nouns

Use un with most masculine nouns:

  • un bicchierea glass
  • un aperitivoan aperitif

Use uno before a masculine noun beginning with s + consonant (for example sc-, sp-):

  • uno scontrino a receipt
  • uno spuntino a snack

Use uno before a masculine noun beginning with gn, pn, ps, x, z, or with i or y followed by another vowel:

  • uno zioan uncle
  • uno yogurta yogurt

Feminine nouns

Use una with a feminine noun beginning with a consonant:

  • una birra a beer
  • una pizzaa pizza

Use un’ before a feminine noun beginning with a vowel:

  • un'aranciataan orangeade
  • un’acqua mineralea mineral water

Activity 11

From following the explanation above, add the appropriate indefinite article un, uno, una or un’ to each of the following words.

Example: un gelato

___ acqua minerale

___ succo di frutta

___ vino bianco

___ amaro

___ scontrino

___ bar

___ pasta

___ acqua gassata

___ espresso

___ succo di mela

___ spumante

___ aranciata

___ pizza

___ cornetto

Answer

un’acqua minerale

un succo di frutta

un vino bianco

un amaro

uno scontrino

un bar

una pasta

un’acqua gassata

un espresso

un succo di mela

uno spumante

un’aranciata

una pizza

un cornetto