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

Ama and piace

Could someone please explain this, because I'm getting this wrong every time.

Why is "A mio fratello piace insegnare" correct, but "A mio fratello ama insegnare" wrong?

Why is "A mia zia piace cantare" correct, but "A mia zia ama cantare" wrong?

A mio fratello piace insegnare. (correct)

Mio fratello ama insegnare. (correct)

Mio fratello piace insegnare. (wrong)

A mio fratello ama insegnare. (wrong)

A mia zia piace cantare. (correct)

A mia zia ama cantare. (wrong)

Mia zia piace cantare. (wrong)

Mia zia ama cantare. (correct)

The only difference is the intensity of the feeling. My brother likes to teach or my brother loves to teach. But one seems to require the "A" and the other doesn't. The same is true about my aunt. In one sentence she loves to sing, and in the other, she likes to sing.

Can someone please explain why the article is needed in for like but not for love?

April 11, 2018

21 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AHA3006

"amare" takes a direct object and "piacere" takes an indirect object. Maybe it's easier for you to remember if you do not translate "piacere" with "to like" but with "to give pleasure"

April 11, 2018

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

But how do I do that when it is asking me to translate "My aunt loves to sing" and "My aunt loves to sing"? And in my examples, what indirect object is piacere taking?

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dcarl1

In your example “my aunt” functions as the subject in English and when using amare, but the indirect object when using piacere.

A mia zia piace cantare literally means “Singing is pleasing TO my aunt.” We do not speak this way in English without sounding stilted, so it translates as “my aunt likes to sing”

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dcarl1

I should also point out that this structure is specific to the verb piacere. It is always structured like this. Piacere and amare function differently. There are several other verbs that follow this same structure: mancare, bastare and a few others.

http://icebergproject.co/italian/2014/12/italian-word-speed-dates-bastare-mancare-and-piacere/

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

*A mia zia piace

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dcarl1

whoops - yes, of course, corrected. That's what happens when I post at 5 am.

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AHA3006

Think about "Singing gives pleasure to my aunt."

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

But this means more like "Cantare dà piacere a mia zia", and it's a little bit awkward... If you know what i mean :)

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

Hi, we say "a lei piace quella cosa" because it's a thing that likes to her. "Lei ama quella cosa" it's because she loves that thing. "a lei ama" and "lei piace" are and sound incorrect in italian. Sorry for my poor explaination, I hope you get it anyway.

April 11, 2018

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

No. Unfortunately, that really doesn't make sense to me.

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

You could use the subject implied, so for female is "Le piace", for male "Gli piace", for you is "Mi piace", and for us is "Ci piace" (as you can see they are similar as you usually say). It's the same as to say "A lei piace" , "A lui piace", "A me piace" and "A noi piace". For they is only "A loro piace"

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

I forgot:

You (tu): "Ti piace" or "A te piace"

You (voi): "Vi piace" or "A voi piace"

April 11, 2018

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

Thank you. I guess piacere is just a word I'm going to have memorize how to use, because it doesn't seem to follow the same rules it would in English.

Sorry for being so difficult. I've been tearing my hair out about these two verbs.

April 11, 2018

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

Grazie a tutti!! Just to give you a little insight. Today I did a lesson. One of the questions was to translate "My aunt likes to sing." I got it wrong because I left out the preposition "A". Then, surprisingly the very next question was to translate "My brother love to teach." I immediately thought, I'm not going to make the same mistake twice, so I used the preposition A. Needless to say, I got it wrong. Also needless to say, I got upset, because I didn't understand WHY I got it wrong!!!

This is an area where duolingo fails, in my opinion. All they do is tell you that you got it wrong. They don't tell you why you got it wrong, and often the people in the discussions don't understand why it is wrong either.

Anyway, I'm glad I asked the question, because I truly did learn something today from all of you. Thank you for helping understand PIACERE... arguably one of the most confusing words in the Italian language for English speaking students!!

April 11, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lucagalassi89

Di nulla! Mi piace dare una mano quando posso! È stato un piacere aiutarti!

You are welcome! I like helping out whenever I can! It was a pleasure to help you!

April 11, 2018

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

LoribethClark,I had terrible trouble with piacere until I looked at Tom on youtube https://youtu.be/79kYab_F0qs He has a wonderful short video explaining piacere. The other thing I think we should be aware of is that in Italian "love" is not used for anything other than romantic love, not for pets, not for aunties and uncles, or parents or things or food . I don't know why Duolingo keeps using it for all these other things. It is more useful to think of things being pleasing or perhaps using adorare instead, but maybe Duolingo won't accept that. Maybe CivisRomanus (my hero) can explain it better (or am I wrong?)

April 12, 2018

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

Grazie. The video is very helpful!

April 12, 2018

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

Have you come across "mancare" (to be missing or to be lacking in) yet?It is equally as confusing- actually MORE confusing!! Here is a link to that as well; https://blogs.transparent.com/italian/mancare/ It is similar to piacere. I can't think of two more difficult verbs in Italian!

April 13, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ddeck22

I have found elsewhere that they do use "adorare" when referring to liking something outside of romantic love. But, it may just be a difference in style and younger people may use "amare" for emphasis (as we do in English).

April 12, 2018

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

I read on another site they use adorare things, but not so much for people. Piacere is used more often. And I would not be surprised if younger people used amare more often.

April 12, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Santo531930

I think in English the word love is used too often and to me seems like an exaggeration. ex. I love apples. The more often it is used the weaker it becomes. I love apples and my husband. If you use a word too often it loses value. From what I know of latin languages, the word love is not used as often and therefore maintains its value.

April 13, 2018
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