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"The girl does not like chicken."

Translation:Alla ragazza non piace il pollo.

May 9, 2013



I do not understand why 'La' is not accepted since the translation is 'The girl...' Why must it be 'alla'?

  • 2654

Because the subject is "il pollo"; "piacere" is more "to be liked" than "to like". A mnemonic help is translating it as "to be pleasing" and then reorganizing the sentence: in this case it would be "To the girl is not pleasing, the chicken".


I still don't understand. Why is "LA ragazza" incorrect? If we are to translate "The" to "Alla" and not "La," then more explanation is required. I would be perfectly fine translating "To the" to "Alla," but that is not what is being asked.

You said that reason why "the" translates to "alla" is because of the chicken. Not sure I understand why. What I am understanding is that what you're trying to say is: "When using the verb 'piacere,' one translates 'the' to 'alla' rather than 'la' and this is an exception to the rule." Are there any other verbs like this?

Thanks a lot :-)


"To the" is necessary because "piacere" technically means to please, not to like. In english we say "I like chicken" but in Italian it's "At myself pleases chicken". As such, the way its structured is "at the girl pleases the chicken." If you look at the sentence "Mi piace pollo," you'll notice that "piace" is conjugated in third person singular, not first person singular, because "I" am the object and "chicken" is the subject. Similarly, if you wanted to say "he talks to me" you would say "mi parla (lui)."

Hope that's helpful! :)


Thanks a lot... It's really helpful


No problem! I suggest looking up reflexive verbs, since they are extremely common in italian.


Simply a vagary of the language & how reflexive verbs have to be treated. Equally, the Italians might ask why we say it the way we do!!!


I am guessing that Mi really is first person singular, but it is an object pronoun rather than a subject pronoun


Writing or explaining this way makes more sense to English speakers and is also accepted.

il pollo non piace alla ragazza


Haha no. To me this sentence now says the chicken does not like the girl. Haha.


The chicken does not please the girl


You mean that "to the girl the chicken is not pleasing"


Good way of putting this


Ok, i Think i understand your answer. But what would the "Italien in the street" say; La ragazza non piace or Alla ragazza non piace? My main goal is not to be a translator but to make myself understood in everyday Life.

  • 2654

"Alla ragazza non piace il pollo" would be pretty common, except that it would be rare for anyone to call a girl "la ragazza". The most common I think would be "a lei il pollo non piace".


I understand the "to her" instead of "the girl". It makes sense in my head. And i really like your comment about the most common way to say it. That is what I want learn. Thanks!


I've been learning for 4 months and my aim is exactly the same!


Piacere è un verbo intransitivo; I have found this for you: In grammar, an intransitive verb does not allow a direct object. This is a distinctive from a transitive verb, which takes one or more objects. The verb property is called transitivity. Intransitive verbs are often identified as those that can't be followed by who or what. Wikipedia


Thanks so much. I knew there would be some explanation.


Thanks @f.formica now it makes


f. formica's explanation is too advanced for this level of learning this language


I would like to know if an Italian speaking person would understand if you said la ragazza in this sentence instead of alla ragazza?


My husband is Italian and I questioned this as well. He said that yes, it would be understood with "la ragazza" but "alla ragazza" is the correct way.


Its alla read "tip" before you start lesson. When you express a like before piace or picone the name take alla


The determination of the gramatical subject "il pollo" is obligatory in Spanish when using the verb equivalent to "piacere" (gustar). Is it obligatory in Italian too? Or can I say: Alla ragazza non piace pollo?


One of the other exercises using this same sentence was a "choose the correct sentence among the given" and the correct choice DID NOT have the article "il" before pollo. But I got it wrong when I omitted it in my answer.

  • 2654

I don't know about Spanish, but in Italian it has nothing to do with piacere, and everything to do with the fact that you always have to use an article before the subject: just like you can't say "pollo è buono". Even if that weren't the case, Italian almost always requires an article in front of general concepts.


Thanks f.formica... you've just answered my question! I should have read on down. Pollo in this sentence is the subject so needs the definite article.


