Italian Pronunciation and Grammar Made Easy

Italian is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful languages in the world. Unless you can properly pronounce the words or put together coherent sentences, you most likely won’t be able to communicate as effectively as you want to. However, if you have the opportunity to learn from native speakers, your learning experience will be much more enjoyable and successful.

Having learned Italian to the point of native-level, our team of language experts understand what makes or breaks the process of learning and mastering Italian pronunciation and grammar. Now they’ve consolidated their years of experience and knowledge for you in a comprehensive guide that’s both informative and easy to understand.

After reading this guide, you’ll have a good idea of how to efficiently apply what you’ve learned about Italian pronunciation and grammar to daily life situations. At the end of this article, get your free Ebook guide download for the complete version of Your Guide to Italian Pronunciation and Grammar.


Quick Intro to Italian Pronunciation

Since Italian shares the same writing system (Roman alphabet) as English, being able to read and write probably won’t be too much of a challenge for you. By focusing on the workings of Italian pronunciation, you can start speaking Italian immediately after reading what you see. This guide will help you understand how to accurately speak and pronounce Italian by referencing English words and sounds in different languages.

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Italian is written with five vowels {a, e, i, o, u} but they make more than just five sounds.The letters {a, i, u} are pronounced the same as in Spanish, French, and German, roughly: ah, ee, oo (as in 'food').


The letters {i, u} can be glides and sound like English {y, w} before other vowels.

The combinations {qu, gu}, unlike Spanish, is always pronounced /kw, ɡw/ in Italian.

Open and Closed {o, e}

The letters {e, i} have an "open" and "closed" pronunciation.

Open {e} is pronounced as in Spanish and German: like {a} in "play" without the {y} at the end.

Closed {e} is just like the English short {e}: as in "set."

Open {o} is pronounced as in Spanish and German: like {o} in "flow" without the {w} at the end.

Closed {o} is just like the British English short {o}: as in "cot."

There are many rules for when to pronounce {e, o} either open or closed and although they can get quite confusing, we’ll make it simple for you in this guide. You’ll get the complete list of pronunciation rules in your free Ebook guide download!

Overview of Italian Grammar

Studies show that the one thing Italian learners struggle the most with is grammar -- noun and verb inflections, to be specific. The confusion caused by verb conjugation in various tenses or the switch between gender and numbers have always been a challenge for enthusiasts eager to master the language of Italian. With a better understanding of Italian grammar structure, you will be able to craft concise sentences with exactly what you want to express and get across.

Parts of Speech

In both English and Italian, subject-verb-object word order is the norm.It's not too difficult to start recognizing parts of speech in Italian since most words have a specific ending that can help.Recognizing parts of speech will help you identify the meanings of sentences easier.


Nouns can end with -a, -o, or -e. All words ending in -a are classified as feminine, and all those ending in -o as masculine. Nouns ending in -e could be either masculine or feminine, and this depends on the nature of the word (lover: amante). Words in English ending in -tion and -ty are usually -zione and -tà/-tù in Italian, all of which are feminine.

Some early borrowings from Greek ending -a are actually masculine: cinema, problema, clima, sistema, diploma, tema, teorema, panorama, poema.

Names of professions ending in -a can be either masculine or feminine: atleta, giornalista, artista, musicista, farmacista, pilota.

Masculine and feminine animals can simply swap -o with -a.

Plural Nouns

To make a noun plural:

Change all masculine noun endings to -i, including those ending in -a.
Change all -a endings to -e, however all -e and -o endings become -i. For example "the hand": la mano becomes le mani.

Articles (the, a/an, some/any)

Nouns starting with a consonant:

Masculine singular and plural: il > i, un, del > dei
Feminine singular and plural: la > le, una, della > delle

Nouns starting with a vowel (or silent {h}):

Masculine singular and plural: l' > gli (sometimes gl'), un', dell' > degli
Feminine singular and plural: l' > le, un', dell' > delle

Nouns starting with consonant clusters or other special letters:

Masculine singular and plural: lo > gli, uno, dello > degli

Here are a few nouns where "lo" is used: lo scrittore, lo spettatore, lo studente, lo sconto, lo zucchero, lo yogurt, lo psicologo, lo sbaglio

Here are some exceptions: gli dei, per lo più, per lo meno

The definite article is more frequently used than in English: my friend (la mia amica), her voice (la sua voce), with abstract nouns, names of languages/colors/verbal nouns/dates/times, and after 'all' (tutti).

The definite article is omitted where English uses it: on the right (a destra), on the left (a sinistra).

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