Al vs ai

What is the difference between the sentences "L'uomo legge ai ragazzi" and "L'uomo legge al ragazzi"

June 19, 2013


Oh wait I figured it out, but I'll leave it in case someone else has the same doubt. Apparently, correct me if I'm wrong but "al" is the contraction a+il which meant "to the(singular)" and "ai" is the contraction a+i which means "to the(plural)".

June 19, 2013

Yes, you are correct, but note the mistake in your initial question, since "al" is used for singular forms of masculine nouns then it should be "al ragazzo".


  • if you have a masculine noun beginning with a vowel then it is a + l' = all' (all'uccello = to the bird), plural article of l' is "gli" so it is "a + gli" (agli uccelli)
  • if you have a masculine noun beginning with s+consonant (a+lo = allo stivale = to the boot) , z (allo zoo) pl. of "lo" is "gli" (agli stivali, agli zoo (stays zoo since its an invariable noun)
June 20, 2013

thank you, very helpful!

July 25, 2013

this was really helpful! thanks.

June 25, 2013

Put me down for a thanks (to dnovinc) as well...very helpful.

September 7, 2013

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