In the sentence "Compriamo caramelle" caramelle is the subject but does not require "la" but in this exercise our famous "pollo" requires a definitive article. What is the difference?

  • 2654

In "compriamo caramelle", "caramelle" is the object, not the subject, and the article would be "le": in the same way you cannot say "caramelle sono buone".


Thank you, I have messed up objects and subjects.


Good question. I thought so too, but DL gave me the correct answer as not including the il [pollo]. I see this screen has it though. ??


That is weird, as they marked me WRONG for not including the "il" (I wrote " Alla ragazza non piace pollo")


Aaaarrrggghhhh! I thought I'd sussed this... when to put the definite article and when to leave it out. I wrote "alla ragazza non piace pollo" also, following what i thought was the rule from many previous lessons , only to have it marked wrong. Now I'm completely baffled. People keep saying you don't need the article in Italian, same as English, unlike, say, French. Can anyone clarify why it is wrong in this instance to omit the definite article?


I did the same thing and wonder ...is it really wrong...and if so what is the rule to follow.


I wrote "alla ragazza non piace pollo" and it was marked wrong


First, it is not a correct translation. "Alla ragazza non piace il pollo." As if she were served a poor meal at a restaurant while "The girl does not like chicken." indicates the girl does like chicken in general. Second, in english we would say "The chicken is not pleasing to the girl." = "Il pollo non piace alla ragazza." But italian grammer with reflexive verbs is different than english grammer, therefore "To the girl, is not pleasing the chicken." = "Alla ragazza non piace il pollo." There are other reflexive verbs in italian that will twist our english grammer around. Study and practice and learn to think in italian.


I think the connotation is that when it comes to food, "the girl" finds chicken to be the most unpleasant. Maybe she finds fish delightful, but chicken does not please her. Am I on the right track?


Out of all the responses, yours is the only one that makes sense. Thank you.


Ecco una traduzione che rispetta la costruzione inglese: LA RAGAZZA NON GRADISCE IL POLLO.


Why alla ragazza and not a ragazza?


Because we are talking about a specific girl, so the definite article is needed. The english equivalent would be saying something like "I throw the ball at girl" instead of "I throw the ball at the girl."

[deactivated user]

    I'm working my way back up this thing for grammar practise rather than extra learning and I have never heard anyone say 'alla ragazza' in this context. I and my Italian family would all say 'la ragazza non piace il pollo' in common speech. Then again we speak dialect a lot so I guess we might just be sloppy.


    I too have answered without "il" in front of pollo before and it was correct. It doesn't read as "the" chicken it says chicken. However today I got it wrong because I omitted "il". It sounds better in English if the sentence reads; she does not like chicken. Is the "il" necessary in Italian to make the sentence sound grammatically correct?


    Yes, Deana, I absolutely agree; I just posted a similar comment. I wish I had read all the way down and found the comments from you and Michael first, but when there's 107 .....


    Is it okay if i say "alla ragazza non LE piace il pollo"?? Or did i just completely make that up?

    • 2654

    Doubling the object can be done as a form of emphasis, yes; whether that's okay is subject of debate. It's been drilled into us as children never to say things like "a me mi", and it could cost us grades in a school test, so most Italians tend to consider it unacceptable (especially in writing) or dialectal, but most grammarians acknowledge that it's been around for centuries and there's nothing wrong with emphasis. So yes, you'll hear that, especially in some regions, but be careful using it; it's not normally accepted in this course for instance.


    It should be "..piace il pollo" not just "piace pollo".


    Why is it the article sometime used before the noun in a sentence and sometimes it is not. Many times when I use the article before the noun I am graded incorrect then in other sentences when I don't use the article before the noun I am still graded incorrect. Is there a grammatical rule that I am missing?


    Interesting. First time I saw this there was no 'il' and it was correct. This time with no 'il' it is marked as incorrect....


    It seems to be a guessing game as to when DuoLingo wants the article, in this case il, or not. Half the time they don't use the article. There is no consistency. They do not seem to go by any standard grammar rule.


