Someone, no one, something, nothing : Italian grammar lesson 121

Stefano

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Summary

Unlock the secrets of Italian with our guide on indefinite pronouns! Learn to express the vague and the specific with words like qualcuno, nessuno, and more. Perfect your Italian conversations with ease and confidence!

  • Indefinite Pronouns 101: Get to grips with qualcuno (someone) and qualcosa (something) to talk about unspecified people or things. They’re your go-to for the unknown in Italian chats! 😎
  • Gender Bender: Remember, qualcuno flips to qualcuna for feminine nouns, while nessuno becomes nessuna. Gender matters in Italian, so keep it in check! 👫
  • Singular Sensation: Even when you feel plural, qualcosa and nessuno stay singular. Don’t let numbers trip you up; one is all you need here. 🤏
  • Nothing Much: Dive into the void with niente or nulla for “nothing.” But plot twist: nulla can mean “anything” in questions. Context is king! 👑
  • Some, but Not All: When you need “some” in plural form, reach for alcuni or alcune. They’ve got your back for both masculine and feminine plurals. 🤗
  • Anyone, Anytime: Use chiunque when referring to any person in the singular form. It’s the inclusive Italian invite for “anyone” at your party. 🎉
  • Every Single One: Emphasize individuality within a group with ognuno or ognuna. It’s like giving everyone their own spotlight. 🌟

Master these tips, and you’ll be juggling Italian indefinite pronouns like a pro. Buona fortuna, and enjoy the ride to fluency! 🚀

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Someone, no one, something, nothing in Italian

In Italian, to talk about an indefinite person or thing, we use indefinite pronouns.

Some of the most commonly used are qualcuno (some, someone), qualcosa (something), Nessuno (no one), and niente (nothing).

These pronouns loosely indicate the number of the thing or the identity of the person we are talking about.

C’è qualcuno alla porta.

There is someone at the door.

C’è qualcosa che non va.

Something is not right.

In the examples given above, we know that there is someone at the door, but we do not know who, and we know there is something that isn’t right but does not know or want to tell what.

Qualcuno, qualcosa, nessuno, niente: Rules

Qualcuno

Qualcuno can indicate an undefined quantity of things or people. It has a feminine form, qualcuna, and it is always singular.

Ho comprato tantissime pesche, prendine qualcuna.

I bought a lot of peaches, take some.

Qualcuno can also indicate one unspecified person. In this case, it is always masculine.

C’è qualcuno alla porta.

There is someone at the door.

Qualcosa

Qualcosa or qualche cosa is used to talk about one or more things. It is always singular and goes with masculine adjectives.

C’è qualcosa di strano.

There is something strange.

someone in italian

Nessuno

Nessuno refers to nothing or no one. It has a feminine form, nessuna, and it is always singular.

Non c’era nessuno al cinema.

There was no one at the cinema.

Non ho nessuna maglietta rossa.

I have no red t-shirts.

Niente

Niente and nulla are synonyms, and they mean “nothing”. They both only have a singular form and go with the masculine form.

Oggi non c’era niente di buono da mangiare a scuola.

Today there was nothing good to eat at school.

Nulla, when used in a question, means “something/anything”.

Hai saputo nulla?

Have you heard anything?

something in italian

Indefinite pronouns: More examples

There are many more indefinite pronouns and adjectives in Italian, here are some more that you could find useful:

Alcuni / alcune

Alcuni / alcune (some): This only exists in the plural, both masculine and feminine.

Alcuni studenti / Alcune studentesse non hanno passato l’esame.

Some students did not pass the exam.

Chiunque

Chiunque (anyone) only refers to people. It only has a singular form.

Se non chiudi, potrà entrare chiunque.

If you do not lock, anyone will be able to enter.

Ognuno

Ognuno / ognuna (Every one / Each one). This has a feminine form and only exists in the singular form.

Ognuno di noi ha il diritto di esprimere le proprie opinioni.

Every one of us has the right to express our opinion.

What to remember?

If you’re trying to learn Italian, it can be helpful to know how to talk about an indefinite person or thing using indefinite pronouns.

Some of the most commonly used are qualcuno (some, someone), qualcosa (something), nessuno (no one), and niente (nothing).

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These words indicate the number of things or the identity of the person being discussed, so it’s important to use them correctly.

There are also many other indefinite pronouns and adjectives in Italian.

For example, alcuni/alcune (some) is only plural, both masculine and feminine, while chiunque (anyone) only refers to people in its singular form.

Other examples include ognuno/ognuna (everyone/each one).

We hope this helps you understand indefinite pronouns in Italian better.

Buona fortuna!

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FAQs on Someone, no one, something, nothing : Italian grammar lesson 121

How do you use qualcuno?

We use qualcuno (some, somebody) instead of a masculine noun after a verb, and qualcuna (some, somebody) instead of a feminine noun. There are no plural forms for qualcuno/a and nessuno/a.

How do you use niente in Italian?

The adverb niente can mean either nothing or anything. Niente is only used to describe things.

What is the difference between qualche and alcune?

While alcuni (masculine) and alcune (feminine) are always used in the plural, followed by a plural noun, qualche is always used in the singular.

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2 Responses

  1. Can the word “nulla” also be used interchangeably with “niente” in statements, or is it primarily used in questions to mean “something/anything”?

    1. Ciao Anna! Great question. Yes, “nulla” and “niente” are indeed synonyms and both mean “nothing”. However, “nulla” can also mean “something/anything” when used in a question, as in “Hai saputo nulla?” which translates to “Have you heard anything?”. So, while they can often be used interchangeably, context is key. For instance, you wouldn’t use “nulla” in a statement like “Non ho niente da dire” (I have nothing to say). Instead, “niente” is the appropriate choice here. Italian can be a bit tricky, right? But don’t worry, you’re doing great! Keep those questions coming, I’m here to help. Buona fortuna con il tuo studio dell’italiano!

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