"Al gatto piace il latte."

Translation:The cat likes milk.

November 11, 2013

105 Comments

Sorted by top post

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BettyShort

Why "Al gatto" and not "Il gatto" ? "al" is the translation for "to the", isn't it?

November 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Viaggiatore
November 11, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/The_Heinyken

In a more normal way "The milk is pleasing to the cat".

December 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bfirla

I wrote "The milk is pleasing to the cat" and it lost a heart in favor of "The cat likes milk". While the former is certainly more words and more literal than the latter, I would argue it's not wrong!

February 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lukman.A

You're right, sir. You may report this.

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/krishnachat

But remember, it is only a software program - not a live interpreter!

August 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AllisonDav1

And it's a free program - can't expect perfection. It's still pretty good!

June 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/S0R0USH

To the cat, the milk is pleasing.

February 26, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/VinciusQue3

commas make the whole difference in interpretation! thanks!

September 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Don_Abramo

Thanks Viaggiatore.

November 15, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Punkmom

Grazie, Viaggiatore!

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wildflamer17

I came here to ask that and you saved my life!!! Thanks!!!!!❤

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidRobin9

Grazie!!!!

July 18, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KevinFalls1

Thanks!

July 22, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ArgentaMoon

To the cat, pleasing is the milk.

May 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

That would have been Shakespeare and not Duo

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DavidClarkII

...or Yoda

April 19, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bluchevalais

Agreed! The translation duolingo gives for "al" is "to the", "at the" or "a" and yet "A cat..." is marked incorrect. Glad I know some Italian because this is often incorrect.

October 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LisaKropp

Actually "to the" is correct in this example. The noun here is the milk. The milk is pleasing to the cat. When you think of it that way, it makes perfect sense.

June 8, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kinaja

For Ukrainian and Russian speaking people it's easier to understand this construction. we have the same in our languages when the object is pleasing to somebody.

February 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ichimoku

Indeed! This discussion reminded me how hard it was for me to learn the unnatural English 'I like it' instead of the perfectly normal Russian (to) me likes it ;)

August 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

So much so that the essence of normality belongs to the Russian language. That's it?????

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sylwiiczech

Probably similar in Czech: "Kočce chutná mléko." :)

January 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Remy000

Why wouldn't it be, Il latte piace al gatto?

December 19, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/gaodifan

Even though "piacere" reverses the subject and object, people still find it more natural to phrase the sentence with the one doing the liking first.

December 31, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Punkmom

A more accurate translation would be "milk is pleasing to the cat." Think of "piaciere" as "is pleasing" instead of "likes."

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ricardodgarciag

Exactly. The explination says: Jane likes Jhon---Jhon piace a Jane. I didnt understand as well...

April 20, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sgaynor

That's like saying "the milk likes to the cat". The subject that is affecting the verb goes in front and the object acted on goes after. A more literal translation would be "To the cat milk is pleasing". This sentence structure will make more sense when talking about things that you like; "mi piace latte".

April 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/annekraul

I sure couldn't hear the "Il" in front of latte unless I listened to it in the slow mode. do Italians omit it when speaking?

February 22, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

I don't think it's omitted, it's just very fast and when next to the latte with the l sound very hard to pick. I missed it myself.

June 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/srtokes

In eight days, remind me to congratulate you on your 1000 day streak! That is incredible!

March 23, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Pathetique_lvb

We spanish sometimes ommit words and i'm pretty sure italians do the same

February 19, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Fabidon

I may be dense but I cannot figure out why milk is masculine. Since it is only produced by females of any species how do they justify it as a masculine noun? Does it go back to Italy being a chauvanistic society? I have the same confusion regarding dresses.

May 8, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Punkmom

It doesn't really pay to try to make sense of this stuff.

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rcpjenn

Interestingly, I found that almost everything related to sports is feminine! Ironic, when men fought so hard and so long to keep us out! BTW, dresses are usually worn by women, but hey, whatever makes your boat float! Hope I've cleared up your confusion about dresses! (Wink!) ;-p

December 16, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LouMimzy

And kitchens! :/

May 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LouMimzy

But at least they made sandwiches masculine

May 14, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Altair0315

the word for kitchen is cucina, i.e., feminine.

June 12, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ichimoku

If would have been fun if all the objects that belong only to women were feminine and only to men - masculine. A chair could then be either feminine or masculine, depending on who sat on it last... ;)

August 18, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tuna0tseb

In italian there aren't neutral words, articles, etc.. So, every things must be male or female.

August 29, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

In French, milk (lait) is also masculine. Then you would put both the French and the Italian in the same bowl ??

