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2.4. Mi piace, ti piace, gli piace: indirect pronouns

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We have learned here that you can express what you like or what you like with mi piace or mi piacciono. But what do you say when someone else likes something? This is where the indirect pronouns come into play!


Gli piace la pasta

Read and listen to the following short texts and pay attention to how to say in Italian WHO likes something.

      

 A Cody  piace molto mangiare la pasta al pomodoro.  Gli  piace anche la pasta al pesto, ma non  gli  piace la pasta all’arrabbiata perché è troppo piccante.

Traduzione
Cody likes to eat pasta with tomato sauce. He also likes pasta with pesto, but he does not like pasta all’arrabbiata because it is too spicy.

      

 A Kira  piace bere la birra.  Le  piace soprattutto la birra Poretti, una birra italiana. Non le  piacciono le birre scure.

Traduzione
Kira likes to drink beer. She especially likes the beer Poretti, an Italian beer. She does not like dark beers.

As you have seen, we have the following possibilities to say WHO likes something:

A + Name: A Cody piace; A Kira piace
indirect pronoun: gli piace; le piace

Cody likes fruit.
He really likes pumpkins.

The indirect pronouns

The pronouns we use with piacere are called indirect pronouns (pronomi indiretti) and are the following:

      
mi piaceI like
ti piaceyou like
gli, le piace
Le piace
he, she likes
You like (polite form)
ci piacewe like
vi piaceyou all like
gli piacethey like

These pronouns corresponds normally to: (to) me, (to) you, (to) him/her, (to) us, (to) you, (to) them. In order to understand the use of these pronouns with the verb piacere, you can think at the verb delight:
mi piace la pizza pizza delights me
mi piacciono gli gnocchi gnocchi delight me

Esempi
  • Mi piace l’Italia e mi piacciono tutte le città italiane! I like Italy and I like all Italian cities!
  • Mia sorella fa equitazione. Le piacciono i cavalli. My sister rides horses. She likes horses.
  • A Fiona non piacciono i film d’azione, preferisce i film di fantascienza. Fiona doesn’t like action movies, she prefers science fiction movies.
  • A mio papà piace leggere i fumetti. My dad likes to read comic books.
  • Le mie sorelle mangiano spesso la pizza. Gli piace molto. My sisters often eat pizza. They like it a lot.
  • Vi piace viaggiare? Certo, ci piace moltissimo! Do you like to travel? Sure, we love it!
  • A Roberto piacciono le auto sportive. Non gli piacciono i SUV. Roberto likes sports cars. He doesn’t like SUVs.
Ambiguity with GLI

The indirect pronoun gli is ambiguous: it refers both to a male person and to many people. The problem is usually solved contextually.

  • A mio padre piace leggere. Gli piace anche guardare la TV. My dad likes to read. He also likes to watch TV.
  • I miei fratelli sono molto sportivi. Gli piace giocare a calcio. My brothers are very sporty. They like to play football.

Alternatively you can also say: a loro. A loro piace giocare a calcio.

Impara con Kira e Cody

dal calendario 2019

PIACERE
Ti piace...? Do you like...?
Mi piace...!
I like...!
+ Verbo all'infinito
Infinite verb 

Kira: "What do you like to do in the evening?"
Cody: "I like to watch TV. I often watch a documentary."

PIACERE
Mi piace + Singular 
I like + singular
Mi piacciono + Plural
I like + plural


Cody: "What do you like to watch?"
Kira: "I love TV shows."
"I love Game of Thrones."
"I don't like western movies."
PRONOMI INDIRETTI Indirect pronouns
mi
ti
gli, le 
ci
vi
gli

Kira: "Do you like to play cards?"
Cody e amici: "Yes, we like it very much!"
Volpe: "I like it!"

They like to play cards.

Cody and I do a lot of things.
We really like to read and watch TV. 
Cody likes fantasy series very much.
He also likes action movies.
We also like to go to the sea and to the mountains.
I like swimming in the sea and sunbathing!
In the mountains I like to do long walks in nature.
Cody also really likes to camp:
He likes to sleep in tents and watch the stars.

Leisure activities
guardare la TV to watch TV
leggere to read
andare al mare to go to the sea
andare in montagna to go to the mountains 
fare il bagno to bath
prendere il sole to sunbathe
fare una camminata to go on a hike, for a walk
andare in campeggio to go camping
dormire in tenda to sleep in a tent
guardare le stelle to look at the stars

Esercizio exercise
Write sentences using the verb piacere and the indirect pronoun.
Example: Le piace andare al lago. She likes going to the sea.

Soluzioni 

Kira
Le piace andare al parcoShe likes to go to the park
Le piace incontrarsi con gli amici. She likes to meet friends. 
Le piace andare in pizzeria. She likes to go to the pizzeria.

Cody
Gli piace andare in montagna. He likes to go to the mountains. 
Gli piace fare lunghe camminate. He likes to take long walks.
Gli piace andare in campeggio. He likes to go camping.
Gli piace andare al ristorante. He likes to go to restaurants. 

Note: If you want to use the noun, like "Kira likes...", you must first add the preposition a: "A Kira piace andare al parco", "A Cody piace andare in montagna".

Cody: "And what do you like to do?"
Sample answer: Mi piace molto andare in bicicletta, mi piace fare passeggiate, mi piace anche leggere.

Esercizi

Fai un esercizio!

Prossima lezione: singular and plural

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