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Le lenzuola?

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.

January 30, 2014



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


Only a thing: L'osso > le ossa > gli ossi .... "L'osso" singular, is a single bone, "le ossa" plural, refers to the whole bones of a person or an animal, "gli ossi" plural, wen these body parts are considered separately (the bones of the ribs= gli ossi delle costolette)


just replied to you on my mobile. The post doesn't appear here. But I promised a Lingot and have sent it.


Molto grazie, sì mi recordo quei posti, ma non ho fatto il collegamento.


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.


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/#


Molte grazie. Credo di capire, ma ancora non so perché cambia genere per un paio di lenzuolo. Almeno ora posso usare la parola.



Grazie PaoloArman2. Io sempre sbaglio con questa parola e non sapevo che le lenzuola e per un paio di lenzuoli :-)


Yes, it is lenzuola. This is an exception to the rule for forming the plurals.


it is correct, it is one of the many exception of the Italian language. Il lenzuolo (singular masculin)- Le lenzuoaa (plural feminine)


I like this word! Somehow, the words that break the rules, end up being the ones which, at first you mess up on so many times, but you never forget them."Lenzuola" (I'm not writing the definite article here) is one of those words.

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