Piacere - to like in Italian

How Do I Say I Like In Italian?

If you want to say I like you, I like dancing, I like food, I like going out with my friends, or whatever it is that you like, in Italian you should use the verb piacere.

The Italian verb piacere is one of the most common verbs in Italian, one that you will use a lot.

However, sometimes it can be a bit confusing, because piacere  is not used the same way as to like in English.

In English is “I like something”, while in Italian piacere translates as “something is likable to me”, “something is pleasing to me”.

Let’s first take a look at some examples:



Mi piace il cioccolato.

I like chocolate.

(literally: Chocolate is pleasing me.

To me chocolate is pleasing.)

Mi piacciono gli spaghetti.

I like spaghetti.

(literally: Spaghetti are pleasing me.

To me spaghetti are pleasing).

Mi piace viaggiare.

I like traveling.

(literally: Traveling is pleasing me.

To me traveling is pleasing.)

While in English the subject is “I” because it is me that likes chocolate, in Italian the real subject is the chocolate, because the chocolate is the one that is pleasing to me, the one that is likable to me.

In order to use this verb correctly, let’s first take a look at the structure of the sentence with piacere.

How Do I Use Piacere In Italian?

In English, we follow this formula:



Direct Object




In Italian, we follow a different formula:

Indirect Object





la cioccolata

Let’s see more sentences with piacere in Italian:

Indirect object




Mi (a me)


la musica jazz.

I like jazz

Ti (a te)


la musica jazz

You like jazz

Gli (a lui)


la musica jazz.

He likes jazz.

Le (a lei)


la musica jazz.

She like jazz.

Ci (a noi)


la musica jazz.

We like jazz.

Vi (a voi)


la musica jazz.

You like jazz.

Gli (a loro)


la musica jazz.

They like jazz.

The verb is piacere (to like).

The subject of the sentence is the person/the object that we like. (la musica jazz).

The person who likes something is denoted by an indirect object pronoun (mi, ti, gli, le, ci, vi, gli).
Now it’s the right time to introduce the indirect object pronouns, if you aren’t familiar with them.

Italian Indirect Object Pronouns With Piacere

While direct object pronouns answer the questions: “Whom?” and “What”?, the Indirect Object Pronouns answer the questions: “To whom?” and “For whom?”.

The best way to understand this is through examples, but let’s first see what these pronouns look like.

Indirect Object Pronouns

(long form → short form)

A ME → MI (to me)

A TE → TI (to you)

A LUI → GLI (to him)

A LEI → LE (to her)

A NOI → CI (to us)

A VOI → VI (to you all)

A LORO → GLI (to them)


Puoi scrivere qualcosa a Marco? – Can you write something to Marco?
Sì, scrivo qualcosa a lui. – Yes, I’ll write something to him. (if we use long form)
Sì, gli scrivo qualcosa. – Yes, to him I’ll write something. (if we use short form)

Let’s take a look at another example, now with the verb piacere:

Ti piace la musica classica? – Is classical music likable to you?
Sì, la musica classica piace a me.- Yes, classical music is likable to me. (If we use long form)
Sì, mi piace la musica classica. – Yes, to me classical music is likable. (if we use short form)

NOTE: You cannot use both forms in a sentence. You either use the long form of the indirect object or the short form. Be careful, this is the commonest mistake among all Italian learners.

CORRECT: A lei piace la pasta. or Le piace la pasta. (she likes pasta)
INCORRECT: A lei le piace la pasta. (To her pasta is pleasing to her).

CORRECT: Mi piace la tua casa or A me piace la tua casa. (I like your house)
INCORRECT: A me mi piace la tua casa. (To me your house is likable to me).

Is there any difference if I use the short or the long form?

Actually, yes there is. There is a slight difference between these two types of forms.

Most of the time you should use the short forms. It’s the normal usage of the verb, it seems natural. For example:

Mi piace la tua amica. – I like your friend.

Here the focus is on the subject, on the thing that you like – amica.

The long forms of the indirect objects are rarely used. They are used when we want to emphasize the person that likes something. For example:

A me piace la tua amica. – I like your friend.

Here the focus is on ME, the indirect object, the person that likes the friend.

The Verb Piacere In The Present Tense

The verb piacere is an irregular verb. Let’s take a look at the conjugation:


(the person who is liked)


(conjugated in present)




(someone) likes me



(someone) likes you



(someone) likes him/her



(someone) likes us



(someone) likes you all



(someone) likes them

The verb is conjugated agreeing with the thing/person that we like.

