Use of articles

Posts: 0
Sep 29, 2017
May 4, 2018 at 6:31pm

In earlier levels of Italian we were taught to always use the article + noun (Ex: di primo, desidero gli spaghetti) and now in Level 5 it seems that articles are often left out. Maybe I missed something in Levels 3 and 4? For example, "mi piace il caffe ma per la colazione preferito bere latte". Why not il latte? Also, as an example, "ordinavo spaghetti" but not "ordinavo gli spaghetti"...... Is there a specific rule for when to use an article and when we do not? Or is it just one of those learn it by memorization things.....?

Posts: 0
Silverdale, Washington
United States
Aug 8, 2011
May 6, 2018 at 7:28pm

I agree that the inconsistency is annoying, and if there is a rule, I don't know it. The good news is that after a while you start to get used to the contexts in which articles a normally left out, and using or not using articles just starts to "sound right." The other good news is that when speaking with Italians, what you say will almost always be understood with or without the article.

Posts: 0
Swords, Dublin
Apr 6, 2018
Jun 20, 2018 at 5:03pm

"Di primo, desidero gli spaghetti" here you probably have a menu where you are choosing that particular dish with spaghetti, not spaghetti in general.
"Mi piace il caffè ma per la colazione preferiSCO bere latte" this is referring to a common situation where you are not drinking a particular milk but you are saying that, in general, you drink milk for breakfast.

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