How to Use HO or CE L’HO

Why do we say: “ho, or “ce l’ho” in Italian? This peculiar form of Italian has its own reason for existing. We explain briefly and clearly in this post how to Use HO or CE L’HO.

While using the verb form to be “I have” is pretty straightforward, many students don’t always understand the use of I have it. Let’s see the differences.

HO – Verb Essere

Usiamo HO (avere) quando nominiamo l’oggetto nella frase (We use HO when we name the object in the sentence)


Ho la macchina (espresso nella frase -> la macchina)

How to Use HO or CE L'HO

Abbiamo molte cose da fare (oggetto espresso nella frase -> molte cose)

How to Use HO or CE L'HO

CE L’ HO – Different form of Verb Essere

In this form, we have a CI that is not easily explained.

The use of CI to emphasise the verb avere is every day in informal speech and writing.

The uncontracted form is “ce lo ho,” where “ce” is a phonetic alteration of the particle “ci” in front of lo, la, li, le. As a result, “Ce” can function as a place adverb, pronominal particle, complement, or as part of peculiar spoken word expressions.

ce   l'ho How to Use HO or CE L'HO
  • CE is the particle CI
  • L’ is the pronoun LO
  • HO is the 1st person of verb AVERE

We use this verb form when the expression indicates possession and refers to something previously mentioned to avoid repetition.

We use CE L’HO  it when we replace an object already named before


Hai la macchina? Si, ce l’ho (sostituisce l’oggetto “la macchina” – già nominato)

How to Use HO or CE L'HO

Credevo di avere il portafoglio, invece non ce l’ho (sostituisce l’oggetto “il portafoglio”)

How to Use HO or CE L'HO

Se l’oggetto è plurale maschile o femminile (If the object is plural – masculine or feminine )


HAI le chiavi? Sì, che le ho (le sostituisce “le chiavi”)

How to Use HO or CE L'HO

Hai i soldi? No, non ce li ho (li sostituisce “i soldi”)

How to Use HO or CE L'HO


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