Pena o penna?

Pena o penna?

I have in the past reminded you of the importance of sounding double consonants because the same word with a single consonant means something different (eg penna = pen and pena = compassion) and also of the word’s gender. Here is a list of commonly-used words that have a particular meaning when masculine and a different meaning when feminine. I hope this inspires you to pay close attention to the gender, and perhaps learn a clause to remind you of the different meaning (eg la partita di pallone = the football match; il partito democratico = the democratic party).

(Thanks to Hilary and Heather for identifying some of these)


volto = face

taglio = cut

pasto = meal

corso = course (as in corso d’italiano)

foglio = leaf (as in paper)

posto = place

collo = neck

caso = case

modo = way (eg modo di dire)

morto =  dead man


costo = cost

fine = purpose

saluto= greeting

pero = pear tree

suolo = ground

testo = text (as in textbook)


volta = time (eg l’ultima volta = the last time)

taglia = size (eg taglia media = medium size)

pasta = pasta (!!)

corsa = race (eg corsa di 2 km – a 2-km race)

foglia = leaf (of a tree)

posta = mail, post office

colla = glue

casa = house, home

moda = fashion

morta = dead woman

morte = death

costa = coast

fine = the end (as in the end of a film)

salute = health

pera = pear

suola = sole (as in the shoe)

testa = head

Yvette Devlin