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Ci: There's Always More to Say About It!

We had mentioned in a recent lesson that we would come back to ci. Well, it just so happens that Marika talks about ci in a recent video lesson.

To start off, she explains how ci is used to express place so that you don’t have to keep repeating the place in subsequent sentences if it has already been mentioned once. It’s a pronoun in this sense, and includes the preposition and the object of the preposition. So we’re talking about an indirect pronoun.

She uses some examples that give a fairly clear idea of how to use ci in this sense. What can be tricky is that in English, we can leave more elements out of the sentence than in Italian.

There is one example she gives:

Vieni a fare la spesa con me?

Are you coming food shopping with me?

Sì, ci vengo. Grazie.

Yes, I'm coming. Thanks.

Captions 29-30, Marika spiega - La particella CI

 Play Caption

 

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

In this case, it’s hard to find any kind of indirect object that represents “to do the shopping with me.” In English, we just say, “Yes, I’m coming.” We could say, “Yes, I’m coming with you,” but that leaves out the shopping.

 

So when we are thinking about how to say something in Italian, and we are translating from English, it’s tricky to remember this little particle ci. It gets used so often, and it gets used in situations in which we as English speakers would not bother. Fortunately much of the time we can be understood in Italian even if we don’t use these words. It can take years to make ci a natural part of speech for a non-native speaker.

Here are a few more examples:

Dovevo andare al lavoro oggi, ma non ci vado.
I was supposed to go to work today, but I’m not going there.

In English we would just say, “but I’m not going.” And that is what takes getting used to in Italian!

 

Mia madre sta bene in questa casa, ma io ci sto male.
My mother is happy in this house, but I am not happy here.

 

Ho chiesto un aumento,ma non ci conto.
I asked for a raise, but I’m not counting on it.

BANNER PLACEHOLDER

As Marika tells us more about ci, we'll have more examples for you. So stay tuned!

Grammar

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