The most common noun classes in Italian are the following:
- Nouns ending in a in the singular and e in the plural (la ragazza | le ragazze). Most nouns in this class are feminine.
- Nouns ending in o in the singular and i in the plural (il ragazzo | i ragazzi). Most nouns in this class are masculine.
- Nouns ending in e in the singular and i in the plural (il pesce | i pesci). Nouns in this class can be any gender.
- Nouns ending in a in the singular and i in the plural (il problema | i problemi). Most nouns in this class are masculine.
It is important to know there are some common exceptions to the rules above:
- Words ending with a grave accent, such as la città (the city), only change the final letter of the article, giving you le città (the cities).
- Masculine nouns ending in –co change to –chi in the plural, as in cuoco/cuochi (cook/cooks).
- Feminine nouns ending in –ca change to –che in the plural, as in amica/amiche (friend/friends) and mucca/mucche (cow/cows).
TIP: While gatto (cat) is considered masculine, it can be used in a feminine form when specifically describing female cats.