Everything about CI in Italian – 7 ways to use it

Particle “ci” is a versatile element of the Italian language that can have different functions and meanings depending on its context. Here, we will explore the various uses of the particle “ci” in Italian.

What is this “CI” that you always find with a different meaning in Italian phrases?

Everything about CI in Italian - 7 ways to use it


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.

Do you know how to use the CI particle? Test what you know with interactive exercises and read the explanation to help you.

Sentences translations

  1. Vai in biblioteca a studiare?
  2. Con chi andate alla partita?
  3. Anna e Marco non vanno in vacanza?
  4. Vieni a ballare sabato sera?
  5. No, non ci vengo, c’è troppa gente in discoteca!
  6. Sì, ci vanno a settembre per una settimana
  7. Ci andiamo con i nostri amici tifosi della Juventus.
  8. Sì, ci vado ogni giorno.
  1. Do you go to the library to study?
  2. With whom do you go to the game?
  3. Anna and Marco aren’t going on vacation?
  4. Are you coming to the dance on Saturday night?
  5. No, I’m not coming, there are too many people in the disco!
  6. Yes, they go there in September for a week
  7. We go there with our friends who are Juventus fans.
  8. Yes, I go there every day.

First, listen carefully to the audio and try to hear the use of the ci particle. Then do the following exercise.


The life of a commuter

Every morning I go to the station at half past seven. I go there because I take the eight o’clock train to work in Rome, but I live in Frascati. I’ve been living there for a long time and my house is located in a quiet but also convenient area because the station is not far away and I can get there on foot.

When I arrive in Rome, I go to the station bar to have breakfast.

I go there every day because they make a delicious cappuccino and the croissants are always fresh.

To go to the office then I have to take the subway. I could walk, but it’s a long walk.

I arrive at the office at nine and work until one. Then I go to eat in a small restaurant nearby. I go there very often because the food is good and it’s cheap.

I return to the office at two and stay there until about six.

Then I take the metro again to get to the station and take the train back to Frascati. Later, I usually go to a gym near my house. I go there to train and chat a bit with some friends. Then finally around eight, I’m home!

Why is it difficult for Italian learners to learn how to use Ci?

Because of its varied characteristics and different uses, the particle “ci” may present some difficulties for Italian learners. Here are some of the reasons why “ci” may be difficult to use:

Multiple functions: “Ci” can be used as a pronoun, an adverb, a reflexive pronoun, and more. Understanding the exact meaning of “ci” in various contexts requires knowledge of grammatical rules and patterns of usage.

Contextuality: The meaning of “ci” frequently depends on the context in which it is used. It can be used to refer to a location, replace an indirect object, emphasise a verb, or form part of an idiomatic phrase. Understanding the correct meaning of “ci” requires paying close attention to the surrounding words and sentence structure.

Pronoun placement: The sentence structure of Italian can be different from other languages. It can be challenging for learners to correctly place the pronoun “ci” within a sentence, especially when working with more complex sentence constructions.

Idiomatic expressions: “Ci” is frequently found in idiomatic expressions, where its meaning may not be transparent from its individual parts. These expressions require specific knowledge and familiarity to understand and use appropriately.

How can an Italian language student effectively learn how to use the particle “ci” in Italian?

To learn and understand the use of the particle “ci” in Italian, there are some effective strategies for Italian learners. Here are some tips:

Grammar resources: Consult reliable grammar resources specifically focused on Italian grammar. Look for explanations and examples that cover the different functions of “ci” and provide clear guidelines on its usage. You can find a lot on this page.

Make use of language learning websites that offer exercises and drills focused on the use of “ci.” These interactive platforms can provide targeted practice opportunities and help reinforce your understanding of the particle.

Example sentences: Use a range of example sentences that include “ci” in different functions. Analyze the sentence structure, observe the verb tenses, and note the specific meaning conveyed by “ci” in each example.

Learn idiomatic expressions: Familiarize yourself with common idiomatic expressions that include “ci.” Understand the specific meaning of each expression and practice using them in appropriate contexts.

Here, we will explore the various uses of the particle “ci” in Italian.

1. CI as an adverb of place

“Ci” can function as an adverb, meaning “here” or “there.” It is often used in expressions to indicate a location or direction.

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

It replaces a phrase with an indication of place:

Replace a Place/Location – HERE/IN THIS PLACE

sei andato a Roma? Sì, si sono andato Everything about CI in Italian - 7 ways to use it

Remember, ‘ci’ replaces the specific place or location mentioned in the sentence. It’s like a shortcut, making your speech more efficient and fluid.


  • Vieni qui? → Sì, ci vengo. (Are you coming here? → Yes, I’m coming.)
  • Hai mai stato in Francia? → Sì, ci sono stato/a. (Have you ever been to France? → Yes, I have been there.)
  • Cosa vuoi mettere sul tavolo? CI voglio mettere un vaso di fiori (What do you want to put on the table? I want to put there a vase of flowers)
  • Hai già mangiato in quella pizzeria? Sì, CI ho mangiato spesso. (Have you already eaten at that pizzeria? Yes, I ate there often.)
  • Qui ci vivo bene (I live well here)

2. CI as a demonstrative pronoun

“CI” can also function as a demonstrative pronoun in Italian, equivalent to “this” or “that” in English.

As a demonstrative pronoun, “ci” refers to something that is nearby or has just been mentioned.

It helps to identify and point out specific objects or people.

For example, in the sentence:

“Ho letto questo libro, ma non mi è piaciuto molto. Ci sono troppi personaggi confusi,” (I read this book, but I didn’t like it very much. There are too many confusing characters), “ci” replaces and refers back to the previously mentioned book.

