The verb piacere behaves a little differently than the other verbs and needs the indirect pronouns. After all, we say mi piace and not
io piace. We’ve already learned about piacere here, such as the expression mi piace and how to use piace and piacciono. Now let’s learn how exactly this verb works and how you can talk about other people. Let’s learn the verb piacere and the indirect pronouns together!
The verb PIACERE and the indirect pronouns
1. A Fiona piace il gelato.
2a. Le piace il gelato.
2b. Anche a lei piace il gelato.
Basically, with piacere you always have to use 1) A + name/noun or 2) the indirect pronouns.
1) A Fiona piace
Important to learn is that when you have piacere with a name or noun, you should always add the preposition A. If necessary, you must combine it with the article. For the combination, see articulated prepositions.
|A Fiona piace il mare.||Fiona likes the sea.|
|Al mio amico non piacciono le spiagge affollate.||My friend doesn’t like crowded beaches.|
|Ai miei genitori piace visitare le grandi città.||My parents like to visit big cities.|
2) Le piace • A lei piace
If we want to replace A Fiona with a pronoun, we need the indirect pronouns.
A Fiona piace > LE piace
There are two types of indirect pronouns: unstressed (atoni) and stressed (tonici). The unstressed ones are the most common. The stressed ones are used for questions, mostly without a verb (e a te?) or after anche, neanche (anche a me). Here is the list of indirect pronouns.
|io||mi||a me||to me|
|tu||ti||a te||to you|
|lui||gli||a lui||to him|
|lei||le||a lei||to her, to you (formal)|
|noi||ci||a noi||to us|
|voi||vi||a voi||to you all|
|loro||gli||a loro||to them|
Unstressed indirect pronouns
The unstressed pronouns are the most common pronouns you use. For the 3rd person plural, instead of gli, which could lead to confusion with the singular, you often use the stressed pronoun a loro.
|A Fiona piace l’albergo.||Le piace l’albergo.||Fiona likes the hotel – she likes the hotel|
|Al mio ragazzo non piace viaggiare in aereo.||Non gli piace viaggiare in aereo.||My friend doesn’t like to travel by air. – He doesn’t like to travel by air.|
|Ai miei amici piacciono le vacanze avventurose.||Gli / A loro piacciono le vacanze avventurose.||My friends like adventurous vacations. – They like adventurous vacations.|
The stressed indirect pronouns
Stressed pronouns are mostly used in questions, especially when there is no verb, after anche, neanche and to emphasize the person, for example in comparisons.
|Mi piace questo albergo, e a Lei?||I like this hotel, and you? (formal)|
|Sì, anche a me piace.||Yes, I like it too.|
|Loro sono Laura e Roberto. A lei piace andare in montagna, a lui invece piace andare al mare.||They are Laura and Roberto. She likes to go to the mountains, but he likes to go to the sea.|
Why is PIACERE so weird?
The verb piacere can seem a little weird, but actually it’s not that crazy. You just have to understand how exactly this verb is built from a grammatical perspective:
The subject is not the person, but what it’s liked. That is why piacere is usually in the 3rd person singular or plural. The person who likes something represents the indirect object, which in Italian is expressed by the preposition A or an indirect pronoun. The indirect object answers the question to whom?
|Ai miei genitori||piace||l’albergo|
|A CHI? – OGGETTO INDIRETTO||VERBO||SOGGETTO|