To whom? To what?

When the action to which the verb refers is being done “to” a personal, animal or thing, meaning that we can ask “To whom?” or “To what?" the action is being done, we can express this as follows:

  • A (to) + name

A Magda piace il suo lavoro.

Magda likes her job (literally “to Magda, her job is pleasing”).

Il dott. Mancini lancia una palla al gatto.

Dr. Mancini throws a ball to the cat.

  • A (to) + personal pronoun Pronomi preposizioni

A lei piace il suo lavoro.

She likes her job (literally, “to her her job is pleasing”).

Il dott. Mancini lancia una palla a lui.

Dr. Mancini throws a ball to him.

  • Indirect object pronoun Pronomi CI, without the “a”

Le (= a lei) piace il suo lavoro.

She likes her job (literally, to her her job is pleasing).

Gli (= a lui) lancia una palla.

He throws a ball to him.


  • We never use a (to) + name/personal pronoun and an indirect object pronoun together. We only use one or the other.

Al gatto gli piace il pesce. Al gatto piace / Gli piace il pesce.

The cat likes fish (to the cat/to him fish is pleasing).

A lei le serve il tuo aiuto. A lei serve / Le serve il tuo aiuto.

She needs all your help.

  • A (to) must agree with the article and noun that follow it. This means that it may need to contract Contrazione a, or to become ad (to) if the word that follows it starts with an a.

I cani sono fedeli ai padroni. (= a + i)

Dogs are loyal to their owners (literally, “…to the owners”).

Lascio il giudizio ad altri.

I will leave others to judge (literally, “I leave the judgment to others”).

Still facing difficulties with 'To whom? To what?'? Enhance your grammar and learn Italian through our online Italian lessons.
Start with a free test and improve today!

What our users say:



I enjoy doing my online Italian lessons. Only ten minutes daily are enough...Thank you!



I love your innovative method which allows me to learn a new language and have fun at the same time!



Your method is unique! Your courses have helped me to progress and gain confidence during my travels.



Gymglish has allowed me to improve my Italian. A daily routine I wouldn't miss for anything in the world!

More testimonials.

Improve your Italian further and test Saga Baldoria, online Italian course.