Is this correct for 'the bedsheets'?
I would have thought that the plural for bedsheet is le lenzuole not lenzuola but it has appeared in a number of exercises recently.
Even many italians have it wrong. Indeed, according to the Treccani vocabulary, this is the way it works:
singular : Il lenzuolo
plural: i lenzuoli
A couple of bedsheets: le lenzuola.
Yes, the idea is that in a bedroom you have to change 2 bedsheets at a time, one below your body and one above !!! That couple only is "le lenzuola".
Lenzuolo Vocabolario on line lenzuòlo (pop. lenzòlo) s. m. [lat. linteŏlum, dim. di linteum, neutro sostantivato dell’agg. linteus «di lino»] (pl. -i; in senso collettivo le lenzuola, il paio che si stende sul letto). – Principale capo della biancheria da letto, ordinariamente in numero di due, uno sotto la persona, a contatto col materasso, e l’altro sopra: l. a uno, a due, a tre teli (quando erano composti da più pezze giuntate); http://www.treccani.it/vocabolario/lenzuolo/#
There are certain words in Italian that change gender in the plural because they were originally neuter and preserved the A in the plural (think medium media in English, for example). These words go from masculine singular to feminine plural with an A ending on the noun. Some of them also maintain the regular plural with an I with different meanings, or just as an alternate spelling (again think of "medium," which in English can mean "more than one medium [of communication, art, etc.] as "media," but in the regular plural, "mediums," means "more than one medium who talks to the spirits").
A recent post on "le dita" has a bunch of examples of these. Off the top of my head:
Il dito > le dita
Il ginocchio > le ginocchia
L'osso > le ossa
L'uovo > le uova
Il grido > le grida
L'urlo > le urla
Il muro > le mura
A lot of these also use the regular plural in specific circumstances. Check out this discussion for further information on some of them: http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1571760
This is great. I knew about the eggeggs from my favorite site which I haven't mentioned in a while. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/experimental-study-group/es-s41-speak-italian-with-your-mouth-full-spring-2012/ MIT course teaching Italian through cooking. Thanks for adding so much more.