How to use E’ and C’E’ in Italian

E’ and c’è are simple words that hold significant meaning in Italian sentences and can sometimes perplex learners.
In this post, we’ll unravel the mysteries of “E” and “C’è,” helping you use them accurately and confidently. In Italian we use “E’ “(verbo “essere”) oppure “C’E’ ” (verbo “esserci”) in different situations.

Understanding E’ – (verb Essere)

E’” is the third-person singular form of the verb “essere,” which means “to be” in English. Here are some examples:

  • È italiano. (He/She is Italian.)
  • Lui è un insegnante. (He is a teacher.)
  • È una bellissima giornata. (It is a beautiful day.)

The verb essere (to be) has proper forms in the present indicative: “è” is the 3° singular person of the verb essere.

More examples with E’ (essere)

Questo è il signor Ferrari e questa è la sua valigia. (identifico una persona o una cosa) This is Mr.Ferrari and this is his suitcase. (I identify a person or a thing)

Paola è bionda e simpatica. (parlo delle caratteristiche di Paola) Paola is blond and nice. (I talk about Paola’s physical characteristics)

Questa frutta è matura. (parlo dello stato della frutta) This fruit is ripe. (I talk about of the condition of the fruit)

“È” in Questions and Negative Statements:

When asking questions or making negative statements in the present tense, “è” becomes even more versatile:

  • È italiano? (Is he/she Italian?)
  • Non è un problema. (It is not a problem.)
  • È tutto a posto? (Is everything okay?)

Understanding C’è and Ci sono

Decoding “C’è”:

C’è” is a contraction of “ci” (there) and “è” (is), which translates to “there is” or “there are” in English. It’s used to indicate the existence or presence of something.

The expressions c’è/ci sono (there is/there are), have to be used to indicate that someone or something is in a given place.

The word ci, when combined with the third person of essere, means “there is” or “there are.”

This important adverb expresses the existence or presence of something or someone. When the third-person singular è is combined with ci, the contraction c’è is made.

In camera c’è l’armadio (In the bedroom there is the wardrobe)

In camera ci sono gli armadi (In the bedroom there are the wardrobes)

C’è un gatto in giardino. (There is a cat in the garden.)

C’è una festa stasera. (There is a party tonight.)


Use this formula to express “there is” or “is there …?”:
ci + è = c’è.

Asking questions with “c’è” and “Ci sono

When it comes to asking questions, intonation is essential. The word order remains the same when expressing c’è or ci sono in a question. As in English, towards the end of the phrase, you should raise your voice:

C’è una banca (Is there a bank?)

Ci sono libri nella biblioteca? (Are there books in the library?)

Negative sentences with “c’è”

To make negative statements, simply add the word non in front of the sentence:

Non c’è problema. (There is no problem.)

Non ci sono problemi (There are no problems.)

Non c’è più pane in cucina. (There is no more bread in the kitchen.)

Some examples with “C’E’ ” (esserci)

In questo ufficio c’è l’aria condizionata. (descrivo qualcosa che è presente nell’ufficio) In this office there is air conditioning. (I describe something that is present in the office)

L’aereo non può atterrare perché c’è troppa nebbia. (la nebbia è presente in questo momento) The plane can not land because there is too much fog. (the fog is here right now)

C’è un problema per il pagamento. (esiste un problema in questo momento) There is a problem for payment. (They have a problem right now).

Common Mistakes to Avoid:

  1. Using “E” instead of “È”: Remember that “e” (and) and “è” (is) serve different purposes. Using “e” when you mean “è” can lead to confusion.
  2. Confusing “C’è” and “Ci sono”: Ensure agreement between the verb and the subject. Use “c’è” for singular and “ci sono” for plural subjects.
  3. Omitting “C’è” in Questions: Don’t forget to use “c’è” or “ci sono” when asking questions about existence or presence.
  4. Misplacing accents: Be careful with the accents. “È” (with an accent) means “is,” while “e” (without an accent) means “and.”
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