When to use San or Sant in Italian

Old Apr 4th, 2010, 02:41 PM
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When to use San or Sant in Italian

Ok, my Italian friend is off visiting her sister in Argentina, so I can't ask her.

I'm probably wrong in this, but it is my understanding that San and Sant are used in the following ways...

San = before a name beginning with a consonent
Sant = before a name beginning with a vowel

Or, are they interchangable or used with specific letters?

Dave
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 02:46 PM
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Oh, and yes I'm talking about the masculine form, I understand Santa and Santi, but to throw in another one what about "Santo", such as "Santo Stefano in Rotondo"
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 04:20 PM
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San is used before a male saint beginning with a consonant, so San Pietro; alternative form is Santo, like Santo Stefano in Rotondo you mention; depends on usage and custom.
Sant' is used of both male and female saint beginning with a vowel, so Sant'Agnese and Sant'Andrea. ' is used in place of Sant-a for a female and Sant-o for a male.
Santa is used before a female saint beginning with a consonant, so Santa Caterina, abbr Sta Caterina.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 04:26 PM
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San before a consonant, Sant' (with an apostrophe) before a vowel. Santo before St or Sp.

It's Santo Stefano Rotondo.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Why is it Santa Croce?
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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because "Santa" is also a word meaning "holy" and "Croce", "Cross" is a feminine word. So the phrase means
Holy Cross.
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 06:55 PM
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That was pretty much how I had it figured out and Zerlina, thanks for the catch.

Thanks all for the info

dave
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 06:59 PM
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So to make more clear Santo Spirito would be Santo because Spirito is holy
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 10:40 PM
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Not because Spirito is holy, but because Spirito begins with Sp!
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Old Apr 4th, 2010, 11:37 PM
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And Santa for a lady saint beginning with a vowel- so Santa Maria; Santa Veronica. But Sant'Anna, just like the boys.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 06:42 AM
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>

Doesn't have anything to do with the meaning; it's because Spirito is a masculine noun.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 07:07 AM
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Let's summarize:

San for male saints whose name starts with a consonant except for names starting with "s impura" (s with a second consonant following, formerly also the ones starting with z):

San Giorgio, San Giovanni, San Siro, San Rocco, San Zeno.


Santo for male saints or nouns whose name starts with an "s impura":

Santo Stefano, Santo Spirito, Santo Stanislao


Santa for female saints or noun whose name start with a consonant:

Santa Croce, Santa Lucia, Santa Maria, Santa Teresa


Sant' for saints of both genders whose name starts with a vowel:

Sant' Anna, Sant' Ambrogio, Sant' Antonio, Sant' Ermenegildo, Sant' Isidoro, Sant' Orsola, Sant' Eurosia,

Hope this helps, enjoy your trip

Phil.
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Old Apr 5th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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Oh yes, and there are the plurals:

Santi: male and mixed groups: Santi Apostoli

Sante: female groups: Sante Patrone
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