Learning Italian can be challenging, especially when you have to get your head around the endless grammatical rules. Honestly, how many of you had difficulty trying to understand the verb piacere and its quite common mi piace form? I know I did!
What does piacere mean?
Well, it is basically the Italian form for to ‘please/to be pleasing to’. In English, the word ‘like’ has many uses and meanings. Today, I want to have a look at ‘like’ as a verb, meaning to enjoy and to hopefully simplify its Italian translation. And as I said, it’s best to keep in mind that ‘to like = piacere means ‘to please/ to be pleasing to’ as opposed to ‘to like’.
- English: I like to sing
- Italian: mi piace cantare. The literal translation would be ‘to me it pleases to sing’.
Let’s see how mi piace works, here’s the breakdown:
Mi piace cantare = To me it pleases to sing
Ti piace cantare = To you it pleases to sing
Gli piace cantare = To him it pleases to sing
Le piace cantare = To her it pleases to sing
Ci piace cantare = To us it pleases to sing
Vi piace cantare = To you it pleases to sing (plural)
Gli piace cantare = To them it pleases to sing
To complicate things further, piacere changes depending if you are speaking about the main subject in its singular or plural form… So, if you are talking about how much you like spaghetti (which is plural in Italian, as you can see in one of our Italian language infographics), you need to conjugate the Italian verb piacere as follows:
Mi piacciono gli spaghetti
Italian verbs similar to mi piace
Wait, what? Isn’t it over yet? Well, no. Cracking the mi piace code can be quite useful to understand how a bunch of other Italian verbs work, such as mancare (very important especially if you have an Italian boyfriend\girlfriend), servire, sembrare and interessare.
- Amore mio, mi manchi ♥ = My love, I miss you! (and as you can see here, ‘you’ is the subject in the Italian syntax)
- Mi serve un nuovo paio di scarpe 👠 👠 = I need a new pair of shoes (here the subject is un paio di scarpe, which is singular – although the shoes are actually two!)
- Mi interessa molto la politica 🎌 = I am very much interested in politics
- La lingua italiana non mi sembra difficile 💪 = Italian language doesn’t seem hard (hey, in this case English works pretty much as Italian does!)
At Kappa we have Italian classes especially for Absolute Beginners, covering topics just like this to help you get started today and learn Italian in no time!