Italian Language/use of: "carnivora"

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Question
Dear Maria,  

My question is about the Italian word - “carnivora”.

I understand that “carnivora” can be the feminine form of the masculine adjective “carnivoro” meaning “carnivorous”.   

I am wondering if “carnivora” is also a feminine noun that refers to a female flesh eating animal.  

I ask this question because my dictionary identifies “carnivoro” as a masculine noun, but does not include an entry for “carnivora” as a feminine noun.

I also ask this question because my dictionary listing for “erbivoro” includes both a masculine noun – “erbivoro” and a feminine noun - “erbivora”.  I was wondering why there is not a similar listing for the feminine noun - “carnivora”.

Thank you very much.  I really appreciate your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich,

the Italian word “carnivora” is exactly  the feminine form of the masculine adjective “carnivoro” meaning “carnivorous”.   

Anyway in Italian the word  “carnivoro”  is both a masculine  noun (plural “carnivori”) and an adjective agreeing with the noun it refers to, differently from English where “carnivorous” is an adjective, while “carnivore” is a noun.

See e.g.:”Un animale carnivoro” (a carnivorous/flesh eating animal); “Una pianta carnivora (A carnivorous plant); “In natura c’č equilibrio tra carnivori, erbivori e onnivori”(The natural world requires a balance of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores);“Un carnivoro di solito mangia preferibilmente la carne” ( A carnivore is used to eat meat) where the masculine noun  “carnivoro” indicates a person who is not a vegetarian.

Similarly,  “erbivoro” is both a masculine noun (herbivore, in English)  and an adjective (herbivorous, in English)  agreeing with the noun it refers to, as in e.g. “un animale erbivoro” (herbivorous animal); “ Le mucche e le pecore appartengono agli  erbivori” (Cows and sheep are herbivores), etc.

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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