For students learning Italian, learning how to use verbs like piacere can be challenging.
The verb piacere means to like, but it is important to remember that the more literal translation of piacere is to be pleasing (to someone). For example, if I wanted to say that I liked coffee, I could say:
Mi piace il caffè.
Il caffè piace a me.
Il caffè mi piace.
In Italian, the object that one likes is the subject of the sentence. Remember that the subject determines the form of the verb, not the person or people liking the object.
If I like both coffee and tea, then the form of piacere changes:
Mi piacciono il caffè e il te.
If I want to tell someone what you like coffee coffee and tea (like me), I can say:
Ti piacciono il caffè e il te.
If you and I want to say that we like both, you can say:
Ci piacciono il caffè e il te.
With the examples shown thus far, we have focused only on pronouns. These pronouns are indirect object pronouns since piacere is an intransitive verb. But what if you wanted to say that Giovanna, for example, likes both coffee and tea?
A Giovanna piacciono il caffè e il te.
Giovanna likes coffee and tea.
Coffee and tea are pleasing to Giovanna.
To recap: The number of the verb is determined by the object or objects being liked, not the person or people doing the liking!
In compound tenses, piacere requires the verb essere, not avere:
A Giovanna sono piaciuti il caffè e il te, ma ora non le piacciono più.
Giovanna liked coffee and tea, but now she does not like them anymore.
You can also liking an action of some kind. In Italian, infinitives follow piacere — no preposition is required to introduce the infinitive:
A loro piace ballare!
They like to dance!
If you want to say that you also like a particular thing or things or a similar activity, use the adverb anche and the proper tonic pronoun:
Michela: Mi piace ballare un sacco!
Giovanni: Anche a me piace ballare. Andiamo in discoteca sabato sera!
The verbs service, occorrere, and bastare (to name a few) also utilize the same indirect construction as piacere.