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  5. "Al gatto piace il cibo."

"Al gatto piace il cibo."

Translation:The cat likes the food.

November 25, 2013



Why is it "al gatto"?


The Italian verb "piacere" has a construction different than the one used for the English verb "to like".


  • A me piacciono le fragole = I like strawberries
  • Le fiabe piacciono ai bambini = Childrens like fairy tales.

In the previous examples, "il cibo", "le fragole" and "le fiabe", are the subjects of the respective Italian sentences, but in English they are the direct objects.


So, as in your examples, you conjugate the verb according to what is liked as opposed to what is doing the liking?


Exactly. "Il cibo piace al gatto" is like saying "the food is pleasing to the cat", but in English it's usually translated as "the cat likes the food".


If you are still around, when I put the sentence in Google Translation, as "Il gatto piace il cibo" it comes out the same. But, if we were to use "Il cibo piace al gatto", then that's ok too?


Try and think like this:

"To the cat, the food is pleasing"


Wish ALL our questions were answered this simply & clearly! You did Great!


Great explanation. Thank you


If that's the case, then why isn't "The food is pleasing to the cat" considered correct?


It's an example of a reflexive verb/pronoun combo. The use of the reflexive if much more common in Italian than English


I think because "pleasing" is something else in Italian?


But to what subject does the verb "piace" belong? Is it an impersonal form, or "the food pleases" (il cibo piace), or "as for the cat (to the cat), he/it likes the food (il gatto piace)?


Piace belongs to the food. The food is technically the subject in this sentence


But the translation says "the cat likes the food"


thank you so much


It helps me to think as "Al gato le gusta la comida" (same meaning in English and Italian). :D


If you are familiar with spanish, this verb is like "gustar"; the person (or animal) that would be the subject of the verb in English, becomes the indirect object, and the direct object of the verb (in this case, il cibo) becomes the subject.


Yes. Instead of 'il gatto'?


Should "The cat likes food" truly be marked wrong?


It should because you left out 'the'. It has nothing to do with your translation of piace. That is fine


This is correct. There is absolutely nothing wrong with "The cat likes the food." The "al gatto" business is idiom, and not at all one that makes one seem like a native speaker, as some idiomatic nuances might.


If that's the case, then how do you say "The cat likes food" in general?


I also am curious why the sentence does not follow the format given in the bubble example that popped up -- it said that Jane likes John should be written basically as John is liked by Jane. But this sentence does not follow that -- it's not written "the food is liked by the cat." So it tells you one thing and then does the opposite, which leaves me very confused.


when duolingo first showed me "piace" it told me that it puts the object first and the subject last...so now I'm confused as this sentence has the subject first and the object last. confused....confused....confused....


The (indirect) object of the verb in Italian, IS first-it's al gatto (literally "to the cat"). That is followed by the verb piacere (to be pleasing) and the subject, (il cibo) is last. So object-verb-subject.


For those of you who don't quite get this sentence, maybe this will help you:

In Italian, the act of liking is not performed by the person who likes the object, but by the object that is liked. Think of it this way: the verb piacere literally means to please. This way, the English sentence works exactly like in Italian, but with one little detail: to please needs the preposition "to" in Italian, which is "a" (a+il=al). Let's see it:

-The food pleases TO the cat. -Il cibo piace al gatto.

-TO the cat, pleases the food. (More natural in English: To the cat, the food pleases). -Al gatto piace il cibo.

Both ways work in Italian.

Please keep in mind I'm not a native Italian speaker, please some body let me know if I said something wrong.


Could you say "The food is pleasing to the cat."?


that's what it literally means for the same sentence in Spanish :Al gato / le gusta la comida". To the cat / the food pleases. So I think you can given that the two languages are similar..


Knowing that the more natural translation was "The cat likes the food," I tried "The food pleases the cat" just to see if it was accepted. It was not. I'm curious if anyone could tell me if there's any reason that's actually incorrect or if it's just not the intended response.


I gave that exact answer, and also got it wrong. I think it is correct, but too literal a translation.


