Italian Language: Masculine Words Ending in -ma

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 04:00

[Photo: panorama italiano]

As a general rule, in Italian feminine words end in -a and masculine words end in -o.  However, there are always exceptions to the rule! One particular group is masculine words ending in -ma, which are words of Greek origin. Here are 20 of the most commonly used ones, grouped to help you remember them:

[Some are the same spelling and meaning as in English, but remember to pronounce following Italian rules.]









Some are very similar:

carisma (charisma)

poema (poem)

idioma (idiom, language, dialect)

programma (programme)

panorama (most widely-used to mean ‘view’, a synonym in Italian is vista)

tema (theme, topic)

problema (problem)

clima (climate)

fantasma (ghost, phantasm)

emblema (emblem)

sistema (system)

pentagramma (pentagram)

These are masculine words so, in the singular, you will need to use masculine articles il or un, example:

The view is lovely

Il panorama è bello

In the plural, you use masculine articles, but the end of the word changes to the common masculine plural ending -i, so:

There are many poems

Ci sono molti poemi

Hopefully now you will not have any problemi with these masculine words ending in -ma!


Alesha Allen is an Oxford graduate of Italian who is now back in London after years spent living and working in Rome as a language teacher and PR consultant. Alesha is CEO and Italian teacher at Alesha’s Italian Masterclass, which runs Italian immersion courses at authentic Italian cafe Nonna Rosa’s in Coulsdon, Surrey. You can contact her at or through Facebook or Twitter. Her website is