Ci – Adverbial Pronoun

Ci - Italian pronoun
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Particella ci

The Italian word ci has numerous meanings and uses, and the hardest to grasp for students is probably the adverbial pronoun, when ci replaces a place or the object of a preposition of place. Used in this way, ci is most commonly equivalent to "there" or "here," but may also be translated by a preposition plus "it."

Per esempio…

Ci vedo dodici mele.   I see twelve apples there.
Il lavoro sarà fatto, potete contarci.   The work will be done, you can count on it.

Using ci

1) Ci replaces preposition + place

Ci most often replaces a preposition of place, such as a, in, or su, as well as the place itself.

Per esempio…

Voglio tornare in Italia. Ci sono stata l’anno scorso.   I want to go back to Italy. I was there last year.
È dal dottore, ci va i martedì.   He’s at the doctor’s; he goes there on Tuesdays.

2) Ci for obvious or implied places

Ci can refer to a place that is obvious or implied, even if not preceded by a preposition:

Per esempio…

Ci sono già.   I’m already there.
Amo l’Italia e ci vado ogni anno.   I love Italy, I go there every year.

 In English, you can say "I’m going!" and no one will bat an eye. But in Italian, Vado! is not enough; the person you’re talking to will be waiting for you to finish your sentence. If you’re not going to specify the place, e.g., Vado in Italia, you have to say Ci vado.

3) Ci with verbs

Ci is also used with verbs that require the prepositions a, in, or su + object …

Per esempio…

Penso alla sua decisione. Ci penso continuamente.   I’m thinking about your decision. I think about it all the time.
Cosa hai messo in tavola? Ci ho messo dei libri.   What did you put on the table? I put some books there.

…  and da + person.

Vado da Marco, tu ci vai?   I’m going to Marco’s place, are you going?
È dal medico, ci va i martedì.   He’s at the doctor’s; he goes there on Tuesdays.

Word order

Like direct object pronouns and indirect object pronouns, ci generally precedes the verb – more detail in a future lesson.

 Related lessons

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Italian ci

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