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  5. "My parents like beer."

"My parents like beer."

Translation:Ai miei genitori piace la birra.

March 17, 2013

64 Comments


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

Why is this "ai miei" not "i miei"?


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

Because that's how the verb "piacere" work.

"Beer is appealing to my parents" would be a bad literal translation.

http://duolingo.com/#/comment/233855 FAQ#10


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

Thank you, very helpful link!


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

How come you have to use singular "piace" when "i miei genitori" is clearly plural.


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

The subject of "piace" is "la birra", not "i miei genitori".

"piace" means something more like "is pleasing" than the English verb "like". The sentence translates more literally to "the beer is pleasing to my parents" - the subject of the verb is the beer, not the parents.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Daniel82458

Wow, big thanks :)


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

No. The parents like. They are the subject. Beer is what is liked. It is the object.


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

Actually he's right. In Italian the sentence is more like. "To my parents beer is liked."


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

It is definatly meant to be piaciono. The parents are the subject, which is plural.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/thi-fcr

I dont know what is your mother tongue but this is similar to Spanish. In Spanish piacere is gustar and you'd say this sentence like "A mis padres no les GUSTA (singular) la cerveza."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/saludares99

I don't understand why it's "ai miei" and not "a miei." You never say il mio padre or la mia madre.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MMCK84

When you talk about family members you don't use an article. But only of you talk about a single family member (e.g. mio padre, mio zia, mia mamma). When you talk about two or more persons, you have to use an article (i miei fratelli, i miei genitori).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoRad6

Five years later, this is still very helpful!


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

I just want to ask you, how you know when it was written?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoRad6

When the discussion is viewed as a web page, the time that has elapsed since a comment was made appears right below it. I'm replying to you 2 hours after you posted, and 6 years after MMCK84 made the original comment.


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

Thank you MMCK84, I had the same doubt as saludares99.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Old2enough

The hints do no include Ai , besides it is the first time that I see that word. How can we use a word that we have never learned?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/praying4time

Yes, it would be nice if Duolingo would explain these little technicalities beforehand. Learning by example isn't working out so well. I feel for the people trying to learn English because it is FULL of complications & exceptions.


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

I've had several times where it's asked me a word it's never taught me...


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

Why is it la birra rather than just birra?


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

Why is "la" necessary here? Isn't it "birra" in general?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoRad6

As I understand it, it is common for the subject of a sentence in Italian to require a definite article, even when it isn't necessary in English. In this sentence (as many of the comments in this discussion will document) the subject is birra = beer, Adding the article "the" in English changes the meaning substantially. We would say "Beer is pleasing to my parents." rather than "The beer is pleasing to my parents." if we meant that in general my parents liked beer. Adding the article "the" narrows the beer that pleases my parents in some way that we can't determine without further context. Perhaps my parents like a type of beer that is currently under discussion, or a beer that they are currently drinking. But with "the" modifying the subject "beer" in English we are no longer saying that my parents like beer generically, only some specific beer. In Italian it doesn't work like that. Despite the definite article, the sentence asserts that the parents like beer in general. Another example might help. While an Italian speaker might understand what you are getting at if your say, "Cavalli sono animali" the proper Italian is "I cavalli sono animali." You add the definite article because "cavalli" is the subject of the sentence, and it means (all) "horses are animals," not just that some collection of horses are animals. For that you would need to say something like "Questi cavalli sono animali."


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

If I wanted to say "I like beer," I would say "mi piace la birra" or "mi piace birra." I would not say "a mi piace birra." Why, then, is the preposition "a" used here?


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

It took me a while to get further down the skill tree to the Clitic Pronoun section to actually understand what you're saying here. You're right; you could use an indirect pronoun before "piace" and you wouldn't need the "a." (Mi piace, ci piace, gli piace, etc.) However, indirect pronouns include the "a" within themselves. So "Mi piace la birra" is the same as saying "A me piace la birra." Both translate into "I like beer," or more literally, "to me, beer is pleasing."

Because of the way piacere works, you have to start off saying "To the object of the sentence..." and in this case, "ai miei genitori" means "to my parents." The "a" is necessary for it to make sense. Without it, you are saying "My parents, beer is pleasing."

You could also say "Gli piace la birra" to say "They like beer" and you wouldn't need the "a," but that's for a future lesson anyway. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Petr047

Is it also correct to say "La birra piace ai miei genitori".?


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

Is there a way to formulate this sentence with Clitics? Thus making it a little more aesthetic?


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

You could always say "Gli piace la birra" to say "They like beer," but it wouldn't specify that it's "my parents."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cseverin80

Why "piace" and not "piacciono"?


