L10: The Verb Piacere

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BillyShears
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L10: The Verb Piacere

Post by BillyShears » Mon May 16, 2016 12:56 am

The Verb Piacere (Il Verbo Piacere)

Usage

The irregular verb piacere means “to appeal to" / "to be pleasing to". It is often used in the 3rd person singular or plural form with indirect object pronoun (or the preposition "a" plus a noun or disjunctive pronoun) plus the subject (what is liked). If the subject is singular the 3rd person singular is used (i.e. present indicative tense - piace) and if the subject is plural the 3rd person plural is used (ex. present indicative tense - piacciono).
Quintus wrote:The structure to be used is what is liked + indirect object pronoun + piacere when the sentence is put in contrast with something that has been just said or is next to be said. For example:
  • La cioccolata mi piace ma non ne posso mangiare molta. (I like chocolate but I can't eat too much of it.)
  • Viaggiare mi piace, ma non ho abbastanza denaro. (I like travelling, but I don't have enough money.)
The above sentences can be emphasized using the stressed forms of indirect object pronouns. For example:
  • Viaggiare a me piace molto, ma non ho abbastanza denaro. (I like travelling a lot, but I don't have enough money.)
Carlo mi ha regalato dei libri di fantascienza, ma a me la fantascienza non piace tanto, così li ho venduti tutti. (Charles gave me some science fiction books, but I don't like science fiction much, so I sold them all.)

[in the above sentence, "a me" can be placed before or after "la fantascienza": ... ma a me la fantascienza non piace tanto, or ... ma la fantascienza a me non piace tanto. Both work, it's only a matter of taste. The former is a bit stronger.]
In all other cases, the structure to be used is indirect object pronoun + piacere + what is liked. For example:
  • Mi piace la cioccolata e ne mangio molta. (I like chocolate and I eat a lot of it.)
  • Mi piace viaggiare e quando posso lo faccio. (I like travelling and when I can, I do it.)
  • La notte mi piace lavorare fino a tardi. (Nights I like to work till late.)
  • Mi piace pensare che sei ancora qui. (I like to think that you're still here.)
  • Piace loro parlare inglese. (They like to speak English.)
  • Mi piacciono le pesche e le albicocche. (I like peaches and apricots.)
  • Gli piacciono il calcio e il pugilato. (He likes football [soccer] and boxing.)
For added emphasis use the preposition "a" plus a disjunctive pronoun (a me, a te, etc.). Also use the preposition "a" when the indirect object is a noun.
  • A noi piace la cucina francese, ma a loro no. (We like French food, but they don't.)
  • A Mario piace giocare a calcio. (Mario likes to play football [soccer]).
When piacere is followed by one or more infinitives use the third person singular form of the verb piacere (ex. - piace, è piaciuto, etc.)
  • Mi piace nuotare e giocare a tennis. (I like to swim and to play tennis.)
Auxiliary in the Passato Prossimo

In the passato prossimo and other compound tenses piacere takes the auxillary essere and the past participle has to agree in gender and number with what is liked. The past participle of piacere is piaciuto.
  • Ti è piaciuto quel film? (Did you like that film?)
  • Mi è piaciuta la tua torta. (I liked your cake.)
  • Gli sono piaciuti i miei cani. (He liked my dogs.)
  • Non le sono piaciute le nostre risposte. (She didn't like our responses.)
Usages of the Infinitive Piacere

In formal greetings:
  • <Signor Marrone>: Signor Marino, Le presento il signor Esposito. (Mr. Marino, I present Mr. Esposito to you.)
    <Signor Marino>: Piacere di conoscerLa. (Nice to meet you.)
    <Signor Esposito>: Piacere mio signor Esposito. (My pleasure Mr. Marino.)
another example:
  • <Signore De Sica>: Signorina Scicolone, Le presento il signor Ponti. (Ms. Scicolone, I present to you Mr. Ponti.)
    <Signorina Scicolone>: Molto lieta, signore Ponti. (Very happy to meet you, Mr. Ponti.)
    <Signore Ponti>: Il piacere è tutto mio. (The pleasure is all mine.)
In informal greetings:
  • <Rocco>: Maria, ti presento Carlo. (Mary, I present Charles to you.)
    <Maria>: Ciao Carlo. Piacere . (Hi Charles. Pleased [to meet you].)
    <Carlo>: È un piacere di conoscerti. (It's a pleasure to meet you.)
The Conjugation of Piacere

Piacere can be fully conjungated:
Singular:
io piaccio (I am pleasing to)
tu piaci / Lei piace (you are pleasing to - informal / formal)
lui / lei piace (he / she is pleasing to)

Plural:
noi piacciamo (we are pleasing to)
voi piacete (you are pleasing to)
loro piacciono (they are pleasing to)
  • Lo so che le piaccio. (I know that she likes me.)
  • Non piaci al mio cane. (My dog doesn't like you.)
  • Non piacciamo al supplente. (The substitute teacher doesn't like us.)
  • Bambini, piacete alla micina. (Children, the kitten likes you.)
The Verb Dispiacere

Dispiacere means to be sorry.
  • Mi dispiace, ma questo prodotto non mi sembra adatto. (I’m sorry but this product does not seem suitable to me.)
  • Ci è dispiaciuto ricevere brutte notizie di vostro padre. (We were sorry to receive terrible news about your father.)
Other Verbs That Are Used With Indirect Objects Similarly as Piacere and Dispiacere

These verbs are used similarly as piacere and dispiacere with indirect objects:
bastare (to be enough), convenire (to be worthwhile / to be advisable), importare (to be important), interessare (to interest), mancare (to lack, to be without, to miss), occorrere (to need), servire (to need, to be necessary), sfuggire (to elude).

In the past perfect and other compound tenses, use essere as the auxiliary verb. But please take the time to research these verbs for other meanings and other situations where essere may not be the verb to use as the auxiliary.
  • Porto l'ombrello. Mi basta sapere che potrebbe piovere. (I am taking the umbrella. It's enough for me to know that it could rain.)
  • Venti euro ti bastano per andare al cinema stasera. (Twenty euros are enough for you to go to the movies tonight.)
  • Ti conviene partire la sera presto. (It is advisable for you to leave in the early evening.)
  • Non mi è importato quello che hai detto. (What you said wasn't important to me.)
  • Le loro ragioni non ci importano. (Their reasons aren't important to us. / We don't care about their reasons.)
  • Mi interessa la pagina sportiva. (I am interested in the sports page.)
  • Tra le mostre che ha visitato, quali sono quelle che le sono interessate di più? (Among the exhibitions that she visited, which are the ones that interested her most?)
  • Ci è mancato il pane. (We didn't have bread.)
  • I miei nonni mi mancano, e particolarmente durante le vacanze. (I miss my grandparents, and especially during the holidays.)
  • Mi occorre un minuto per preparami per andare a letto. (It takes a minute for me to dress for going to bed.)
  • Mi occorrono cinquanta euro. (I need fifty euros.)
  • Fa freddo, mi serve un maglione. (It's cold, I need a sweater.)
  • Sono serviti loro i soldi. (They needed the money.)
  • Non le sfugge niente. (Nothing escapes her. / She doesn't miss a thing.)
  • Mi sfuggono tutti I loro nomi. (All their names escape me.)
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