TOP 10 Italian Mistakes – #7 – PIACERE [to like]

By Manu Venditti | Advanced

Oct 19

 

Italian Verbs: PIACERE and how you might be using it incorrectly

The Italian verb for the idea of “liking” is quite a confusing one.
That’s because it doesn’t work like all other verbs (subject -> verb -> object), so it doesn’t literally translate the English sentiment of SUBJECT -> VERB -> OBJECT

The way it works is kinda like this.

Instead of saying:
I LIKE PIZZA

In Italian we say:
PIZZA IS PLEASING TO ME

or better…
TO ME PIZZA IS PLEASING

MI PIACE LA PIZZA

As you can see, in Italian, PIZZA is the real subject of the verb, while in English PIZZA is the object.


In Italian the subject of the verb PIACERE is what in English is the Object! 


The Verb PIACERE is therefore usually used in TWO FORMS:
– singular (when what we like is a singular noun): PIACE
– plural (when what we like is a plural noun): PIACCIONO

 MI PIACE IL GELATO -> I like ice cream
MI PIACCIONO I DOLCI -> I like sweets

PIACERE uses the Indirect Object pronouns, which precede the conjugated verb.

They are:
MI (to me)
TI (to you)
LE (to her, to you formal)
GLI (to him)
CI (to us)
VI (to you plural)
GLI (to them)

CI PIACE L’ITALIA -> We like Italy
VI PIACE L’ITALIA? -> Do you guys like Italy? 
LE PIACCIONO GLI ITALIANI -> She likes Italians
GLI PIACCIONO GLI ITALIANI? -> does he like Italians?


Whenever we need to create contrast (or when we need to specify a person’s name), we replace the Indirect Object Pronoun with:

The Preposition A, followed by either a Pronome Tonico or a noun

A MARCO PIACE LA MUSICA (Marco likes music)
A LUI PIACE LA MUSICA (he likes music)
AL MIO CANE PIACCIONO I GATTI (my dog likes cats)

These are the Pronomi Tonici (pronouns we use after a preposition):
ME (me)
TE (you)
LEI (her, you formal)
LUI (him)
NOI (us)
VOI (you plural)
LORO (them)


This brings to today’s common mistake, and that is the habit for English speakers to forget the preposition A in their sentences!

It is incorrect to say:
MARCO PIACE LA MUSICA ITALIANA

We should say:
A MARCO PIACE LA MUSICA ITALIANA
It is incorrect to say:
IO PIACE LA PASTA

We should say:
A ME PIACE LA PASTA (or MI PIACE LA PASTA)

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