Everything about CI in Italian – 7 ways to use it

What is this “CI” that you always find with a different meaning in Italian phrases? Learn and improve your Italian with Everything about CI in Italian – 7 ways to use it




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The CI particle can be used in a number of ways with different meanings.

As a result, when they see it in a sentence, learners may become confused.

Let’s see how to use it and its main meanings.


1. CI as an adverb of place

As an adverb of place, CI refers to a previously specified location.

It replaces a phrase with the preposition:

–> A, IN and SU + place/location – HERE/IN THIS PLACE

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Examples:

  • Cosa vuoi mettere sul tavolo? CI voglio mettere un vaso di fiori
  • Hai già mangiato in quella pizzeria? Sì, CI ho mangiato spesso.
  • Qui ci vivo bene (in this place)


2. CI as a demonstrative pronoun

CI as a demonstrative pronoun with things and situations already mentioned:

  • with prepositions a, di, in, su, con ciò (of, about this/that);
  • with prepositions a, di, in, su, con questa cosa/queste cose (of, about this/that) – questa persona o queste persone;
    with prepositions a, di, in, su, con quella cosa /quelle cose (of, about this/that) quella persona o quelle persone.
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Examples:

  • Non CI vedo niente di male (in ciò-questa/quella cosa)
  • Non CI credo (in ciò – questa/quella cosa)
  • Devi uscire con Maria? No, non CI devo uscire (con questa persona)

3. CI to express the general idea of existence or being using the verb ESSERCI

The verb essere (to be) + ci (here or there), produces the expression esserci meaning to be here/ there.

This verb is used to indicate or ask if people or things are here or there. Use the regular conjugation of essere with ci placed before the conjugated verb.

Note, however, that it can only be used in the third person.

Before the vowels e or i, ci is usually elided.

C’è(there is) with singulars

Ci sono – (there are) with plurals

Examples:

  • Ci sono i biscotti?
  • C’è il professor Rossi? No, non c’è.
  • Quanti studenti ci sono? Ci sono molti studenti.
c'è una pera

4. CI as a Direct Object Pronoun

A direct object receives the action of the verb directly without a preposition). The direct object can be a person or a thing.

Ci is used as a pronoun for the first person plural noi – us

Examples:

  • Loro CI vedono (vedono noi)
  • Giovanni CI ha chiamato (ha chiamato noi)
  • CI vengono a prendere alle 8 (vengono a prendere noi)

Want to learn more about Direct Object Pronoun? Click on the book to learn for free.

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5. CI as an Indirect Object Pronoun

Indirect object pronouns answer the question a chi? (to whom?). Prepositions used with indirect objects can include a/per/con (to/for/with) + a person or animal.

CI is used as a pronoun for the first person plural (a noi – to us):

marco ha portato a noi un vestito rosso
marco ci ha portato un vestito rosso

Examples:

  • Ci hanno fatto un grosso favore. (a chi? a noi)
  • CI ha offerto il suo aiuto. (a chi? a noi)

Want to learn more about Indirect Pronouns? Click on the book to learn for free.

understanding Italian indirect pronoun
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6. CI as Reflexive Pronoun

A reflexive verb always requires a reflexive pronoun.

These pronouns usually precede the conjugated verbs.

When you have the -si ending in a verb, you can insert the proper reflexive pronoun that agrees with the subject in the sentence.

Use CI when the subject is noi:

Examples:

  • (noi) CI divertiamo sempre in Italia!
  • (noi) la mattina CI svegliamo sempre alle 8.

7. CI with Idiomatic Verbs (or pronominal verbs)

Some verbs associated with CI are idiomatic.

Neither of these pronouns points to something real; they solely play an idiomatic function.

Some examples:

  • entrarci
  • metterci
  • volerci
  • riuscirci
  • starci
  • contarci
  • capirci
  • tenerci

Want to know more about Verbi pronominali? Click on the book to learn for free.

understanding italian verbi pronominali

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