    I am confused; alla and alle have a lot of meanings: in; at; the...


    In this context it means "at the" or "to the." Remember, "piacere" doesn't mean "to like," it means "to please," which is why "pollo" is the subject and "ragazza" is the object. As such, the literal english translation would be "At the girl does not please the chicken."


    "does not please the chicken" sounds more like when I make my ckickens go back in their pen -- they are not pleased at all. This is a bit confusing since we are concerned with the girl's feeling/likes, but not the chicken's.


    Ok haha, how about "at the girl the chicken does not please"


    How about ... to the birl, the chicken is not pleasing.


    Bimba e quasi la stessa cosa che bambina


    Very interesting discussion. Thanks to all.


    What's the difference between come (like) and piace (like)?


    So it didnt accept ragazza and suggested bambina...isnt ragazza girl?

    [deactivated user]

      Where does alla an A come from? What happened to Le la ?


      It's just a weird thing with piacere you have to learn. You have to add "a" (in its proper form) to the article (le, la, etc) so it becomes 'to the X'. So la ragazza becomes (a + la = alla) alla ragazza.

      Others above explain the grammar rules better than I can. LOL...


      So we should translate this as "The chicken is not pleasing to her" to extend to "The girl does not like chicken"?

      Why not, then, place "Il pollo" before? Il polo non piace alla ragaza"?


      Cause their Italian and don't do it that way? They'd mostly likely know what you meant, but might chuckle that the chicken didn't like the girl. Hee Hee

      Good Luck...it is confusing


      To the girl, the chicken is not pleasing would be the literal translation.


      Alla ragazza non piace il pollo


      I said 'Alla ragazza non piace pollo' and it marked me wrong. Is the article mandatory in this one?


      In italiano: 'Alla ragazza non piace IL pollo'


      In italiano si dice.. Alla ragazza non piace il pollo. L'articolo è sottinteso... Ma c'è..


      Why do I have to write "il" pollo? Couldn't it just be pollo?


      I learned from another discussion that Mr formica is a contributor. Is that possible for DL to specify/mark the contributor for this and other forums. Grazie.


      Ugh this one makes no sense to me... :(


      Read the sentence as: the chicken is not likeable to the girl. 'to the' is 'alla', pointing to the girl.


      Piacce with 2 cs making it wrong... It is harsh...


      I didn’t put IL pollo. Wrong! Why are DL so inconsistent? Sometimes the want the definite article and other times they don’t. I made a literal translation and the red flagged it☹️


      Because the Italian way to say it is : to the girl pleases the chicken.. something you cannot say in English. You cannot say la ragazza loves chicken.. that would mean she is in relationship with ! Always remember that piace doesn't mean like but please... when you are pleased by the chicken taste, then you like it.


      In lesson one of prepositions, the sentence was the same and accepted pollo without the il before it. Why is it wrong now ???


      Why alla? I am confused. Al is supposed to mean to the ....please help. Grazie


      You are close to correct. A is 'to', so al is "to the (male noun) --> Al ragazzo. So for ragazza, you get alla ragazza, 'to the girl'. Not to be confusing but you could also have alle ragazze and ai ragazzi for multiples. Good Luck!


      Would it have been better to say la ragazza non ama il pollo?


      "Alla" ragazza?!


      The girl does not like the chicken


      i still can't understand what the reason for put "alla" before "ragazza" !!!!!


      why alla and not la?


      same remark !!! needs better explanation


      Я не понимаю почему в данном случае нельзя сказать La ragazza


      Where does the word "alla" come from and why is "La ragazza" wrong???


      As explained many times on this thread, the girl in this sentence is the object, not the subject. Piacere works differently in Italian than 'like' in English; you can't translate it word for word. You have to add "a" (in its proper form) to the article (le, la, etc) so it becomes 'to the X'; so la ragazza becomes (a + la = alla) alla ragazza. The chicken is not pleasing 'to the girl'.


