Italian is a popular language to learn, although some students say that they have problems with Italian articles. Along with Romanian, French, Spanish, Catalan and Portuguese, it is a Romance language. It sounds musical and if a student learned Latin at school, it makes it easier to understand Italian. Italian is the language most commonly used in opera because it is so beautiful and easy to sing, as it has a musical rhythm. Just listen to native speakers using their language.
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Italy has one of the worlds big economies and employers often seek employees who can speak the language. It’s good for communicating in the business world and many large US companies have offices in Italy. More than 7,000 American firms do business with Italy, so if you have just started learning Italian and are thinking of giving up because of the Italian articles, think again.
There are similarities between Italian and Spanish, and when the languages are spoken speakers of Italian usually have no difficulty in communicating with Spanish speakers. Interestingly Greeks can usually understand Italians, although the same can’t really be said of Italians understanding Greeks.
If you learn and speak a foreign language, your brain’s functions improve. People who speak more than one language have an edge over monolinguals. Because Italian is a musical, lilting language, it is pleasant on the ear and people like listening to it being sung or spoken. Also because people like the language the find it easier to learn than a more guttural language such as German.
Many British people love Italy, particularly Tuscany, and consider buying property there. The transactions are greatly eased when they speak Italian. Many go to evening classes specifically to learn Italian so that they can communicate with locals when they are on holiday.
If you are a native English speaker, you may be confused about articles, as like French, for examples, there are both masculine ones and feminine ones. English just has one form of the article, not two. However, in English there are definite and indefinite articles, just as there are in Italian. The definite one is ‘the’ and the indefinite ‘a.’ Students of English are often confused by their usage, but it isn’t as complicated as having to master which article goes with masculine and feminine nouns in Italian, and of course there are singular and plural articles.
Masculine articles have two forms, ‘il’, is used in front of words that start with a consonant, and ‘lo’ is used with words that start with an ‘s’ that is followed by a consonant, while l’ is used when a word begins with an ‘h’ or a vowel.
Now let’s look at the plural forms of the masculine articles:
This last one can be confusing for French speakers who use ‘le’ as a masculine singular article.
Then there are the partitive Italian articles: -
The partitive articles (articolo partitivo) in Italian are rather like some, any, much and many in English. The feminine singular partitive articles are della or dell’ (before a word beginning with a vowel), while the plural one is delle. The masculine singular partitive articles are del or dell’ (before a vowel) and dello which is used before z, x (with a consonant) and gn (think gnocchi). The masculine plural articles are dei, and degli.
However, this article is not about the quantifiers and determiners, only the articles.
Basically, you just have to learn the Italian articles and practise using them. Try to find native speakers of Italian to communicate with and ask them to correct any mistakes you make.
There are many reasons to learn Italian, and don’t forget it is often referred to as the language of love.
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