How to say “Some” in Italian: Italian Grammar Lesson

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Key Takeaways

Dive into the versatile world of “some” in Italian! Learn how to master the art of the partitive article and spice up your Italian conversations with the right touch of ambiguity. 🇮🇹✨

  • Embrace the Partitive Article: Forget one-size-fits-all! Italian requires a bit of flair. Use del, della, dell’, dello, dei, delle, and degli to say “some” based on what follows. 🧐
  • Match the Gender: Italian is all about gender agreement. Use del for masculine singular and della for feminine singular nouns. Get this right, and you’re golden! 💃🕺
  • Sound it Out: If a word starts with a vowel or certain consonants (z, gn, ps, pn, or y), Italian throws a curveball. Use dell’ or dello to keep it smooth. 🎶
  • Plurals Aren’t Left Out: Got multiple items? Italian’s got you covered with dei for masculine and delle for feminine plurals. It’s a plural party! 🎉
  • When in Doubt, Sound it Out: For those tricky words starting with vowels or the special consonants, use degli. It’s the catch-all for making “some” sound just right. 🗣️

Quick facts

How do you express "some" in Italian using articles?

In Italian, "some" is expressed through partitive articles, combining "di" with definite articles like "il," "la," and "gli."

What is the partitive article for "di" + "il"?

The partitive article for "di" + "il" is "del."

How do you form the partitive article before a vowel?

Before a vowel, the partitive article "di" + "l’" becomes "dell’."

Which partitive article is used before "z" or "y"?

"Dello" is used as the partitive article before "z," "gn," "ps," "pn," or "y."

How do you say "some books" in Italian?

"Some books" in Italian is "dei libri."

What partitive article is used for feminine plural nouns?

For feminine plural nouns, the partitive article is "delle."

How do you ask for "some salt" in Italian?

You ask for "some salt" in Italian by saying, "Mi può portare del sale?"

What is the Italian phrase for "I'd like some fresh fruit"?

In Italian, "I'd like some fresh fruit" is "Vorrei della frutta fresca."

How do you express "some friends from school" in Italian?

"Some friends from school" is expressed as "delle compagne di scuola" in Italian.

What partitive article would you use for masculine plural nouns?

For masculine plural nouns, the partitive article is "dei."

My Thoughts

How to say “Some” in Italian

In Italian, the word “some” can be translated in several ways depending on both the grammatical and semantic context. By grammatical context I mean the gender and number of noun it accompanies, while by semantic context I mean the purpose it is used for.

Here are the common translations and corresponding uses:

  1. Alcuni/Alcune – used for countable nouns.
    • Alcuni (masculine plural): “Alcuni libri” (Some books)
    • Alcune (feminine plural): “Alcune case” (Some houses)
  2. Del, Dello, Della, Dei, Degli, Delle – used for uncountable nouns (these are also called partitive articles).
    • Del (masculine singular, used before vowels and most consonants): “Del pane” (Some bread)
    • Dello (masculine singular, used before s + consonant, z, x, pn, ps, gn, or i + vowel): “Dello zucchero” (Some sugar)
    • Della (feminine singular): “Della frutta” (Some fruit)
    • Dei (masculine plural): “Dei libri” (Some books)
    • Degli (masculine plural, used before vowels, s + consonant, z, x, pn, ps, gn, or i + vowel): “Degli amici” (Some friends)
    • Delle (feminine plural): “Delle mele” (Some apples)
  3. Qualche – always followed by singular nouns but it implies a plural meaning.
    • Qualche (always singular): “Qualche giorno” (Some days)
  4. Un po’ di – used for uncountable nouns.
    • Un po’ di (used with both masculine and feminine nouns): “Un po’ di acqua” (Some water), “Un po’ di pazienza” (Some patience)

Notice that “un po’ di” is written with the apostrophe, not an accent! This is because it is an abbreviation for “poco“.

“Some” in Italian

How to use “Some”

An important detail to keep in mind is the use of all the possible translations “some” has in Italian. Each form is chosen based on the gender and number of the noun it modifies, as well as the amount you need to refer to.

However, as a rule of thumb, if you are referring to countable nouns you can use all possible forms, while if you are referring to uncountable nouns you can use either a partitive article or the structure “un po’ di”.

I will write here some examples to show you the versatility of these forms:

Ho comprato alcuni libri

Ho comprato dei libri

Ho comprato qualche libro

Ho comprato un po’ di libri

I bought some books

Voglio mangiare della frutta

Voglio mangiare un po’ di frutta

I want to eat some fruit

“Some” as Partitive Article

The partitive article in Italian is formed by the preposition di combined with the definite articles which, of course, vary depending the gender and number of the noun.

Let’s have a look at this in more detail:

  • di + il: del
  • di + lo: dello (before z, gn, ps, pn, or y)
  • di + la: della
  • di + l’: dell’ (before a vowel)
  • di + i: dei
  • di + gli: degli (before a vowel, z, gn, ps, pn, or y)
  • di + le: delle
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Here are some examples of the use of “some” as partitive article.

Mi puo portare del sale?

Can you bring me some salt?

Vuoi dell’acqua?

Do you want some water?

Vorrei dello zucchero.

I’d like some sugar.

Anna va al cinema con delle compagne di scuola.

Anna is going to the cinema with some friends from school.

Stasera esco con degli amici.

Tonight, I’m going out with some friends.

Special Forms of “Qualche”

“Qualche” has a specific construction when used together with “cosa” (thing) and “uno” (one, meant as a person). These expressions are used to refer to unspecified quantities of objects or concepts, and people.

  1. Qualcosa: it means “something” and is used for referring to an unspecified object or matter, usually not directly countable.
    • Example: “Qualcosa di interessante” (Something interesting)
  2. Qualcuno: it means “someone” and refers to an unspecified person. Although not very common, this expression can vary and become “qualcuna” when specifically referring to a female individual in a group of female people.
    • Example: “Qualcuno ha chiamato?” (Did someone call?)
    • Example for feminine: “Qualcuna sa la risposta?” (Does some girl know the answer?)

Some new Italian Skills

I know what you are thinking: there are too many Italian translation for the same English word! And I must confess that you are right!

However, there is nothing you cannot achieve without practice. Understanding its variations will surely enhance your Italian vocabulary and improve your ability to engage more naturally in everyday conversations.

If you have some doubts – “qualche dubbio” – write some comments – “dei commenti” – and I will show you some examples – “un po’ di esempi”!

Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions

How do you use the word some in Italian?

To express "some" in Italian, we use the "partitive article," which is formed by the preposition di plus the definite articles.

What are the forms of some in Italian?

There are other many many ways to say "some" in Italian for example: un po’ , qualche and alcuni/e.

Italian word of the day
persona
Example
Mi piace Silvio. Sia come politico che come persona.
I like Silvio. Both as a politician and as a person.
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