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

Because the beer is singular. Piacere is more "is pleasing to". So the (singular) beer is pleasing to your parents.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertaHea2

why not: La birra piace ai miei genitori ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoRad6

This is a good question. I am just learning, but I believe that this sentence has the same meaning as the offered answer, but it is a construction that isn't commonly used. While the meaning of the sentence in English is "The beer is pleasing to my parents," the usage in Italian is to place the object (my parents ) at the start, like a subject, and the subject (the beer) at the end, so that it places the nouns in the same order as the English "My parents like beer." This has the effect (in Italian as in English) of placing the parents in the more active role, and the beer in a more passive one. So the sentence reads more like parents are actively liking the beer, rather than passively being pleased by it.

I'm just learning Italian myself, and I would love correction from a more experienced hand!


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

birra without the article was allowed


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

Not for me :( But ok. Must be grammatically ok, then


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MMCK84

Not in my case.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dave440813

I have looked up "ai" in two different places and it means "to" not "my" !!!!!


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

The "my" is conveyed by "i miei".
However, the verbal construction is "piacere a", so the article "i" of "i miei" is combined with the preposition "a", giving "ai miei".


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

Thanks for the explanation, it's very helpfull


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/frank553097

Why is it "I" miei genitori mangiano a mezzogiorno, and "Ai" miei genitori piace la birra?


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

frank In your first example, "I miei genitori" is the subject of the sentence.
In the second case, however, "birra" is the subject and "i miei genitori" is the object of the prepositional verb "piacere a" and, since the preposition "a" combines with the article, you get "ai miei genitori".


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

To my parents, beer is pleasing. Ai = "to"


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

From our previous lessons on the use of the word ",piace," I would have thought the correct way to express this would be "la birra piace i miei genitori," i.e. "the beer is pleasing to my parents!"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RobertoRad6

You've omitted the translation of the word "to." Include it and you have a correct translation into Italian: "La birra piace ai miei genitori." The answer given by Duo just moves the object up and the subject to the end, to give the usual translation.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ghislaine259518

This confuses me. My parents like... they like is= piacciono not piace??


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

This confuses me.

Ghislaine, quite appropriately, the way in which you have used the verb "confuse" here, parallels the way "piacere" is used.

  • Mi piace questo libro — This book pleases me.

In English, that's not how we might typically express it. We would normally say "I like this book": what is the subject in the English construction maps to the indirect object in the Italian; the English object maps to the Italian subject.

In the current case, "birra" is the subject, so the verb form is "piace". "ai miei genitori" is the indirect object. Notice that preposition "a" (combined with the article) which is a clue that "miei genitori" is NOT the subject.

Compare also:

  • French plaîre:— la recette qui plaît aux enfants - the recipe children like
  • Spanish gustar:— A mi perro no le gusta su comida - My dog doesn't like his food

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasH.137928

And German "gefallen" "schmecken":

Das Bild gefällt mir. Bier schmeckt mir.


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

I'm so tired of getting tiny things wrong because of technicalities. It's discouraging as hell


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Guevara4U

The same sentence is one and three option, and of course I got wrong, but then the second was also marked as wrong then, WTH?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bjhamer777

Everyone likes beer today! Why not apples, books or random vegetables? Does duo think I'm going to forget "birra"?


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

Why "I miei genitori piace una birra" is incorrect?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasH.137928

Duolingo always uses this sentence position. But it's also correct to put the subject at the beginning: la birra piace ai miei genitori.


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

Is the word for parents plural; should it be piace or piacciono! I thought that parents is plural( i genitori), so why is piacciono wrong?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MoosieLorenzo
  1. why did they use the word piace when it is plural?
  2. why did they use ai miei?

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ThomasH.137928

Most English cannot understand, how piacere is used, because the translation "like" is very free. Think it means: is lovely for! The beer is subjekt and so it's singular. We have the same as piace in Germany: Das Bier gefällt den Eltern.


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

..strange..i thought piacciono was plural as it's describing another plural 'parents'


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

this surely wrong

if ' ....I miei genitori bevono caffè.' then surely ...Ai miei genitori piacciono la birra


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tallman69

That's what I'm saying. If it's genitori, why isn't it piacciono?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tallman69

Piacere take the form of the object being liked. Because it's the object that doing the action. The beer is pleasing, not the parents.


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

When is Vogliono acceptable?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MMCK84

Vogliono means to want, not to like. Beside that it 3.P. Pl, which is only acceptable, when the thing, that "is liked" is plural. Like: Gli ombrelli piacciono ai miei genitori.

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