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ebourbon

i'm like 99% sure it is correct to say "the cat likes milk" and "to the cat it is pleasing the milk."

June 9, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Laura581658

NOOO THAT CAT IS GOING TO DIE!!! CATS SHOULD DRINK WATER, THEY ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT!

July 30, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/snowmanxo

Milk is bad for cats tho...

September 2, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jasmine980387

I hope they aren't giving that cat too much milk if the cat drinks it a lot like every day it can give it worms

September 25, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/futurememory

Why doesn't it allow "The milk is pleasing to the cat" as a correct translation?

January 17, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Punkmom

I think it should.

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shady80

is it "il gatto" or "Al gatto" ? never heared of "AL" in italian !!

May 23, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lukman.A

Al = a + il + (singular male noun)

May 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ibryesn

Why do they use Al in this case

October 1, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Because a more literal translation is 'to the cat is pleasing the milk' With piacere if you want to put the thing or person that is doing the liking first you need to have the A first. A noi, Al gatto, ai gatti, agli uomini

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lukman.A

In this "piacere" case, should we use "a noi" or "ci"?

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

I'm not sure. I've seen A noi but only when there was a qualifier (I think it was 'To us Brazilians' ) Theoretically Ci piace il latte should be 'we like milk'

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lukman.A
October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/salamista

Why does this give me the tip about reversing the order if it shows me a sentence with English word order in the end? It's very confusing.

December 26, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SuzInAZ1950

The three translations for "al" were: at the, to the, a. So I keyed "A cat likes the milk," and it was counted wrong. I've submitted reports several times asking why s Duolingos give a translation and then doesn't accept it. It's wrong any way you look at it.

December 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

The 'al' in this context is 'to the' because of the way that piacere's grammar is constructed.

To the cat is pleasing the milk or more colloquially The cat likes the milk.

The hints are not translations. They are merely that, hints, possible translations, but which is the one in context is not always sure. Because this is a program, not an artificial intelligence.

For more information for piacere see http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verb-piacere.htm which if you had read the previous comments you should have seen and followed.

December 28, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/farukuyanik

Guys! Please read the tips and notes link on the page

May 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/expectopatronem

Is "the milk is liked by the cat" considered wrong because it's passive rather than active? The way Duolingo explains "piace" makes it seem like it's acceptable to translate in the passive.

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

It's not correct English. The Italian sounds like passive but in English, we just say, "The cat likes the milk." You'll see this form a lot so it's worth learning from now.

January 24, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/expectopatronem

That makes sense, thanks.

January 25, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EspaTalia

Este no es importante, pero oí alguien dice que el leche no es saludable para los gatos. Estoy curioso, pero no necesito un respuesta.

April 7, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iggyl

yo tambien escuché que es cierto, pero es el curso de inglés-italiano, no castellano-italiano. :-)

March 9, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/rbbekkhus

I tried «The milk pleases the cat» just to check. But that did not please Duolingo. And I obey, as Duolingo pleases me.

July 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

Makes Duo your dictator.

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/parabeam

"The milk is of liking to the cat" surely is a more accurate translation than "The cat likes the milk."

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Punkmom

"The milk is pleasing to the cat" would be the most literal translation. And I think it's helpful to keep that in mind--anyway I find it less confusing.

But it's also important for us to learn that Italian doesn't have a verb that works the way "like" does. So we know how to translate to show the mood of a thing. In English it is stilted to say "the milk is pleasing to the cat" so usually it would be better to translate as "the cat likes milk."

June 19, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/jaye16

That's not correct English. Italian has one method of expressing this while English has another.

February 7, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/wuzeq

Why is it "Mi piacciono le carote" and not "Al Io piacciono le carote" http://italian.about.com/od/verbs/a/italian-verb-piacere.htm

When should be used "a + il/la/li..." and when "mi/ti/ci/vi...."

March 25, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Because there are indirect object pronouns that by themselves mean 'to me/her/him/etc' Since the 'a' means 'to' then it's already incorporated into the pronoun and thus is superfluous and not used. http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare117a.htm for details. It would never be Al io though since for one thing you don't use il/la/lo etc. before a pronoun. It would like saying 'to the me'

October 2, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kmuensterman

So does piacere (I think that's the verb) function like Spanish's gustar? In phrasing and such?

March 25, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JolaDzoku

Piacere smh

June 24, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luca932174

I think you can say it like this "al gatto piace..." (something is good/nice/tasty to the cat), or if you use il gatto you say "Il gatto SI piace il latte" (the cat likes milk?

August 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/joeynostrils

I thought it said, the milk is pleasing to the cat. a round-about way to say the cat likes the milk, but the instructions said the verb goes with the object. This course is a fun way to learn, but clearly not 100% accurate.

