Why "lo zucchero", not "il zucchero"?

Why is it "lo zucchero" and not "il zucchero"? I thought that "lo" was only used if the word begins with a vowel sound (ex. "l'uomo")? Can anyone please explain? Thank you.

May 24, 2018


Il - The (masculine singular) - il is used with masculine words beginning with most consonants

Lo- The ( masculine singular) - lo is used with masculine words beginning with z, y, ps, pn, gn or s + consonant:

L' - The (masculine or feminine singular) - L' is used with masculine and feminine words beginning with a vowel .

La - The (feminine singular) - is used la with feminine words beginning with a consonant.

I - The (masculine plural) - I is used with masculine words beginning with most consonants.

Gli - The (masculine plural) - gli is used with masculine words beginning with a vowel or with z, y, ps, pn, gn or s + consonant (plural of " lo" and l' if it is masculine) .

Le - The (feminine plural) - le is used with all feminine (plural) words.

May 24, 2018
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You know, I don't think it's a good idea to group together lo and la in «l'», it makes you think there's another article when it's just a case of elision :)

May 24, 2018

As a grammar concept, I absolutely agree.
But an early learner perceives the masculine l' (an elided lo) and the feminine l' (an elided la) as one same article, and memorizes them as such more easily than having to think in terms of: "occhio should take lo but since it begins with a vowel, the article drops its own vowel and turns into l' ".
Once a learner has become confident with choosing the correct article, at a later stage it is much easier for him/her to understand that l' is not an article of its own, but a modified form of either lo or la.

May 25, 2018

Thank you this is very helpful!

May 27, 2018

È perchè la parola inizia con la lettera "z", e "l' (con l'elisione)" è qualcos'altro.

May 24, 2018

Thank you. So anytime a word begins with "z", use "lo"?

May 24, 2018

No, the word needs to be a masculine one.

May 24, 2018

Ooooh, I see. It's about the "s" sound. Thank you so much!

May 24, 2018

You're welcome!

May 24, 2018

Per i nomi femminili, c'è solo l'articolo "la" e la sua forma plurale "le" (tranne per l'elisione).

May 29, 2018

Thank You, I had the same doubt

May 24, 2018

An example is zanzara (mosquito) YOU DO NOT SAY LO ZANZARA pero la zanzara.... therefore not all the words starting with Z take lo... only the masculine ones!

May 26, 2018
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