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  5. "A mio fratello piace la birr…

"A mio fratello piace la birra."

Translation:My brother likes beer.

May 6, 2014



Almost never a false statement... in any language!


Except in arabic


gave you a lingot just for the awesome streak. Impressive!


Can someone explain why there is a 'A' needed at the beginning of this centence and not just mio?


The construction is: To my brother the beer is pleasing. A = to


This is different from previous statements that have been "pleasing to" . A mio fratello piace la birra,. which would be ... to my brother is pleasing to the beer. They keep confusing us. If it is "to my brother the beer is pleasing", why would it not be la birra piace a mio fratello. . There seems so be some flip flopping of this, making it confusing.


"Piacere" is an intransitive verb. With Italian intransitive verbs, it is more natural for the subject to come after the verb. When expressing your personal preferences, you usually say "mi piace la birra", (to me the beer is pleasing), where the subject (la birra) comes after the verb.

For this sentence, "a mio fratello piace la birra", the literal translation is "to my brother the beer is pleasing." It is the preposition "a" that tells you to whom the beer is pleasing. Because there is no preposition before "la birra", we know it's the subject.


I wrote "my brother likes beer" and it was correct on check.

Are there more than one correct answers for different questions? I am a bit confused.


Yes there are usually multiple correct answers, but what I was talking about here might not be an accepted answer, it's just the literal translation.

The Italian means "beer is pleasing to my brother", which sounds strange in English, so we translate it as "my brother likes beer".


I don't see any difference to previous "someone likes something" sentences.
While this sentence means: "My brother likes beer",
try to think of it as the way Yoda from Star Wars speaks:
"To my brother, pleasing is the beer."
"A mio fratello, piace la birra."
It is the same structure as all of the piacere (pleasure \ to like) sentences in Duo up to this lesson.

You could also write this in the following order:
"La birra piace a mio fratello."
"The beer is pleasing to my brother." (pseudo-translation just to explain)
Both orderings are legitimate in Italian,
and translate to: "My brother likes beer."


I liked beer. I still like beer - Bart Kavanaugh


Can you also say "la birra piace a mio fratello," or would that sound strange to a native speaker?


How would you translate 'My brother likes the beer' ? (Allowing that beers differ!)


That would also be "A mio fratello piace la birra". In French, Spanish, Italian you often have to use the definite article to signal "general reference" which requires the zero article in English):

I love cheese : Adoro il formaggio

I love the cheese (e.g the one from the market) ; Adoro il formaggio.

I love music - Amo la musica, etc.

[deactivated user]

    This sentence never appears correct over and over

    [deactivated user]

      This sentence never appears correctly, over and over


      La pronuncia di "birra" è orribile-


      I adore Duolingo! But is it really necessary to choose destructive things of all the items one can like?.. A mio fratello piace l'acqua..:)


      Beer is only as destructive as you make it... Same as unhealthy food items amongst others. It's only repetition in order to help us learn, not meant to be anything more.

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