(by DuoItalian)

Determiners are words that specify the denotation of a noun phrase. Similar to adjectives, they modify and clarify the noun. In Italian they agree in gender and number with the noun.

Common types of determiners include definite and indefinite articles (the, a, an), demonstratives (this, that), possessive determiners (my, their), quantifiers (many, few, several), numerals, distributive determiners (each, any), and interrogative determiners (which).

  • Ci sono alcuni ragazzi nel parco. (There are some boys in the park.)
  • Molte lingue sono difficili. (Many languages are hard.)
  • I miei studenti parlano inglese. (My students speak English.)

Questo (this) and quello (that) are often utilized determiners and are therefore very important to properly understand. Questo is a four-form adjective and only changes its final letter. (* Note that before a vowel, questo and questa optionally contract to quest’.)

Singular (this) Plural (these)
il divano questo divano i divani questi divani
l’amico questo amico* gli amici
questi amici
lo squalo questo squalo gli squali questi squali
la stanza questa stanza le stanze queste stanze
l’ape quest’ape* le api queste api

While quello has the added feature of combining with the definite article of the proceeding noun.

Singular (that) Plural (those)
il divano quel divano i divani quei divani
l’amico quell’amico gli amici
quegli amici
lo squalo quello squalo gli squali quegli squali
la stanza quella stanza le stanze quelle stanze
l’ape quell’ape le api quelle api

It is very useful here to note that the previously covered adjective bello (beautiful) follows these same irregular patterns for some reason.

Singular Plural
bel divano bei divani
bell’amico begli amici
bello squalo begli squali
bella stanza belle stanze
bell’ape belle api

TIP: The terms qualsiasi and qualunque are synonyms (meaning “any”) and may be used in similar contexts, with the very slight difference that the former can imply a choice (i.e. whatever, whichever). Very loosely translated below:

  • Dammi un libro qualunque. (Give me just any book.)
  • Dammi un libro qualsiasi. (Give me whichever book you want to give me.)

(from Duolingo)
alcunesome, several
alcunasome, any
qualchesome, few
troppotoo many
parecchioquite a lot
qualsiasiany, whichever
tuttiall, whole
un altroanother


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