Vorrei or Mi piacerebbe

I understand that they both mean "would like" but as I remember when I translated a sentence here, Duo did not accept "vorrei", but "mi piacerebbe" instead ( I cannot recall exactly where that sentence is). So what is the difference between the two?

March 14, 2014


I had this question, too. Looking online, I learned two differences between vorrei and mi piacerebbe.

1) If you are making a request or asking for permission, vorrei is more common.

So, an example where only vorrei is used:

  • I would like to use the bathroom = Vorrei usare il bagno

NOTE: "Mi piacerebbe sounds weird [in this example], as this is more like asking permission rather than something that you like," writes a commenter on Rocket Languages.

Another example:

  • I would like to ask you a question = Vorrei fare una domanda (more common)

NOTE: In the example above, you can technically use both (Mi piacerebbe fare una domanda is correct), but vorrei is more common because you are asking for permission or making a request.


Vorrei and mi piacerebbe quite often seem to be synonymous and you can use either "volere" or "piacere," like in this example:

  • I would like to go on vacation again = Vorrei andare ancora in vacanza / Mi piacerebbe andare ancora in vacanza


2) "Vorrei" can signify a more definite plan, something you intend to put into action versus a vague desire.

On the language forum Hi Native, a native Italian speaker says:

"Generally they have almost the same meaning, and usually you can use both of them without any problems, but they slightly differ from each other.

Let's translate the sentence "I would like to attend a calligraphy course" using those verbs:

  • Vorrei seguire un corso di calligrafia:

In this case "seguire un corso di calligrafia" is presented more as an intention which can be actually put into action;

  • Mi piacerebbe seguire un corso di calligrafia:

This time "seguire un corso di calligrafia" seems to be more of a dim desire which could be hardly satisfied.


I hope this helps!

June 25, 2018

Grazie mille!

August 26, 2019
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