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

It does. In this case piace goes with il latte. Al gatto - to the cat, piace (is pleasing) il latto the milk. If the thing that was pleasing to the cat was plural then it would have been piacciono

September 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Behco

Can we say "il latte piace al gatto"?

March 15, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

I wouldn't see why not. Why not, I wouldn't see.

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmritaBasu

Would it also be correct to say "Il latte piace a il gatto" ?

November 16, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/KKFusionKaran

I would like to know that too, as it was suggested that "John piace a Jane." is Jane likes John.

After reading the entry at ciaoitaliablog, I am going to read up more on indirect pronoun, pay attention to how to construct the proper sentence for the typical Italian verbs that used the indirect pronoun as mentioned in the blog:- Parlare a; Scrivere a; Dire a; Telefonare a; Piacere a; Bastare a; Servire a

December 18, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Philip.Davies

I agree that 'The milk is pleasing to the cat' should be correct too although an unnecessarily literal translation.

December 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/edibek123

why 'al' to say the?

March 28, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/andrescaranto

In my opinion, as many people have put here, it is more illuminating to think of "piacere" as "to please" rather than a weird version of "to like" - and point out that Italian people tend to use this construction to convey liking/pleasing. Same goes for "mancare", whose meaning seems to me closer to "to lack" than to "to miss" - for the subject is the one being missed, and the object the one who does the missing. Again, it's my opinion, but it seems to me that people (and this page has many examples) will find it easier to understand "they generally use lacking and pleasing instead of missing and liking" than "missing and liking are weird in that the roles of subject and object are reversed."

May 12, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RogerJames5

Cats are lactose intolerant. They should drink water.

December 24, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/iggyl

So, for those who speak Spanish - it appears that the verb piacere is used the same way as the verb gustar, correct? As in "al gato le gusta la leche"?

March 8, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moxVFz

Why do we say al gatto?

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/moxVFz

The cat likes milk is now the answer I receive? Confusing.

March 21, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Giga_bites

Anyway: Grown up cats shouldn't drink milk...

April 23, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/michaelkor53895

As Iunderstood il latte to mean " the milk" , I translated this as meaning "the cat likes the milk" and I was deemed wrong.How would you say " the cat likes the milk" in Italian?

August 31, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

The milk pleases the cat.

November 5, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Miantava

I wrote "The cat likes the milk" but it was wrong. Why does the 2nd "the" make the sentence wrong? Why is "il" included then?

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Well, once you spend some time learning Italian you will learn that they tend to use the definitive article (their equivalent of 'the') a lot more. It tends to get used more than it doesn't. Though 'the cat likes the milk' should still have worked.

March 9, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ami602039

Technically it reads " the milk is pleasing to the cat."

April 27, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Anna879361

it says 'il' shouldn't that be the cat likes the milk?

May 29, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bsilano

I wrote," The cat likes the milk" and was marked wrong because, I included "the" before milk. Why would this be wrong?

August 17, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Savannah731317

It is very annoying when I try to speak into the microphone and the house is noisy and I either get it wrong or end up skipping it

May 4, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GuillemCas5

The whole point is that in Italian, as well as in Spanish, the verb to like has as a subject the object that is liked, while the person who "likes" is just a complement. That's it, there is no other way to use the verb "piacere", and therefore its translation should be "I like this", "you like that", and so forth. While using commas and reversed sentences may make sense gramatically, an interpreter would recognize the differences in sentence structure among languages and would not create unnecessarily artificious structures to translate very common and basic sentences such as "the cat likes milk".

July 9, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Diane540044

Why is it "Al gatto" and not "il gatto" ?

July 20, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Because it's 'to the cat' not just 'the cat' Al = a + il. To the cat is pleasing the milk. The milk is pleasing to the cat, or in more colloquial English, The cat likes the milk. See other comments about the use of the verb piacere which is used differently to most verbs.

July 23, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/alannahbottino

this makes no sense. you stupid Duolingo, il and al are different.

November 28, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ariaflame

Yes they are slightly different. 'il' = the. 'al' = 'a + il' = 'to the' for masculine singular nouns. So this means 'to the cat is pleasing the milk' or in colloquial English, 'the cat likes the milk' which you might have known if you had actually bothered to read the comments before making your insulting and inaccurate post. Because if you understand the verb piacere this sentence makes perfect sense.

November 30, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DogwoodThedog

Thanks for this explanation! Have a lingot!

December 6, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JacquesFre5

So much so for people who don't understand irony and sarcasm and simple humor.

November 5, 2018

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