Italian Adjectives

In Italian adjectives (describing words) agree with the gender and number of the person or object which is being described. There are two main types of adjectives, namely those which end in ‘o’ and those which end in ‘e’, but another less common adjective ends in ‘ista’.

One important rule is Italian Adjectives usually (but not always) go after the noun. Therefore ‘the big house’ would be ‘the house big’.

Use the appropriate table to work out the correct ending for your adjective. Please note that the one you choose depends on the noun being described, not the person doing the describing.

Adjectives which end in o

Timido = timid/shy


Adjectives which end in e

Triste = sad


Adjectives which end in ista

Ottimista = optimistic


One important rule is that generally adjectives come after the noun being described. (In English this is the opposite). Therefore we would say….

  • L’uomo timido = The timid man
  • La donna triste = The sad woman
  • La ragazza ottimista = The optimistic girl

Qualcosa di + Adjective

Be aware that ‘qualcosa’ (something) is followed by the word ‘di’ (of) when followed by an adjective, for example:

  • Qualcosa di bello = Something beautiful

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