Mi piaci!
I like you! (literally ‘to me you are pleasing’)

However most of the time, you only need to remember two persons, the third person singular (lui/lei) and plural (loro).


Because the verb piacere in Italian is usually used only in two forms:



→ when what we like is a singular noun

Mi piace l’estate.

(I like summer.)

→ when what we like is an infinitive verb

Mi piace leggere.

(I like reading.)



→ when what we like is a plural noun

Mi piacciono i dolci.

(I like sweets.)

Here are some examples:

PIACERE with singular nouns

Mi (to me)


il calcio.

I like football.

Ti (to you)


la trama.

You like the plot.

Gli / Le

(to him/her)


la chimica.

He/She likes chemistry.

Ci (to us)



We like Marco.

Vi (to you)


la Germania?

Do you like Germany?

Gli (to them)


il centro storico.

They like the old town.

PIACERE with the infinitive

Mi (to me)



I like running.

Ti (to you)


andare a scuola?

Do you like going to school?

Gli / Le

(to him/her)


leggere libri?

Does he/she like reading books?

Ci (to us)


fare foto.

We like taking photos.

Vi (to you)


guardare la TV.

You like watching TV.

Gli (to them)


scrivere poesia?

Do they like writing poetry?

PIACERE with plural nouns

Mi (to me)


le mele.

I like apples.

Ti (to you)


i romanzi gialli?

Do you like crime novels?

Gli / Le

(to him/her)


i libri di Victor Hugo?

Does he/she like reading Victor Hugo’s books?

Ci (to us)


la frutta e la verdura.

We like fruit and vegetables.

Vi (to you)


Anna e Paolo?

Do you like Anna and Paolo?

Gli (to them)


le ragazze?

Do they like the girls?

The Verb Piacere In Past Tense


sono piaciuto/a

(someone) liked me


sei piaciuto/a

(someone) liked you


è piaciuto/a

(someone) liked him/her


siamo piaciuti/e

(someone) liked us


siete piaciuti/e

(someone) liked you all


sono piaciuti/e

(someone) liked them


In passato prossimo, the verb piacere is used with essere, not avere.

For this reason the verb agrees with the thing we like.

For example:

Mi è piaciuto il film. – I liked the movie.

Mi è piaciuta la pasta. – I liked the pasta.

Mi sono piaciute le canzoni. – I liked the songs.

Mi sono piaciuti i libri. – I liked the books.

How To Use Piacere In A Negative Sentence




Non mi piace la festa.

I don’t like the party.

Non ti piace correre.

You don’t like running.

Non gli piacciono gli animali.

He doesn’t like animals.

Non le piace questo.

She doesn’t like this.

Non ci piacciono gli adulti.

We don’t like adults.

Non vi piace andare a scuola.

You don’t like going to school.

Non gli piace la musica rock.

They don’t like rock.

Other Meanings Of Piacere

Aside from being used as a verb, piacere can also be used as a noun assuming other meanings.

Let’s see some of them:

Piacere as pleasure, enjoyment

Ti ho ascoltato con vivo piacere.

I listened to you with great pleasure.

Fa sempre piacere ricevere fiori.

It’s always a pleasure to get flowers.

Fa sempre piacere vederti!

It’s always a pleasure to see you!

I semplici piaceri portano felicità.

The simple pleasures make us happy.

Piacere for greetings

Piacere can be used when meeting someone for the first time.

Mi chiamo Mauro.

Io sono Antonio.


or piacere di conoscerti!

– My name is Mauro.

– I am Antonio.

– It’s a pleasure to meet you!


Piacere for courtesy

You can use piacere when asking favors or to be polite.

Mi faresti un piacere?

Would you do me a favor?

Mi passi il sale, per piacere?

Could you please pass me the salt?

In this case, it means “please”. You can make a polite request by adding per piacere, same as per favore.

Fammi il piacere!

Give me a break!

Literally: do me the favor


Ti piace l’italiano?

Ti piace la musica italiana?

Ti piacciono la pasta e la pizza?

Now not only you will be able to enjoy the Italian language, culture, food and people, but you will also be able to express that in Italian.

All you have to say is mi piace… and every Italian will be happy to hear about all the things that you like.

Don’t be shy, you could say anything!

Mi piace la Ferrari. Mi piace la pasta. Mi piacciono gli spaghetti. Mi piace mangiare.

Explore everything that you like and don’t be afraid to say it out loud.

Because now you know how to do it!

By: Lucia Aiello

Lucia Aiello is one of the co-founders of LearnItalianGo. Born and raised in Italy, she is a passionate Italian teacher and language enthusiast.