It serves to specify and draw attention to the specific item being discussed.

  • a, di, in, su, con ciò (to, of, about this/that);
  • a, di, in, su, con questa cosa/persona/queste cose/persone (to, of, about this thing/person – that things/persons) 
  • a, di, in, su, con quella cosa/persona /quelle cose/persone (to, of, about this thing/person – that things/persons)
pensi sempre a Carla? Sì, ci penso sempre. Everything about CI in Italian - 7 ways to use it


  • Non CI vedo niente di male ⇾ in ciò-questa/quella cosa (I don’t see anything wrong with it)
  • Non CI credo ⇾ in ciò – questa/quella cosa (I don’t believe it)
  • Devi uscire con Maria? No, non CI devo uscire ⇾ con questa persona (Do you have to go out with Maria? No, I don’t have to go out)

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


  • Ci sono i biscotti? (Are there cookies?)
  • C’è il professor Rossi? No, non c’è. (Is Professor Rossi there? No, there is not.)
  • Quanti studenti ci sono? Ci sono molti studenti. (How many students are there? There are many students.)
C'è una pera Everything about CI in Italian - 7 ways to use it

4. CI as a Direct Object Pronoun

As a direct object pronoun, “ci” replaces and refers to a previously mentioned or implied noun that is the direct recipient of the action.

It is equivalent to the English pronoun “us.

For example, in the sentence:

Mario CI saluta. (Mario greets us)

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

Mario ci saluta Everything about CI in Italian - 7 ways to use it


  • Loro CI vedono ⇾ vedono noi. (They see US)
  • Giovanni CI ha chiamato ⇾ ha chiamato noi. (John called us)
  • CI vengono a prendere alle 8 ⇾ (vengono a prendere noi) (They come to pick us up at 8)

5. CI as an Indirect Object Pronoun

“Ci” can also function as an indirect object pronoun in Italian and can replace in a sentence. It is equivalent to the English pronoun “to us.

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 replace the pronoun for the first person plural (a noi – to us):

Marco ci ha portato un vestito rosso. Everything about CI in Italian - 7 ways to use it


  • Ci hanno fatto un grosso favore. ⇾ a chi? a noi (They did us a big favour.)
  • CI ha offerto il suo aiuto. ⇾ a chi? a noi (He offered us his help.)

6. CI as Reflexive Pronoun

A reflexive verb always requires a reflexive pronoun.

These pronouns usually precede 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:


  • (noi) CI divertiamo sempre in Italia! (We always have fun in Italy!)
  • (noi) la mattina CI svegliamo sempre alle 8. (in the morning WE always wake up at 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.


  • entrarci – avere parte, relazione con qualcosa che è successo (to have a part, a relationship with something that has happened)
  • metterci/volerci – occorrere riferito al trascorrere del tempo (occur in relation to the passage of time)
  • riuscirci – ottenere qualcosa in cui si era messo impegno (get something you put effort into)
  • contarci – fare affidamento su qualcuno (to rely/to count on someone)
  • arrivarci /esserci – capire (understand)
  • tenerci – considerare importante (be considered important/to care)
  • starci – essere d’accordo (agree)
  • averci – possedere (to possess)
  • cascarci – credere ingenuamente (naively believe)

Sentences with some pronominal verbs using CI:

Ho detto a Francesca che gli italiani sono tutti bravissimi in cucina e lei ci è cascata perchè non è vero! (I told Francesca that Italians are all very good in the kitchen and she believed it because it’s not true!)

Mia sorella mi ha chiesto se ci stavo ad affittare insieme una casa per le vacanze estive. (My sister asked me if I would agree to rent a house together for the summer holidays.)

Dario, dimmi per favore, se puoi finire questo lavoro per domani! Ci conto! (Dario, tell me please, if you can finish this work for tomorrow! I count on it!)

Non posso prestarti la mia macchina fotografica perchè ci tengo molto! (I can’t lend you my camera because I really care about it!)

Ci riesci a fare questo esercizio di grammatica? (Can you do this grammar exercise?)

Remember, mastering the use of “ci” takes time and practice.

Be patient with yourself, focus on understanding the different functions, and gradually incorporate them into your speaking and writing.

With consistent effort and exposure, you will become more comfortable and proficient in using the particle “ci” effectively in Italian.

Everything about CI – YouTube VIDEO

everything about ci in italian

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6 Responses

  1. Surge

    Lack of translations for the examples makes this pretty much complete nonsense. Examples must have translations and explanation of what the example shows – otherwise they are just confusing. Also many variations are presented with any explanation of the difference between them. And the million ads on the page are hugely distracting. I am now even more confused.

    • Italian Tutor for Easitalian

      Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback on the blog post. We appreciate your perspective and understand your concerns regarding the lack of translations, explanations, and variations in the examples provided. We apologize for any confusion caused by these omissions.

      In hindsight, we recognize that providing translations and detailed explanations would have enhanced the understanding and clarity of the examples. We will take this feedback into consideration for future posts and strive to improve the quality and comprehensiveness of our content.

      Regarding the numerous ads on the page, we apologize for any inconvenience or distraction they may have caused. We understand that excessive advertisements can detract from the overall reading experience. We will review our ad placement and work towards creating a more reader-friendly environment.

  2. Malik

    Thank you so much for the helpful article. It answered all my questions about “ci”.

    • easitalian

      Grazie mille for your kind words! 🌟 We’re glad to hear that you found the article helpful for your Italian learning journey. If you have any questions or need further guidance along the way, feel free to reach out. Buon viaggio nella lingua italiana!

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