Agreement in Italiano Inglese

Agreement in Italiano Inglese: Tips for Copy Editors

When working with language translations, copy editors face a unique challenge – ensuring that the meaning and tone of the original content is accurately conveyed in the target language. One important aspect of this task is understanding the rules of agreement in the two languages, particularly in the case of Italian and English.

Italian and English differ in their approach to agreement, which can sometimes lead to errors in translation. Here are some tips for copy editors to ensure they maintain agreement in both languages.

Gender and Number

In Italian, gender and number agreement is essential – every noun has a gender (masculine or feminine) and a number (singular or plural), and adjectives must agree with the noun they describe in both gender and number.

In English, while there is no gender agreement, number agreement is of utmost importance – verbs, pronouns, and adjectives must agree with the number of the noun they refer to. For example, “the cat is” is incorrect, while “the cats are” is correct.

Verb Tense

In Italian, verb tense agreement is crucial to determining the context of a sentence. There are several tenses in Italian that indicate different time frames, which can change the meaning of a sentence entirely.

In English, while verb tense agreement is also important, there are fewer tenses to work with, and the context is usually determined by the surrounding words.


In Italian, punctuation rules are different from English, particularly in relation to quotation marks and parentheses. Italian uses angled quotation marks (« and »), while English uses straight quotation marks (“ and ”).

Additionally, while parentheses in English can be used to indicate a separate thought or as a way of adding additional information, in Italian, they are mainly used to indicate an interruption in dialogue.

Word Choice

Finally, when working with Italian to English translations, it is important to be aware of the nuances of language and the appropriate word choice to use in the target language.

For example, Italian is known for its multi-syllabic words, while English tends to use shorter words. Finding the correct equivalent in English can be challenging, but it is crucial to maintain the tone and meaning of the original text.

In conclusion, agreement in Italiano Inglese is an important consideration for copy editors working with translations between the two languages. By keeping in mind the rules of gender and number, verb tense, punctuation, and word choice, copy editors can ensure that the tone and meaning of the original text are accurately conveyed in the target language.