How to say “I like”: Italian grammar lesson 13

Summary

Dive into the Italian language and master the art of expressing your likes with the verb piacere. This guide breaks down the unique structure of ‘liking’ in Italian, ensuring you sound like a native when sharing your passions!

  • Flip the Script: Unlike English, in Italian, the subject is the thing you like. Wrap your head around sentences like “Tu mi piaci” (You are pleasing to me), which means “I like you.”
  • Conjugation is Key: Get the hang of piacere by remembering it’s all about what’s pleasing: “Io piaccio” (I am pleasing), “Lui piace” (He is pleasing), and so on.
  • Indirect Object Pronouns: These little words are your best friends. “Mi, ti, gli/le, ci, vi, gli” tell you who’s doing the liking. Don’t forget ’em!
  • Adding Names: Sometimes pronouns won’t cut it. Use “a” to direct the like to someone specific, like “A Laura piacciono i tatuaggi” (Tattoos are pleasing to Laura).
  • Common Forms: You’ll mostly use “piace” for singular and “piacciono” for plural likes. Remember, it’s about what’s pleasing to someone, not just what they like.

My thoughts

What is the meaning of piace in Italian?

Knowing how to say you like something is very useful in all languages. In this lesson, you’re going to learn how to say I like and how to use it in context.

Before we go into detail, we’ll give you some examples:

Tu mi piaci.

I like you.

Ci piace andare al cinema.

We like going to the cinema.

A Gianluca piacciono le macchine.

Gianluca likes cars.

Vi piace il caffè?

Do you like coffee?

How to use piacere in Italian?

In Italian, we use the verb piacere to say to like but it doesn’t quite behave like the verb to like. The structure is very different. To be more precise, in Italian it behaves backward.

Let’s take the first sentence as an example to analyze.

Tu mi piaci.

I like you.

In Italian, the subject of the sentence is who is liked, in this case is tu. The person who likes is the indirect object pronoun mi. As you can see, the verb agrees with the subject and not with the indirect object pronoun. In English, the verb agrees with the subject too, but the subject is I, unlike in Italian.

How to conjugate piacere?

We’re going to give you very literal translations so that you get the concept. Instead of to like, we’re going to use the concept of to be pleasing to someone, which sounds very odd but will give you an idea of how this verb works.

Let’s have a look at the conjugation of the verb piacere.

  • Io piaccio (I’m pleasing)
  • Tu piaci (You’re pleasing)
  • Lui/Lei piace (He/She’s pleasing)
  • Noi piacciamo (We’re pleasing)
  • Voi piacete (You’re pleasing)
  • Loro piacciono (They’re pleasing)

How to use mi piace?

The phrases above are not complete since you cannot just say, I’m pleasing. You need a complement to that. In Italian, we need an indirect object pronoun.

Let’s have a look at all of them:

  • mi (to me)
  • ti (to you)
  • gli/le (to him/her)
  • ci (to us)
  • vi (to you)
  • gli (to them)

You don’t always need an indirect object pronoun, though. You might also find the name of someone. In this case, you’ll notice the presence of the word a, which means to.

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For example:

A Laura.

To Laura.

A Enrico e Riccardo.

To Enrico and Riccardo.

Practice with Quizlet

Here's a set of flashcards and quizzes to practice this grammar topic.

Piacere: examples

Now that you know about the difference between English and Italian and about the importance of indirect object pronouns, it’ll be easier to understand the complete structure.

Let’s have a look at some examples. We’ll give you literal translations together with translations that make more sense.

Mi piace andare in montagna.

Going to the mountain is pleasing to me. = I like going to the mountain.

I film stranieri gli piacciono tanto.

Foreign films are very pleasing to him. = He likes foreign films a lot.

A Laura piacciono i tatuaggi.

Tattoos are pleasing to Laura. = Laura likes tattoos.

Ti piace la pizza?

Is pizza pleasing to you? = Do you like pizza?

You probably noticed the most common forms of the verb piacere are piace and piacciono since we usually like one thing or person or many things or people.

Also, you might find the subject before or after the verb.

What is the verb for like in Italian?

"Piacere" is an Italian verb that is commonly translated as to like in English. It can also function as a noun, where "il piacere" means pleasure.

How do you say I would like in Italy?

In Italian, one way to convey the phrase I would like is by using the expression "mi piacerebbe," which can be translated to It would please me.

Italian word of the day
passeggiata
Example
Hai voglia di fare una passeggiata?
Do you feel like going for a walk?
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