"Gli piace" beginners level



Please tell me:

Why Gli is used for "Gli piace" when it is "He likes".   I thought Gli was plural.

The translation for "He likes/She likes" was "Gli piace Gli Piacciono  Le piace Le piaciono"
Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Lucia - Rocket Languages Tutor

Hi Gail,

You're right, gli is used in colloquial speech to mean to them. Some argue that loro should be used instead, but nowadays loro is only used in literary works.
However, gli also means to him. And it's an article, too!

Gli piace = A lui piace / A loro piacciono
Gli piacciono = A lui piacciono / A loro piacciono
Gli as an article = Gli elefanti / gli indici etc.

Loro / a loro is preferred in the written language as it avoids confusion:
Gli ho scritto una lettera.
Is it I wrote him a letter, or I wrote them a letter? It can be both.

Gli ho scritto una lettera. Ho scritto loro una lettera.
Now they're differentiated!

Hope this helps! :)


Thank you. It certainly does help. I appreciate your taking the time to help me so comprehensively and clearly.


That helps a lot!

I originally started with another company's immersion language software and was immediately introduced to Lei, lui, loro, voi – the whole gamut. I had to assume their meaning and appropriate use. RL took away the confusion with english explanations AND this forum is filled with answers. 

I'm learning that the formal terms are most often useful or writing, and less for speaking. Yes, still necessary, but not as important.



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