Al gatto is 'to the cat', so it's just that you missed your proposition is all. The most literal translation (in proper English) would be 'The food is pleasing to the cat.'


Would "To the cat the food is pleasing" be closer to the original sentence?


That was exactly my answer and it was marked incorrect :( I hope they accept it after review as it seems to be what the sentence literally says.


The cat likes the food, not the food pleases the cat.


If the translations is so straightforward, why is the article "al" and not "il"?


Al = a + il (to the) "Il gatto" is the indirect object of the verb, so it must be preceded by a preposition, in this case "a" (to). So the sentence is literally: The food is pleasing to the cat. I hope that helps. :)


It should say in the drop down that the verb 'piace' comes from means 'to please' and not 'to please oneself'. I know Spanish so I assumed it was like 'gustar', but for those who have never learned a romantic language before, I bet this was confusing.


You say I like beer, or the beer pleases me. Me piace means ,me gusta, I like .Not pleases me.


Google translated it as cat-like food!

[deactivated user]

    A TUTTI piace il cibo. ;)


    Al cibo piace il gatto (I am joking. I know this is wrong)


    I answered "the food is liked by the cat" and it was marked wrong. It looks passive to me, so why is the passive translation not accepted? In Latin there are plenty of verbs that use only an active form but are only translated as passive, and plenty that are only passive forms only translated as present. Any insight? Thanks.


    Am I asking to much for an explanation once in awhile when we get a curve ball?


    Why AL gatto and not IL gatto?


    "al" means "to the" and it changes, like other words used in a sentence if it's feminine, masculine, plural, etc, ie: "nel", "nello" The problem is, we didn't learn "al" yet, as far as I remember. So the sentence in English translates to, "the food is pleasing "TO THE" cat". It's one of those crazy things in Italian, so most sentences starting with, "the cat likes, or "the boy likes" starts with "al" if masculine singular. Here's the others used, "Ai", "Alla", "Allel" I hope that helps.


    The translation of the new word "piace" is "likes oneself" which makes no sense at all. I had no idea what the sentence meant and just had to guess!


    I feel the best translation of the given sentence would be "The food appeals to the cat"!


    I dunno if anyone on here knows any Latin, but would this be sorta like a Latin deponent verb?


    No, no, it's not like a deponent verb, which would be passive in form, active in meaning. "Piacere" is more like an impersonal verb. In fact, the Italian verb "piacere" comes from the Latin "placere" (to please) and the grammar of how it's used is just the same. (The Latin verb "placere" isn't technically an impersonal verb, but it's used like one most of the time.) If you want to say, "I like the food" in Latin, you say "cibus mihi placet" - literally, "the food is pleasing to me." The Italian construction is just the same. This Italian sentence, "Al gatto piace il cibo," literally says, "The food is pleasing to the cat," but it's idiomatically understood as, "The cat likes the food." That word "Al" is just a contraction of "a" (to) and "il" (the).

    Also, I see you're learning Spanish on DuoLingo. The way "piacere" works in Italian is JUST like "gustar" in Espanol! :)

    Hope this helps! (It's nice to see another Latin-buddy on here, too!)


    Great explanation


    So is it possible to say il cibo piace al gatto?


    As an English speaker, it just seems like that would be weird word order


    Yes, correct. Latin languages have a lot of freedom to put words in different order. By changing the order you put emphasis on certain words/concepts.


    Why " Al gatto " ? It doesn't make sense !!

    • 1533

    Al gatto - "to the cat". The key to piacere and others similar to it is you have to change how you think. "The cat likes the food" becomes food is pleasing to the cat. Even though it is used to express what you like in italian, the actual meaning of the verb piacere is "to be pleasing to". Normal use in english to express like is "subject" like "object" - in this case, "the cat likes the food". In order to use piacere and other verbs like it, you must think about what it really means. "Al gatto" (to the cat) "piace" (is pleasing) "il cibo"(the food). This structure is "indirect object" piacere "subject". It took me a while to wrap my head around this, but the key is changing the way you think - not easy.


    To the cat is liked the food. Hmmm? What about that?


    For remembering the ordering while still having it make sense in my English speaking mind, would it be sufficient to think of "piace" as "what's liked is?"

