Italian masculine nouns

What are the Italian masculine nouns? How do you tell them apart from feminine ones?

Tavolo
Table

Cielo
Sky

Giornalista
Journalist

Prigione
Prison

man escaping prison - Italian masculine gender - "prigione" is a masculine noun in Italian

Learn everything you need to know about them here!


Italian masculine nouns

As you probably already know, Italian nouns can be either masculine or feminine.

Usually, nouns for male people and animals usually are of masculine gender, while nouns for female people and animals are of feminine gender.

Uomo and bambino, for example, are masculine.

Uomo
Man

Bambino
Male kid

And donna and bambina are feminine.

Donna
Woman

Bambina
Female kid

For all other nouns, it’s not nature that defines gender. It’s grammar itself. Most times, you will be able to guess the gender of an Italian noun by its ending letter, making Italian masculine nouns easy to spot. Let’s see why.


Masculine nouns ending in -o

The vast majority of Italian masculine nouns ends in -o. Very few feminine nouns end in -o.

Masculine nounEnglish
VasoVase
QuadroPainting
MuroWall
FoglioSheet of paper
LibroBook
AlberoTree
TelefonoPhone

Il muro è alto.
The wall is high.

Mi serve un foglio bianco.
I need a white paper.

Potresti prendere il telefono?
Could you pick up the phone?

flower vase with a green, spiky flower

Masculine nouns are commonly preceded by a masculine definite article or a masculine indefinite article in Italian.


Masculine nouns ending in -e

Italian nouns ending in -e can either be masculine or feminine and some of them cannot be told apart.

Serpente
Snake

Would you be able to say if serpente is masculine or feminine?

In fact, one of the nouns that you’ve seen right at the beginning of this article is a feminine noun: prigione.

We say il serpente, with a masculine article, because the noun is masculine.

And we say la prigione, with a feminine article, because the noun is feminine.

Other masculine nouns in -e are…

Masculine nounEnglish
CaneDog
ElefanteElephant
PaneBread
PonteBridge
CroceCross
ScorpioneScorpion

L’elefante è un animale che ha un’ottima memoria.
The elephant is an animal that has an excellent memory.

Ti piace il pane fatto in casa?
Do you like homemade bread?

Il ponte è stato costruito in due mesi.
The bridge was built in two months.

You will have to learn the gender by heart for words in -e that have an unpredictable gender that cannot be inferred by context, as sometimes you will be able to guess the correct gender depending on the meaning of the noun itself.

Let’s see how.


Italian nouns in -ale, -è, -ile, -one and -ore

Nouns that end in -ale, -è, -ile, -one and -ore are usually masculine.

Masculine nounEnglish
CanaleChannel
CaffèCoffee
BacileBasin
LimoneLemon
OnoreHonor
DolorePain

Bevo sempre il caffè a colazione.
I always drink coffee at breakfast.

Taglia questo limone a fette, per favore.
Please slice this lemon up.

masculine nouns in italian - coffee machine dripping and a steaming cup

Nouns ending in a consonant

Italian nouns ending in a consonant are usually loan words from other languages. Almost all foreign words are masculine.

Masculine nounEnglish
ComputerComputer
YogurtYogurt
HotelHotel
FilmFilm
BarBar

Lavoro al computer.
I work at the computer.

Mangio sempre uno yogurt dopo cena.
I always eat a yogurt after dinner.

Hai visto quel nuovo film?
Have you seen that new movie?


Job professions in -iere and -ore

All Italian words about job professions that end in –iere and -ore are masculine, as these refer to male people doing the job.

Masculine nounEnglish
PittorePainter
BarbiereBarber
AttoreAttrice
PompiereFirefighter
CameriereWaiter
MuratoreConstruction worker
ProfessoreProfessor

Mio papà fa il pittore.
My dad is a painter.

L’attore sta studiando il copione.
The actor is studying the script.

Ho sempre sognato di fare il professore.
I’ve always dreamed of being a professor.

a barber drying up someone's hair - masculine nouns in italian

Job professions in -ista

Words ending in -ista that refer to job professions can be either masculine or feminine depending on the natural gender of the worker.

Take giornalista, for example. It can be a male noun (il giornalista, the male journalist) if you’re talking about a man and a female noun (la giornalista, the female journalist) if you’re addressing a woman.

Masculine nounEnglish
GiornalistaJournalist
BaristaBartender
ArtistaArtist
MusicistaMusician
VelocistaSprinter

Il giornalista parla al microfono.
The journalist speaks into the microphone.

L’artista dipinge un quadro.
The artist paints a painting.


Masculine nouns in -a

Since -a is the main feminine ending in Italian, you won’t find many masculine nouns ending with this letter. There are very, very few of them.

Masculine nounEnglish
ClimaClimate
SistemaSystem
ProblemaProblem
AmalgamaMixture, combination
PoemaPoem

Com’è il clima a Roma?
What’s the climate like in Rome?

Huston, abbiamo un problema.
Huston, we have a problem.

And that’s it with the Italian masculine nouns! If you still have any doubts, feel free to leave a comment.


What next?

Now that you know everything about the Italian masculine nouns, you might want to keep learning Italian online with these free Italian resources:

Liked this lesson on the Italian masculine nouns? Don’t forget to share it with your friends who are also studying Italian! Help spread the Italian word!

Leave a Comment