Opposite adjectives: Italian grammar lesson 68


Key Takeaways

Get ready to spice up your Italian with the art of crafting opposite adjectives! This guide will show you how to flip the script on common descriptors, turning the mundane into the magnificent with just a prefix. 🎩✨

  • Prefix Power: Unlock the secret to forming opposite adjectives in Italian using prefixes like in-, dis-, s-, and a-. It’s like having a linguistic magic wand! 🪄
  • Common Opposites: Dive into the most used opposite adjectives and see how a simple prefix can turn capace into incapace (capable/incapable). It’s a game-changer! 🔄
  • Prefix Tweaks: Learn the nifty trick that in- becomes im- before words starting with ‘p’ or ‘m’, transforming possibile into impossibile (possible/impossible). Mind = blown. 💥
  • Rare but Fair: Discover how the less common s- prefix can still pack a punch, changing carico to scarico (charged/out of battery). It’s the little things! 🔋
  • Least but not Last: Embrace the rarity of the a- prefix and learn how it can alter words like normale to anormale (normal/abnormal). Rare but mighty! 💪
  • Real-life Examples: Apply your new skills with practical examples that’ll help you describe everything from an incredibile place to an asociale sister. Get ready to impress! 🌟

Quick facts

What is a common prefix for forming opposite adjectives in Italian?

The prefix "in-" is commonly used to form opposite adjectives, such as "capace/incapace" (capable/incapable) and "utile/inutile" (useful/useless).

How does the prefix "in-" change with certain consonants?

The prefix "in-" becomes "im-" when the adjective starts with "p" or "m," like "mobile/immobile" (mobile/immobile) and "possibile/impossibile" (possible/impossible).

Which prefix is used for opposites of adjectives like "inhabited" and "honest"?

The prefix "dis-" is used, as in "abitato/disabitato" (inhabited/uninhabited) and "onesto/disonesto" (honest/dishonest).

Are there any less common prefixes for forming opposite adjectives?

Yes, "s-" and "a-" are less common prefixes used to form opposites, like "carico/scarico" (charged/out of battery) and "normale/anormale" (normal/abnormal).

Why is "scarico" a useful adjective to know?

"Scarico" means out of battery or power, a term frequently used in everyday situations, especially regarding electronic devices.

Can you provide an example of an adjective starting with "s-"?

"Cortese/scortese" (kind/unkind) is an example, illustrating how the prefix "s-" changes the meaning to its opposite.

How can the prefix "a-" transform the meaning of "sociable"?

The prefix "a-" changes "sociale" (sociable) to "asociale" (unsociable), completely altering the social characteristic of a person.

What’s a practical tip for learning opposite adjectives?

Take notes, write down, practice, repeat, and review new adjectives to help with memorization and recall.

How does mastering opposite adjectives benefit language learners?

It enriches vocabulary, enabling more precise and varied expression, essential for both daily conversation and advanced language use.

Can you give an example of using an opposite adjective in context?

"Mattia è davvero disordinato ed è pure disonesto" translates to "Mattia is really untidy and he's even dishonest," illustrating the use of "disordinato" and "disonesto."

My Thoughts

What are opposite adjectives?

Learning a foreign language is great! It can also be fun, rewarding, and exciting.

Some other times you might think it’s exhausting, challenging, and overwhelming.

The words used above are adjectives. We use them to describe a person, a thing, an idea, a place, an animal, etc.

Just think of the words happy and unhappy or believable and unbelievable.

If you try to think of other adjectives in English that behave like this, you’ll probably find lots.

Let’s get started!

How to form opposite adjectives?

The opposite adjectives are formed using prefixes. Here’s a list of the most common ones  in Italian:

  • in-
  • dis-
  • s-
  • a-

And here are the most used groups of opposite adjectives where the negative meaning comes from the prefixes mentioned above.

Ideally, you should take notes about the new adjectives, write them down, and practice, repeat, and review them. This will help you memorize and remember them.

Adjectives starting with in-

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The prefix in- is the most common one.











In- becomes an im- when the adjectives start with a p or an m.









Adjectives starting with dis-











Adjectives starting with s-

The prefix s- is not very common but here are some examples:


charged/out of battery or power







Adjectives starting with a-

The prefix a- is the least common, so we’ll just give you three groups of adjectives:







Practice with Quizlet

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

Opposite adjectives: examples

Since we’ve already given you many new words, we’ll just give you a few more examples.

Questo posto è incredibile!

This place is incredible!

Mi sento un po’ inutile perché non sto facendo niente.

I feel a bit useless because I’m not doing anything.

Mattia è davvero disordinato ed è pure disonesto.

Mattia is really untidy and he’s even dishonest.

Il mio cellulare è scarico.

My mobile phone is out of battery.

Quella persona è un po’ sgradevole.

That person is unpleasant.

Mia sorella è un po’ asociale.

My sister is a bit unsociable.

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

How to form opposite adjectives?

Adding the following prefixes to the adjective: -in, -im, -dis, -s, -a. They have the negative meaning of the adjective they are modifying.

How can I use opposite adjectives in Italian to describe people?

Opposite adjectives can be used to describe people in Italian by comparing their physical attributes or personality traits. For example, you can say someone is alto (tall) or basso (short), magro (thin) or grasso (fat), simpatico (nice) or antipatico (unpleasant), or intelligente (smart) or stupido (stupid).

Italian word of the day
Hai la febbre! Sì, mi è venuta l’influenza.
You have a fever! Yes, I got influenza.
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4 Responses

    1. Ciao Denni!

      We are currently changing the Quizlet quizzes because we felt the exact same way as you. But it will take us a few days until all quizzes are changed.
      Please have a little patience and let us know if you want to do other exercises meanwhile.

  1. In Opposite adjectives: Italian grammar lesson 68, the quizlet requests the answer to the flashcard be in SPANISH! (not Italian!) When i type, the answer is correct tho. Just FYI

    1. Ciao Denni!

      You’re right: this Quizlet is in Spanish for some reason.

      We will take care of it and here you can find a Quizlet in English about the same topic.

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