Partitive Articles

Learn about countable and uncountable nouns and partitive articles.

For example, latte, carne, formaggio, and acqua don't get numbers:

"Per favore, puoi andare a comprare quattro uova, del latte, cinque carote, della carne, del formaggio e dell'acqua?"

Countable nouns have singular and plural forms and always follow an indefinite/definite article or a number (un litro, quattro uova, cinque carote)

When we talk about non-specific quantities, uncountable nouns follow a partitive article (della carne, del formaggio, dell'acqua)

If we want to talk about a specific quantity of an uncountable noun, we use units of measurement or other nouns followed by the preposition "di":

  • del latte (some milk)

  • un litro di latte (one litre of milk)

  • una bottiglia di latte (a bottle of milk)

Uncountable nouns are always singular! But some nouns are countable or uncountable based on the context!

The paritive articles indicate a non-specific amount of an uncountable noun:

  • della birra

  • dello zucchero

  • dell'acqua

  • del pane