Italian Language/definite article

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Question
Dear Maria,

Would it be acceptable to say:

“Il bambino porta pantaloni.”
The boy wears pants.

“La  mia sorella porta vestiti.”
My sister wears dresses.

I just wanted to make sure that it is not mandatory to include the definite article before the words  “pantaloni” and “vestiti” in these sentences.

I was also wondering about the word “cappello” (hat)  in the following sentence:

“Gli uomini portano il cappello.”
The men wear their hat.   

The context of this sentence is that this sentence is being used as a caption written below a picture that shows 3 different men who are each wearing a different type of hat.

I was wondering why the word “cappello” is not plural.  

Can you please tell me if it would be more correct to say:
“Gli uomini portano i cappelli.”   The men wear their hats.


Thank you

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

you cannot say:“Il bambino porta pantaloni” or “La mia sorella porta vestiti”, but you must say:”Il bambino porta dei pantaloni” and “Mia sorella porta  dei vestiti”,  where  we use the “preposizione articolata” “dei”, i.e. the articulated form of the Italian preposition “di” as partitive article.

Moreover we can also say:”Il bambino porta i pantaloni” and  “Mia sorella porta i vestiti” with the definite article.

In short, it is mandatory to include the definite article or the partitive preposition before the words “pantaloni” and “vestiti” in these sentences.

As for the word “cappello” (hat) in “Gli uomini portano il cappello” used as a caption written below a picture that shows 3 different men who are each wearing a different type of hat, the singular “cappello” is  correct just because the sentence aims to show that the men wear different types of hat.

Best regards,

Maria

Italian Language

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Maria

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Italian is my mother tongue and I'll be glad to answer any questions concerning Italian Language.

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Over 25 years teaching experience.

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I received my Ph.D.in Classics (summa cum laude) from Genova University (Italy).

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