Irregular adjectives - ADJECTIVES - Easy Learning Italian Grammar

Easy Learning Italian Grammar (2011)


4. Irregular adjectives

There are three very common adjectives which are different from other adjectives – bello, buono and grande.

When the adjective bello (meaning beautiful) is used in front of a masculine noun it has different forms depending on which letter follows it, just like the definite article.


Masculine Singular

Feminine Singular

Masculine Plural

Feminine Plural

used before a noun





used after a verb or a noun





bel tempo

beautiful weather

bei nomi

beautiful names

Il tempo era bello.

The weather was beautiful.

I fiori sono belli.

The flowers are beautiful.

bell’ is used before vowels in the masculine and feminine singular forms.

un bell’albero

a beautiful tree

bello is used in front of z and s + another consonant in the masculine singular form.

un bello strumento

a beautiful instrument

begli is used in front of vowels, z and s + another consonant in the masculine plural form.

begli alberi

beautiful trees

begli strumenti

beautiful instruments

The adjective buono (meaning good) is usually shortened to buon when it comes before a masculine singular noun.

Buon viaggio!

Have a good journey!

un buon uomo

a good man

The shortened form of buono is not used in front of nouns that start with z or s + another consonant.

un buono studente

a good student

The adjective grande (meaning big, large or great) is often shortened to gran when it comes before a singular noun starting with a consonant.

la Gran Bretagna

Great Britain

un gran numero di macchine

a large number of cars

Key points

In Italian, adjectives agree with the person or thing they are describing.

Adjectives ending in –o in the masculine have different endings in the feminine and plural forms.

Some adjectives don’t have a different feminine or plural form.