Italian adjectives: Italian grammar lesson 196

Italian adjectives: Italian grammar lesson 196


Dive into the Italian language and master adjectives ending in -bile! Learn how these words express potential and capability, and discover the simple trick to forming their opposites with prefixes like in-, im-, and ir-.

Recognize Patterns: Spot Italian adjectives with the -bile ending. They’re akin to English adjectives ending in -able or -ible, making them a breeze to remember! 🧠
Understand Meaning: These adjectives describe the potential or ability to possess a certain quality. Words like possibile (possible) are your clues to their capability-focused nature. 💡
Form Opposites: Flip the meaning with prefixes! Add in- to most adjectives, but switch to im- for those starting with p or m, and ir- for those with an initial r. 🔄
Exceptions to the Rule: Remember, im- is the go-to for adjectives beginning with p or m. Don’t mix them up, or you’ll get some puzzled looks! 😜
Practice Makes Perfect: Take the first five adjectives from the list and try forming their opposites. It’s a great exercise to get the hang of these prefixes. 📝
Expand Your Vocabulary: Challenge yourself to convert more adjectives into their negative forms. It’s a fun way to boost your Italian word bank! 🚀
Watch Out for Sensible: Don’t get tripped up! Sensibile means sensitive, not sensible. For that, you’ll want to use sensato. A little quirk to keep in mind! 😉

My thoughts

What are the adjectives ending in -bile?

In Italian, there are groups of adjectives that have the same ending. In this case, we’re going to focus on those ending in -bile (either –able or –ible).

This specific ending comes from Latin and refers to the possibility or the ability to have a specific characteristic.

Their equivalents in English usually end in -ble (also either -able or -ible) so they are easy to recognize and learn. Here’s a list of common adjectives ending in -bile:

  • accessibile: accessible
  • accettabile: acceptable
  • compatibile: compatible
  • comprensibile: comprehensible
  • concepibile: conceivable
  • credibile: credible
  • desiderabile: desirable
  • paragonabile: comparable
  • possibile: possible
  • responsabile: responsible
  • sensibile: sensitive (if you want to say sensible, then you can say sensato)
  • vulnerabile: vulnerable

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

What are the adjectives starting with in-, im-, ir- and ending in -bile?

Italian adjectives

Like in English, in Italian we can say the opposite of an adjective just by adding two letters at the beginning of it: either in-im-, or -ir. Think of the words possible vs. impossible, or credible vs. incredible.

It’s the same logic in Italian. We tend to use in- much more often than im-.

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However, there are some exceptions: im- is usually added to those adjectives starting with a “p” or an “m“.

There is a much less common one which is ir- for those words starting with an “r“. We’ll give you the opposite of the first five adjectives that we saw above.

We’ll leave the rest to you. Make sure you apply the rules we just gave you.

  • inaccessibile: inaccessible
  • inaccettabile: inacceptable
  • incompatibile: incompatible
  • incomprensibile: incomprehensible
  • inconcepibile: inconceivable

How do adjectives work in Italian?

The Italian language follows a grammatical rule wherein an adjective must match the gender and number of the noun it describes. This means that if the noun is feminine and singular, the adjective should also be feminine and singular. Similarly, if the noun is masculine and plural, the adjective should be masculine and plural as well.

Where are adjectives placed in Italian?

Italian grammar dictates that adjectives are usually placed after the noun they describe. When using two adjectives, they are linked by the conjunction "e" (meaning "and"), either before or after the noun. It is important to bear in mind that the adverb "molto" (meaning "very") always follows the noun when used with an adjective.

Italian word of the day
Che caldo! Dobbiamo uscire proprio a quest’ora?
It’s so hot! Do we really have to go out at this time of the day?
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