4.1 Introduction to the formation of the plural

The formation of the plural in Italian is not as straightforward and easy as it is in Spanish or English, where just an s must be added to form the plural (dog => dogs, perro => perros) and the few exception (woman => women) can be counted with one hand. In Italian the basic rules are a little bit more complicated, and there are more exceptions to the basic rules.

Let's start with the basic rule.

Words, which end in -a, form the plural on -e (and are feminine in general)
la casa => le case
  the house => the houses
  la donna => le donne
  the woman => the women
  la finestra => le finestre
the window => the windows
  la ragazza => le ragazze
  the girl => the girls
  Words, which end in -o, form the plural with -i (and are masculine in general)
  il giorno => i giorni
  the day => the days
  il libro => i libri
  the book => the books
  l' anno => gli anni
  the year => the years
  il ragazzo => i ragazzi
  the boy => the boys
  Words, which end in -e, form the plural in -i (in these case the gender must be learnt as well)
  il mare => i mari
  the sea => the seas
  la notte => le notti
  the night => the nights
  la madre => le madri
  the mother => the mothers
  il padre => i padri
  the father => the fathers
  la chiave => le chiavi
  the key => the keys

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