    Example: "The cat likes the food" could be said as: To the cat * what's liked is * the food == Al gatto * piace * il cibo.


    Someone please explain.. The tip for conjugating piace says jane likes john becomes john is liked by jane. It seems like in the case of this sentence where the cat likes the food, gatto would come after cibo? Confused..


    Is it wrong to say, "il gatto piace il cibo"?


    What difference between meal and food both has the same purpose


    Probably the same as the difference between meal and food in English, which don't have the same purpose, but sometimes can be interchangeable.


    Not interchangeable: I eat 5 smaller meals per day. vs. I eat 5 smaller foods per day.

    Interchangeable: Your breath is awful! Was there garlic in your meal? vs. Your breath is awful! Was there garlic in your food?

    Not interchangeable: Would you like just the burger or the meal? vs. Would you like just the burger or the food?

    Interchangeable: I wouldn't share my food with a bum. vs. I wouldn't share my meal with a bum.


    loro piaciono as shown by duolingo. Seemed strange when io piaccio is used. Looked it up seems to be loro piacciono sometimes. Is this different regions or old Italian or what?


    I don't really understand the question about loro piaciono ? Or the io piaccio issue.

    Aren't they both Different nouns & meanings? ex: io=I ... loro=They. So they'd be used totally separate b/c one is Singular useage - and the other for Plural usage. What's the confusion?


    hi. The spelling loro piaCCiono and loro piaCiono. It varies where you look it up. Usually if you use io piaCCiono then you use loro PiaCCiono but duolingo goes to loro piaCiono.


    This is slightly off-track, but "piacere" is one of the few Italian verbs that absolutely requires the use of the personal pronoun with the verb; that is to say, "voglio" means the same thing as "io voglio", because the "io" is understood because of implicit verb agreement. No good with "piacere". You must state the personal pronoun with the verb. As far as I know, "io piacco" does not exist. The correct phrase for "I like" is, curiously enough, "mi piace", which would literally translate "me likes". Go figure...

    • 1533

    That's almost correct, however a more accurate translation for 'mi piace' is "It is pleasing to me". You have to make yourself think a bit differently when using piacere, as what you would think of as the subject (me) and object ( for example book/books) are essentially reversed:

    I like that book.

    mi piace quel libro.

    (To me) (is pleasing) (that book).

    I like those books.

    mi piacciono quei libri.

    (To me) (is pleasing) (those books).

    You can use piaccio (and piaci, below) however again, it's somewhat backwards as to how an english speaker would think:

    Susan likes me.

    Io piaccio a Susan ("I am pleasing to Susan")

    Yet another way to think about piacere is that it is used with 'a', making the meaning "to be pleased to":

    I like you.

    Tu piaci a me. (Stressed form of "you are pleasing to me")

    Tu mi piaci. (unstressed form)

    Sorry for the long-winded reply, I hope this helps. Gah, and sorry for the formatting, as duolingo's editor wouldn't take my vertical formatting, squishing everything together.


    Non è uno dei miei gatti.


    Who doesn't?


    Small wonder, since that lady's son is starving it!


    Is there a rule when using "al" in the beginning or "a"?


    The food is pleasing to the cat was marked wrong


    In Romanian we say Pisicii îi place mâncarea, same structure, different words ;)


    Come on! I wrote "Al gatto piacce il cibo." Instead of giving me a typo for one extra "C," it marked me wrong.


    Your WERE wrong.... sorry.


    Why cant it be 'il gatto' ?


    What's the difference between " AL gatto piace ..." and "IL gatto .." ? Thanks.


    What would be wrong with "The food pleases the cat." ?


    But, I still don't understand where "al" comes into all of this.


    Here is a mistake, in previous lessons il cibo=meal and here is translated only as a food. C'mon!!!


    Cibo has an o as the last vowel the person speaking the sentence misses this and cibo becomes chi


    Does the translation need 'the'? ie. The cat likes food?


    I tried, "To the cat the food is pleasing". Duo thinks not :-D


    Why isn't "the food pleases the cat' accepted?

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