lesson 5.10

sebongela

sebongela

Revising this lesson and wondered why it is “Ad Allessandro piace il libro”, but the following sentence is “a Chiara piacciono i cioccolatini”

The Grammar is driving me a bit crazy. I will eventually get it, but keep on going back and revising, very slow going. I am worried that if I miss a concept (like in Mathematics) I won't have the basic building blocks.

Sebongela

ChrisM108

ChrisM108

I'll need correcting by Rocket I reckon, but I believe it all hinges on the difference between how “like” is used in Italian and English.  We say Alessandro “likes”… and Italians would say ‘To Alessandro’ i.e. the subject is “to be pleasing to Alessandro”.  This explains it well, I reckon:

https://onlineitalianclub.com/italian-grammar-lessons-like-piacepiacciono/

Likewise “a Chiara” but the subject is plural, hence “piacionno”.

Hang in there, sebongela.  I'm actually coming to embrace grammar, because of its puzzle aspect.  For me, it's as much about the journey as the destination as the end result, whatever the ‘end result' means when it comes to fluency levels.

Chris

 

NicholasL23

NicholasL23

Piacere is a weird one. It means “to be pleasing to” instead of how we use it in english ("to like"). When you use verbs like this, the person becomes the direct object and the pleasing thing becomes the subject. Because of this, Piacere must agree with the number of the pleasing thing, not the person being pleased.

In your examples, both start with “to [person's name]”, followed by piacere. In the first example, “ad Alessandro piace” we use piace because the pleasing thing is singular (the book). In the second example, “a Chiara piacciono” the pleasing thing is plural (the chocolates).

As for the “a”/"ad" at the beginning, they both mean “to”. The “d” is added so you don't have two vowel sounds next to each other ("a Alessandro" would be harder to say).

sebongela

sebongela

Hi Nicholas L23 and ChrisM108

Thanks for the input. I now remember why it is ad with Allesandro and not Chiara, it's the whole 2 vowels together, considered Awkward to say. Thank you for jogging my memory, otherwise that lesson was not a bad one some are definitely more challenging than others. Got to speak to someone Italian yesterday. My first encounter with a native Italian. Face to face and I actually felt quite confident in a bit of conversation

Grazie Sebongela

caterina-rocket-italian-tutor

caterina-rocket-italian-tutor

Hi Sebongela, 

Thanks for your question! Chris and Nicholas have provided comprehensive and accurate answers, so I can really just confirm what they shared :) 
To recap, in Italian the verb "piacere" agrees with the object, which is the thing or the person that the subject likes.
Let's take the 2 phrases you mentioned:
  1. Ad Allessandro piace il libro
  2. A Chiara piacciono i cioccolatini
In the first sentence, "il libro" (the book) is singular - hence the verb will become "piace" as in "(lui) piace"
In the second sentence, "i cioccolatini" (the chocolates) is plural - hence the verb will become "piacciono" as in "(loro) piacciono"

Don't hesitate to let me know if you would like more examples! :)

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