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Italian Language/"portafogli" o "portafoglio"

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Question
Dear Maria,

Can you please tell me if the masculine, plural noun -  “portafogli” is ever used to refer to “wallet”  (in the singular)    Or, does “portafogli” mean “wallets” (in the plural)

Can you please tell me if -  “un portafogli” would ever mean -  “a wallet”?

Or, must one use the masculine, singular noun -  “portafoglio”  and say “un portafoglio”  in order to say -   “a wallet”


Thank you.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the masculine noun  “portafogli” is  used to refer to “wallet”  (in the singular) as well as to “wallets” (in the plural), because the term “portafogli” can be either an invariable noun or  the plural of the masculine noun “portafoglio”, both meaning ”wallet” in the sense of “a small flat folding case made of leather or plastic used for keeping paper money and credit cards”
See for example:
-”Aveva una foto dei suoi figli nel portafogli/nel portafoglio” (He carried a photo of his children in his wallet);
-“Il suo portafogli /Il suo portafoglio conteneva più di 100 euro” (His wallet contained more than €.100);
-”I loro portafogli erano pieni di banconote” (Their wallets are  stuffed with bank notes); etc.


To conclude,   “un portafogli” means “a wallet”  as it is preceded by the indefinite article “un” in the masculine singular, whereas “i portafogli” means “the wallets” as it is preceded by the plural masculine definite article “i”.

Anyway  one  can use the masculine, singular noun  “portafoglio”  and say “un portafoglio”  in order to say  “a wallet”.

Hope this is clear enough.

All the best,

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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