"He likes tea."
Translation:A lui piace il tè.
Why is 'a lui piace tè' wrong? (I.e., why is the article "il" needed here?)
I believe, like French, when talking about preferences for general things, a definite article is needed.
Think about it this way: if we translated this more literally, it would be something like "To him, the tea is pleasing/likable." So you need "A" to say that first "to."
why is it common to say "A lui piace il tè" and not "Al lui piace il tè"? I have also seen that it is common to say for example "Al loro piacono il tè" and i would love to understand the reason for the difference. molto grazie
You can't use articles before personal pronouns, so "al loro" and "al lui" would be wrong; perhaps you saw it in the form "al loro cane piacciono i biscotti" (their dog likes cookies), because in that case 'loro' is a possessive pronoun and it behaves like an adjective, requiring an article. Note that the number of the verb (piace/piacciono) follows the one being liked ("il tè" is the subject in the given translation), so it would be "a loro piace il tè" (they like tea).
I understand why "A" is put before lui with a verb like "piacere", but then how come "I like tea" would just be "Mi piace il te" and not "A mi piace il te"?
"Mi" doesn't go with preposition, but "me" does. So it would be: "Mi piace il te" or "A me piace il te".
Why is it that sometimes we have to say "the (what have you)" when the 'il' isn't present in the Italian sentence, and other times it says "il (what have you)" and it isn't required that we use 'the' in our translation. I have tried to figure it out just by practicing, but I seem to just get more and more confused. I've seemed to grasp it with shorter sentences, (i.e., mangio le fragole con succo di limone e lo zucchero: I eat THE strawberries with lemon juice and sugar: the 'lo' is not used in translation) but I honestly have no clue if I'm using it correctly anyway. Anyone have a good explanation?
That is the first time anyone has explained that to me. Thank you! (Now I just have to REMEMBER!)
This seems to structure "piace" as the English translation, but it is my understands that it does not work that way...it is not so much "he likes," but "the tea is pleasing to him." I have been taught that it should be: "il tè gli piace" (if gli is the to/for pronomi indiretti that precedes the verb) or "il tè piace a lui," because HE should not be the subject, but the object as the object noun should never precede the subject or verb in an Italian sentence, only direct object or indirect object pronouns. At least, that is what I was taught in Italian 101 at uni.
Hi Betsy, I like your explanation. As I tried solution given by you and I got it right. Thanks. I would prefer now on writing the subject before the verb. And it make sense for me to understand it better in English. Ex. "Il cibo piace al gatto"
No, it isn't; changing the order in the sentence just moves the focus from what he likes (tea) to who likes tea (he).
Piacere is intransitive, and the thing being liked (tea) is the subject in Italian, so it must be "a lui" or "gli" (indirect clitic version of "a lui").
I guess I left out il, because it only says tea, but then lo zucchero refers to sugar- not THE sugar?
Is it because "a lui" is functioning as the indirect to/for pronoun? How does that work?