Il verbo “piacere”

The verb to like

The verb piacere is analogous to the verb to like in English, but it really means to be pleasing.

In English one says: I like risotto. In Italian one says: Mi piace il risotto, which literally means Risotto is pleasing to me. It is a different way of expressing the same idea.

  • The two most common forms of the verb piacere in the present tense are piace and piacciono.
piace + singular noun Mi piace la pasta.
piace+ one or more infinitives Mi piace mangiare bene.
piacciono + plural noun Mi piacciono le linguine.
  • When using the verb piacere, you must use the following pronouns to express the person(s) to whom a thing is pleasing:
mi or a me = to me ci or a noi = to us
ti or a te = to you (informal) vi or a voi = to you (plural)
gli or a lui = to him gli or a loro = to them
le or a lei = to her
Le or a Lei = to you (formal)
  • When using the name of the person, you must use a + person’s name, i.e. A Paolo piace la carne [Paolo likes meat]. Later in the course we will also learn to express more complex ideas such as My parents like…
  • Unlike in English, you must use definite articles when speaking of things you like or don’t like, i.e. Mi piace la pasta [I like pasta] or Ti piace il caffè? [Do you like coffee?]
  • To make a negative statement, simply place non before the pronoun, i.e. Non mi piace la carne or Non ci piacciono le linguine. BUT: A me non piace la carne and A noi non piacciono le linguine.
  • To say “I like it,” you simply say Mi piace. To say “I like them,” you simply say Mi piacciono.

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Spunti: Italiano elementare 1 by Daniel Leisawitz and Daniela Viale is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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