      Sorry, so of us are behind you in learning and we need to be reminded. If we had a text of some kind we could refer to it, but with Duo it's memorization only. I gave you a lingot for your help.


      Thank you for taking the time to give the explanation. We are here to learn so please do not take a patronizing position. I do not read all that comes on here.


      I also do not understand why not La instead of alla


      As explained many times on this thread, the girl in this sentence is the object, not the subject. Piacere works differently in Italian than 'like' in English; you can't translate it word for word. You have to add "a" (in its proper form) to the article (le, la, etc) so it becomes 'to the X'; so la ragazza becomes (a + la = alla) alla ragazza. The chicken is not pleasing 'to the girl'.


      It is wrong. It is said: "Alla ragazza non piace IL pollo"


      Hi, what is the difference between 'alla ragazza' and 'la ragazza'


      Why" il pollo non piace" is not correct?


      In the sentence, "Alla ragazza non piace il pollo" , the literal translation is "The chicken is non pleasing to the girl." We would translate the sentence as "The girl does not like chicken." "Il pollo non piace" would translate "...is not pleasing to the chicken" or "The chicken does not like..."

      See Chel451498 listed in this thread for the grammar explanation.

      • 2654

      All true, except "il pollo non piace" is a valid sentence and means "the chicken is not liked" or "people don't like chicken".


      Why is "il" needed?


      This translation is incorrect because the English refers to chicken generally. i.e. she does not like chicken at all, whereas your translation "il pollo" refers to "the chicken", presumably she does not like the one she has been served. There is a subtle difference in the Italian meaning, and you are incorrect!


      Why is "Alla ragazza non piace pollo" incorrect? Why do I have to say "the chicken"? instead of just chicken?


      why "il" pollo? It doesn't seem to be a specific chicken she doesn't like, just chicken in general. After all, in English it just says, that she doesn't like chicken, not "the" chicken. So why is it wrong, when one just says "pollo", without the "il"?


      Céus! Que chato e desanimador?


      Then... I always used to write and say.. Non gli piacce il pollo alla ragazza... Is it that incorrect ?


      Why will dl not accept..." Il pollo non piace alla ragazza"


      Why did they drill "la", "il" and "lo" into my head for it to be replaced with no explanation with alla, alle, etc. I'm tired of getting things wrong that were correct a month ago.


      What about alla ragazza non gli piace il pollo ?


      Why sometimes la and other times alla? How do we know which to use?


      Why and when do you use Alla at the beginning of a sentnec?


      Why 'il pollo' ? in english you wrote chicken, not the chicken....


      La ragazza should be accepted. I understand why the comments refer to Alla ragazza being correct but La ragazza is clearly understandable and should be accepted


      It's grammatically wrong, so it should not be accepted.


      The sentence was "The girl does not like chicken," Not "THE chicken" - chicken in general, not this specific chicken. I was marked wrong because I said "pollo" instead of "il pollo". There have been numerous examples throughout this course - and in the immediately preceding sections - where the article was omitted when referring to items in a general sense, rather than a specific one. Please be consistent Duo.


      Hi, fluent Italian speaker here: words aren't generally used without articles in a general sense in the way that they are in English. In this case the article actually cannot be omitted - 'alla ragazza non piace pollo' is just grammatically wrong. It's important to keep in mind that you're dealing with a different language, and that intuitive things in English might not easily transfer.


      Ciao Raffaele, thanks for setting me straight on that point - but now I'm still confused. As I said in my post, I've seen many examples where Duo has omitted the article, and marked my answers correct when I omitted it - like this evening, in the same section. So how does one differentiate between the entire population of something - chicken, for example, and one particular chicken dish? I like chicken, but if I'm at a party, I might not like "the chicken". Right? Grazie mille!


      Why did i get it wrong by writing alla ragazza non piace pollo.


      Why is alla ragazza non piace pollo marked incorrect


      Why can't it be Alla ragazza non piace pollo?


      This translation keeps coming up incorrectly


      You contradict yourselves. Sometimes you use the and other times not.

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