"He likes tea."
Translation:A lui piace il tè.
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There is a big difference in the way Italian and Spanish treat the formation of the "like" construction, and you may be confusing the two. In Italian when the so called tonic pronouns are used (a me; a te; a lui; a lei, a noi, a voi, a loro) the matching indirect object pronouns (mi, ti, gli etc) are not used as well. It is an either/or situation. Unlike Spanish, when you add the a mi for emphasis you still have to use me. For comparison here are the Italian tonic pronouns and their indirect object pronoun partners:
In Italian it is mi piace il cane
a me piace il cane,
but not a me mi piace il cane.
The use of the redundant pronoun is frowned upon in Italian. In Spanish, when you add the emphasis of a mi you still have to keep me: A mi me gusta el perro or me gusta el perro..but not a mi gusta el perro because the me is still required. Sorry for the Spanish, but as many students of Italian are also students of Spanish the difference in this case is pretty big. Further confusing things Spanish and Italian do a me/mi flip flop.
Right, something i forgot over time (confused with spanish, they're way too similar...) The construction with 'a lui' does put extra emphasis on him, right? As opposed to someone else, any normal sentence without special emphasis on any part should be 'gli piace ...', is it not?
In Italian "in a general sense" you usually need the definite article; for "a general quantity" you can usually choose between the partitive article (often translated as "some") or omitting any article, but not when it's a subject as in this sentence. It can still be omitted for the subject in some cases, e.g. lists (a lui piacciono tè e caffè - he likes tea and coffee), but the rule just gets more complicated from there.
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).
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?
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.
if the English written sentence is a simple: He likes the tea; then the answer lui piace il te; should be accepted. Should the answer be more elaborate, then the sentence to be translated should be something like this or similar to this: To him, the tea is pleasing/likable."
If the English statement is meant to be as lisali95 describes it, why doesn't Duolingo have that statement instead? This site really needs to improve on these statements we translate, otherwise supposed "wrong" answers will be marked incorrect when in fact they are not. It's not the first time I've come across this issue with inaccurate information, and it's really not helpful in facilitating quick learning of a language.