Okay, I've copied an explanation I found on the Internet that clears up this indirect construction.
With mancare, the subject of the sentence is the person/thing being missed, which determines the verb to be used, while the person doing the liking is the indirect object:
I miss my parents. Mi mancano ai miei genitori.
My parents miss me. Manco ai miei genitori.
(In Italian, when the indirect objcet is not a pronoun, it is preceded by the preposition, a.)
How would you suggest duoLingo introduce you to this topic? They have no structure to provide grammar other than discussions; they are relying on help from the community, which occurs in these discussions. If people wish grammar rules, there is a plethora of books on Italian grammar and links on the internet. I felt that this was about as simple a clitic / mancare sentence there is, and wish there were more of them this simple. Also notice they aren't flooding us with other verbs of the same type, just a few at first (piacere / mancare), so we can get past the pain of it. I am sure then we'll be prepared for the other verbs later.
In their reference notes. It is mentioned, but a bit more detail/examples would have been extremely helpful! Not everyone has the patience or time required to do extensive outside research. Some of us would just like a tiny bit of instruction on these harder topics. Its great that there is discussion here and that often helps, a lot, but sometimes it doesn't as questions go unanswered or are guesses
I do not think that you need a preposition in your first example. "my parents" are the subject of the sentence it this case so it would just be "mi mancano i miei gentry" = "Lit: My parents are missing to me" your translation reads "to my parents are missing to me". Direct translation should hardly ever be used, in my opinion when learning a language, I'm just trying to give an example. I'm not 100%, so if I'm wrong then tell me.
Can someone explain this to me: I google translated "He does not miss me" (because I was wondering what the indirect male pronoun was if the female one was "le") and it said "Lui non mi manca." Is this a huge error on Google's part or is this how some people would actually say it in conversation?
Same verb, right? But this translation runs counter to what we're being taught? Or am I missing something?... Does "Lui non mi manca" maybe mean that he misses you, in that you're missing because you're not physically there, so a different non-emotional sense of "missing" is what Google was translating? Just trying to understand all this!
If I understood well, our current sentence could have two forms:
1 - Lei non me manca(Transitive, non-emotional sense);
2 - Io non le manco(Intransitive, emotional sense);
So, how could my wrong answer "I don't miss her" be translated to Italian? Can it also have two possible forms as well? I won't try because I haven't reached clitics yet.
Well, "mi" can be both direct and indirect clitic pronoun, so "lei non mi manca" would be ambiguous, but it does translate "I don't miss her" in the emotional sense, e.g. "she left, but I don't miss her" (è andata via, ma non mi manca). "I don't miss her" in the transitive sense would be, e.g. "le sparo e non la manco" (I shoot her and I don't miss her); as you can see this meaning is unlikely in the present :) To appreciate the difference between "la" (direct her) and "le" (indirect her), you really need the clitics lesson.
I've been practising Italian for years, and when I got to this lesson have had to look through all the comments to try and understand what's going on... Turns out my confusion stems from the fact that I've never seen anyone state ""la" (direct her) and "le" (indirect her)"; I literally had no idea! So thank you very much for this f.formica! I don't know how to use them, but at least I know to look out for them now.
"Lo" is the direct object clitic pronoun, you can use it with the transitive form of mancare, while the intransitive form requires an indirect object. Although many clitics are "recycled" as both articles and pronouns, they have completely different meanings. This link has a good overview of personal pronouns, although a bit concise: www.uvm.edu/~cmazzoni/3grammatica/grammatica/personalpronouns.html
Found this on thoughtco.com
Indirect object + verb + subject.
Not your usual sentence structure, but in the case of piacere (to please, to like) that's the way it works in Italian, and here's why: In English, you say: A likes B. In Italian, though, the same meaning is understood in different terms: B pleases A.
Here are some examples:
Agli italiani piace il calcio. (Italians like soccer) Literally: Soccer is pleasing to Italians.
Ai professori piace insegnare. Professors like teaching. Literally: Teaching is pleasing to professors.
Mi piacciono le carote. I like carrots. Literally: Carrots are pleasing to me.
Note that in these examples, piacere is conjugated to match the SUBJECT of the sentence; in the first example: Agli italiani piace il calcio, piacere is conjugated in the third person singular form, to match with calcio (soccer) and not with agli italiani(all Italians).
Other verbs that follow this construction of inversion and behave similarly to piacere are listed below.
bastare-to be sufficient, to suffice
dispiacere—to displease, to upset
mancare—to be lacking, to miss
occorrere—to require, to need
servire—to serve, to be of use
In piacere, the person/thing who is doing the action of liking is in an indirect case (ex. 'I talk to her):
la is a direct pronoun ('I see her').
Also le is both an indirect ('to her') and a direct pronoun ('them').
Direct pronouns are:
This is really not that difficult.
I do not matter to her.
I do not count to her.
I am not important to her.
I am a nobody to her.
And the only leap of faith you have to make is to imagine that missing works the same way. At least in Italian it does.
"I do not miss to her." - "miss" being intransitive here (to be missing, absent, not present). Which, in real English, is expressed as
"She does not miss me."
But in Italian:
"Io non le manco." - I, not, to her, be missing.