Italian Language/articles


Dear Maria,  

My question is about the following sentence:
I bambini portano magliette viola.

The context of this sentence is as follows:  This sentence was written as a caption under a picture of several boys who are all wearing purple t-shirts.  (These boys are all members of a sport team and are all wearing their uniforms.  Their uniforms include these purple t-shirts.)

Can you please explain why the definite article would not have been included as in saying:
I bambini portano le magliette viola.

I thought that an article must always be included when talking about items of clothing unless you are talking about clothing in general, but even when talking about clothing in general - an article is still included unless the clothing is grammatically plural and in a negative sentence.

This sentence seems very specific and is not negative.  So, I am again confused.   I would very much appreciate your help.   

Thank you



Dear Rich,

The  sentence “I bambini portano magliette viola” used as a caption under a picture of several boys of a sport team who are all wearing purple t-shirts is correct as it wants to point out that these boys are wearing their purple t-shirts as a uniform.
Therefore, in this context  we can omit the definite article, since to say “I bambini portano le magliette viola” could mean that the  t-shirts could have been blue, red or whatever colour.

Best regards,


Italian Language

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts




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


Over 25 years teaching experience.

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

This expert accepts donations:

©2016 All rights reserved.