Key Language il, lo, l', la, i, gli, le

il, lo, l', la, i, gli, le are all words for "the".

In the singular...

il is used with masculine words beginning with most consonants:

il sole
the sun
il centro
the centre

lo with masculine words beginning with z or s + consonant:

lo zucchero
the sugar
lo sport
the sport

l' with masculine and feminine words beginning with a vowel

l'ufficio turistico
the tourist office
l'acqua
the water

la with feminine words beginning with a consonant

la figlia
daughter
la spiaggia
beach

In the plural (ie more than one)...

i is used with masculine words beginning with most consonants:

i negozi
the shops
i vini
the wines

gli with masculine words beginning with a vowel or with z or s + consonant:

gli uffici
the offices
gli alberghi
the hotels

le with all feminine words

le vetrine
the shop windows
le aranciate
the orange drinks


see also...
masculine - feminine
al, dal, del, nel, sul