Piace in the past - part II

24th May 2020

I liked the pasta, I liked that bread… learn how to talk about things you liked in the past in this episode of 5 minute Italian.


Listen to the episode

In Italian, objects can be masculine or feminine. This means that: 

Bread is un signore 🎩

Pizza is una signora 🎀

This is good to know, because it helps us use the past correctly, especially when we’re talking about things we liked. Learn how to do this in today’s episode.

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Vocabulary: Piace in the past - part II

  • Ti è piaciuta la cena? = Did you like dinner? 
  • Sì, molto = Yes, a lot. 
  • Mi è piaciuta la pasta = I liked the pasta. 
  • Mi è piaciuto il pane = I liked the bread.
  • E mi sono piaciuti i carciofi = And I liked the artichokes. 
  • Mi è piaciutA la pizza = I liked the pizza. 
  • Sono = they are
  • Mi sono piaciuti = I liked them (i biscotti) 
  • Mi sono piaciute = I liked them (le torte)

Quiz: Piace in the past - part II

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Flashcards: Piace in the past - part II

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Transcript: Piace in the past - part II

Please note, this is not a word for word transcript.

Katie: Ciao a tutti e benvenuti a 5 Minute Italian. I’m Katie. 

Matteo: And I’m Matteo. Ciao! 

K: In today’s episode, we’re going to carry on learning how to talk about things you like in the past. This is a follow up from episodes 82 and 83, so if you haven’t listened to those yet, it’s a good idea to do that first, so that you can get the foundation for today’s lesson. For now, let’s listen to the mini conversation: 

K: Ti è piaciuta la cena? 

M: Sì, molto. Mi è piaciuta la pasta, mi è piaciuto il pane e mi sono piaciuti i carciofi. 

K: Let’s get the general gist first, then we’ll break it down and talk about the individual words. So we started with: 

M: Ti è piaciuta la cena? 

K: Did you like dinner? Then Matteo replied:

M: Sì, molto.

K: Yes, a lot. Next, he said: 

M: Mi è piaciuta la pasta

K: I liked the pasta. 

M: Mi è piaciuto il pane. 

K: I liked the bread.

M: E mi sono piaciuti i carciofi. 

K: And I liked the artichokes. 

K: Here, we’ve got lots of examples of piace in the past, and you may have noticed that it’s not always the same. It changes depending on whether the thing you like (the thing that “pleases” you) is masculine, feminine, singular or plural. Let’s look at this in more detail now. The first line was: 

M: Ti è piaciuta la cena

K: Did you like dinner? Literally: 


Ti = to you

È = it is

Piaciuta = pleased

La cena = the dinner

K: You may remember from the last episode that this is how we talk about something we liked in the past. Let’s do a quick review. We literally say that “it pleased us”. In this case, I’m asking, did it please YOU? In Italian, we say the person first, so I say: 


Ti = to you

K: Then we need the helper verb: 


È = it is

K: Then we need to turn piacere (to please) into the past form, which is: 


Piaciuto = pleased

But there’s something different about this sentence. You heard “ti è piaciutA” la cena. In Italian, when we talk about liking things, or as we say it in Italian, things pleasing us, everything has to agree with the thing that pleases us. Here, we’re talking about “la cena”, feminine singular, so we say: 

M: PiaciutA. Ti è piaciutA la cena?

K: And what about la pizza. How would you say: “I liked the pizza”? Lit. to me, the pizza pleased. 

M: Mi è piaciutA la pizza. 

K: And in fact, the next line from the conversation was: 

M: Mi è piaciutA la pasta. 

K: I liked the pasta. Lit. 


Mi = to me

È = it is

Piaciuta = pleased, here with the feminine ending piaciutA because we’re talking about LA pasta. 

La pasta = the pasta. 

K: Then you heard: 

M: Mi è piaciuto il pane.

K: I liked the bread. And this time, because we’re talking about “il pane”, masculine singular, we get “piaciutO”


Mi = to me

È = it is

Piaciuto = pleased, with the masculine singular ending, piaciutO, because we’re talking about IL pane. 

Il pane = the bread. 

K: Then you heard: 

M: Mi sono piaciuti i carciofi.

K: I liked the artichokes. 

M: Here we see another difference. Mi SONO piaciuti. Why do we use SONO here, instead of è like before? It’s because carciofi (artichokes) is plural. 

K: And remember, in Italian, we’re always focusing on the thing that pleases us NOT the person who likes something. Here, as carciofi is plural, we no longer say “it is”, but we say “they are”. In Italian, “they are” is…

M: Sono. 

K: So to say “I liked them”, literally, “to me, they are, pleased” is:  

M: Mi sono piaciuti. 

Mi = to me

Sono = they are

Piaciuti = pleased, with the masculine plural ending, -i. (spelt as an i)

So for the plurals, we have two steps. We use “sono” instead of è and we also change the last letter to agree with the gender and number. Here, we’re talking about i carciofi, so we use the masculine plural ending “-i” . Mi sono piaciuti

K: Let’s try another masculine plural: i biscotti (the biscuits or cookies). To say I liked them, or they pleased me: 

M: Mi sono piaciuti

Mi = to me

Sono = they are

Piaciuti = pleased, with the masculine plural ending. 

K: Now the feminine ending, which is -e (spelt with an e). For example, le torte, the cakes. So we wouldn’t say piaciuti, but rather: 

M: piaciutE. 

K: And to say “I liked them” as in “the cakes”

M: Mi sono piaciute.

K: Literally: 


Mi = to me

Sono = they are

Piaciute = pleased, with the feminine plural ending.

K: That’s it for today’s episode. We hope you liked it. 

M: Yes, we hope “ti è piaciuto”. 

K: There’s just one last little thing that can be useful if you really want to use piace in the past like a pro, and we’ll talk about this in the next lesson. 

K: To help all this stuff sink in, it can be really helpful to see it all written down. If you head over to our website you’ll find the transcripts for this episode and other bonus materials like a quiz and flashcards to help you remember. Go to www.joyoflanguages.com/italianpodcast and scroll down to episode 84. And if you’d like to get a free mini Italian lesson like this one every Sunday, you can sign up to our newsletter too - you’ll find the link in the show notes. 

See you next time, or as we say in Italian

Alla prossima!

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Related episodes

I liked it. Piace in the past part I

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