Use of Apostrophe in italian language (‘)


In this lesson we’ll talk about the use of apostrophe in italian language:

The apostrophe is one of the most important signs of italian orthography,It serves to make more fluent expression by combining two separated words.

In questa lezione parleremo dell’uso dell’apostrofo nella lingua italiana:

L’apostrofo è uno dei più importanti segni dell’ortografia italiana, serve per rendere più scorrevoli le frasi.

Examples of use of apostrophe

L’arte, l’amore, l’oro, un’oasi, sull’acqua, all’alba.

The art, the love, the gold, an oasis, on the water, at dawn.

Use of apostrophe in italian

To get more fluidity in the sentence we have eliminated the superfluous vowel and replaced it with the apostrophe. The fall of the final vowel before the initial vowel of the following word, is called elision,  in italian: Elisione, from Latin:  Elidere that means remove.

Per rendere la frase più scorrevole, abbiamo eliminato le vocali superflue e le abbiamo sostituite con l’apostrofo. La caduta della vocale finale davanti alla vocale iniziale  della parola successiva, è chiamata elisione, dal Latino : Elidere che  significa rimuovere

La arte becomes → L’arte

Lo amore becomes → L’amore

Lo oro becomes → L’oro

Una oasi becomes → Un’oasi

Sulla acqua becomes → Sull’acqua

Alla alba becomes → All’alba

Are normally subjected to this phenomenon :

  • some articles ( Lo, La, Una ) for example : L’olio (the oil), L’anatra (the duck), Un’ancora    ( an anchor)        visit Italian articles
  • compound prepositions ( preposizioni articolate ) in which appear Lo – La : Nell’aria ( in te air), Sull’onda (on the wave), Dell’amico (of the friend)
  • in the adjectives ( aggettiviBello, Grande, Santo both masculine and feminine gender :             Bell’uomo (handsome man) , Grand’amica (great friend) ,Sant’Agata
  • the adjective Buono only at the singular feminine : Buon’anima (good soul)
  • Questo, Quello, Tutto, both at singular masculine and feminine : Quest’amore (This love), Quest’uomo ( this men), Tutt’altro (Not at all)
  • The preposition Da in some cases : D’ora in poi (from now on), Sin d’allora (Since then)
  • the preposition Di before all vowels : D’Italia ( of Italy) , D’opera (of opera), D’uso (of use)
  • the particle Ci in front of vowels e – i : C’era (there was) , C’incontriamo (we mee)
  • the article Gli only in front of vowel i : Gl’interventi (the intervention)
  • the pronoun particles Mi, Ti, Vi, Si, Ne : M’alzo pesto (I get up early), T’aspetto (I wait for you),  S’irritò (become irritated)
  • some two-syllable words Mezzo, Molto, Forse, Cento, Deve,Disse, Quanto…. : Mezz’ora (half an hour), Molt’acqua (a lot of water), Fors’anche (perhaps even),  Cent’ore (one hundred hours) , Diss’egli (he said), Dev’essere (must be), Quant’è ? (how much ?), etc.

Use of Apostrophe – quiz


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Leaderboard: Apostrophe quiz

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8 Responses so far.

  1. Melissa says:

    It says I got 9 out of 10. Why doesn’t it show the answers when you’re done so you know which you got right and wrong??

  2. Jez says:

    how do I write the initials of Margherita D’Admelio

  3. Jeffrey says:

    is d’ used with plural nouns that begin with a vowel?

  4. Carole says:

    Why is there an apostrophe in O like this: ‘O

  5. sara says:

    I live in Sarasota and have always thought the spelling of the name of John Ringling’s mansion, Ca d’Zan, must be wrong. Wouldn’t it be incorrect to have a “d” and apostrophe before a consonant?

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